Russian activists and journalists targeted after Putin’s call to purge ‘traitors’

Russian activists and journalists discovered threatening messages painted on their apartment doors after Vladimir Putin gave a speech calling for “society to purge itself” of “scum and reactionaries” multiple”.

“Don’t betray your country, you bastard,” read a message painted white on the front door of a journalist’s apartment.

Anna Loiko, a journalist for the opposition news website SOTA, which covers anti-war protests in Ukraine, was among those targeted. Activists Dmitry Ivanov and Olga Misik also received similar messages, including the “Z” symbol that Russia tried to use to boost domestic support for all-out war against Ukraine.

“This is the message left to me by the anonymous defenders of the homeland,” Ivanov wrote on Telegram along with a photo of his destroyed door.

“My apartment has undergone cosmetic procedures,” Misik quipped on Twitter.

The anonymous messages came less than 24 hours after Putin’s speech on Wednesday openly cheering the “social self-purification” that has occurred inside Russia as a result of Russia’s brutal war Kremlin against Ukraine. Many prominent Russians fled the country, while hundreds were detained and charged with protesting Moscow’s aggression.

Claiming that the West is relying on “national traitors” inside Russia to divide the country with their “evil sense”, Putin takes aim at those who have called on the international community to stop the war. . He slams people with ties to the West and accuses them of having friendly relations with Europe and the US to feel like they belong to a “higher class”.

The Russian people “will be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and simply spit them out like a fly accidentally flew into their mouths,” he said.

“I believe that such a natural and necessary social self-purification will only strengthen our country, its solidarity, its cohesion and its readiness to face any challenge.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday stood by those remarks and appeared to confirm reports of activists and journalists being threatened with spray-painted messages.

“Well, you know, in difficult times and in such responsible, emotional situations, a lot of people show their true colors. And a lot of people show themselves… as traitors. They disappear from our lives,” Peskov said in an interview with Meduza.

Some such people simply leave the country, while others “break the law” and get punished for it, he said, adding: “This is the way of purification. [that Putin spoke of] happening.”

When asked if Putin’s concept of “purification” has anything to do with acts of vandalism against those who have spoken out against the war, he said it may just be the result of supporters of the war. for the president to “emotionally” express himself.

“A lot of people want to support the president not only emotionally but also in a meaningful way. They make up the majority. “

While quelling criticism of the war at home, the Kremlin on Thursday also defied an order by the United Nations’ top court asking Moscow to stop its war against Ukraine.

Peskov told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency that the Kremlin would not “take this decision into account”.

“The International Court of Justice considers this to be the consent of the parties. No deal here. In this case, this is something we couldn’t take into account,” he said. Russian activists and journalists targeted after Putin’s call to purge ‘traitors’

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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