Since invading Ukraine last week, Russia has been met with widespread condemnation. If you actually in Russia, however, you might not have a clear picture of what’s going on. State TV has been spewing propaganda, making outrageous claims, even airing Putin-praising Americans, such as former president Donald Trump and Fox News host Tucker Carlson. But some have found clever ways to circumvent the Russian president’s stranglehold on the news.
Earlier it was reported that some enterprising people have been bombarding restaurants and bars with five-star “reviews,” which actually contained real news about what’s happening in Ukraine. As per The Guardian, some have taken a different tack: They’ve been uploading photos and videos of captured Russian soldiers to Google Maps.
One video shows Leonid Paktishev, the commander of a sniper unit based in the Rostov region. It shows him clearly injured. His sister, Yelena Polivtseva, told The Guardian that she was “sent the video of my brother captured at 2am last night. I was completely shocked. I had no idea that he was fighting in there.”
Another family member of Paktishev, who spoke anonymously, was outraged that Russia was sending its young into the neighboring nation. “How else can you feel?!” they said. “Young boys are thrown like cannon fodder, and most importantly for what?! For palaces in Gelendzhik?”
Ukraine has set up a hotline for family members of Russian soldiers to contact them, voice their opposition to the invasion, and beg them to return home. The Kyiv Independent has reported that the hotline has received “hundreds of calls” since the invasion’s start last week.
Despite Putin’s propaganda, it’s not working on everyone. Protests within the nation have attracted thousands of citizens, who risk their lives and freedom to stand up to an authoritarian regime whose leader, again, is admired by both a certain former U.S. president and a certain Fox News host.
In the meantime, casualties from both the Russian and Ukrainian side continue to escalate. Putin himself has reportedly grown “frustrated” and is considering a more brutal attack on both Ukraine and any nation that gets in his way. The U.S. and its allies have responded by imposing sanctions that have crushed the ruble and seized assets from Putin’s oligarch cronies, including a $600 million superyacht owned by one of the earliest investors in Facebook.
(Via The Guardian)