MOSCOW – Thousands of Russian internet users are flocking to the Clubhouse voice chat app, which, of all places, has become the place to vent life in an authoritarian political system.
This week was disappointing with Clubhouse News. On Saturday, Elon Musk in public Invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to chat on the app. Another avid club user is Luisa Rozova, a young 17-year-old who independent Russian media claims is Putin’s illegitimate daughter. she Newly used The platform to share insights into her college major, her aspirations to a career in fashion, and her apparent affinity for unbranched conspiracy theories. In an unusual public display of views on a usually silent topic, 300 Russian journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders joined an open room in the Clubhouse to discuss the espionage case against a prominent Russian reporter covering military affairs. Ivan SafronovWho was imprisoned for treason for more than six months.
In July, Safronov was arrested by the Federal Security Service and placed in Lefortovo, one of Moscow’s most notorious prisons where he faces a sentence of up to 20 years. The agency accused Safronov of working for Czech intelligence and passing on classified information about the Russian army. Investigators claim that the United States was the last recipient of the classified information handed over by Safronov in 2017.
“Seven months have passed since Ivan was put behind bars.” Safronov’s friend, Ilya Parabanov, who was one of five keynote speakers in the club debate, says, “Perhaps his accusers were hoping that there would be no public interest in his case now.”
Some Russian Clubhouse users compare the platform to the 1980s television broadcast – or Television Bridges, as it was known to the USSR – common to Russian and American audiences. Soviet and American journalists organized bridges to connect Moscow, Leningrad, San Francisco, Boston and other cities for discussions about history and trends in culture, journalism, or lifestyles.
Just as Bridges did more than 40 years ago, Clubhouse now provides a platform for some unexpected speakers, including Putin’s alleged daughter, who used the app to speak out of her thoughts about working in New York, Paris or Milan, calling cities “the frenzy of fashion.” (The Kremlin has denied it is close.)
Rozova opened up to Andrei Zakharov, author of “Iron Masks,” an investigation Transfer In Proekt media chronicling the life of her mother, the brilliant rich Svetlana Krivonojikh. According to Proekt, Krivonogikh has an estimated net worth of $ 101 million. She was a “close acquaintance of Putin” since the 1990s, and her daughter Louisa “strangely resembles” the leader of the Kremlin, according to the report. Rozova did not comment on this aspect of Zakharov’s story, but admitted that she enjoyed the popularity that she brought on her social media accounts.
Thanks to Clubhouse, Russians now know Rozova does not watch TV, gets her news from Telegram, believes in epidemic conspiracy theories, and agrees with the Kremlin’s assassination of political opponents. Before Zakharov joined the discussion, a club user asked Rozova what he thought of Putin’s comment about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, in which he said that if the Russian special services wanted to kill Navalny, “they would have finished with it.”
Rozova responded without hesitation: “The“ golden billion ”community is behind this complete trick with the Coronavirus. The teenager said,“ It turns out that they are killing people. ”“ If ordinary people can do this, why can’t the government, for reasonable purposes? ”
However, no place is safe from Russian corruption everywhere. Government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta He warns citizens against buying invitations to Clubhouse discussions, urging them to “not give in to excitement” and “not to pay for invitations from unknown persons.”
Russian bureaucrats of all levels, from regional officials to the Kremlin administration, join the Clubhouse chats. This includes the former Deputy Prime Minister and current President of the International Chess Federation, Arkady Dvorkovich, who Used The app on Monday to answer questions about Russia’s plans to host the Chess Olympiad, announcing that it hoped to “hold a Chess Olympiad in Moscow next year.”
The Kremlin’s political opponents are also exploring the possibilities that come with this new social medium. Valery Kostenuk, a 21-year-old politician and member of the Yabloko party, downloaded Clubhouse to his phone on Wednesday. “I was skeptical at first, as there was a rumor that someone was recording and leaking all the conversations. But I realized I had no secrets from anyone and decided to download the app,” he told The Daily Beast. “The epidemic, police arrests and persecution have left many of our favorite platforms and places unavailable. Russians are big fans of public lectures, debates and debates, so our youth are now breaking into club rooms.”