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Police charge a Ukrainian prankster with calling several morgues in Kemerovo

Meduza

Russian federal investigators have opened a criminal case against a Ukrainian citizen known online as “Evgeny Volnov.” Actually named Nikita Kuvikov, he’s charged with hate speech for prank calling several morgues in the Kemerovo region.

Posing as an emergency worker, Kuvikov told the morgues to expect hundreds of bodies from the deadly fire that incinerated a shopping mall, and later published audio recordings of the phone calls.

These prank calls helped launch unfounded conspiracy theories that the authorities in Kemerovo have understated the death toll of Sunday’s fire.