Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces awarded employees of eGA Hannes Astok and Merle Maigre


On 14 March 2024 the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, awarded the Order of Merit “For supporting the Army” to Hannes Astok, the Chairman of the e-Governance Academy (eGA), and Merle Maigre, the Head of the Cybersecurity Competence Centre at eGA.


Photo: Stas Kartashov

The order of merit was issued in recognition of the e-Governance Academy’s efforts in actively implementing the cyber defence assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as part of the European Peace Facility cooperation project throughout the past two years under the conditions of martial law in Ukraine.

Our collaboration started right after Russia’s full-scale aggression on Ukraine. eGA’s team and partners worked hard to implement the European Peace Facility cyber defence support to enhance cyber defence of Ukraine and keep its digital society running and government functional even during the war. This is a high recognition of the collective effort of our team,” said Hannes Astok, the Chairman of eGA.

Throughout the project, we have witnessed very high motivation of the Ukrainian military professionals and are humbled and proud to be their partners in making Ukraine stronger,” said Merle Maigre, Head of the Cybersecurity Competence Centre at eGA.


Photo: Stas Kartashov

Within the European Peace Facility assistance measure on cyber defence capacity building of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a cyber lab and a cyber classroom have been provided, allowing numerous military professionals to upgrade their cyber defence skills. In addition, several trainings and exercises have been provided. The total cost for the action under the cyber defence component has been three million euros. The e-Governance Academy (eGA) has led the project activities over the past two years. The cyber lab and related trainings were delivered jointly together with the CybExer Technologies.

A cyber lab is an online training, exercise, and research environment. The technology behind cyber labs enables users to generate a realistic, capable, and credible virtual environment that requires trainees to respond to cyberattacks and defence simulations in real time. Within the simulated virtual network, members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces can better learn to manage high-stress levels while locating and examining vulnerabilities across various network systems.

The cyber classroom contains 15 workstations and the necessary equipment for training and exercises on cyber defence related topics. The project has also procured, set up, installed, and configured security hardware and software for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and conducted related training.

The European Peace Facility (EPF) support project “Assistance measure under the European Peace Facility to support Ukrainian Armed Forces-Cyber Defence Component ” lasts from March 2022 to April 2024.