Russian authorities said that several Russian radio stations, victims of “hacking”, broadcast on Monday a false speech by President Vladimir Putin talking about an “invasion” of Ukraine and announcing the application of martial law in the border areas with Ukraine.
This “speech”, which confirms that “Ukrainian forces, armed to the teeth (…) and with the support of Washington, have invaded the Kursk, Belgorod and Bryansk regions”, was broadcast on Monday on several radio stations in these border regions. According to the local authorities. The voice and tone sounded very much like the Russian president.
The same message, attributed to Vladimir Putin and circulated on some social networks, announced the application of martial law in these regions, the expected signing of a presidential decree on general mobilization in Russia, and called on the local population to evacuate.
This penetration came at a time when incursions and bombings escalated two weeks ago in the Belgorod region, where Russian pro-Ukrainian fighters are attacking Russian forces.
“It was really a breakthrough. We are aware of it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies, stressing that the radio stations involved had restored control of the frequencies.
For its part, the authorities of the Belgorod region confirmed that “the information about the invasion of Ukrainian forces in the Belgorod region, the establishment of martial law, general mobilization and evacuation (…) is false information.”
“The aim of this message is to sow panic among the peaceful population,” she emphasized on Telegram to the crisis unit set up by the authorities, calling for “remaining calm” and only trusting “reliable” sources of information.
In the Voronezh region, also bordering Ukraine, and from which some radios were also hacked, authorities assured residents that there was “no reason to worry”.
“The situation in the region is under the control of the authorities and law enforcement,” they said on Telegram.
According to one of the affected radio stations, MIR, it lost control of its frequencies for about 40 minutes in the afternoon, describing everything that was broadcast during this period as “falsification and total provocation.”
In February, false anti-aircraft alarms had already been broadcast by many Russian radio and television channels, again due to hacking.
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