9 Information Websites Fully Blocked in Crimea: New CHRG Monitoring

The results of a new monitoring of the Crimean Human Rights Group showed that the Russian Federation kept on blocking independent Internet resources in the peninsula.

For instance, in Crimea, at the time of monitoring, 14 providers in 13 settlements are completely blocking 9 information sites, and 19 sites are made accessible only by one provider from the monitoring list.

According to the results of the study, at least 13 providers in 12 Crimean settlements completely block such websites: Censor.net, Sled.net, 112TV, Ukrayins’ka Pravda, RBK, Linkedin, and websites of the Crimean Tatar People Mejlis, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

It should be noted that only one provider of 14 checked makes other 19 Ukrainian websites accessible. The other 13 providers have fully blocked an access to websites of the Crimean Human Rights Group, the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories, QHA, Invormatsiyny Sprotyv,  UAinfo, Blackseanews, Apostrophe, Glavcom, Glavnoye, Hromad’ske Radio, Center of Journalistic Investigations, Strichka, Podrobnosti, ToneTo, TSN, Depot, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Kherson Daily, Ukrinform.

The website accessibility was checked by monitors in September 2021, using networks of 14 different providers in 13 Crimean settlements: Dzhankoy Telecom and Dzhankoy online (Dzhankoy), TRK Krymskiy Kable’nyi Kanal (Belogorsk), SevStar (Sevastopol), RealNet (Simferopol), YaltaNet (Yalta), SkyLine (Krasnoperekopsk District), Gigabite (Bakhchisarai), Aleks (Kerch), Sivash.net (Krasnoperekopsk), Pervomaysk Online (Pervomaysk), SimStar (Krasnogvardeyskoye), Foton Servis (Feodosiya), and AziNet (Lenino).

A constant blocking of key Ukrainian independent online-media in the territory of the occupied Crimea violates the right to access to the information for the peninsula residents.

Today, a smooth operation of professional independent media that inform the people regularly on the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic expansion or human rights violations, is vital for the Ukrainian society, including the residents of the occupied territories.

Keeping on such restrictions of the independent mass media in Crimea, the Russian Federation not only restricts the freedom of speech, but also poses additional risks for the health and life of Crimea residents.

The problem of blocking Ukrainian media is also pointed out in the Strategy for De-occupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, approved by the President of Ukraine on March 24, 2021. The document states that since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation has been consistently blocking access to Ukrainian information resources, including the media, official websites of state authorities of Ukraine and local governments, websites of individual public associations on the Internet, on a massive scale. As a result, the Russian propaganda information resources sometimes become the only information source accessible for Ukrainian nationals on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.

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