Ukraine Is Facing Internet Disruptions as Russian Troops Advance


Ukraine’s Internet connection has been badly affected by the Russian invasion, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the country where the fighting has been most intense, Internet blockade Observatory Netblocks reported on Saturday.

Russian forces seized the town of Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine on Saturday, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported, adding that Moscow had launched integrated cruise missile and artillery strikes on several cities, including the capital Kiev.

Connectivity with GigaTrans, Ukraine’s main Internet provider, fell below the normal level of 20 percent before returning to high levels early Friday morning, NetBlocks said.

Alp Toker, director of Netblocks, told Reuters: “We are currently monitoring national connections at 87 percent of the general level, an image that reflects the disruption of services as well as the flight of the population and the closure of homes and businesses since the morning of the 24th.”

“Although there is no country-wide blackout, it is rarely heard from the worst-affected areas, and there is a perpetual fear for others that at any moment the connection could get worse, disconnecting friends and family,” Tokar said. Tokar said.

Disruptions to Ukraine’s telecommunications network could affect civilian defense groups that are coming together to defend their cities, he added.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials have released further information about an alleged Belarusian cyber espionage operation that they say targeted personal email accounts belonging to Kiev’s forces.

In a Facebook post, Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team said hackers were targeting not only Ukrainians, but also Poles, Russians and Belarusians – including several Belarusian media outlets.

Thomson Reuters 2022

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