On the morning of May 9, several article headlines, criticizing the Russian au-thorities and the war in Ukraine, appeared on the website of the pro-govern-ment Russian media outlet Lenta.ru.
This was noticed by journalist Ilya Shepelin, who published several screen-shots. These publications have now disappeared from the media outlet’s website, but remain in the web archive.
The headlines included:
- Vladimir Putin has become a pathetic and paranoid dictator;
- Russia leaves the bodies of its killed soldiers in Ukraine;
- The Ministry of Defence of Russian Federation lied to the relatives of those killed on the Moskva cruiser;
- Putin's closest associate wanted to take Russia back 100 years;
- Zelensky turned out to be cooler than Putin;
- Putin unleashed one of the bloodiest wars of the 21st century;
- Russian elite turned out to be negligibly weak-willed;
- Russian authorities banned journalists from talking about the negative side of things;
- Russia completely destroyed Mariupol;
- Russia threatens to destroy the whole world;
“War makes it easier to cover up failures in the economics.” Putin must go away. He unleashed a senseless war and is leading Russia into the abyss.
Every article bearing one of these headlines was accompanied by the follow-ing statement:
“Disclaimer: This material has not been approved by the management, and for its publication, the Presidential Administration will lash out against the media outlet, in other words, URGENTLY TAKE A SCREENSHOT, before it is deleted.”
The head of the Economics and Environment sections, Yegor Polyakov, and the editor of these departments, Alexandra Miroshnikova, took responsibility for publication, in the postscript to the articles.
Polyakov confirmed to independent Russian news website Meduza that he, along with Alexandra Miroshnikova, drafted these headlines on the Lenta.ru website.
“Hackers are not involved there, it is my and Sasha’s conscious decision, which was made a relatively long time ago, but it was not possible to implement it quickly,” Polyakov explained.
According to him, he and Miroshnikova are staying outside Russia.