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Russia reroutes internet traffic in occupied Ukraine to its infrastructure

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The Russian flag is flying in Moscow, Russia, February 27, 2019, against the backdrop of the Kremlin’s Spaskaya Tower in Moscow. REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov

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Kyiv, May 2 (Reuters)-Russia has rerouted Internet traffic in the occupied Ukrainian Kherson region through Russia’s communications infrastructure, Internet service interruption monitor NetBlocks said Monday.

This move emerged with the aim of strengthening Moscow’s grip in areas where it claims to be in full control. Authorities appointed to Russia in part of Kherson said the region would begin using the Russian ruble on May 1.

London-based NetBlocks said Saturday it had tracked an almost complete Internet power outage across the Kherson region, affecting various Ukrainian providers. The connection was restored after a few hours, but various metrics showed that traffic is currently passing through Russia.

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“Network connectivity is likely to be subject to Russian internet regulation, surveillance and censorship because it is routed via the Russian internet rather than the Ukrainian communications infrastructure,” NetBlocks said on its website. rice field.

Russia’s move in the region “is likely to indicate Russia’s intention to exert strong political and economic influence in Kherson in the long run,” the British Ministry of Defense said on Sunday.

It pointed to a statement about the use of the ruble and the refusal of the possibility that the region would return to Ukrainian rule.

Deputy Secretary of State Kirill Stremosov, who Russia calls Kherson’s “Civil Military Area Administration,” told the Russian RIA news agency Thursday that both the Ukrainian Gribna and the Russian ruble were in circulation for five months. He said it would start on the 1st of the month.

Ukraine admits that it has lost most of its control of the Kherson region, including the capital of its eponymous region, but its troops have defeated Russia’s attempts to reach state boundaries. Is called.

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Reported by Max Hunder and Tom Balmforth.Edited by Cynthia Osterman

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