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POLITICO Tech 28 class of 2022: Mykhailo Fedorov – POLITICO

Ukrainian Minister of Digital


Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation came into its own during the war. In the days after Russia invaded its western neighbor, the 31-year-old began inundating the chief executives of some of the world’s biggest tech companies with social media messages urging them to break up. ties with Moscow. He asked Tim Cook to stop selling Apple products in Russia. He urged Elon Musk to release satellites to allow Ukrainians to access the internet. He asked Reed Hastings to cut Netflix from Russia.

Yet these high-profile pleas are only part of Fedorov’s role as one of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s closest aides. After helping the comedian-turned-politician get elected, the former digital marketing executive turned his ministry into ground zero in the digital war against the Kremlin.

His team has recruited thousands of Ukrainian and foreign cyber experts to both combat Russian attacks and target possible Kremlin vulnerabilities so kyiv can go on the offensive. Fedorov was quick to upgrade existing technologies in the name of the ongoing war effort. Case in point: using a state-owned digital tool to register cars to track Russian troop movements.

“This is a community effort where individuals and companies join us,” he told POLITICO, referring to a citizen army of cybersecurity experts and rebel hackers under the banner of the so-called computer army of Ukraine.

To watch this year: Fedorov is using his social media prowess and willingness to call on Western companies to impose new sanctions and restrictions on Russia’s use of digital services.

What is their superpower: Harnessing the West’s goodwill in Kyiv’s digital struggle with Moscow.

Influence Rating: 23/30