Press Release

How decentralization saved the Ukrainian internet: lessons from 2022, government officials and telecom industry reflect in Kyiv

The Ukrainian telecoms market incurred $2.3B in losses during the initial year of the invasion, per the World Bank. Key stakeholders, including industry leaders, government officials, and international partners, gathered in Kyiv for the “Ukraine: Communications and Internet Resilience during War” conference on May 26, 2023. Organized by eQualitie and Internews Ukraine, the event focused on the ongoing infrastructure restoration efforts.

The resilience of Ukrainian communications and the Internet in the early months of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine can be attributed to several key factors, with one notable distinction being the establishment of a robust public-private partnership in response to the crisis. These partnerships ensured that government decisions concerning communications stability were swiftly made in the initial weeks of the full-scale invasion.

The Ukrainian government made several notable decisions during the crisis that had a significant impact on the operations of the telecommunications industry:

  • Abolishing fees for providers and operators to access electric power infrastructure, saving UAH 800 million.
  • Providing free frequencies to enhance network capacity for mobile operators.
  • Implementing network quality testing measures.
  • Postponing the expiration of telecommunications company licenses.
  • Facilitating collaboration between the government and the private sector for equipment delivery.
  • Approving passage through checkpoints during curfew for telecoms employees to conduct network repairs.

Decentralization saved the Ukrainian Internet, thanks to effective cooperation and timely decision-making by stakeholders. The united front of the state, critical infrastructure, and business became the decisive factor in the country’s struggle, as emphasized by Volodymyr Zverev of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

Communications in temporarily occupied and de-occupied territories

In response to the full-scale Russian invasion, most Ukrainian TV channels in the temporarily occupied territories have decoded their signal. According to Oleh Chernysh of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting, 283 licensees remain in these territories, and about 47 satellite broadcasters have temporarily stopped broadcasting.

The Russian Internet has invaded occupied territories, and all mobile and Internet communications are channelled through the Russian Federation. Dmitri Vitaliev of eQualitie, presented the tools that will help to restore communications with these territories:

  • dComms is an alternative platform for online communication if access to the Internet is limited.
  • Ceno is the world’s first mobile browser that used decentralization to bypass modern Internet censorship methods.
  • Ouinet is a set of software tools that provide access to web resources in unreliable Internet conditions or where the Internet is unavailable.
  • Deflect is a robust and innovative website protection service designed to withstand distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Deflect offers secure hosting, encrypted connections, and advanced mitigation options.

In the recently de-occupied territories, over 1,700 base stations have been restored, reconnecting residents of 500 settlements, with 91% of mobile networks operational, confirmed Stanislav Prybytko from the Ministry of Digital Transformation. The Ukrainian Parliament passed Law No. 2078-IX, simplifying and expediting the construction of mobile towers.

The needs of the telecommunications industry. Dialogue on international aid for Ukraine

According to Maksym Smilianets from Winner Telecom ISP, the telecommunications industry in the occupied territories faces significant challenges, including equipment theft, blackouts, disconnection of users from Ukrainian providers, and forced connection to Russian providers. Smilianets also highlighted the significant daily expenditure of UAH 350,000 in the Kherson Region solely for restoring damaged systems and equipment.

Yuriy Matsyk from the Ministry of Digital Transformation highlighted the continuous need for funds to restore territories. Despite the reduced population in partially destroyed settlements, the Ministry aims to ensure fully functional internet and communication services. They plan to launch the “Universal Internet Service” project in de-occupied territories. This initiative will assist citizens who cannot afford communication services by providing state funds for payment. Users will have the freedom to choose their preferred provider and pay for their services accordingly.

Maryna Pryhornytska from the Telecommunications Chamber of Ukraine outlined key mechanisms to aid the industry’s recovery, including:

  • Legislative Assistance: Developing methodologies to determine losses and procedures for cost compensation, providing a legal framework to support the industry’s restoration efforts.
  • Administrative Assistance: Prioritizing the restoration of power supply, demining facilities with telecommunications infrastructure, granting special passes to telecom employees for emergency repair work, and reserving management and key personnel during mobilization.
  • Financial Assistance: Offering equipment and cable products free of charge through funds and contributions, providing Starlink terminals in de-occupied territories, and facilitating access to interest-free loans for swift communication restoration in liberated regions and active combat zones.

Conference speakers also highlighted Canada as a pivotal international partner in strengthening Ukraine’s defense against cyber threats. During Ukraine’s blackouts, Canada stepped in to support by helping procure batteries to ensure the continuity of optical networks.

