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Russians destroy TV and radio signals in five cities ahead of Putin poll

Russian drones and missiles have struck communications infrastructure in northeastern Ukraine, knocking out television and radio signals in five cities and towns, in an apparent attempt to cut people off from information.

Mar 15, 2024, updated Mar 15, 2024
ADDS THAT THE PERSONNEL CARRIER IS RUSSIAN - A Russian armored personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned light utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. The city authorities said that Ukrainian forces engaged in fighting with Russian troops that entered the country's second-largest city on Sunday. (AP Photo/Marienko Andrew)

ADDS THAT THE PERSONNEL CARRIER IS RUSSIAN - A Russian armored personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned light utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. The city authorities said that Ukrainian forces engaged in fighting with Russian troops that entered the country's second-largest city on Sunday. (AP Photo/Marienko Andrew)

 

The overnight attack, which involved 36 drones, could indicate another pattern of Russian aerial attacks more than two years into a full-scale invasion that has seen Moscow target the energy system and military production at different junctures.

“In addition to physically destroying the infrastructure objects, the enemy is trying to jam Ukrainian radio stations and the satellite signal of Ukrainian television,” the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection said.

Russia Ukraine War
Fragments of Russian missiles near a damaged apartment building in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, (AP PHOTO)
It said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app that the attack on facilities in the Sumy and Kharkiv regions was part of Russia’s “information warfare” and aimed at limiting people’s access to “truthful information and to share its propaganda.”

The attack impacted broadcasting in the Kharkiv region’s Izium and Lozova, in addition to Sumy, Shostka and Bilopillia in the Sumy region. Repairs were underway to restore radio and television broadcasts in coordination with the national government, Sumy Governor Volodymyr Artiukh said on national TV.

Mobile phone signals had been “mostly restored” over the course of day, he said.

Russia has conducted long-range strikes on Ukraine since its February 2022 invasion, focusing on particular targets at different junctures.

During the first winter, Russia pounded Ukraine’s energy system with strikes, causing widespread blackouts.

Ukraine’s military, which has been grappling with significantly reduced weapons supplies from the West, said in a statement that its air defences had shot down 22 of the 36 drones launched by Russia overnight.

Five were shot down over Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv and southeastern Dnipropetrovsk regions, local officials said.

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