Kommersant FM was broadcasting their lunchtime news bulletin when the Ukrainian military anthem ‘Oh the red viburnum in the meadow’ abruptly cut them off.
According to the Daily Mail, the radio station, which is part of the Kommersant national newspaper in Russia, is owned by 68-year-old Russian businessman and oligarch Alisher Usmanov.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the European Union sanctioned Usmanov by imposing an EU-wide travel ban and freezing all of his assets. The United States imposed similar sanctions.
The hacking of his radio station is the latest in a string of Ukrainian stunts on Russian media. He is described as a pro-Kremlin oligarch with “particularly close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin” and one of “Putin’s favourite oligarchs” by the Official Journal of the European Union.
Usmanov, who was a shareholder in English football club Arsenal from 2017 to 2018, is also the fifth richest person in Russia and one of the world’s wealthiest 100 people, according to the Daily Mail, with an estimated net worth of $19.5 billion.
Alexey Vorobyov, the editor-in-chief of Kommersant FM, said of the radio station’s demise: “We had been hacked. Technical experts are now attempting to determine the source of this attack by interfering with the internet stream.”