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Occupiers hack the RIA Melitopol Telegram channel to spread propaganda

21.08.2023, 18:02

On the night of August 21, the Russians hacked the Telegram channel of the Ukrainian media outlet "RIA Melitopol", which continued to work even after Melitopol (Zaporizhia oblast) was occupied.

The media posted the relevant statement on its website. The editors noted that "the ruscists are posting their shameful news on the TG channel, changed the channel's name to Russian and added a different profile picture."

"Now we need support. We appeal to all mass media and Telegram channels, asking you to support us by spreading the word. Share the link to the new "RIA Melitopol" ("RIA South") TG channel:," the editors wrote.

According to IMI's sources, the administrators of the "RIA Melitopol" ("RIA South") channel currently do not have access to the account. At the time of the attack, the sources add, the Telegram channel had 79,000 subscribers.

As of now, the editors have created a new Telegram channel and hope that all subscribers will switch to it and not succumb to the occupiers' propaganda. As of 2 a.m., the new Telegram channel already had over 14,000 subscribers.

According to Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov, the occupiers also hacked several other pro-Ukrainian Telegram channels which have been "tirelessly reporting the terrible truth about the life in the TOT while facing constant threats from the occupiers" since the first day of the war.

"Ruscists want to make reliable information unaccessible and force the people in the occupied territories to only consume their propaganda. [...] All the content you see on the channels now come from the enemy. The owners of the channels do not have access to the administration features. Please take care of your personal safety! Exit the hacked chats and unfollow the hacked newsgroups," Fedorov wrote on Telegram and suggested that people read the news of the occupied southern Ukraine on the "RIA Melitopol" ("RIA South") website and on their new Telegram channel.

Natalya Vyhovska, Kateryna Dyachuk

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