The Ukrainian government has jammed Russian satellite TV signals to occupied Ukrainian territories since December 2022, according to Chris Greenway, a monitor for BBC Monitoring, a division of the British Broadcasting Corporation that monitors and reports on mass-media activities across the globe.
“Ukraine is uplinking its own multiplex (a “mux”) to various Russian satellites, mimicking the mux being uplinked by Russia,” Greenway said last week.
“The Ukrainian uplink is much stronger than the Russian one, fooling the Russian satellite into relaying the Ukrainian uplink instead,” he added.
Greenway says Ukraine assigned its TV channels on the “fake” mux the same IDs as the Russian ones, which means that terrestrial transmitters in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine had been tricked into relaying its channels instead of the Russian ones.
The BBC expert says this trick has allowed Ukrainian officials to broadcast messages inside occupied territories, such as President Zelenskyi’s recent New Year address, often on the frequency of Rossiya 1 (Russia 1), Russia’s main state-owned TV and radio network.
In a Telegram post, Alexander Malkevich, the General Director of the St Petersburg TV Channel, blamed the incident on… and I kid you not… “Anglo-Saxon IT terrorists from Ukraine… whatever that means.
Greenway says that since the disruptions, Russian TV stations have constantly been changing their satellite signal configurations in an effort to outrun Ukraine’s jamming.
The incident marks the most successful jamming and hijacking of Russian TV broadcasts inside occupied territories after Ukrainian IT specialists also hijacked Russian TV stations in September and August last year as well.