Ukrainian soldiers reported that they received text messages from Russian forces in the region. If true, then the Russian military is likely using ISMI-catchers to grab the cell phone number of Ukraine soldiers. The Ukrainians believe that the texts were sent deliberately at the same time TV reporter, Julia Kirienko, was visiting them. So far over 40 texts have been received reading messages like , “Soldier, you are a corpse. Leave and you’ll live. -Donetsk People’s Republic” and more direct messages like “your body will be found when the snow melts.” This type of propaganda can be considered digital leaflets, which target Ukrainian soldiers with the intent to sap morale in the fight in eastern Ukraine.
During Maidan in 2014, the Yanukovich-led Ukrainian government targeted pro-Europe/anti-Russian protestors in Kiev with threatening text messages in a similar fashion. “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance,” read the messages, intimating that criminal law enforcement might follow.