The Invasion of Ukraine by Russian Troops took place on Wednesday , February 23, late at night. Russia invaded Ukraine across its borders on the northern, southern and eastern sides. All this while, media in Russia has tried to pose this invasion as a response to aggression shown by Ukraine. As this took place, on-the-ground reporting played an important role in lessening the propaganda. The footage from the reporting came from both professional journalists and on social media by amateurs.
As the tensions continuously grow, numerous civil society groups are expressing concerns about how Ukraine’s internet infrastructure might be directly attacked. Previously, a link was found between Russia and the DDoS attacks which were against sites of the Ukrainian government. However, an entire blackout would require the use of physical or cyber weaponry to succeed in disabling of telecommunications infrastructure. An attack on the level of network and communications, would end up silencing Ukrainians indefinitely.
The present invasion has already affected Ukraine’s internet connectivity in some parts. The centre of the outage is at the second largest city of Ukraine, Kharkiv, located northeast of the country. Many suspect the reason behind Kharkiv being the centre is its distance of only 25 miles from the Russian border, and it being one of the important cities.
The IODA or Internet Outage Detection and Analysis project placed at Georgia gave reports on partial outages that occurred. They started prior to midnight on February 23, going till February 24 in the morning.
#Ukraine: Partial outage of Ukrainian ISP Triolan started around 2.50am UTC
— IODA (@IODA_live) February 24, 2022
These outages appeared to have an affect on the internet service provider, Triolan. It provides service to many of the cities and areas across the country, which includes Kharkiv. ‘NetBlocks,’ an internet shutdown tracker. reported that many Triolan users had experienced losing their fixed-line internet services though their handsets had continued working. On its Telegram channel, Triolan had claimed to have restored all its services after receiving numerous complaints.
A second blackout in Kharkiv was indicated after a series of explosions were witnessed in the area. However, it is still not clear whether it caused any damage to the telecommunications infrastructure at that point. Concerns arise that to cause a blanket shut down of internet in Ukraine, such a strike would be enough. All this while, Russia has reportedly attacked a number of times, in the way of air and ground strikes, but not one on telecommunications yet.