In the midst of the traditional military parade for a new anniversary of Victory Day, which commemorates the Soviet triumph over the Nazis, the pro-government press site Lenta.ru appeared this Monday filled with articles against the war in Ukraine. Several of the titles questioned the president, such as the one he stated: “Vladimir Putin became a pathetic and paranoid dictator”.
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It was not a simple hack. It was a complaint devised by two journalists from the site, Egor Polyakovhead of the Economy and Environment sections, and Alexandra Miroshnikova, editor. Both are already outside of Russia.
But there were other acts against the war in the midst of the events for the 77th anniversary of the Nazi defeat. Graffiti against the warlike conflict appeared in some cities. There were also isolated protests that culminated in arrests, according to the independent sites. Jellyfish y The Moscow Times.
How slogans against the war in Ukraine appeared on a Russian pro-government press site
According to Jellyfish, which broadcasts from Latvia, the articles appeared on Monday morning. It was about twenty notes that replaced the original ones on the site and disappeared from the web shortly after.
In addition to the headline that describes Putin as “pathetic and paranoid dictator”, Others denounced the prevailing situation in the war and especially about the fallen Russian soldiers. “The Ministry of Defense lied to the relatives of the people who died on the Moskva cruiser,” the flagship of the Russian navy in the Black Sea that was sunk in April by Ukrainian forces, denounced one of the articles.
One headline quipped that Ukrainian President Volodymyr “Zelensky turned out to be cooler than Putin”, while another highlighted that “Putin unleashed one of the bloodiest wars of the 21st century”.
There were also notes dedicated to censorship: “Russian authorities banned journalists from saying anything negative”, “Russia completely destroyed Mariupol” and “It is easier to hide economic failure with a war. Putin has to go. He has unleashed a senseless war and is driving Russia into oblivion.”
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All articles were accompanied by the same message: “This material was not approved by the government and the presidential administration is going to eliminate it. In other words: TAKE A SCREENSHOT NOW before they delete it.”
The notes said that the Kremlin “forced journalists working for the government-controlled media to stop using words and phrases that could cause ‘social unrest’ or ‘create a negative environment.’ “Among other examples, it mentions that the term “fired” was replaced by “released from work” or “negative growth” is now used instead of falling GDP.
“Russian media cannot call war a war, which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Russians and Ukrainians. Destroyed cities, murdered civilians and their children, bombed-out residential buildings, the genocide of the Ukrainian people: according to Russian media pressured by the Kremlin, all these things amount to a ‘special military operation´ and a ´liberation´, indicated one of the notes.
What happened to the two journalists who wrote the articles against Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine on a Russian pro-government site
According to Jellyfishthe articles were written by Egor Polyakovhead of the Economy and Environment sections of Lenta.ruy Alexandra Miroshnikovaeditor of both sections.
“We are looking for work, lawyers and, most likely, political asylum!! Do not be afraid! Don’t stay silent! Struggle! You are not alone, we are many! The future is ours! Fuck the war. Peace to Ukraine!” the journalists wrote in one of the articles.
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“This was by no means a case of ‘hacking’: this was a decision that Alexandra and I made relatively long ago, but we were unable to immediately carry out the plan. I can’t say at this point what the reason was,” Polyakov told Jellyfish. According to him she said, both are currently outside of Russia.
Anti-war graffiti in the city of Volgograd
The Moscow Times reported that there were other protests in the country against the war. One such demonstration included anti-war graffiti that appeared in the southern Russian city of Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad.
The site reported that a hack was also reported in the list of digital TV channels that appeared with a phrase that denounced “The blood of thousands of Ukrainians and hundreds of their children killed” in the war.
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Meanwhile, a man was arrested in St. Petersburg for carrying a banner with a photo of a Holocaust survivor killed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, another person was arrested for the same reason at a Victory Day march: “We are ashamed of you grandchildren. We fought for peace, but you chose war,” the caption read.