Kremlin Suppresses Media on War Vets’ Crimes: Keeping Russians in the Dark

Meduza Uncovers: Kremlin Suppresses Stories of Crimes by War Veterans to Avoid Public Fear.

Independent Russian news platform Meduza, known for its critical stance on Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, has unveiled a directive from the Kremlin to its state-controlled and aligned media. This decree explicitly instructs these outlets to steer clear of any coverage related to crimes by veterans recently returned from the Ukraine conflict. Particularly at risk are reports on mercenaries and erstwhile criminals who received amnesty in exchange for their service in the war.

Kremlin Silences Crime Stories About Returning Soldiers

This is the Kremlin’s first recorded directive of this nature to its influential media entities, as noted by Meduza’s insiders. Before this mandate, some state-aligned publications, such as, had shared stories on such episodes. One such piece highlighted a returning Wagner mercenary accused of murdering his differently-abled grandmother for monetary gain.

Public Unsettled by News of Criminal Veterans

An insider with ties to Putin’s administration indicated to Meduza that such narratives could potentially disturb the Russian populace. The overarching concern is that the public may start perceiving these returnees as latent threats or criminals. Consequently, this order was dispatched. A few “nationalistic journalists,” the source conveyed, had already deemed this sort of reporting as inapt autonomously. Notably, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” and “Moskovsky Komsomolets” have been reporting in favor of these soldiers, deliberately overlooking their potential wrongdoings.

Kremlin Seeks to Paint Returnees as Upright Citizens

Wrapping up their findings, Meduza emphasized the Kremlin’s evident aim: casting these homecoming soldiers in favorable hues, epitomizing them as “courteous, compassionate, and kind-hearted individuals.”

Image:, 2023 Moscow Victory Day Parade 43, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size modified)

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