Russia may target Ukrainian communications to cut off civilian internet and access to information as their invasion continues, the Defense Ministry has said.
Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine has now reached its 12th day, with its forces indiscriminately bombarding civilian areas, showing few signs of stopping.
So far Putin has made limited progress in taking over Ukraine, and intelligence agencies suggest he is trying to cut off communications with the outside world in a bid to move forward.
It was reported on Sunday that a television tower in the city of Kharkiv had been hit, suspending the broadcast signal.
The attack follows a similar incident on March 1, in which Russian forces hit the TV tower in Kyiv and a nearby Holocaust memorial. At least five people were killed in the attack.
A MoD tweet said: “Russia is likely targeting Ukraine’s communications infrastructure to reduce Ukrainian citizens’ access to reliable news and information.
Watch: Zelenskyy warns of ‘judgment day’ after escape routes are targeted
“Russia reportedly struck a TV tower in Kharkiv yesterday, suspending broadcasting. This follows a similar strike on a TV tower in Kyiv on March 1, 2022.
“Ukrainian internet access is also most likely disrupted due to collateral damage caused by Russian strikes on infrastructure. Over the past week, internet outages have been reported in Mariupol, Sumy, Kyiv and Kharkiv. “
Kharkiv regional military administration chief Oleh Syniohubov confirmed that the TV tower was damaged in the attack, the Interfax news agency reported.
“In Kharkiv, as a result of an attack by a Russian enemy, a television tower was damaged. Television broadcasting was suspended for some time,” he said.
Siniohubov added: “According to a representative of the broadcasting, radiocommunication and television company, there is no signal yet. They will work on the restoration, which will be announced later.”
Russia continued its assault on Ukraine over the weekend.
Despite the call for a ceasefire, Russia has been accused of continue to bombard an area that has been set up as a humanitarian corridor Saturday.
The Defense Ministry said the move was likely a ploy to divert Russia’s attention by resetting forces for a new attack.
A second attempt to evacuate the city of Mariupol was called off on Sunday, with Ukrainian authorities saying the Russians had not joined a suspension of hostilities agreement until the evening.
The city council said it had planned to evacuate 200,000 people from the area, half the population.
A third attempt at a humanitarian corridor was agreed at 7 a.m. UK time on Monday for people to be evacuated from beleaguered towns including Mariupol, Kharkiv, Sumy and Kyiv.
The humanitarian corridors are open at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, according to the Interfax news agency.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has promised that Ukraine “will not forget” the killing of civilians.
Speaking in a late Sunday evening speech to mark the Orthodox Christian holiday of “Forgiveness Sunday”, Zelenskyy spoke of a family of four among the eight killed as they tried to flee the town of Irpin on Sunday.
He told Ukrainians: “We will not forgive destroyed houses. We will not forgive the missile that our air defense shot down over Okhmatdyt today.
“And more than five hundred other such missiles that hit our land in Ukraine, our people, our children.
“We will not forgive the shooting of unarmed people. The destruction of our infrastructure.
“We cannot forgive the hundreds and hundreds of victims. Nor the thousands and thousands of people who have suffered.
“God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.
“And instead of forgiveness, there will be a day of judgment.”