The national table top exercise on critical energy infrastructure protection and responding to threats to its operation and resilience COHERENT RESILIENCE 2017 (CORE 17) was conducted in Ukraine


From 16 to 20 October 2017 the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, hosted an international event – the national table top exercise on critical energy infrastructure protection and responding to threats to its operation and resilience named “Coherent Resilience 2017” (CORE 17). This event was jointly prepared by the Ukrainian and foreign organizations that represented a number of NATO nations and institutions. The table top exercise (TTX) at the national level was conducted for the first time in the Ukraine’s history and scheduled within the framework of implementation of the Annual National Programme under auspices of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) for 2017 which was approved by Presidential decree No. 103/2017 dated April 8, 2017. This TTX was also included as a priority event in the Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine endorsed by the Heads of State and Government of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at their meeting in Warsaw on 9 July 2016.


CORE 2017 was co-organized by the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS, Ukraine), and NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence (ENSEC COE, Vilnius, Lithuania). Additionally, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS, Monterey, CA, U.S.) have provided support to TTX monitoring, evaluation and preparation of reports.




The purpose of the TTX had been stated as evaluation of an efficiency of the crisis response and critical infrastructure protection systems available in Ukraine in crisis situations regarding:

- availability of procedures aiming at prevention of and response to threats of different types and nature and their combinations to critical energy infrastructure;

- efficiency of interaction among different response and protection state/national systems, clear distribution of responsibilities, adequate coordination and information exchange mechanisms within the national security and defense sector of Ukraine;

- availability of relevant plans and procedures aiming at ensuring resilience of the Ukrainian electric power supply system under crisis and special period conditions;

- efficiency of the crisis communication system in Ukraine.


Representatives from the Ukrainian authorities, institutions, organizations and companies, irrespective of form of ownership, involved in procedures of crisis response and protection of critical energy infrastructure were invited to participate in the exercise to evaluate their interaction and cooperation under crisis conditions resulted from triggering events of different origins and nature.  

The TTX had been supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme through conducting of the Critical Energy Infrastructure Security Course (Critical Energy Infrastructure Security Course ) the co-directors of which were ENSEC COE Director colonel Gintaras Bagdonas and the Head of Energy Security and Technogenic Safety Department at the NISS doctor Oleksandr Sukhodolia.


The TTX included three interrelated events, namely:

- The Academic Workshop (16 - 17 October 2017) (hosted by the NISS);

- The active phase of the TTX (18 – 19 October 2017) to execute response to crisis situations in the energy sector (hosted by the NEC “Ukrenergo”);

-  TTX evaluation, findings presentation and proposals development (hosted by the NEC “Ukrenergo”); (20 October 2017).


The TTX became a new step in strengthening cooperation between the NISS and the NATO ENSEC COE established in July 2015 (


2The Academic Workshop was co-chaired by NISS Director, Academician of National Academy of Science of Ukraine Volodymyr Horbulin and ENSEC COE Director Colonel Gintaras Bagdonas.


The workshop brought together more than 70 representatives of Ukrainian authorities, organizations and institutions as well as over 50 people representing 14 NATO nations both from Europe and North America.


The workshop agenda covered such topics:

- Terrorist (kinetic) threats to critical energy infrastructure;

- Cyber threats to the energy facilities;

- Energy crisis management in crisis situations;

- Strategic communications in crisis situations.


3These topics were discussed deriving from information provided by the invited experts who addressed in their presentations the following specific issues:

- Threats identification and risks assessment with regard to critical energy infrastructure protection: introduction to the topic and best practices review;

- Responding to emergency situations and developing plans for critical infrastructure protection;

- Reviewing the lessons learned from Ukraine’s response to attacks on its critical energy infrastructure;

- The role of personnel training and education in strengthening critical energy infrastructure resilience.



The TTX participants were divided into four groups focusing on the following:

- Terrorist and cyber threats (facility level);

- Crisis management (interagency interaction);

- Strategic communications (crisis communications) ;

- International cooperation (international interaction in crisis situations).




The basic scenario included four stages reflecting gradual tensions inflaming namely a) pre-conflict period; b) low-level intensity conflict; c) crisis situation; d) post-crisis stabilization. At each stage the participants had to respond to specific injects describing different types of threats (physical/kinetic, cyber, distorted information, enterprise operation blockades, power equipment and energy resources blockades, disruptions in power supply, etc.).


TTX evaluation and findings presentations were attended by the representatives of the Cabinet of Ministries of Ukraine, Ukrainian ministries and agencies, NATO Headquarters, and the Government of Lithuania including: Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Deputy Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Nataliya Boyko,  Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Admiral Manfred Nielson, Head of the Energy Security Section in NATO's Emerging Security Challenges Division Michael Rühle, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius.




In their closing speeches the head of TTX evaluation team doctor Daniel A. Nussbaum (NPS, U.S.), TTX co-directors colonel Gintaras Bagdonas ( NATO ENSEC COE, Lithuania)  and doctor Oleksandr Sukhodolia (NISS, Ukraine) thanked the participants for active participation and proposed some further steps to develop fruitful cooperation on energy security and critical energy infrastructure protection between Ukraine and NATO nations.

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