The occupiers threaten residents of the occupied part of Kherson region who use WhatsApp and Viber messengers with administrative and, in case of malicious disobedience, criminal liability.
The Telegram channel of the occupation administration of the city of Nova Kakhovka reports that citizens’ smartphones are being checked for the installation of these messengers, which are “banned in Russia.”
Given the puppetry of the local occupation administrations in the Kherson region and their lack of ability to make decisions on their own, it can be assumed that such inspections will be conducted throughout the occupied part of the region.
The occupiers will be primarily interested in the availability of subscriptions to Ukrainian resources in these messengers, especially Viber.
The report says that people who are found to have WhatsApp and Viber will be recognized as “foreign agents.” It is reported that people will allegedly be warned first, and in case of repeated “violations” will be brought to “administrative” and even “criminal” responsibility.
But, according to residents of Kherson region, the occupiers do not resort to such “trifles” as warnings. At the checkpoints, if something “forbidden” was found on a phone, people were beaten and their phones were taken away. There were also cases when smartphone owners were taken away and taken to an unknown destination.
The message about the inadmissibility of having “prohibited” messengers in phones is a sign of the intensification of occupation terror in Kherson region and the creation of even more unbearable conditions for civilians.
Because in the absence of wired Internet in the region, messengers in mobile devices are the only way for many people to communicate with relatives and friends who live either in other regions of Ukraine or abroad.