Impact of Russian Invasion on Ukraine’s Telecommunications Infrastructure

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Estimates of Damage and Rebuilding Costs

Ukraine estimates that it will need $4.67 billion (€4.38 billion) over 10 years to repair the extensive damage caused to its telecommunications network by the ongoing Russian invasion. The Director-General of the Directorate for mobile broadband in Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, Stanislav Prybytko, revealed that Russia has destroyed over 4,300 mobile base stations and a quarter of the country’s internet networks since February 2022. Additionally, more than 30,000 km of fiber optic cables have been damaged or destroyed in the conflict.

Impact on Telecommunications Sector

Impact on Telecommunications Sector

The World Bank’s report estimated the damage to the telecommunications sector to be around $2.1 billion. This amount includes not only physical repairs but also capacity building in cybersecurity and other areas. The damage to critical communications infrastructure increased by 29% from 2022 to 2023.

Challenges and Distribution of Damage

Challenges and Distribution of Damage

The damage to the telecommunications infrastructure is not evenly distributed throughout Ukraine. The heaviest-hit areas include Donetska Oblast and Kharkivska Oblast, each accounting for 17% of the total damage. Small providers have suffered substantial losses, with approximately 720 mobile and internet providers facing financial difficulties.

Efforts to Maintain Connectivity

Despite the challenges, Ukraine is making efforts to keep its citizens connected. Operators like Lifecell and Vodafone Ukraine have been working to repair damaged sites, with Vodafone having spent €47 million on repairs. The government and private providers are collaborating to ensure connectivity, even in the face of constant shelling and destruction of infrastructure.

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