The conference was organized within the framework of the “Digital Emergency Support of Civil Society in Ukraine” project, with support from Global Affairs Canada, implemented by eQualitie.

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Keeping Ukrainians online during electricity outages

Montreal, Canada
December 26, 2022
Press release

Canadian support from eQualitie allows hundreds of thousands of Internet users in Ukraine to stay connected

Canadian Technology Organization eQualitie, in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, DEPS UA, and the Association of “Right Owners and Providers of Content”, supplied 29 Ukrainian ISPs with 172 SBL 135-12HR batteries to power the providers’ fiber optic network during power outages.

A cargo weighing 6,600 kg as humanitarian aid arrived in Ukraine from Poland, where eQualitie purchased a series of  batteries donated for Ukrainian ISPs. Each battery weighing 38 kg will be installed on the fibre optic and distribution networks of local Internet providers, allowing them to power their networks for an additional 10-12 hours through the electricity outages. This batch of donations has a total capacity of 20,640 Amps or 247 kWh. – helping more Ukrainians access the Internet without interruption. 

Distribution of batteries is based on a needs assessment conducted by eQualitie together with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. The stated needs were to bring batteries for regions most affected by Russian aggression – Chernihiv, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Sumy, etc.

This support became possible due to the efforts and commitments of the Canadian government, taking place within the framework of the project “Digital Emergency Support of Civil Society in Ukraine”, implemented by eQualitie together with the NGO “Internews Ukraine”. Internet Service Providers are among the project’s key recipients, – supporting their efforts in providing Internet and communication services to the public.

Whilst the Ukrainian Internet has shown great resilience during this conflict, it is essentially another civic utility reliant on electricity. Internet access has provided a communications and an information lifeline for so many over the last eleven months. In the conditions of constant Russian shelling of the critical infrastructure of Ukraine, and as a result – power outages, the work of providers becomes even more difficult. We note the significant efforts of Ukrainian providers to restore the infrastructure damaged during the war in order and hope that our small contribution will allow hundreds of thousands of people get reliable access to the Internet” notes Dmitri Vitaliev, eQualitie’s director.

With the first shipment of batteries, eQualitie joins the international campaign “Keep Ukraine Connected” by NOG Alliance as an initiative of international assistance with equipment for Ukrainian ISPs. In January, eQualitie plans to purchase and bring additional batteries to Ukraine.

Beyond the supply of batteries, in Ukraine eQualitie protects the websites of Ukrainian media and CSOs from DDoS attacks by means of its own infrastructure called Also, the organization helps users in the temporarily occupied territories access a free Internet, with the CENO browser software, an Android application that helps them evade Russian censorship. At the very beginning of the conflict, eQualitie launched a decentralized communications project in Ukraine with 10 regional locations for Ukrainian users to chat using the secure Matrix system and communicate on the Mastodon social network.

For media inquiries, please, contact Vitalii Moroz at 

eQualitie creates decentralized internet services in support of a more equal and equitable network. Our solutions are open source, battle proven and developed in mind of our principles. Everyday, they enable freedom of association for millions of people online.

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eQualitie launches CENO, world’s first decentralized p2p mobile browser

Share the web, peer-to-peer. CENO.

CENO Browser lets anyone access and share information in areas with censored communications

Montreal, May 10, 2022 – eQualitie, developer of open-source and reusable digital security systems, is pleased to announce the public launch of its newest democratization tool, CENO Browser. Short for, CENO is the world’s first mobile browser that is built specifically to side-step current Internet censorship methods. It also enables people to access and share information in and across regions where connectivity has been interrupted or compromised.

CENO uses established technologies in new ways. While the user experience is akin to using a standard mobile browser, CENO operates over a peer-to-peer (p2p) network on the open-source Ouinet library and BitTorrent protocols, allowing it to run reliably where other browsers might not or do not. Because the web content is delivered, cached and decentralized via p2p routing, it cannot be forcibly removed by external agents. Furthermore, CENO is equipped to access and share cached content offline and via local area networks (LANs). CENO’s resiliency makes it ideal for those who need stable access to and sharing capabilities of web information during media censorship events, filtering, attacks, shutdowns, natural disruptions, unrest, conflict and war. CENO’s routing and distribution can also significantly reduce bandwidth consumption and associated costs.

“CENO holds great promise and launches at an opportune time for those engaged in democracy movements and activities,” says Dmitri Vitaliev, founder and director of eQualitie. “It is already helping thousands of civilians, NGOs, investigative journalists and independent media internationally to share information on their mobile devices.”

