Russian invasion harms Ukraine’s internet access
Russian military strikes against Ukraine are blamed for a growing number of internet blackouts across the country.
On Monday, the British Ministry of Defense noted it was “very likely” that collateral damage from Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure would disrupt internet access.
“Over the past week, internet outages have been reported in Mariupol, Sumy, Kyiv and Kharkiv,” the ministry added. The four Ukrainian towns are currently under siege and have come under heavy shelling from the Russian army, which has hit residential buildings.
Over the weekend, Ukraine’s main internet service provider, Ukrtelecom, also reported that Russian bombings were causing severe damage to its telecommunications network. The company’s repair crews worked to restore internet services, but Ukrtelecom was forced to throttle customer bandwidth.
“We remind you that due to infrastructure damage during the fighting, subscribers in 12 regions are experiencing reduced internet access speeds,” the company wrote in a Sunday post on its Facebook page.
The British Ministry of Defense accuses the Russian military of deliberately trying to cut off Ukraine’s access to information. “Russia likely targets Ukraine’s communications infrastructure to reduce Ukrainian citizens’ access to reliable news and information,” the ministry said. wrote in a tweet. As evidence, the UK cited a Russian military attack on a TV tower in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv over the weekend.
Satellite internet provider Viasat also told PCMag on Friday that it continues to experience a partial network outage for customers in Ukraine and across Europe. European investigators reportedly suspect hackers linked to the war in Ukraine were behind the outage. But for now, Viasat is only describing the disruption as a “cyberevent”.
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“The network is stabilized and we are restoring service and reactivating affected terminals as quickly as possible,” Viasat said.
To maintain the country’s internet access, the Ukrainian government has worked with another satellite internet provider, SpaceX’s Starlink. “Next week we will receive another batch of Starlink systems for destroyed cities,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. tweeted Saturday after his government received the first initial batch last week.
However, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has warned that the Russian military will likely target Starlink equipment in Ukraine. As a result, he urges users nationwide to take precautions when setting up the company’s satellite internet system outside of a building.
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