Russian T-90 tanks in an unspecified area in Ukraine on January 23, 2023.
Moscow – The website of Russia's most popular newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda briefly appeared over the weekend against the war in Ukraine, including calls for Russia to return annexed Crimea to Ukraine, data on Russian military casualties and civilian casualties. There was also a warning that the war would only end when “dictator Putin loses power”. Under the posts, the editor Vladimir Romanenko was signed, but soon everything was deleted. The 24-year-old editor really exists and worked at the newspaper for half a year.
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“Working in propaganda, as a person with a journalistic education, I did not enjoy at all, I suffered from a cruel contradiction. I was against the war from the first day. My closest friends are Ukrainians,” the journalist, who now lives abroad, told the Prodolzheniye server to watch (To be continued). Other media outlets were also interested in the confession, including the Belarusian opposition website Nasha Niva.
According to his words, he got a job in the pro-Kremlin newspaper because he did not find work for four months after moving to Moscow and his debts were growing. When President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization at the end of September, he preferred to leave his homeland like hundreds of thousands of other young Russians, but continued to work “remotely” at the newspaper.
According to him, the opinions in the editorial office faithfully copy the tone that emanates from the screens of state television, and the editors “really believe what they write about, including the radioactive mosquitoes that Ukraine is said to be using.” Ukrainians are commonly referred to as “enemies” and “Ukronazis”. In editorial meetings, no one talks about the war as a war, just as the Kremlin talks about a “special military operation” instead of a war.
The “forbidden” topics that cannot be written about include not only the voices of resistance against the war, but also the private mercenary army, called Wagner's group (transcribed from the Russian Vagnerov), which, according to Romanenko, everyone is afraid of. “It must not be written that they recruit convicts for war and give weapons to real murderers,” he said. Roskosmos) Dmitry Rogozin. They are said to be fierce critics of the Russian command and tell all kinds of dangerous things that could destabilize the mood in the country,” he said.
Once Romanenko tried to speak openly with a colleague who was leaving the newspaper to the army. “What are you going to war for?” he asked and immediately learned that “someone has to defend the homeland”. “It's a leap into the unknown for me. I'm looking for a job, I don't have much saved up. But I see it as redemption for my guilt. I'm out of a job, so I'm paying for the fact that I lied. I'm asking the Ukrainians for forgiveness,” he said. He hopes that there are still people in the pro-Kremlin media who feel an aversion to propaganda and will notice his action.