Staunton, November 12 – The URA.ru news agency publishes today a screenshot of a page on the Russian “Petitions to the President” which shows one written by a certain Artem Starodubtsev calling on Vladimir Putin to launch a nuclear first strike against the United States (ura.ru/news/1052230044).
The site allows visitors to vote both for the petition and oppose it. In the 24 hours since this petition was posted online, 91 said they favored the petition, but 396, in the words of URA.ru, consider “that the discussion of such actions is inappropriate” and thus oppose the petition drive.
The URA.ru journalists note that those who have left commentaries on the petition site have cast doubt on the truthfulness of the petition, its author, “and even the portal itself.” Some of them say that Starodubtsev is a convicted doctor, and others suggest that the site itself is “a space for the opponents of Russia who want to show the country in an unfavorable light.”
One possibility that the URA.ru journalists do not discuss is that this may have been a false flag operation by Russian special services seeking to identify those who support this idea or even those who visit this site and decide to take a position one way or the other.
Whatever the case turns out to be, it will be interesting to see how long this “petition” and this site stay online – and whether the numbers of supporters and opponents will change.