More than a dozen articles criticizing President Putin and the war against Ukraine appeared on the front page of the Russian propaganda media Lenta.ru. They have now disappeared from the site, but a copy of the main page has been preserved in the web archive.
On the front page, there was news for some time entitled "Putin unleashed one of the bloodiest wars of the 21st century", "Vladimir Putin has become a miserable dictator and paranoid", "Russiaʼs elite is sick of nepotism and libel", and the article "War is easier to cover up" failures in the economy. Putin must leave. He has waged a senseless war and is leading Russia into the abyss. "
They all started with a disclaimer that "this material has not been agreed with the leadership, and for its publication the Presidential Administration will distribute stars to the publication." In the postscript, Yegor Polyakov, head of the Economics and Habitats departments, and Oleksandr Miroshnikov, editor of these departments, were responsible for the articles.
The publication notes that the reason for the appearance of articles is not hackers, it is a "protest" of their employees.
Why this happened right now is unknown. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Donbass and Crimea, Lenta.ru has been promoting Kremlin propaganda and justifying Putinʼs policies. The publication is still actively promoting the war against Ukraine.