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Northwest Russia Jams Nighttime Internet After Drone Strikes – Reports

Sergei Kiselev / Moskva News Agency

Authorities in three regions in northwestern Russia have turned off internet access at night to improve anti-drone technology, the business newspaper Kommersant reported Monday, citing three anonymous sources with Russia’s telecom operators.

The previously announced LTE wireless broadband outages in the Leningrad, Novgorod and Pskov regions on Jan. 25-30 were needed to “fine-tune law enforcement equipment for anti-drone and air defense,” said one of the sources.

“There are instructions from the Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media Ministry,” another source was quoted as saying.

A series of drone strikes claimed by Ukraine sparked fires at oil and gas facilities in northwestern Russia’s Leningrad region earlier this month.

Critical infrastructure facilities in Russia have over the past year installed anti-drone systems like electronic warfare stations, a source at an unidentified Russian drone developer told Kommersant.

The systems require zero interference from other users when put into operation, the drone developer said, warning that the anti-drone systems “will interfere with mobile data transmission if they work indiscriminately.”

Authorities originally planned round-the-clock outages in northwestern Russia but opted for nighttime as a “compromise,” Kommersant reported, citing its sources.

“However, we still receive complaints from both individual subscribers and legal entities,” the source said.

One source linked the signal throttling specifically in northwestern Russia to President Vladimir Putin’s visit to St. Petersburg for World War II commemorations last Friday.

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