The Kremlin launched a PR campaign of bribing Italians in order to promote its image abroad, reports the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. According to the newspaper, Italians have started receiving messages on the popular messenger WhatsApp with an offer to get 200 euros for a good video comment about Putin, Russia and the Russian "assistance" to Italy.
According to the Italian newspaper, Moscow is trying to improve the image of Putin's Russia using social networks and fake spontaneous videos.
Journalists found out that some Russians living in Italy were involved in the Kremlin’s propaganda campaign. The campaign is reportedly organized by an unnamed "Russian media source".
Russian residents in Italy have been invited to send their Italian friends an offer to record a positive video comment and post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Italians are being asked to "say something good" about Russia's "aid" and Putin amid a scandal which broke out after Moscow sent military virologists to Italy under the guise of humanitarian assistance.
Italian media wrote that 80% of Moscow's supplies are of little use for Italy, and this is nothing more than an excuse to get the Russian military into the country.
La Repubblica contacted a woman who posted a positive review about Russian "help" and Putin in the popular among young people social network TikTok. The woman explained that she had been asked to record the video by her good friend and that she had been offered 200 euros for it.
The newspaper writes that the Italian intelligence noticed unusual activity on Twitter after Russian planes with “humanitarian aid” landed in Italy. Then, the number of posts with the same sentiment increased sharply in the social network: "Italians thank Putin," "unlike the European Union, Russia helps us," "it was the Russians who helped us" and so on.
The journalists contacted the Russian Embassy with a request to comment on the information about the monetary reward for a positive comment about Putin. As expected, the Russian Embassy was outraged, saying that "Russia does not need recognition for money."