Zelensky appears on Russian TV

TV broadcast in Russia’s southwest has been briefly disrupted by the Ukrainian president’s address in a suspected hacker attack

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky made a surprise appearance on Russian TV on Wednesday, when a digital broadcast was disrupted in an apparent hacker attack across southwestern regions of the country.

TV viewers in Belgorod Region, as well as in Crimea, reported the broadcast getting interrupted with an address by Zelensky, who was speaking Ukrainian. The address lasted for about a minute before the broadcast went on as scheduled.

Crimean officials blamed the incident on a hacker attack, pointing fingers at Ukraine’s intelligence services and their “mischief.” 

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“With a deplorable situation at the frontlines, the Ukrainian special services resort to hacking into Internet broadcasting and displaying their Zelensky clown. At the same time, on-air broadcasting on TV channels has been going on and is going on as usual,” media adviser to the Crimean government, Oleg Kryuthckov, told RIA Novosti.

Belgorod authorities, however, were not that quick to assign blame, stating that a probe into the incident has been launched. The disruption affected satellite broadcast, according to the press service of the regional government. Broadcast operators had to re-direct the signal from a backup satellite to flush out Zelensky’s address, it added.

Assorted disruptions of TV broadcasts have repeatedly occurred amid the ongoing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, affecting both sides of the ongoing conflict. One of the most notable incidents of this kind happened last June, when two Ukrainian sports channels broadcast an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin instead of a World Cup football match.

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