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In Ukraine’s occupied city of Berdyansk, Russian police will check phones for subscriptions to ‘Kyiv propaganda’

Source: Meduza

The Russian-installed administration in the occupied Ukrainian city of Berdyansk, located in Zaporizhzhia, has announced that it’ll start “selective preemptive checks” of the locals’ phones.

The police conducting the checks will look for subscriptions to what the occupation authorities call the “propagandist resources of the terrorist Kyiv regime.” This refers to local Telegram news channels like Berdyansk.Now, Occupied Berdyansk, Vaseline, “and others in that category.” Residents subscribed to these or similar channels will be “immediately suspect,” since

every one of these resources calls citizens to espionage and terrorism against Russia and the regions that reunited with it — Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, DNR, and LNR.

People whose phones are subscribed to pro-Ukrainian channels will receive a formal warning; in the future, they may be fined or prosecuted for a crime.

The administration explains the checks as necessary under martial law, introduced by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the formally-annexed Zaporizhzhia region. The announcement also mentions the Russian “foreign agent” law that affects people under “foreign influence,” and the criminal laws concerning “discrediting” the Russian army, and other “activities undermining the state.”

The Russian-installed regional administration of Zaporizhzhia has not yet formally announced any similar measures. Still, Vladimir Rogov, previously identified as a member of Zaporizhzhia’s “military-civilian administration,” did say that similar checks of the residents’ phones will be done by the police across the region.

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