I have been following a number of Russian vloggers or Instagram users since March, when our minds were very much turning to what was happening with Ukraine. I think this was the first:
Risky business. One whose Moscow vlog I have been following is Daniil who conducts vox pop surveys on the streets of Moscow. His vlog is called 1420, which I thought was an age range but turns out to be the number of the Moscow High School he attended. I learned that from an interview recently shown on Canadian TV. Now that CBC Canada has picked up the story, I do wonder whether Daniil is now less safe. That report is TOTALLY accurate!
Do explore Daniil’s channel and also another I have featured here, Roman the Russian — who is now in Georgia. Noteworthy too have been Niki Proshin in St Petersburg and Vasya in the Hay for life outside the big cities. Niki appeared on Irish TV in April.
Niki also interviewed the following vlogger, Natasha.:
All the above are totally authentic individual voices, not shills for anyone, not fakes, not stooges. Spending time with them one becomes sure of that. They are all having to live with the knowledge that everything they post may lead to their arrest, a fine, or even jail. That is just a fact of life under Tsar Vladimir!
Three decades after the repressive Soviet Union fell and then-leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared the country was opening up to the world, Russia has come full circle.
Determined to recapture the glory days of the USSR, President Vladimir Putin has been steadily winding back the clock on the country’s fledgling democracy.
Independent media outlets have been shuttered, Western businesses have left and free speech has effectively been stamped out.
Anyone caught spreading “fake news” about the military — which ranges from reporting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to small infractions like uttering the word “war” — now risks a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
With the signing of the new bill in March, the Kremlin — perhaps concerned by how dissent could challenge its narrative of a “special military campaign” — sent a clear message that any attempt to organise would no longer be tolerated.
There have been 15,443 detentions in connection with anti-war actions in Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine on February 24, according to the OVD-Info protest monitor.
Daniil has come close to disaster:
On 27th May, as I reported on a post here, the Russian vlogs all temporarily vanished. On Facebook I said:
Something very strange is happening with FB. Recent shares I have posted here of YouTubes such as Roman the Russian in the Caucasus Mountains, Daniil’s latest vox pop, and London philosopher Vlad Vexler on Putin and Tsar Alexander III seem to have vanished. Also when I experiment at reposting, for example, Roman’s latest this is what happens. Yet when I decided to send it to Twitter, no problem.
NEXT DAY — This error in the YouTube sharer to FB occurs randomly, not just on Russia-related vids, but the Russia-related videos are still missing. I plan to repost one here to see if it lasts, and all three recent vlogs I will share in my blog tomorrow. People need to see them! You will gather I am suspecting cyber warfare is behind this — and those shares are victims of it.
They did reappear the following day.
PS — just four hours later
Daniil has just uploaded a new vlog post. I shared it on Facebook saying:
He is going all out now! The old “thoughts and prayers” seems reasonable to me now. Take care Daniil, and your friends! And thanks too for what you are doing for a saner world where people like you can flourish!
This post has already had over 24,000 views. Here is one comment:
“Comrade Dyatlov 24 minutes ago (edited)
“I am from Odesa. One of my best friends from university, Viktor Olanchuk, was killed today in Severodonetsk. My emotions are all over the place, he was truly one of the most brave and inspiring people I ever knew. His father died form cancer he received cleaning up Chernobyl, and now Russians have ended the life of Viktor as well. He worked as well during university to support his mother, who did not receive compensation for her husband’s death.
“I must say for the 1,000th time that I am a speaker of Ukrainian and Russian. We do not need these invaders and occupiers in our country. We did not ask to be liberated, and they are destroying entire portions of our territory. This has to stop. We are sick of being treated like slaves by our Russian neighbors. I suppose I am happy not all Russians support this war, but now it means little. Rest in peace, Viktor. героям слава “