At least 12 Crimean Providers Blocking Ukrainian Websites in Crimea

A new monitoring of the Crimean Human Rights Group showed that at least 27 websites were blocked completely in Crimea, most of them being popular Ukrainian online media.

According to the study findings, at least 12 providers in 12 Crimean settlements are blocking completely websites of 22 Ukrainian media: Ukrinform, Cenzor.net, QHA, Sled.net, Informatsionnoye Soprotivleniye (Information Resistance), UAinfo, Blackseanews, 112 TV Channel, Apostrof, Glavcom, Glavnoye, Hromads’ke Radio, Center of Journalist Investigations, Podrobnosti, Strichka, ToneTo, TSN, Depo, Ukrayinska Pravda, RBK Ukraine, Zerkalo Nedeli, Kherson Daily.

The websites of LinkedIn, Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ministry of Integration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, and Hizb-ut-Tahrir are also completely blocked.

The website accessibility was checked by monitors in February – March 2021, using networks of 12 different providers in 12 Crimean settlements: Belnet (Belogorsk), SevStar (Sevastopol), Farline (Simferopol), YaltaNet (Yalta), SkyLine (Krasnoperekopsk District), Gigabite (Bakhchisarai), Kerchnet (Kerch), Dzhankoy Online (Dzhankoy), Davydov.net (Kirovskoye), Sivash.net (Krasnoperekopsk), Komfort 21 Vek (Lenino), Krelkom (Sovietskoye).

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, 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 presented 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 says that since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation has been consistently and massively blocking access to Ukrainian information resources, including the media, official websites of state authorities of Ukraine and local self-governments, websites of individual public associations on the Internet. This results into the situation when the Russian propaganda information resources become sometimes the only information sources accessible for the Ukrainian nationals in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.

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