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12 may

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“These are not just hacker attacks, this is a well-planned, targeted provocation” — Elena Tsunaeva

Members of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation commented on the hacker attacks on the Immortal Regiment Online campaign

“These are not just hacker attacks, this is a well-planned, targeted provocation” — Elena Tsunaeva

According to the TASS news agency, the organizers of the Immortal Regiment Online campaign plan to launch an investigation with the Investigative Committee of Russia and submit a list of IP addresses of those responsible for sending profiles with photographs of Nazi officers. The Head of the executive committee of the all-Russian public movement “Immortal Regiment of Russia” Artem Khutorskoy talked to reporters about this provocation during a press conference online on Tuesday.

The Chair of the Civic Chamber Commission on Youth, Volunteerism and Patriotic Education, Executive Secretary of the Search Movement of Russia Elena Tsunaeva recalled that propaganda of Nazism is banned in Russia:

“It's one thing when re-enactors post certain information on social media and they are punished for this, sometimes very severely. But this is a totally different case – this was done on purpose, and they knew exactly who these historical persons were. For example, Stepan Bandera, Andrey Vlasov, other Nazi leaders and heroes, etc. The violators purposefully sent their photos to participate in the procession of the Immortal Regiment Online. In this regard, we must come up with adequate measures because citizens must understand that such actions will always be harshly punished. Perhaps they thought this would be considered hooliganism, but I believe that in this case they should bear full responsibility.”

“This situation has created enormous difficulties: we had to carry out the moderation process all over again. Not all volunteers are historians and they do not know all the characters in person. We promptly formed a team of people who knew military history well. All these actions created additional difficulties. This is blasphemy and an insult to everyone who took part in the Immortal Regiment procession online and their families. The culprits should be punished,” declared Elena Tsunaeva.

“These are not just hacker attacks, this is a well-planned, targeted provocation. This was not done by accident and the accusations put forward are compelling. Some even used Adobe Photoshop to disguise the Nazi war criminals as ordinary citizens, and afterwards secretly rubbed their hands in glee. For example, they disguised Bandera and other Eastern European Nazi ideologists.”

According to Elena Tsunaeva, the platform of the campaign also withstood several other hacker attacks. During these attacks the processor capacities of the virtual server were used up and the site was in danger of being disconnected by the hosting network, resulting in the site being unavailable for some time.

The First Deputy Secretary of Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, Hero of Russia Vyacheslav Bocharov is sure that the stratification of society, the poor state education system and the hacker attacks are all linked: “This is what is known as the falsification of history. We all remember when the Immortal Regiment took place for the very first time, how much negative attention we received from the West and, what is even more offensive, from our very compatriots whose great-grandfathers and grandfathers fought in the Great Patriotic war.”

“The hackers are young people, they are not elderly people who are 85 years old, and they dare disrespect the legacy of their ancestors. This is a consequence of the lack of spiritual values, as our President Vladimir Putin said. Such people have no beliefs, they have only one value – money. They could even sell their own mothers. This is how they are, these hackers, who are indifferent to the fate of past generations, and therefore indifferent to the future that lies ahead. They are only interested in the present, and how much money they have,” said Vyacheslav Bocharov.

According to him, this is also a problem of state policy in the field of upbringing and education: “What can be said when it takes only four hours to study the Great Patriotic War at school?”

“The idea for the Immortal Regiment campaign was initially conceived in my native region - Tomsk Region, said Mikhail Kiselev, Deputy Chairman of the Civic Chamber Commission on Social Policy, Labour Relations, Cooperation with Trade Unions and Support of Veterans, Head of the Central Headquarters of Russian Student Squads. The fact that the organizers found the opportunity to conduct it online is a great opportunity in view of the current isolation regime so that we can once again remember and honour the memory of the war heroes in a unique, modern form.”

“This campaign is not political, it is national, and it was conceived by citizens for citizens. But there are, to put it mildly, some immoral people out there who are trying to defile everything they touch. First of all, they defile the feat of the Soviet people – those who fought, worked and gave their lives for this Great Victory. They do not deserve such treatment, and those who did this and sent the photographs of the Nazis are not worthy of our great Victory. After all, if it weren’t for that victory, nobody knows what life would be like now, life under fascism, or even if we would be alive at all ... And to place heroes and fascists in one regiment is scandalous and unacceptable in the opinion of any sane person,” said Mikhail Kiselev.

The Director of the Victory Museum, member of the Civic Chamber of the new convocation Alexander Shkolnik commented on the situation: “Of course, we understand that this is the ugly grimace of the information war that is being waged against Russia today as one of the victors of World War II. There are no arguments to the contrary, and so anonymous hacker attacks are used against the historical truth. To be honest, this is quite low and disgusting, and those who organize such things go beyond evil.”

Member of the Civic Chamber of the new convocation, Head of the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia Irina Velikanova was quoted as saying:

“The hacker attack on the website of the Immortal Regiment Online campaign is part of an information campaign to downplay the role of the Soviet Union in the victory over Nazi Germany. The Organizing Committee of the campaign identified attempts to bring down the servers and this fits into the general logic of events – mainly to downplay and suppress the role of the Soviet Union in the victory over fascism. Unfortunately, this has become almost a part of the state policy of individual countries.

On May 8, a message appeared on the official Twitter account of the White House stating that the USA and the UK defeated the Nazis, so is it any wonder that attempts were made to disrupt Russians from celebrating the most important holiday of the year by hacking the platform of the Immortal Regiment Online campaign, which has become an annual event during Victory Day celebrations?

Unfortunately, memory wars are becoming commonplace today. And as more time passes from the day the war ended, I am sure we will encounter more severe and more cynical actions aimed at rewriting the history of the Second World War.

These attempts are made by people who do not want to answer the question of why their national industries directly supported the Nazi economy until the very end. And upon hearing that a Soviet soldier freed Europe from Nazism they cringe and get stuck in the throat.

Those who delivered the victory for the whole world could not have possibly imagined that their descendants would have to fight for the truth about the Great Patriotic War; that someone would dare make a ‘joke’ by sending photographs of Wehrmacht soldiers during the holding of commemorative events dedicated to our great Victory; that the White House administration could seriously state that the victory over the Nazis was won by two countries – the United States and the United Kingdom.

The fact that nobody in the West needs the memory of our great Victory is not news. The real tragedy is that our very own Russian citizens took part in these despicable attacks. We are not the ones targeted by the information war as we know what happened perfectly well and as we have respect for the deeds of our parents and grandparents. The targets are very young Russians who are just beginning to find themselves in life and learn about the past and present of this country.

Therefore, it is necessary to remind those who allow themselves the opportunity to ‘joke’ about the millions of children, women and the elderly tortured, burned and starved by hunger; about the 27 million people that the Soviet Union lost at the battle front and at the homefront for the sake of our great Victory. It is important not to put up with such falsifications in our country. There must be inadmissibility and intolerance to such provocations on the part of our citizens and a clear moral condemnation should take place in society in case they reappear.”

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