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EU countries send experts to help Ukraine combat cyber threats

The bloc’s help comes amidst growing fears of military escalation in Ukraine that would likely involve the use of cyber measures.

Six European Union countries are sending a team of cybersecurity experts to Ukraine to help deal with cyber threats after Russia formally recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, Lithuania's deputy defence minister said on Tuesday.

In response to a request from Ukraine on Monday, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Romania, Croatia will send the team of experts they set up earlier to help other EU countries, institutions and partners to cope with cyber threats, Deputy Defence Minister Margiris Abukevicius said.

"Ukraine might need help to deal with particular incidents or support to test their infrastructure looking for security weakness", he told Reuters.

Russian military hackers were behind a spate of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that briefly knocked Ukrainian banking and government websites offline, the United States and the United Kingdom said on Friday.

Russia has denied any role in the DDoS, which inflicted relatively limited disruption on Tuesday last week.

UK defence minister Ben Wallace said on Monday UK cyber experts are working with Ukraine to help to protect it from Russian activity.

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