TV guides and an online newspaper were “hacked” on Monday in order to show messages about the war in Ukraine.
Screenshots obtained by Reuters show that Moscow satellite TV guides were displaying anti-war messages in place of each channel’s programming information. Exactly how the anti-war messages appeared was not immediately clear.
Cable TV was also hacked and the messages were displayed there as well, according to the Interfax news agency.
“TV and the authorities are lying. No to war.” said one message.
Hackers tampered with the TV guide just before Russia’s Victory Day celebrations on Red Square in honour of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany.
However, it didn’t stop at hacked TV systems.
A Russian online newspaper, Lenta.ru, also displayed information about the Russian war against Ukraine in a way that violated government regulations.
Briefly, articles on mass killing of civilians, looting, abandoned bodies of Russian soldiers, the destruction of Mariupol, censorship, governmental lies to family members of diseased soldiers, attacks against the press, and more appeared before disappearing.
Articles carried the following disclaimer (translated from Russian):
“This material is not agreed with the leadership, and for its publication, the PresidentialAdministration will distribute stars to the publication, in other words: URGENTLY MAKE A SCREEN before it is deleted.”
Egor Polyakov and Alexandra Miroshnikova, journalists for Lenta.ru, have taken responsibility for the articles, and have explained that they now require new employment, legal assistance, and asylum. The pair made it safely out of Russia before Putin’s goons could get to them.
They also have a message for their fellow Russians: