EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

Switzerland's massive security effort at the Ukraine peace conference

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, centre, steps out of an Super Puma Swiss Airforce helicopter after his landing in Obbuergen near the Burgenstock Resort
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, centre, steps out of an Super Puma Swiss Airforce helicopter after his landing in Obbuergen near the Burgenstock Resort Copyright ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE/' KEYSTONE POOL / ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE
Copyright ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE/' KEYSTONE POOL / ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE
By Sophia Khatsenkova
Published on Updated
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Maintaining security for more than 50 heads of state and government is not an easy matter, and Switzerland has deployed up to 4,000 soldiers to do so.

ADVERTISEMENT

The security arrangements at the luxury Bürgenstock resort near Lucerne for the Summit for Peace in Ukraine are colossal.

Soldiers have taken position at the multiple checkpoints set up on the winding roads leading up to the resort. 

Around 6.5 kilometres of fencing and eight kilometres of barbed wire have been installed around the perimeter. 

To protect the more than 50 heads of state including French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and US Vice President Kamala Harris, up to 4,000 soldiers have been deployed, said Viola Amherd, the president of the Swiss confederation during a press conference held on Monday. 

"An event on this scale requires comprehensive protective measures," Swiss President Viola Amherd said ahead of the summit.

In addition, a temporary military heliport has been set up in the middle of a field to allow take-offs and landings of the different delegations. 

A Super Puma Swiss Airforce helicopter carrying Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lands in Obbuergen near the Buergenstock Resort ahead the Summit on peace in Ukraine
A Super Puma Swiss Airforce helicopter carrying Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lands in Obbuergen near the Buergenstock Resort ahead the Summit on peace in UkraineALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE/' KEYSTONE POOL / ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE

The Bürgenstock Hotel has a long history of high-level political meetings and its isolated mountaintop location provides an extra layer of security. 

The swanky resort had hosted previous peace talks on Sudan in 2002 and Cyprus in 2004.

Threats of cyberattacks and disinformation

The threats are not only physical but also include cyberattacks and disinformation surrounding the event.

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said there was "an obvious interest in disturbing the smooth running of the conference.” 

The first wave of distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) on government websites began on Thursday.

DDoS attacks aim to overload websites with a large number of requests. The data volume usually cannot be handled by a single organisation causing the website and computer system to crash. 

More attacks are expected during the weekend, according to the Swiss National Cyber Security Centre.

How have locals been impacted?

More than 400 residents with homes and farms beyond the checkpoints need a special pass to access the zone. 

According to the Swiss news website Watson, some residents have expressed their frustration with the organisation of the conference. 

“No one has asked us our opinion,” said a woman. “That damn noise all the time”, also exclaimed another resident, after the passage of a helicopter.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Russia notably absent as Swiss peace summit starts

Switzerland to host Ukrainian Peace Summit, but without Russia

Kyiv slams Putin's offer of 'immediate' peace if Ukraine says no to NATO and cedes occupied areas