A group of pro-democracy hackers calling themselves “Cyber Partisans” said they had infiltrated the Belarusian rail network in an effort to “disrupt” the movement of Russian troops into the country as tensions over a potential renewed invasion of Ukraine grow.

The “hacktivists,” who announced the cyberattack in posts on Twitter and Telegram, said that they had encrypted some of the railroad’s “servers, databases and workstations” because it facilitates the movement of “occupying troops to enter our land.” The group said it would return the network to “normal mode” if 50 political prisoners in need of medical care were released and Russian military personnel were barred from Belarus.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said Monday that Russian troops were already arriving in the Kremlin-aligned country, which borders Ukraine and Russia, ahead of a February training operation. That exercise has raised fears in the West that it would place Russian troops and equipment along Ukraine’s northern border, near the capital, Kyiv, further encircling the country.

As of early Tuesday, customers were not able to use parts of the Belarusian Railway website for booking tickets. An error message said the site “is temporarily unavailable, come back later.” Cyber Partisans said it did not intend to affect passenger service and was working to fix the problem, the Associated Press reported. A spokesperson for the group, which said it did not target security and automation systems so as to avoid creating an emergency, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.... Read More: Washington Post