On Sunday, Ukrainian hackers infiltrated a Russian TV channel in occupied Crimea, broadcasting a well-crafted video that suggested a Kiev counterattack was imminent.
Several Ukrainian news outlets said broadcasts of Russian cable channels Rossiya and Friday were interrupted by recordings from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, showing heavily armed Kiev troops staring at the camera with a finger to their mouth. It was reported that the situation was reflected.
The cryptic video was accompanied by a message in Ukrainian that read: “The plan is like silence. There is no ‘begin’ announcement.”
The video ended with a shot of two fighter planes in the air. A clear nod to Ukraine’s efforts to procure fighter planes from its Western allies, a male “shhh” could be heard off-camera.
Ukraine’s state-owned public broadcasting company, known as Suspiren, reported the hack, citing information from residents of the Crimean city of Simferopol. Ukrainian outlet “Ukraiska Pravda”.
The Kremlin-appointed adviser to the Emirate of Crimea, Oleg Kryuchkov, acknowledged the violation in a statement on Sunday.
“Several Crimean cable operators’ broadcasts were hacked,” Kryuchkov said. “Signal interrupted. Television broadcasts (all multiplexes) are operating normally.”
It’s not the first time Ukrainian cyberwarriors have entered Crimea since the start of the war.
In February, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion, two radio stations in Crimea were hacked to broadcast the Ukrainian national anthem followed by a message from Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Director Major General Kirilo Budanov. The Kiev army will liberate all occupied territories, including Crimea.
“We will find all the traitors to Ukraine wherever they are. They will all be destroyed,” Budanov warned. “To all patriots, it’s time to act. Stay tuned. We’re coming to you. Glory to Ukraine!”
In April 2022, Ukrainian hackers jammed Russian Channel 1 broadcasts in Crimea with a message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukrainian Pravda newspaper reported.
“I would like to remind every Russian official who has seized precious land in Crimea that this is not a place of peace,” Zelensky said in a recording.
In public speaking during the 15-month conflict, Zelensky has repeatedly promised to regain control of Crimea, which President Vladimir Putin annexed by force in 2014.
Russian occupation forces in Ukraine are now preparing for the long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive for months.
Russia’s defense ministry said Sunday that its forces pushed back a massive Ukrainian military offensive in the disputed Donetsk region in the east, killing hundreds of soldiers and destroying tanks and armored vehicles.
Ukrainian authorities have not acknowledged the attack, and the Post has been unable to independently verify Russia’s claims.