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People in occupied Luhansk oblast have almost no Internet access – journalist

14.10.2022, 15:21

Despite the fact that the occupiers have disabled mobile connection in Luhansk oblast, the journalists of Starobilsk's "Telegazeta" are constantly keeping in touch with their audience.

Dmytro Shenhur, the publication's editor-in-chief, spoke to an IMI representative about this.

"We have personal connections with many people. We maintain these connections with our acquaintances. And when we call, we ask them how things are going there. If there are any specific questions, we ask," said Dmytro.

At the same time, he notes that the journalists warn people about safety measures, about the need to delete the correspondence. So far, there have been no cases of such conversations or Telegram/WhatsApp correspondence being tapped into or read.

"The situation is more difficult right now, because in many cities of Luhansk oblast they (the Russians. – Ed.) have disabled the Internet. In August, they disabled the mobile Internet, now they turned off the broadbad Internet as well. That is, they left enough of it to use for their own needs, for collaborators in the so-called local councils. Ordinary people have almost no access to it. That's why things are becoming more difficult now. Perhaps this is already evident from the information space. There is very little information from cities where there is no Internet," says Dmytro Shenhur.

According to him, you can call locals via mobile applications. Namely, via Russian Yolla and Viber or Skype. Regarding the latter, Dmytro notes that he has been unable to contact people via Skype. However, calls through these applications can no longer be considered protected, so the range of topics on which journalists communicate with locals is limited.

"It's no longer possible to communicate with people normally. You already understand: if you call and ask something like that on Yolla, they can easily eavesdrop. That's why now we talk more often about everyday things, and we discuss other topics with people from the places where the Internet still remains," the editor-in-chief stresses.

According to Dmytro, the Internet is still available in Novopskov. One can learn something about other settlements as well by talking to the people who live there.

Today, Svatove remains the most isolated settlement.

"There is no direct contact at all. There is with Starobilsk, but it is the way I told you. We don't have many acquaintances in Svatove. We get information from there through intermediaries, we monitor Telegram channels. And as for Svatove, there is a private Telegram channel there where people communicate. As far as I know, you can't join it just like that. Previously, it used to be Svatove residents who discussed everything there, and now, when they don't have any Internet, it's their relatives who managed to get in touch and find something out," the Telegazeta editor noted.

As IMI reported, the Russian occupiers have disabled the Internet and mobile connection in Starobilsk (Luhansk oblast) – the service provided by the illegal operator Lugacom is unstable.

Occupied Svatove (Luhansk oblast) has been in information isolation since September 11. People do not fully understand what is happening in their city.

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