Ukraine-Russia War – Fight Misinformation Using a VPN
Ukraine and Russia are at war, and the whole world knows it. But what exactly is happening on ground zero? This is the biggest question as it’s hard to get the actual picture.
We have to believe what’s presented on paid media. Whenever war happens, military forces are involved, and their achievements/failures are staged to the civilians of at-war countries and the rest of the world.
History has witnessed that misinformation caused more damage than the actual war. Not only does it create havoc, but it also creates fake success. This is why it’s very crucial to stay informed and know the truth.
But, is it easy?
Of course not, as:
- A lot of information is manipulated
- Geo-restrictions on online news websites/platforms are imposed
- Whistleblowers are forced to stay quiet
Stop Russian Aggression
What politicians of Russia are doing is not informed to Russian civilians, and how Ukrainian civilians are keeping morale high and are ready to give up to the Russian army is not presented to the world. Truth is hidden from everyone.
Russia’s aggression is much more than what’s circulated in the media. The Russian army has indeed ruined many cities in Ukraine. But, the damage was only on the infrastructural level.
The morale and hopes of Ukrainian citizens are still high. They are still holding the Ukraine flags with pride and are not ready to bend their knees on the Russian military.
Despite the heavy shelling and Putin’s claims that he has won the city, Kharkiv is not ready to surrender. People are showing commendable resistance to the aggression of the Russian army. Russian media is trying to prove the opposite and bragging about a non-existent success.
The editor of “Censor.Net”, Yuri Butusov, reported that Kharkiv is still in the control of Ukrainian defenders, The Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the National Guard. They all are fighting with the enemy.
Russian media is releasing images of building ruins, the armed convoy moving to the cities of Ukraine, and paratroopers marching to the capital of Ukraine.
But, Butosov confirmed that many Russian assault groups were killed and taken into custody when they tried to invade Kharkiv. He also stated that the defense of Kharkiv is not weakening even during the heavy airstrikes.
Russia claims to be right in this matter. If that’s so, why do Fitch Ratings have dropped to B from BBB?
The rest of the world is not in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This act is likely to have a huge negative impact on Russia’s macro-financial stability, will weaken Russia’s public finances, will put restrictions on financial flexibility, will slow down the GDP growth, and will cause a great surge in domestic and geopolitical risks.
That’s not the end of the misery. Rather, it’s the beginning as The International Criminal Court in The Hague has given orders to conduct a thorough investigation regarding the war crimes done by the Russian army in Ukraine.
Russian troops continued shelling in residential areas. In effect of the shelling, six adults and two children lost their lives in the city of Lz Yum. It’s a clear violation of human rights.
What more we’re yet to see as a result of Russian aggression.
No More Lies
There are threats but Russia is going to have a tough time claiming the actual success. Information is manipulated heavily, and this is not happening the first time.
Whenever there is a war, combat happens on multiple fronts. Of course, the most prominent is the battleground. Other than this, opponents try to defeat each other on the media front as well. It happens by circulating fake success news so that their opponents feel demotivated, the rucksack is caused, and fake propaganda is promoted. This is what happens once again.
Many official news websites are not accessible to Russians and Ukrainians, geo-restrictions are imposed, and every news/report is scrutinized thoroughly.
In that case, knowing the truth seems harsh, even though it’s imperative in times of war.
Is there any way to know the reality?
Yes, there is, and it’s the VPN.
VPN – Know Only Accurate, Real, and Legitimate Information
VPN or Virtual Private Network is the technology that can be proved highly beneficial in war times and otherwise. This tool creates an utterly secured connection over the customary internet connection by using a highly encrypted tunnel.
All incoming internet traffic has to pass through this tunnel before reaching the end-user. While the traffic passes through this encrypted tunnel, certain changes are made. For instance, the actual IP address of the end-user remains hidden and the IP address of the VPN server is attached to the end-user. This way, the online identity of the internet user remains hidden.
VPN usage brings many benefits to the users. Some of which are explained quickly to you:
- With a quality VPN, military-grade encryption is applied to the internet traffic.
- With this encryption, it’s very tough for malicious activities to harm the end-users.
- As a new IP address is granted to the end-user, unblocking geo-restricted content/information is possible.
