Shadowy Russian Cell Phone Companies Are Cropping Up in Ukraine

As part of these efforts, in recent months two new Russian mobile and internet companies have appeared seemingly from nowhere in occupied Ukraine—claiming to provide cell phone coverage across “liberated territories.” At the same time, existing Russian internet companies in the separatist areas of the Donbas claimed to have expanded their mobile coverage, experts say. These are some of the latest efforts to convert areas of Ukraine to Russian infrastructure and control, with the actions mimicking a playbook similar to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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