This video, which at first glance looks like a serious television report, shows the arrest of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on charges of corruption and of plotting terrorist attacks against his own people. While obviously a fake, the video is very well produced and has already been watched more than four million times on YouTube.
Our Russian Observer Ostap Karmodi alerted us to this viral video. He says the video’s voiceover is an excellent imitation of the style of Russian television journalists. The “journalist” narrating the report announces that Putin is to stand trial for embezzlement of state funds, for financial fraud, for abuse of power, and for plotting terrorist attacks with the goal of intimidating the population and controlling the country’s institutions. This last accusation is a reference to a theory that’s gained wide popularity on the Internet, according to which Russian authorities were in fact responsible for terrorist attacks carried out in several cities in 1999. Proponents of this theory say the attacks were then blamed on Islamist groups in order to justify military action in Chechnya.
Russian Web users are curious to know who is behind this well-produced fake report. But so far no one has been able to solve the mystery.