A flurry of Russian Embassy Twitter accounts are spreading misinformation as the country’s bloody invasion of neighboring Ukraine escalates, but they likely won’t get rid of it for long. .
On Thursday, Twitter took action against a particularly scathing tweet that claimed a pregnant victim fled from its website. a hospital bombing in Mariupol was an actor in “some very realistic make-up.” The account belongs to the Russian embassy in London, which actively disseminates disinformation about Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine.
Responding to a photo of a pregnant woman after the attack, @RussianEosystemy tweeted “… Her makeup is so realistic. She is also doing well with her beauty blogs. Plus, she couldn’t be at the maternity home at the time of the strike, as it had long been done by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, who ordered all the staff to clean up. this place “.
Russia continues to deny and misrepresent its actions of military aggression in Ukraine, often with easily debunked lies. But that information still swirls around the misinformation ecosystem, grabbing breath and fueling the next more outlandish claims.
On Twitter, the Russian Embassy in London had at least three tweets deleted within the last 24 hours for violating the platform’s rules. However, a tweet pinned at the top of the embassy’s feed accused Ukraine of “destroying” people in two eastern regions of the country where local leadership is backed by the Russian regime.
The “destroy” language echoes the false justification of Russian President Vladimir Putin when he declared war on Ukraine. Last month, Putin stated: “What is happening in Donbas is genocide, which lays the wrong basis for the invasion. TechCrunch has reached out to Twitter to inquire about how the company solicited Russian misinformation surrounding the invasion.
This is not the first time Russia has used its virtual embassy presence to spread its own story. The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Laboratory studied how the Russian government used a “wholesome” combination of official and unofficial accounts to amplify its distorted online message.
“Some of the channels it uses are public and official; others are secretive and claim to be independent,” wrote senior member Ben Nimmo. “All of them work together to create the appearance of multiple voices and perspectives, masking a coordinated approach.”
On Thursday, Twitter took more assertive action against at least one other prominent source of disinformation, suspend @asbmilitary, an account that played an active role in spreading the false conspiracy theory that the US holds biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine. The Biden Administration expressed concern that the wave of misinformation regarding biological weapons could suggest a Russian chemical weapons attack in the country.