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Authorities in Russian-Occupied Zaporizhzhia Order Phone Checks on Residents

Russian serviceman in downtown of Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia region. SERGEI ILNITSKY / EPA / TASS

Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine's occupied region of Zaporizhzhia ordered phone checks on local residents on Thursday, announcing the implementation of military censorship under Russian President Vladimir Putin's martial law decree.

"From today in the Zaporizhzhia region, law enforcement officers have begun a selective preventing check of the mobile phones of citizens," Moscow-appointed official Vladimir Rogov said.

He said those subscribed to "propaganda resources of the terrorist Kyiv regime" will receive a warning, before being fined.

He also warned that there will be "criminal liability" for "malicious violations of a law on the activities of a foreign agent." 

Last week, Putin introduced martial law in four Ukrainian regions that he claims to have annexed: Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk. 

The Kremlin annexed the regions in late September, despite its forces not controlling some of the regions fully.  

The main city of Zaporizhzhia is under Kyiv's control, as well as a large part of the Zaporizhzhia region's north.

Rogov's announcement came as Moscow-installed authorities in the neighboring Kherson region prepare for a mounting Ukrainian counteroffensive. 

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