- A Russian consulate in Scotland posted an anti-war Instagram message, denouncing the invasion in Ukraine.
- A consulate spokesperson told Insider that the account was hacked, and the post was taken down.
- Social media has become a rhetorical battleground between Russia, Ukraine, and the West.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A Russian consulate in Scotland posted an Instagram on Friday featuring criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine but later removed the post and said the account was hacked.
The post, which went up early Friday afternoon local time, showed women wearing yellow and blue holding a sign that read "I support Ukraine" along with blue and yellow flowers.
"I, Consul General of Russia in Edinburgh, A.I. Yakovlev, categorically condemn the military operation of the Russian Federation Armed Forces against the sovereign, independent state of Ukraine," the post read. "I fully support any assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the EU countries."
A consulate spokesperson told Insider that the account was hacked and that the consulate was trying to delete the post, which gathered over 1,000 likes before it was ultimately taken down after being up for nearly an hour.
It was not immediately clear who might have hacked the account or made the post.
But it would be a rare show of dissent for a Russian diplomat to publicly denounce Putin's unprovoked war. Russia's consulates and embassies around the world have previously shared pro-war and anti-Ukraine rhetoric or remarks as the Kremlin repeatedly tries to shape the narrative of the conflict and justify its February invasion.
As punishment for some of the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, some European countries have even expelled Russian diplomats.
Social media has become a setting for the rhetorical battleground between Russia, Ukraine, and the West, even before the war began.
Russia has used many of its platforms to spread disinformation, while other countries, including the US, have lashed out online in response.
Translations by Oleksandr Vynogradov.