Hackers attack Russian radio station to play Ukrainian and anti-war songs

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Midday listeners tuning in to Russian radio station Kommersant FM received a shock Wednesday when the station began broadcasting Ukrainian patriotic and anti-war songs.

According to BBC Monitoring reporter Francis Scarr, a Kommersant news bulletin was unexpectedly cut off by the Ukrainian patriotic song, “Oh, red viburnum in the meadow.”

The station was quickly pulled off the air and confirmed it was hacked in a statement posted to its official Telegram account.

“Kommersant FM radio station has been hacked. Broadcasting on the Internet will soon be established,” the statement read.

The Moscow Times reports that other songs played by the station during the cyberattack include the Ukrainian national anthem and “We don’t need war,” by the Russian rock band Nogu Svelo!, which repeatedly features a quote from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that roughly translates to “a tough guy always keeps his word.”

The incident is the latest in a series of hacks where Russian media programs were interrupted with messages protesting Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian television broadcasts were hacked last month to display anti-war messages on the same day as a national military festival. According to BBC Monitoring, one message read, “On your hands is the blood of thousands of Ukrainians and their hundreds of murdered children.”

Also in May, hackers targeting three radio stations in Saint Petersburg played anti-war and Ukrainian songs for more than two hours, Russian news outlet The Insider reported.

In March, an editor at Russian state-run broadcaster Channel One held up signs during her network’s live broadcast that said, “Don’t believe the propaganda” and “They are lying to you here.”

Kommersant is owned by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, reportedly the fifth richest person in Russia.

Described by the European Union as “one of Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs,” Usmanov was sanctioned by the United States and the EU after Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, according to Business Insider.