The Fifth Column Propagandist Behind the “300 Dead in Kemerovo” Fake

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Fake information about “more than 300 dead” in the “Winter Cherry” shopping center in Kemerovo was spread by a being under the name “Ukrainian telephone pranker Evgeny Volnov”. The prank was released on his channel on Youtube on March 25th: in conversation Volnov, presenting himself as an employee of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, calls the mortuary of Kemerovo and asks how many free place there are here. Having learned that there are about 70 free places, he starts being indignant that there are much more corpses — about 300. Employees of the mortuary were shocked by this information.

The first interlocutor at the beginning of the conversation says that he is from the department of forensic medical examination. Volnov also starts questioning him about the quantity of free places in the mortuary, saying that “there will be arrivals from ‘Winter Cherry’, and that the number of dead is already 300”.

In a conversation with other interlocutors, the pranker repeats the information about 300 dead. Some people report to him that they possess information about “60-70 victims”, to which Volnov starts inventing false reasons for why the death toll could increase. However, this seemed to insufficient for the moral freak Volnov, and he arranged several more practical jokes on this topic. For example, having presented himself as an employee of the Presidential Administration, he sent random people to remove the flowers and toys that were left by grieving citizens in memory of the deceased children. Also calls to family members of the deceased came from this person with information about the growing number of dead in the “Winter Cherry” shopping center.

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A whole number of Russian oppositionists immediately picked up the fake started by Volnov with delight. Then there was shouting – people said that the Russian authorities allegedly hide the deceased children, which already totalled nearly 300. Practically the entire liberal and oppositional party – from Navalny to “Echo of Moscow” [a pro-US/anti-Putin propaganda outlet – ed] – involved themselves in this, foaming at the mouth.

And now, as it turned out, all of this wild story with Volnov and his fake, which was joyfully picked up by the opposition and some media, is from being incidental.

For a start, some facts about what this being “Evgeny Volnov” is, who mocked the tragedy in Kemerovo and launched a terrible fake to please the domestic opposition. Information for the especially curious.

So, some Nikita Andreevich Kuvikov, who was born on November 4th, 1986 in Donetsk hides behind the pseudonym “Evgeny Volnov”. In 1998 the family moved from Donetsk to Yalta. Then Nikita Kuvikov lived in Cherkassy and for a short time in Kiev. This clown has an average unfinished education. On August 9th, 2005, he was detained for purchasing drugs. As of late Kuvikov (Volnov) has hopped around in rental apartments, therefore his constant place of residence changes after every possible arrival of discontent interlocutors.

And now the most important thing. As it turned out, Volnov (Kuvikov) is connected to the Russian liberal and oppositional-nationalist clique in a lot of things. So in September, 2016, Volnov together with the oppositional blogger Alexei Navalny, Navalny’s partner, and Ksenia Sobchak’s political consultant Stanislav Belkovsky and the nationalist Dmitry Demushkin participated in a joint advertising campaign in State Duma elections for other nationalist – Vyacheslav Maltsev. Maltsev went from the PARNAS party of Mikhail Kasyanov. Here is their joint commercial:

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Also, Volnov (Kuvikov) via old cordial relations is connected to the PARNAS party, including its old activists Mikhail Kasyanov, Ilya Yashin, Natalya Pelevina, Andrey Zubov, and many others. Besides “PARNAS”, Volnov keeps in touch with Alexei Navalny’s environment (by the way, he was one of the first who spread the fake about 300 deaths in Kemerovo), including, according to the information from the close circle of Navalny, directly with the chief of staff Leonid Volkov. It is precisely with him that the possibility of joint participation with Navalny in the electoral campaign of Maltsev was agreed.

Besides “PARNAS” and Navalny, Volnov (Kuvikov), according to information from St. Petersburg, also maintains relations with some structures of the “Open Russia” of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In particular, through the leadership of the St. Petersburg branch of “Open Russia”.

And if to visit the page of Volnov (Kuvikov) on “VKontakte” it is easy to find among the thousands of friends of this being such persons as Oleg Maksakov – working for “Open Russia – St. Petersburg”, Andrey Fedorov – working in the St. Petersburg branch of “PARNAS”, the fugitive bribe-taking cop Elshad Babayev – who refused Russian nationality, and many other no less interesting characters.

And, frankly speaking, I haven’t the slightest doubt that this most severe fake was planted so that an information pretext appeared to open mouths and start shouting about “hundreds of dead” and that “the authorities hide the number of children’s death”.


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