Almost 200,000 calls already
Lithuanians fight back against Putin’s campaign with phone tactic
A group of Lithuanians called Russia about 180,000 times. Which number Just to talk. Purpose of Operation: Countering Putin’s Propaganda
Voluntary Lithuanians have called Russia more than 180,000 times. The goal: to talk about the war in Ukraine and counter Putin’s propaganda.
First you scolded. Four, five minutes. Now people will start talking – and for up to three hours. This is what the Lithuanian Paulius Senata (46) says “Sueddeutsche Zeitung”, regarding the war in Ukraine. A friend, together with IT specialists, marketing and PR people, Senūta launched the “Call Russia” project, which works as follows: volunteers call any number in Russia using a random number generator.
Lithuanians not only want to tell and transmit information from a Western point of view, but also want to change the opinion of Russians. Senuta: “In the first days of the war, everyone here did something. Our intention was to call.” It is clear that everyone in Lithuania has connections with Russia. The country finally belonged to the Soviet Union until 1990. “That’s why most Lithuanians understand Russian.”
Senuta and his acquaintance were not deterred by the initial fury at the other end of the line. After ten months of war, they still ring their neighbors’ bells. So far, about 51,000 callers have tried their luck, about 180,000 calls have been made to a Russian number, and about half of the calls have gone through. In total, the team has downloaded about 40 million Russian phone numbers from the Internet — and needs to contact them all.
“They think we don’t know anything”
Most of the calls still come from Lithuania and other Baltic countries, Senuta says. But also from Russians in exile around the world. According to “Süddeutsche”, some of the invitees want to stay in touch later, write messages and call again. Says Senuta: “We are constantly being asked where the front really is now, what the losses are in the Russian army, how things are really going in Ukraine.” While people follow the Kremlin in justifying the war, they don’t trust military reports.
“We developed a conversational technique with psychologists.” You must have a sincere interest and be able to listen and tolerate opposing views. “They think we know nothing and don’t understand Russia.” Over the past twenty years, the West has created an enemy image of Russia that it wants to humiliate. “In fact, most Europeans and Americans know little or nothing about the Russians.”
Almost a year later, the activists have lost sight of their target. But Senuta remains optimistic. He must have reason to do so, because the following phone stories about the war are currently making headlines: According to the “New York Times” report, Russian soldiers at the front are calling home and telling them about themselves. of grief. Criticism rained down on the military’s capabilities, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin, 70, was cursed. There is also a hotline for Russian players who want to give up: the Ukrainian government has successfully set up such a number. “Spiegel” reported. (twa)