Text messages and bulletins in Russian circulating social media allegedly show an effort by the Ukrainian government to recruit citizens to stage war propaganda to blame on Russian forces.
An account on alternative social media website Mastodon by a podcaster named Sir Gene Duke of TX reveals several flyers and text threads calling on citizens to start fires and film them in specific locations to then blame on Russian aggression.
“Ukrainian civilians getting texts offering to pay 10,000 [Ukrainian Hryvnia, equal to $329 USD] to film fires at specified locations. This of course comes to US propaganda as videos of Russian aggression,” Duke of TX claimed in a Saturday post.
“In fact, these are staged videos shot by paid Ukrainians. This is SO brilliant! They are paying random people to create propaganda that looks like its not professionally produced! Ukraine/CIA is totally winning the PR/Propaganda war!” he added.
The following flyer details in Russian (the most widely spoken language in Ukraine) a campaign to receive compensation for staging war propaganda.
“IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Greetings friend! I am calling on you to stop this mayhem in the country and finish the war! Let’s together topple our government! Shoot video of these places under coordinates (53.271579, 34.410514) and receive a compensation of a large sum of money, or a heavy load of a product of choice. 🙌🙌🙌 Our store closed its doors specifically because of them.”
This is the translation of the following text exchange:
-I can offer a job that pays 10k
– go to this site for the voice recording (name of site) (here you will record the following message: there is a bomb at the bus station at the address Sievers Street, Rostov-on-Don, I repeat, there is a bomb) You need to call the police! BUT FIRST RECORD THIS MESSAGE And you need to record this message on video or audio! You will be paid 10k rubles only after you can prove you made the phone call.
VoxWorker.com – voiceover of text online Online voiceover of text, word synthesizer in Russian. Online service of voiceover of text for male and female voices in Russian and English.
A third text exchange says the following:
-I have a job that pays 200K
-depends on what I need to do 😊
– you need to make Molotov Cocktail and throw it into the City Council into the building through a window and shoot this on video to prove that it’s the right building
Though the authenticity of these text exchanges aren’t verified, this report is nonetheless unsurprising given the confirmed instances of propaganda emanating from Ukraine over the last two weeks, such as the debunked Ghost of Kyiv and Snake Island stories.