Tiktok has removed more than twelve thousand fake accounts spreading Russian propaganda. This step comes in the wake of investigations conducted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that revealed the network of fake accounts. The accounts shared lies in videos about Ukrainian government officials, such as President Zelensky and former Defense Minister Reznikov.
For example, the videos falsely claimed that members of the wartime Ukrainian government had purchased villas abroad or other luxury goods. The BBC suspects that the aim of these attacks is to sow internal divisions in Ukraine and discourage foreign support for Kiev.
The BBC found eight hundred such accounts, posing as users from Germany, France, Poland, Israel and Ukraine. Sometimes they post the same videos at the same time, with the same or similar text. The text sometimes contains errors typical of Russian speakers, and several videos reference a website that has previously been linked to Russian disinformation.
The videos belonged to Anastasia Steinhaus, the daughter of former Minister Reznikov. It was said that she had homes in Madrid and Cannes, but this is not the case. Reznikov was fired in September, partly due to allegations of corruption by his subordinates. Steinhaus believes that the numerous reports about her and her family contributed to his dismissal.
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