Russian satellite television broadcasts were altered on Monday to show viewers in Moscow messages about the war in Ukraine: “You have blood on your hands”, according to screenshots.
The photographs showed Moscow satellite television menus on Victory Day, when Russia celebrated the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, with every channel showing anti-war slogans.
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“You have the blood of thousands of Ukrainians and hundreds of dead children on your hands,” said one message.
“The TV and the authorities are lying. No to war,” read another.
It was not immediately clear how the slogans appeared. Interfax news agency said the slogans appeared on cable television too after they were hacked.
A Russian news website also showed anti-war material that was deeply critical of Putin. It was not immediately clear how the negative articles appeared. They swiftly disappeared.
The slogans appeared just before the Victory Day parade on Red Square, at which President Vladimir Putin compared the war in Ukraine to the Soviet battle to defeat Adolf Hitler in World War II.
Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced millions more, and raised fears of the most serious confrontation between Russia and the United States since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Putin says the “special military operation” in Ukraine is necessary because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia, and Moscow had to defend against the persecution of Russian-speaking people.
He casts the conflict as an inevitable confrontation with the US, which he accuses of threatening Russia by meddling in its back yard and enlarging the NATO military alliance.
NATO and Ukraine deny they were a threat to Russia. Ukraine says it is fighting an imperial-style land grab and Putin’s claims are nonsense.