Anonymous hacks streaming channels to show Russians the reality of Ukraine war

7 March 2022, 08:13 | Updated: 7 March 2022, 10:15

Anonymous is said to have hacked Russian broadcasts to show footage from the Ukraine war
Anonymous is said to have hacked Russian broadcasts to show footage from the Ukraine war. Picture: Alamy/Anonymous TV

By Will Taylor

Russian TV and streaming services have been hacked by Anonymous to broadcast footage from the war in Ukraine.

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The digital activism collective was said to have affected services as footage emerged of a TV showing clips from the frontline.

It appears to be an attempt to bypass heavy restrictions imposed by the Kremlin to control the narrative over the war.

A Twitter account called "Anonymous TV" said: "The hacking collective #Anonymous today hacked into the Russian streaming services Wink and Ivi (like Netflix) and live TV channels Russia 24, Channel One, Moscow 24 to broadcast war footage from #Ukraine."

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The hack subverts draconian attempts by the Russian government to control the narrative over the Ukraine war, which it has instead characterised as a "special military operation" to "demilitarise" and "denazify" its ex-Soviet neighbour.

It has imposed the threat of a jail term of up to 15 years for people who spread what it calls misinformation.

The Kremlin banned Facebook after its Roskomnadzor regulator complained it was restricting Russia media.

Online platforms have taken moves against state-affiliated outlets like Russia Today and Sputnik, which have been accused of spreading pro-Kremlin narratives.

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Access to BBC News has been restricted in Russia, leading the corporation to direct people to view its Russian language service on the dark web.

Domestic news service Rain TV also stopped broadcasting after the government crackdown.

Thousands of people have also been detained for protesting against the war in cities across Russia.

The importance of controlling the flow of information can be seen in Russia’s latest attacks in Ukraine.

The UK Ministry of Defence said in a fresh update on Monday: "Russia is probably targeting Ukraine's communications infrastructure in order to reduce Ukrainian citizens' access to reliable news and information.

"Russia reportedly struck a TV tower in Kharkiv yesterday, suspending broadcasting output. This follows a similar strike on a TV tower in Kyiv on 01 March 2022.

"Ukrainian internet access is also highly likely being disrupted as a result of collateral damage from Russian strikes on infrastructure.

"Over the past week, internet outages have been reported in Mariupol, Sumy, Kyiv and Kharkiv."

Battles for those Ukrainian cities continue as the Kremlin said it was preparing a ceasefire to allow civilian evacuations, while Kyiv accused Russian forces of attacking innocent people.