London, Nov 3: Ukraine has claimed that the Kremlin deliberately spreads rumours about President Putin’s death to test his popularity among the Russians, media reports said.
Ukrainian Military Intelligence Spokesman Andrii Yusov said that a report last week by a Russian Telegram channel on the alleged death of the Russian leader was a strategy used by Moscow aimed to help it gain a firmer grip on domestic control.
“In this way, the empire, which is built on the work of the secret services, learns how to continue to rule,” Daily Mail reported quoting Yusov.
The Telegram channel, General SVR, reported last Friday that the Russian President had died and that body doubles were representing him in public. Body double claims have been made by various parties since the start of the invasion.
The channel, which regularly reports that Putin has died, claimed that Putin’s body was resting in a freezer after his alleged death.
However, the claim about his death still gained worldwide media coverage, forcing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to deny it, Daily Mail reported.
Yusov believes this was all part of a strategy used by Moscow to gauge the reaction among Russians. “The basic purpose of fake news is to look at how society reacts in terms of numbers and dynamics,” he said. “The purpose is to look at the reactions of individuals, the elite and the media.”
However, there has been no authoritative analysis to tie the Kremlin to the channel. General SVR has also covered several alleged humiliations suffered by the Russian President, such as soiling himself and falling down the stairs, Daily Mail reported. (IANS)
The Telegram channel has distanced itself from the Kremlin and claims to be authored by a former officer in Moscow’s intelligence service. (IANS)