While we usually don't encourage politics on this blog, with the possibility of a Ukraine invasion by Russia we just wanted to issue a general warning to Ukrainian SDR owners. Last year we saw Stanislav Stetsenko a resident of Crimea arrested by the Russian Federal Security Service under suspicion of being a Ukrainian informant. The evidence against him was that he was an aviation and plane spotter hobbyist who used RTL-SDRs for listening in to aircraft communications - something of which many of us do in safety.
Back in June 2021 Stanislav was facing 25 years in prison. We still don't know what has happened to him. If anyone local has heard any updates please let us know. (UPDATE: US1GBF in the comments below knew Stanislav personally and has provided an update: Stanislav was reportedly transferred from Crimea to a Moscow prison. The Ukrainian authorities are working on the exchange of Stanislav. However, the exchange has already been postponed many times because of the refusal of the Russians to diplomacy. Work continues.)
From our website and sales statistics we know that there is a sizable RTL-SDR community in the Ukraine. We don't know what will happen if there is an invasion, but it's possible that, like in Crimea, Russian security forces will see SDR hobbyist activities as a threat, so we urge Ukrainian residents to have a plan to take down any web feeds and antennas should it come to the worst.
EDIT: This post has stirred up quite the discussion. As long as comments remain civil comments will remain open. This post is not intended to take sides. Whilst many Ukrainians in the amateur radio community already know to keep their activities safe during conflicts, we are aware of many young Ukrainian STEM students and hobbyists that may be somewhat insulated or not care about geopolitical events, who read our blog and copy activities that are safe to perform in most countries, but may not be safe in the Ukraine during times of conflict.