- With a VPN, one can browse the internet, post on social media, and do various other activities without having the fear of being monitored and tracked as online activities remain hidden.
- VPN makes public Wi-Fi safe enough to use.
- With features like Kill Switch, IP leak, DNS leak, WebRTC leak protection, it’s easier to keep information safe than before.
How A VPN Can Help In Russia-Ukraine War?
VPN is an everyday technology suggested to use every time one uses an internet connection. People of Russia and Ukraine can hugely be benefitted from this technology as they can lift –up the geo-restrictions imposed by the governments, access the actual/non-modified information, and stay informed with true details.
While one will use a VPN, the actual location, IP address, online activities, and everything else will remain hidden. With a VPN featuring a wide server network, end-users have multiple choices to make. Russian or Ukrainian citizens can connect with a UK server and present themselves as virtually located somewhere in the UK. This way, things will remain less stressful and you can access restricted news/article websites.
How To Use A VPN?
Using a VPN is a simple job, and not much hassle is involved. Intended users only need a data-driven device, an active internet connection, and a VPN subscription. Most VPN providers offer mobile apps. You can download the app of the relevant VPN and complete the setup process.
Once the setup is done, you need to connect with the server of the appropriate location, and a new IP address will be with you.
You are now ready to enjoy secured and encrypted online activities.
Is It Wise To Use A Free VPN In War Time?
There are certainly free VPNs. But, they don’t deserve your attention and efforts as they are of use. In fact, using them will only make things worse. Free VPNs are known to have poor encryption, user data logging tendency, leaking IP details, and limited servers.
With so much incompetency, it’s not wise to access war-related sensitive information as government agencies will be keeping an eye on you. Journalists and whistleblowers must never think of using a free VPN.
In case the paid VPNs seem like an extra investment for you, we suggest you go with the free trial facility of some reputed VPNs. The free trial duration usually starts from 7-days and continues for 30-days at maximum.
VPN service providers offering money-back guarantees are more viable as they ensure money safety.
Top 3 VPNs To Use For Accessing Geo-Restricted Information
Lifting strong geo-restrictions takes a lot, and a VPN ought to be highly feature-rich and performance-oriented to make this happen. It’s not the job of ordinary options. Only trusted and industry’s best players can pull this off.
Here are the top 3 choices to make:
#1 – ExpressVPN – Best in Every Sense
With more than 3,000 servers in 90 countries, dedicated dynamic IP addresses, and an audited no-log policy, ExpressVPN is certainly a great choice to make to access restricted websites. The VPN is British Virgin Islands-based and is very user-friendly. Its simple user interface makes it accessible to everyone.
As the VPN is laced with military-grade encryption, protects against IP and DNS leaks, and offers no speed/bandwidth cap, its users are going to have a pleasant experience with it. To ensure that government agencies are not able to figure out about your online activities, ExpressVPN adheres to a no-log policy, and it’s audited by a third party as well.
As if this was not enough, there is an in-built kill switch and ad blocker as well. This way, there is no chance of harm or damage while you access blocked information. Speaking of its unblocking abilities, one can access restricted websites, videos, articles, news websites, streaming platforms, social media pages, and even government resources. While you do all this, not a single trace of your movements is left behind, which is a great thing.
It’s so strong to lift-up geo-restrictions that it works in China also. It can surpass the restrictions imposed by The Great Firewall of China. During our testing, we also figured out that it works great in Russia as well. So, Russian citizens can use this VPN to access blocked websites.
The only irksome thing is its high-end per month cost. Compared to other choices, it’s a bit pocket-heavy. However, the cost is totally justified if we compare its offerings and performance. We would suggest you start with the free trial, assess its performance, and then go with the long-term subscriptions to save big.
- Free Trial – 30 days
- Simultaneous connections – 5
- Server locations – 160
- Servers- 3,000+
- Every possible security feature and latest security protocols are offered
- The servers feature RAM disk storing not a single pinch of information
- Audits by third-party are conducted
- Servers are known for blazing speed
- Payment via bitcoin supports user anonymity a bit more
- Streaming optimized servers tend to have poor performance at times
- We had a tough time making it work in the router
#2 – NordVPN – Master Of Security
Honestly speaking, it’s hard to match with the NordVPN standards. Yet, NordVPN has done it with its robust security, improved encryption, and decent speed. NordVPN proffer facilities like DoubleVPN and Onion Over VPN along with the standard encryption. Because of these two, it’s hard for anyone to find out what you’re browsing or searching over the internet.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, a famous name in the industry, conducts audits of this VPN’s zero-log policy.
