How to move a bank to the cloud in 43 days

A swift AWS cloud migration managed to outmanoeuvre Russia’s war on Ukraine, saving the biggest national bank from collapse.

08 March 2024

Mariusz Kaczmarek.

PrivatBank is the largest financial institution in Ukraine. Nationalised in 2016, the bank has 20 million retail customers and serves 40% of the country’s population. But when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, PrivatBank still had two on-premises datacentres, which meant the bank’s hardware, and services, were at risk.

“Nobody expected the war,” says Mariusz K Kaczmarek, PrivatBank’s vice-president of IT and banking operations, at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas in November. “We were confronted with the fact that we had bombs coming from different angles and Russian troops entering the country. We had to do whatever was possible to protect our people and our employees – keep them safe and secure. We also had to make sure our services would be available for our clients, that ATMs were working properly, that there was enough cash in the system and online services were operational.”

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