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Hackers Disrupt Russian Radio

Air raid sirens broadcast in a dozen cities

A Telegram post with recordings of the fake air raid warning.

Radio stations in several Russian cities were disrupted on Feb. 22 by the sound of air raid sirens and a warning of imminent missile strikes.

The broadcasts were reportedly heard in Belgorod, Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Magnitogorsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novouralsk, Pyatigorsk, Stary Oskol, Syktyvkar, Tyumen, Ufa, and Voronezh, among other cities. Recordings of the broadcast were shared on the social media network Telegram and reported on by Meduza.

Meduza, an independent news agency now based in Latvia, was forced to move its operations out of Russia during the media crackdown that followed Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

EMERCOM, the Russian Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters, confirmed the broadcasts in a statement on its Telegram channel, blaming an unspecified “hacker attack on servers of a number of commercial radio stations in some regions of the country.” Voronezh regional authorities reportedly blamed “collaborators of the Kyiv regime” for the hack.

Stations reportedly compromised in the hack include Relax FM, Comedy Radio, Humor FM, and AvtoRadio, all of which are owned by GPM Radio, the largest radio holding company in Russia. According to a Telegram post by AvtoRadio, the hack was focused on the satellite signals used by the network to distribute its programming.