Pro-Kremlin anchor launches bot so Russians can speak out against anti-war neighbors


Pro-Kremlin TV host Vladimir Solovyov spear a digital bot to help Russians report anti-war activity.

Potential informants in Russia’s fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg, can use a bot linked to Soloviev’s local Telegram channel, UralLive, to fill out a form about alleged opposition sentiment.

“If you have information about anti-Russian activities in the Urals, write about it,” the channel said.

The information is then shared with Solovyov’s team, who may choose to repost the details or even report the alleged perpetrators to the police.

Those who criticize Russia’s war in Ukraine face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of “spreading false news” about the military or heavy fines for “discrediting the Russian armed forces”. The laws sparked a wave of denunciations reminiscent of the Soviet era, with some Russians denouncing fellow citizens for “unpatriotic” behavior.

Among the first to be reported and publicly named via the bot, Yekaterinburg restaurateur Yevgeniy Keksin jokingly suggested spitting in the cocktail of a customer wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the pro-war “Z” symbol.

UralLive too warned his readers against talking to foreign journalistswho “would exploit the information to their advantage”.

Last week Solovyov drew critical for calling Yekaterinburg “a hotbed of filthy liberals”.


Russia news

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