There are dedicated IP addresses and Quick connection tools for better performance. Getting started with NordVPN is not tough as there are detailed tutorials on setting up its tools and accessing geo-restricted connect.
As the VPN is Panama-based, there are no worries about data logging. The RAM-disk server eliminates the risks of data logging a bit more. Recently, this VPN completed 10 years in the market. That’s a sign of its trustworthiness.
While one is in a non-secure digital space, using NordVPN is an excellent way as it has a Double VPN feature that encrypts the connections twice and hides the details in a better way. There is a special feature, Dark Web Monitor, that keeps personal data vulnerabilities at bay.
- Free Trial- 30 days
- Simultaneous connections – 6
- Server locations – 80+
- Servers- 5,200+
- A wide range of specialty servers, including dedicated IP servers, Double VPN servers, P2P servers, and Obfuscated servers
- Using the split tunneling feature, it’s easy to enable/disable VPNs on certain apps
- Robust threat protection that can keep risks like online ads, viruses, malware, and trackers at bay
- The mobile app lacks credibility
- Customer support can be way better than what’s presently
#3 – Surfshark- A Cost-effective VPN
Surfshark is one of the most pocket-friendly choices to make. This VPN does not compromise on quality, server coverage, security, and encryption despite the affordable cost. With one subscription, you can use it on unlimited devices at a time, which is undoubtedly a great deal.
There is a dedicated app/solution for OS like Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux. There are easy-to-install extensions for Chrome and Firefox as well. The customer cares about support, worries about end-user concerns, and offers immediate access.
Servers are not as high-speeding as ExpressVPN. But, they are decent and provide a quick connection. Even distant servers work superbly.
Security is a strong point in this case, as well as AES 256 Bit encryption, along with modern security protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard, are in place.
Other than this, you also enjoy IKEv2 support and Shadowsocks to help you bypass VPN blocking. The kill switch feature is there but needs significant improvement. While you use the MultiHop tab, the traffic is passed through two servers to ensure no IP leak. For multi-hop, 14 routes are available presently.
- Free Trial- 30 days
- Simultaneous connections – Unlimited
- Server locations – 65
- Servers- 3,200+
- Camouflage Mode for additional privacy and secrecy
- Multiple hops between servers are allowed
- NoBorders Mode will help you gain secured access even in restrictive areas
- Jurisdiction is outside the 14, 9 and 5 eyes alliances
- Smooth streaming and torrenting experience
- Whitelist feature let’s decide which app to encrypt and which to not
- Uses AES-256-GCM, RSA-2048, Perfect Forward Secrecy encryption
- Kill switch is likely to have certain loopholes
- Speed issues with OpenVPN protocol
Can You Use a Proxy or Tor in War Zones?
As proxy and Tor both are used to maintain online identity and are often considered reliable counterparts of VPN, it’s natural to think that people in and around war zones can use them to access restricted content.
Well, we won’t suggest it as these two tools fail to protect the end-user identity during the process. You will be succeeded in unblocking restricted content but there won’t be any powerful encryption in place, your IP address won’t be that much protected, and there won’t be internet integrity.
With proxies, you won’t get protection against malware and viruses. Issues with Tor are many as they are sluggish, not available in multiple locations, and are hard to get started.
Considering all these facts, VPNs are the most suitable and viable options to access geo-restricted content.
War is not an easy matter as a lot is at stake. Propagating false or unverified information will make things worse and foster public fear. As information circulation is easier than ever, falsified information can do damage beyond imagination.
With a VPN, the truth can prevail as journalists can write about actual situations without the fear of being tracked/traced, the public can access geo-restricted content, and unfiltered information can be accessed. However, make sure that you don’t use a free VPN as it is good for nothing. Use this technology only from trusted sources to enjoy an unmatched performance.