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Radio Waves Air Fake Putin 'State of Emergency' Address

Hacker groups have regularly hijacked radio and television signals to air anti-war messages. Frank Albrecht / unsplash

Radio stations in multiple Russian regions bordering Ukraine on Monday aired a fake “state of emergency” announcement featuring a voice resembling that of President Vladimir Putin, in what the authorities have called a hacking operation.

In the fake address — which was aired on radio stations in the Belgorod, Voronezh and Rostov regions — what was likely an artificially generated voice of Putin claimed that Ukrainian forces had attacked the Kursk, Belgorod, and Bryansk regions, where a “state of emergency” was said to have been declared.

The address continues by asking residents of the three regions to evacuate deeper into Russian territory, and it ends by declaring a “full mobilization.”

Authorities in the affected regions said hackers were behind the fake address, which they said was aimed at “sowing panic” among the population and assured that “there is no reason for concern.”

The Kremlin also blamed hackers. 

“Indeed, there was hacking in some regions. In particular, I know that Radio Mir and some other networks were hacked,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters. 

He did not specify who the hackers were.

“Now it's all been eliminated and everything is under control,” he said, adding that the government was investigating the incident.  

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, hacker groups have regularly gained access to television networks, radio stations, online news outlets, and even government websites to disseminate anti-war messages.

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