Activists use Google Maps to send messages to Russian people

Restaurant reviews on Google are becoming new modes of communication in Ukrainian war effort

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Social media activists are attempting to circumvent Russian censorship by using Google Maps to call for an end to the violence amid the invasion of Ukraine.

Activists are using the platform to find Russian cafes and restaurants and leave reviews to deliver anti-war messages to Russian citizens.

“Five thousand Russian soldiers died in Ukraine … Your president deceived you. There was no genocide in Ukraine. It was a pretext for attacking a sovereign and democratic Ukraine,” reads one translated review of a Starbucks in Moscow.

“[President Vladimir] Putin lied to you!!! He sent young boys to the war, who did not know that they were going to die there … Russian people, wake up!!!”

Users leave messages on Google Maps to communicate with the Russian people on the ongoing assault on Ukraine. Screengrab from Google Maps

One user, leaving a review for Maestrello, a pizzeria, wrote: “Russia attacked Ukraine. Your soldiers are bombing my city. My country!”

Another added: “The pizza is the bomb!! Due to military sanctions, this restaurant will soon be closed! What a pity!”

Twitter and Facebook have both been restricted in Russia as the country attempts to limit the flow of information, with Russians telling The National they are unable to communicate through Facebook's Messenger app.

The Russian rouble plummeted on Monday, falling to a record low against the dollar, after the US and European nations placed a series of harsh sanctions on Moscow in response to the assault.

“Your government lies, you are bombing innocent people. Nobody want to attack Russia, we want peace. Your president is [a] war criminal,” a review of Boston Seafood & Bar, a restaurant in Moscow, said.

Russia on Sunday for the first time stated that some of its forces had been killed or wounded in Ukraine, though it did not provide any numbers.

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday claimed 4,500 Russian troops have been killed.

Updated: March 02, 2022, 12:27 AM
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