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Russian military command complains about ‘fake news’ from pro-Kremlin war bloggers
Russian law enforcement agencies have started checking Kremlin loyalist Telegram channels that post about Russia’s war in Ukraine for “discrediting” the Russian army, fake news, and other prohibited content, reports publication Mash.
According to Mash, the outlets subject to official verification include: Igor Strelkov’s Telegram channel (Strelkov is the former defense minister of the annexed DNR); Semyon Pegov, journalist and creator of the WarGonzo project; Sergey Mardan, radio host for Komsomolskaya Pravda; the bloggers Yury Podolyak, Vladlen Tatarsky, Igor Dmitriev, and Kristina Potupchik; and the anonymous Telegram channels GreyZone and Rybar.
Valery Gerasimov, head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, personally requested that Roskomnadzor monitor content in the Telegram channels, reports Mash. The prosecutor general’s office joined the effort, represented by the director of the department which supervises federal security, interethnic relations, and countering extremism and terrorism.
“The reason is criticism of the Ministry of Defense and its decisions during the special military operation,” writes Mash.
On the morning of October 14, WarGonzo’s Telegram channel cited sources in law enforcement reporting,“a list sent down from above of channels and journalists who allegedly discredit the special military operation and Ministry of Defense.” WarGonzo itself is allegedly on the list.
Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT, later wrote: “Regarding posts by military bloggers – my friends, colleagues, and patriots – about some claims against them from the top, I hasten to note that authorities had no questions for them in making their decisions.”
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Telegram channels that post about the war have recently offered frequent criticism of the Russian Ministry of Defense. In particular, the Russian army’s retreat from Kharkiv in September met with wide-ranging criticism.
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