Andrii Yusov, a representative of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, has suggested that Russians who reacted on social media to fake reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s death will face punishment.
Source: Andrii Yusov, representative of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, on the Ukrainska Pravda talk show on 3 November
Quote: "We must understand that this is a Russian story, a Russian campaign. Of course, the secret services photographed, literally screenshotted, all public reactions, comments, likes – and soon someone will probably come for some of those who put smiley-face emojis under messages about Putin's death."
Details: Yusov believes that Russian propagandists participated, though not necessarily directly, in spreading the idea of the Russian dictator’s death, even as they refuted it.
- Some anonymous Russian Telegram channels reported that Putin had died on the evening of 26 October, after which the Russian Federation allegedly began preparing for a coup because a body double of his was about to be presented to the public.
- Oleksii Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defenсe Council, suggested that the Russian fake news reports about "Putin's death" were part of the preparations for his presidential campaign.
- Danilov stressed that the Russian dictator will die sooner or later, but Putin's death is not enough to bring about change in Russia, and a lot more needs to happen.
- Andrii Yusov of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence stated that the fake news about Putin's death was intended to test the reactions of ordinary Russians, elites and propaganda, and was also a tool for influencing Putin himself and part of the Russian secret services’ playbook.