Ukrainian cell service has been cut in the southern region of Kherson, according to Russian state media reported Tuesday, as Moscow continues to consolidate its presence in the occupied territories.
Russian SIM cards were apparently unaffected by Monday’s latest outage, which both Ukrainian and Russian officials installed in Kherson. blame on each other.
“The connection is working, but only the Russian connection now,” an anonymous Moscow-appointed official in the region told Russian news agency TASS.
The outage comes days after Kherson and the nearby occupied Zaporizhzhia area switched from +380 of Ukraine to +7 of the telephone code of Russia on Friday.
Russian state television in annexed Crimea, which shares a land border with Kherson, reported Lines stretching for “miles” had formed outside mobile phone shops in the occupied city on Tuesday as locals gathered to buy Russian SIM cards.
Moscow-appointed official Kirill Stremousov said earlier that three Russian mobile operators would soon appear in Kherson, the latest sign of the “Russification” of the occupied region.
Russian forces captured Kherson shortly after invading Ukraine in late February, installing pro-Moscow “military-civilian administrations” and introducing Russian currency, media and internet services.
Several local Russian and pro-Moscow officials have signaled in recent weeks that occupied territories in southern and eastern Ukraine will be annexed by Russia.
A fifth of Ukrainian territory – including annexed Crimea, Donbass and parts of Kharkiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions captured in the 2022 invasion – is currently under Russian occupation, according to Forbes Ukraine.