View the press release in full

Download CENO Browser from the Playstore

The project on Github


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eQualitie’s position on the war in Ukraine

український / русский / english / français /

Oh bury me, then rise ye up
And break your heavy chains
And water with the tyrants’ blood
The freedom you have gained.
And in the great new family,
The family of the free,
With softly spoken, kindly word
Remember also me.

Testament, Taras Shevchenko, 1845
(translated by John Weir)

For ten years eQualitie has stood firmly in defence of digital human rights. Throughout this time, we strive to create technology and offer services that protect freedom of expression and association online. To help us stay balanced in achieving this mission we have purposely stayed out of politics, debates or public declarations.

But, as the Russian army is invading and destroying Ukrainian cities, killing innocent civilians and hiding the truth from its own population – we choose to stand with Ukrainians who are defending their homes and families. We mourn the lives already lost and the destruction of Ukrainian cities and its cultural heritage. We also choose to stand with Russian anti-war protesters , arrested in their thousands for trying to stop the annihilation of morality in their country. This is an international struggle for human dignity, freedom and the right to life.

To this effect, we have launched technical and capacity building efforts focused on supporting Ukrainian civil society and territorial defences, as well as supporting activities in Russia that preserve online communities and those challenging the war efforts. Some of this work has already begun:

Why now? Simply because maintaining our neutrality will not sufficiently address the injustice and undue suffering caused by the Russian government and army on the people of Ukraine.

We believe that Ukraine will win, their people will rise from the ashes of this conflict, stronger in spirit and solidarity. And we will make every effort to help them in this struggle!


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eQ offers Deflect website security services for free in response to COVID-19



In response and solidarity with numerous efforts that have sprung up to help with communications, coordination and outreach during the COVID-19 epidemic, eQualitie is offering Deflect website security and content delivery services for free until the end of 2020 to organizations and individuals working to help others during this difficult time. This includes:

  • Availability: as demand for your content grows, our worldwide infrastructure will ensure that your website remains accessible and fast
  • Security: protecting your website from malicious bots and hackers
  • Hosting: for existing or new WordPress sites
  • Aanalytics: view real-time statistics in the Deflect dashboard

Deflect is always offered free of charge to not-for-profit entities that meet our eligibility requirements. This offer extends our free services to any business or individual that is responding to societal needs during the pandemic, including media organizations, government, online retail and hospitality services, etc. We will review all applications to make sure they align with Deflect’s Terms of Use.

It takes 15 minutes to set up and we’ll have you protected on the same day. Our support team can help you in English, French, Chinese, Spanish and Russian. If you have any questions please contact us.




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Deflect – Taking Care of Business

Today we are pleased to announce that Deflect is opening its virtual doors to businesses small and large, bringing the same robust web protection infrastructure that the most targeted civil movements around the world have come to rely on.

For eight eventful years, Deflect has specialized in defending high-profile human rights and independent news groups, delivering their websites to over a million daily readers and confounding the aims of state-sponsored hacking teams trying to silence them. Now we think it’s time to share our experience and time-tested tooling with enterprises and organizations looking to invest in rock solid DDoS mitigation and at the same time support an ethical company working towards sustainable revenue.

We believe that a principled approach to providing Internet security services is essential to restoring equality in the digital commons. To this end, we won’t accept any website that spreads misinformation, propagates hate-speech, incites violence or initiates cyberattacks against others. For the full list of stipulations, see here.

We also believe your data belongs to you, so we don’t sell it or share it with anyone except you. We are proud to call ourselves a reputable and responsible Internet services provider.

2017 & 2018 Deflect statistics

Technically speaking, Deflect offers a tailored web security service including web caching and hosting, attack mitigation and investigation, in-house data analytics, encryption in-transit and at-rest, as well as our experienced and multilingual support desk.

We’ve created a fair and transparent pricing model based on the size of your website’s unique monthly visitors, so there’s no free trial which automatically renews at a premium, no subscription plan that changes  according to network circumstances, no penalty for actually defending your site against a cyberattack and no hidden charges for technical support.

We are a small, dedicated team, widely distributed around the globe and punching well above our weight. We’ve proven ourselves many times against some of the biggest, baddest botnets and this year alone delivered websites to over eighty million unique IPs (bots not included!) which represents ~2% of people connected to the net.

This is our first move into the commercial sector, driven by a desire to achieve self-sustainability for our non-profit activities, so when you sign up with Deflect, you multiply the effect of your dollar by enabling us to defend more vulnerable groups in this era of widespread assaults on honest reportage, rights advocacy and civil liberties across the world.

Sign up here 

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Deflect logo for portfolio

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