Internet disruptions hit Kherson as Ukrainian forces advance
(Image: Yehor Milohrodskyi via Unsplash and The Record)
Andrea Peterson July 26, 2022

Internet disruptions hit Kherson as Ukrainian forces advance

Internet disruptions hit Kherson as Ukrainian forces advance

Global network watchers report the Ukrainian city of Kherson went offline for hours Tuesday, continuing a pattern of connectivity disruptions that have plagued the country as it pushes back against Russia’s invasion. 

Kherson was the first major Ukrainian city to be occupied by Russian forces in the ongoing war after it fell in March. The Ukrainian government is currently mounting an advance to retake the city and southern region that shares its name. 

The city saw a “near total” disruption in global web traffic during an incident Tuesday morning, Doug Madory, the director of internet analysis at the network monitoring firm Kentik, told The Record. 

Cloudflare confirmed the outage and noted it had also observed traffic disruptions in Kherson on Sunday. 

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Observers at internet monitoring organization NetBlocks also reported that traffic to the Kherson region dropped to 67% percent of its normal levels. 

Local online traffic in Kherson was rerouted after the Russian invasion to transit through Crimea, which has been under Russian occupation since 2014 – also making it subject to Russia’s online censorship system, according to Data Center Dynamics

The exact cause of Tuesday’s outage was unclear.

“I don’t know if something simply broke, Russians deliberately turned things off, or this could be part of a prelude to a Ukrainian offensive,” Madory said. 

Andrea (they/them) is senior policy correspondent at The Record and a longtime cybersecurity journalist who cut their teeth covering technology policy ThinkProgress (RIP), then The Washington Post from 2013 through 2016, before doing deep dive public records investigations at the Project on Government Oversight and American Oversight. Their work has also been published at Slate, Politico, The Daily Beast, Ars Technica, Protocol, and other outlets. Peterson also produces independent creative projects under their Plain Great Productions brand and can generally be found online as kansasalps.