Since the outbreak Ukrainian warcontrol over communications in the occupied territory was one of Russia’s priorities; therefore, it is not surprising that troops subordinate to Vladimir Putin deployed spyware on citizens still living in these regions. In this sense, the report The newspaper “New York Times shows how ISPs and mobile operators are forced to reroute their services through Russian networks to make this easier.

The above environment focuses on the case Kherson, on the south of Ukraine. This city under Russian control de facto since late April last year, it has severed its digital ties with the rest of the country. Companies providing Internet access to homes, businesses and institutions have been forced to stop connecting to Kyiv and Kyiv. their route to Russia, through the Crimea.

The first consequence of this operation is the censorship of those who still live in occupied Ukraine. By redirecting web access through Russian networks, users cannot access blocked popular platforms such as Google, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. However, the restriction is not limited to social networks. Also affected are Ukrainian media and other independent sources of information, as well as websites of banks and financial institutions.

Most strikingly, the censorship that Russia applies to Ukraine requires the participation of Crimea as a special ally. The peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, provides the necessary infrastructure to control communications in the occupied territory. To do this, the Russian state company called Miranda Mediumindicates the report.

As if that weren’t enough, Russian troops are also stealing equipment and fiber optic cables belonging to Ukrainian ISPs to expand their technical capabilities and support telecommunications in the regions they control.

Russia expands censorship and surveillance of Ukraine

Woman protests against war in Ukraine |  Russia |  censorship Ukraine
Credit: Cathy Godowsky

But censorship over Kherson and other occupied regions of Ukraine is not limited to control of the home or business Internet. Russia too took over cell phoneaffecting the provision of mobile telephony and turning available networks into a spy device.

Report The newspaper “New York Times indicates that Ukrainians living in the area can only reconnect on their smartphone if they buy a SIM card for a Russian phone line. Counter? To do this, you must present your passport. This means that a record of all your activity – calls, messages, online history – is tied to your identity.

But that’s not all. The Russian military also reportedly destroyed a significant number of antennas. And they even shoot at the townspeople who are trying to climb to high places, from trees to terraces, trying to catch a signal. It is clear that trying to get away from censorship and espionage has become a deadly threat in occupied Ukraine.

An attempt to bypass the blockade

The outlook is far from good, clearly. Thus, the use of VPN services has increased in order to try to circumvent the censorship that Russia exercises regarding Ukraine. On the other hand, some Ukrainian telecommunications companies have preferred sabotage their own networks instead of handing control over to the Russian armed forces.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army is trying to reconnect to its network all the cities and towns that it manages to recapture. This is very hard work, and it is constantly under the threat of a new Russian offensive.

In any case, the connection situation is not the same in all territories occupied by Russia. Regardless of what happens in Kherson, other regions have also been affected full blackout this affects both Internet access and mobile telephony, and they have been in this situation for several months now.

Source: Hiper Textual

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