Feb 22, 2023 | 6:16 PM
Russian extras were reportedly recruited on social media platforms to provide gold and free merchandise to spice up a patriotic stadium rally in Moscow on Wednesday led by President Vladimir Putin.
70-year-old Putin praised the military, which he said defended his country, at a celebration at the Luzhniki stadium, which was decorated with an oversized Russian flag.
Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the rebellious leader’s brutal invasion of Ukraine in what he has continued to call a “special military operation.” Tried to blame the West many times.
Crowds estimated to have attended the festivities of about 200,000 chanted “Russia, Russia”, but all the hordes of supporters were like smoke and mirrors.
according to Russian news Telegram channel SirenaAds asking for extras to join the Defenders of the Fatherland Day rally began appearing on popular social media sites last week.
Recruiters were looking for a “background actor, ideally under 35-40” to appear in the stadium rally.
They were offered 500 rubles (approximately $7) plus a free product for their troubles.
This information was corroborated by a report from Medusa, an independent Russian news agency.
As an added incentive, the ad pointed out that the event’s headliners were expected to be several famous Russian pop stars.
When a Sirena reporter asked one of the organizers if the celebrity named in the ad was actually going to perform at the rally, he reportedly said he didn’t know.
“I’m just helping to rally the crowd,” he was quoted as saying.
Sky News correspondent reporting from Moscow It said state officials and students were also bussed to the stadium to increase attendance at the event.
“We came from college, we were told to come, and we came here,” a 23-year-old woman named Liuba told the outlet.
The patriotic celebration was attended by representatives of the Russian military branch in full dress, and also featured rappers, pop and rock acts, and even a group of accordionists who entertained the crowd with patriotic songs.
Dressed in a heavy winter jacket against sub-zero temperatures, Putin took the stage two hours before the concert and delivered a three-and-a-half-minute speech, welcoming Moscow’s troops fighting in Ukraine.
“Now the battle is being waged on the historical frontier for our people,” the president said, referring to Russia’s attempt to seize Ukrainian territory.
“They fight bravely, bravely, bravely. We are proud of them.”
The rally was held on the eve of Russia’s February 23rd holiday to celebrate those who serve in the armed forces.
Speaking of Russian soldiers on the front lines, Putin said: “Today they are supported by the whole country.
“When we are together, we are not equal. For the unity of the Russian people.”
But despite the talk of unity in Moscow, on Wednesday the head of the private mercenary unit fighting in Ukraine on Russia’s side will release graphic photos of dozens of fighters he said By doing so, he escalated a violent feud with top military executives. “Hunger” for ammunition.
Disturbing images shared on Telegram It depicts a pile of male corpses lying on the snow-covered ground in eastern Ukraine.
“This is one of the places where the bodies of dead people are collected,” Evgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group, said in an interview with a prominent Russian military blogger.
“These are the people who died yesterday because of the so-called shell starvation. Mothers, wives and children get their own bodies. Five times less should (die). They died.” Who’s to blame? It’s the people who should have solved the problem of getting enough ammunition for us.”
Prigozhin has repeatedly accused the Russian Ministry of Defense of deliberately depriving his fighters of ammunition in what he called a treasonous attempt to destroy his company.
The Defense Ministry denied such allegations in a statement Tuesday as “completely untrue” and did not name Prigogine, seeking to sow the seeds of a schism that worked “only for the benefit of the enemy.” complained about an attempt to
In addition to releasing gruesome photographs of fallen combatants, the defiant Prigogine provided a detailed tally of ammunition used, requested and received, although he said Wagner requested ammunition from the Ministry of Defense. I have also published an edited copy, including:
“They have not yet given us ammunition. No measures have been taken to provide us with ammunition,” Prigozhin said, adding that Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov He said he had refrained from signing the approval form.
Prigozhin, the wealthy catering tycoon, dubbed ‘Putin’s chef’, launched a social media campaign on Wednesday to try to procure artillery ammunition, saying Wagner ended up begging for ammunition from military depots. .
Despite the alleged shortage, his fighters will continue to attempt to capture the important city of Bahumut in the Dontesque region, which has seen some of the bloodiest fighting of the war in recent months.
Russian forces are making gradual advances in the east ahead of the expected major offensive.
“twice as many people die as usuntil none of us are left, that’s all, ”he said.
“And if Wagner were all dead, Shoigu and Gerasimov would probably have to pick up guns.”
Eighteen towns and villages were hit near Bakhmut on Wednesday, the chief of the Ukrainian army’s general staff said in a statement overnight.
In southern Ukraine, Russian shelling of the Kherson region killed two civilians, said regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin. An 81-year-old woman and her 68-year-old man were killed in the shelling of her Novotyahinka village, about 25 miles from the city of Kherson.
a day ago, Russian rocket hit busy street In Kherson, six people died.
Two civilians were injured in a missile attack on an industrial complex in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, according to local officials.
with post wire