Віктор Козюк Victor Koziuk

* 1963

  • “When Perestroika began, there was a state called Yugoslavia. A certain division began, even NATO forces became involved in this major political process. And one event happened that went unnoticed by everyone else. When NATO conducted a special operation there, at one moment all foreign-made telephone stations – French, American, German – were shut down in Ukraine (and not only in Ukraine, but also in Yugoslavia). They didn't work for two and a half hours. In some kind of “strange way”. This is the same thing they wanted to do with the Internet during the Maidan protests. Only they wanted it to be permanent, not just for two and a half hours. By the way, when this happened, the stations that I was servicing did not shut down in the same “strange way”. I changed something in the software, closed external access by phone and through other channels [and didn't notify the software manufacturers]. But when someone tried to access it, there was a message that they could contact me. That is, they were trying to make unauthorized access and needed to contact me. And there was a phone number and an address.”

  • “ I did not go to Maidan, meaning I did not attend the demonstrations. I have a slightly different perspective on these matters. When someone approached me and said: “Let's go to the demonstration”, I asked: “Why?” I understand that my main task is to ensure that there is no loss of communication and internet in the same Ukraine. The best way for me to participate in the demonstration is not to run around, but to ensure the technological possibility for everything to work. Anywhere and everywhere. The Internet was not disconnected. Everyone was doing their bit. The same Maidan was communicating through the same Internet and through phones. It had all of that, and it was working. We provided such an opportunity and did not let anyone intercept control of the process. We left it neutral. This is what my Maidan was about.”

  • “The Internet appeared in Ukraine, but it was only in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and a little in Lviv. And it was desirable to have it in almost every district center. The maximum that was available was a modem. And no one provided any full-fledged functions so that it could be done. The country was challenged: how to ensure, that is, how to make the Internet available throughout the country. Then American specialists came, ours (our Ministry of Communications) solved this issue and said that it could be done. But it would take from one and a half to three years. And for this, appropriate funding is needed. I made a proposal that I would guess this melody [do this] in two hours. In two days, I drew up a business plan that did not require any money. Only channels from “Ukrtelecom” (in 1998 – a state telecommunication company) were needed to provide access. A pilot project was done. And after a week, about 12-15 thousand users were already connected to the Internet. Without any investment from the state. That is, I built a platform through which this happened. “Ukrtelecom” allocated the eight hundredth number [800] for access through a modem. That's how it happened. It started working. And wherever you had a phone, you could call through a modem to the eight hundredth number and get access. Yes, it was a small speed because we guaranteed a maximum of 1K, but it was enough to receive, read, and send mail. 24/7. Done instantly. For this decision, the then-president [Leonid Kuchma] even received some award from the international community [laughs].”

  • “The first Ukrainian word I had to write using transliteration. That is, I typed characters - to type one letter, I pressed four different keys four times each – retrieved them from the character code table. And then I wrote drivers to make it understand what to do. After that, I was forbidden to approach the computer, but we started writing orders in Ukrainian on the computer.”

  • Full recordings
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    Lviv, 02.10.2022

    duration: 04:27:18
    media recorded in project Voices of Ukraine
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I am the one who solves problems

Victor Koziuk (2000-2002)
Victor Koziuk (2000-2002)
photo: family archive

Victor Donatovych Koziuk was born on April 5, 1963 in Kyiv. He graduated from a Ukrainian high school in Kyiv and was drafted into the Soviet army in 1981, serving in the construction forces in Moscow and the Moscow region. During his service, he learned most of the construction specialties. After completing his military service, he finished preparatory courses and entered the Kyiv Automobile and Road Institute (now the National Transport University), specialty “Bridges and Tunnels”. In 1989-1991, he worked at the Soviet Peace Fund, investigating and eliminating man-made disasters. He then worked at the newly created telecommunications company “Utel”. In 1998, he developed and headed the project for accessing the internet through the number 800. During the NATO military operation in Yugoslavia in 1999, he prevented external interference in the work of Ukrainian international telephone stations. Since the beginning of the 2000’s, he has had his own technological businesses and has indirectly contributed to preserving independent access to the internet and the normal functioning of the UA domain. During the Maidans, he ensured the stability of mobile communication and the internet for everyone. In 2022, he lives in Kyiv, carries out technical orders for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and is a participant in the volunteer movement.