Ukraine’s main mobile operator Kyivstar on Wednesday said its service was being gradually restored after being hit by an unprecedented cyberattack that Kyiv blamed on Russian hackers.

On Tuesday an attack paralysed the networks of Kyivstar and its 24 million subscribers, with Ukraine’s SBU security service contributing to the repairs.

“Our specialists have started to restore telephone calls in all of Ukraine,” Kyivstar spokeswoman Irina Lelichenko said on Facebook.

The return of services would be “gradual” and problems could remain as teams worked to restore text message and data services, she added.

Kyivstar users in the capital Kyiv were still unable to speak on phones or to receive air raid alert texts earlier on Wednesday, after a ballistic missile attack wounded over 50 people and caused widespread damage.


Users rushed to shops to buy SIM cards from Ukraine’s other two operators, but they were hard to find.

Around 40 people, wrapped up in heavy winter coats, were queueing up in the hopes of buying one from a downtown store belonging to Vodafone, the country’s second largest operator.

The last cards were sold out by midday in an outlet in the city centre, and none were available at a small Lifecell shop nearby.

Residents of several regions also said they were struggling to take cash out.

In the southern Zaporizhzhia region, some terminals in pharmacies and supermarkets were not working, while street lighting was out in some places in the northern Chernigiv region.

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In its statement on Wednesday, the SBU accused hackers belonging to a Russian military intelligence unit, the GRU, of being behind the hacking.

“A group of Russian pseudo-hackers has already claimed responsibility for the attack,” it said.

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Comments ( 1)
Duarte Simões
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Many people may not know, but Kiyvstar is by far the very best mobile Company I ever used. And I used more than twenty while travelling abroad. As Customer I can tell you that Kiyvstar is the most generous, imaginative, helpful and affordable Company i ever met. They're always eager to help and please you and will indulge in about anything you may ask them, as if they didn't know the meaning of replying "that is not possible". Very often you can chose your own number, for example. Their network is superb and their tariffs are extremely affordable and very generous. I bought them a SIM card and they're a true friend to help you in Ukraine; I am sure that the company will come out of this stronger than before.
Now payback is overdue. Time to send some havoc among the ruzzian networks. We can do it too.