The messages, received
shortly before and after midnight on Khrushevskoho Street where
anti-government protesters and police have been in a three-day standoff, used
the same language contained in a law passed on Jan. 16 that carries a 15-year
prison sentence if broken.
Some recipients posted
screenshots of the text messages in online social media networks raising
suspicion that the government was behind them.
The messages were sent
to users of MTS Ukraine, Kyivstar and Life mobile operators. Combined, they
control the local mobile phone market. MTS Ukraine and Kyivstar are controlled
by Russian companies, while Life is jointly owned by Ukraine’s richest
billionaire, Rinat Akhmetov, and Turkey’s Turkcell.