Russia launches new stage in repression of Ukrainian region

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Russian authorities aiming to tighten their grip on a region they control in Ukraine now appear to be routing internet access there through their own digital infrastructure, where it will “likely” be subject to Moscow’s “surveillance and censorship”. , according to a global internet watcher.

The reported activity in the Kherson region comes days after Russian troops reportedly used tear gas and stun grenades to quell a pro-Ukrainian protest in the streets of its administrative center.

NetBlocks, a London-based internet monitor, said for the first time on Saturday that it “follows a near total internet outage in the occupied Kherson region of southern Ukraine, affecting several Ukrainian providers including Ukrtelecom, Kyivstar and Volya”.

People are seen fleeing after tear gas was fired on Wednesday April 27 at a pro-Ukrainian rally in Kherson.
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People are seen fleeing after tear gas was fired on Wednesday April 27 at a pro-Ukrainian rally in Kherson.
(Reuters)

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The next day, regional provider Khersontelecom partially restored access, “however, connectivity on the network was routed via Russian internet instead of Ukrainian telecom infrastructure and is therefore likely now subject to regulation, oversight and Russian internet censorship,” NetBlocks said.

“Measurements show that Khersontelecom traffic was redirected to go through provider Miranda, which serves Russian-occupied Crimea, and which in turn is served by upstream provider Rostelecom in Russia,” he said. added.

People are seen fleeing the rally in Kherson on Wednesday April 27.

People are seen fleeing the rally in Kherson on Wednesday April 27.
(Reuters)

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Ukraine has admitted losing control of most of the Kherson region, according to Reuters.

Russian-appointed officials also say parts of the region will start using the Russian ruble as their currency this week, the news agency added.

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