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Unconventional for intelligence: Media assesses publicity of Defense Intelligence of Ukraine and reveals its benefits

Unconventional for intelligence: Media assesses publicity of Defense Intelligence of Ukraine and reveals its benefits
Author: Daryna Vialko

Intelligence agencies around the world usually operate covertly to avoid attracting unnecessary attention. However, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU) has chosen a different tactic and operates publicly and transparently, according to the Irregular Warfare Initiative.

Recently, Intelligence Laboratory Express, a magazine specializing in intelligence studies, described the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine as a “notably visible in the media” organization.

The Irregular Warfare Initiative wrote that the DIU has significantly deviated from traditional methods of intelligence work worldwide, "stepped out of the shadows" and ensured transparency through public activities in social networks.

The DIU "has adeptly used its public presence to personalize the conflict, highlight humanitarian operations, and effectively crowdsource support for defense initiatives against the Russian invasion,” the journalists wrote.

DIU activity in social networks

​​Since 2015, the role of the DIU in Ukrainian society has noticeably strengthened due to the implementation of large-scale campaigns on six different social media platforms.

"These initiatives go beyond mere information dissemination: they are concerted efforts to counter adversarial narratives and keep the Ukrainian public informed about ongoing developments in territories under Russian occupation," the Irregular Warfare Initiative writes.

The journalists also emphasized the importance of the official DIU channel on Telegram, which increases the vigilance of the Ukrainian population to collect intelligence data. The journalists point out that this turns ordinary citizens into active participants, giving them the opportunity to transmit valuable information.

Publicity of Budanov

The media also emphasizes the personal influence of the head of the DIU, Kyrylo Budanov, which is an important factor in the interaction between intelligence and civil society.

Budanov adheres to the philosophy that the head of a spy agency cannot operate from the shadows.

The DIU's "engaging and adept use of social media starkly contrasts with the Russian Federation’s less effective propaganda, which is often seen as heavy-handed and less trustworthy.” the article says.

The journalists believe that this contrast not only emphasizes the successful interaction of the DIU with the digital generation but also increases Budanov's popularity.

Successful operations and interception of conversations

The media clarify that much of the DIU's content on social media highlights successful operations against the Russian military, especially operations of special forces units operating under the command of the intelligence service.

This includes the destruction of the Russian navy, namely the Ivanovets corvette, the Tsezar Kunikov assault ship, and the Sergey Kotov patrol ship.

The DIU also managed to confirm its success by intercepting and publishing a conversation between Russian navy personnel discussing the sinking of these ships.

"Without hesitation, the HUR (DIU) posted these sensitive intercepts online and, in doing so, has challenged traditional views that intelligence services should prioritize the protection of their collection assets (sources of information)," the agency notes.

DIU activity during the war

The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine is engaged in a wide range of tasks designed to reduce Russia's ability to wage war against Ukraine. These include combat missions and intelligence activities.

This also applies to cyberspace. Today, RBC-Ukraine's source in the intelligence services reported that hackers from the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense attacked the electronic services of several Russian ministries.