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Occupiers are blocking Viber and YouTube in Kherson region

05.07.2022, 16:20
Photo: Ukrinform
Photo: Ukrinform

russian occupiers are blocking Viber and YouTube in Kherson region. This is reported by Ukrinform with reference to social media posts from the people in Kherson and online information and communication technologies expert Yuriy Antoshchuk.

"YouTube can still be accessed through VPN, but not Viber," they say.

According to Antoshchuk, Viber is being blocked in Kherson. He added that Viber is currently not only a means of communication between colleagues and relatives, but one of the means of logging into your bank account and receiving notifications.

"I already wrote that without Ukrainian mobile connection it is impossible to receive an SMS confirmation for entering Bank24, and that is why Ukrainian banks were able to set up entry confirmation via Viber. This helped the situation a little, although it added more hassle. But there is a war going on, so even such hassle still saves the people under occupation. Today, blocking Viber is also an attempt to completely cut off the residents of Kherson region from the Ukrainian banking system," the expert wrote.

At the same time, according to him, a "Mordor bank" has already opened in Kherson and has already started issuing cards there.

In his opinion, the invaders did not expect Ukraine's digitization level. When banks stopped giving out money, everyone started buying products and goods in the markets by card-to-card transfers through mobile applications.

Antoshchuk noted that when the russians started censoring the Internet, blocking access to Ukrainian news and banking websites, everyone started using VPN software. Moreover, they were installing several of those at once, both on smartphones and computers, the expert notes.

"Ukrainians have several messengers installed at once – Viber, Telegram, WhatsApp, Signal. Therefore, when you block one, the people of Kherson will have an alternative. But this is provided that people have installed them earlier, when there was still mobile connection. Now, when there is no connection, and if there are no other messengers, you need to install Wickr Me, which does not require a phone to be in touch," the expert explained.

As for the banking sector, if there are still enough shops in Kherson that allow you to pay for goods by card through the terminal, then the occupiers may go further to suppress the Ukrainian banking system in the temporarily occupied territories.

In his opinion, they may either remove all the terminals so that people can't pay by card (it's easier). Or they can install their own terminals, but then it will be impossible to pay with Ukrainian cards through these terminals.

"Visa and Mastercard have left russia, which means that it is unlikely that we will be able to pay for anything with our card through their terminals. And then they will create the conditions for people to come for their cards again," Antoshchuk wrote.

He noted that there is a partial solution here as well – again, to install the application on your smartphone, a software POS terminal, and people who have NFC will be able to pay in stores. Or make QR payments.

"Yes, not everyone will understand how this works, but this may give people a way to pay by card. After all, there is less and less Ukrainian hryvnias in cash + the occupiers are devaluing it. The rate was 1 to 2, now it is 1:1.5, and soon it will be 1:1. That is, they devalued the hryvnia by at least two times in a month," the expert predicts.

In addition to Viber, the occupiers have also blocked YouTube and VPN through which you could watch Ukrainian news. Antoshchuk noted that a free VPN will only be enough for watching YouTube for a short time. And the opportunity provided, for example, by ClearVPN, when you can get unlimited access through Diya signature, is also not for everyone – it is dangerous to have Diya installed in Kherson.

It will be recalled that on May 30, the invaders cut off the Internet and mobile communications from Ukrainian operators in Kherson region, which is why the residents of the occupied territories cannot access Internet banking.

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