A dual citizen of Chile and the United States was detained in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-most populous city, for promoting Russia’s armed aggression of Ukraine on social media platforms. He faces up to eight years in prison
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), announced the suspect’s arrest on May 5.
He “publicly justified the armed aggression of the Russian Federation and spread fakes about the war in Ukraine,” the SBU alleged, while mentioning he has more than 300,000 subscribers on the YouTube video sharing platform. “After the start of the full-scale invasion, the blogger was one of the first to support the Russian invaders and glorify their war crimes.”
Open-source intelligence (OSINT) websites were quick to identify him as Gonzalo Lira, who holds both a Chilean and US passport and was residing in the eastern city of Kharkiv. Two spokespersons from the SBU, one in Kharkiv, and another in Kyiv, refrained from identifying him, citing “confidential investigative information.”
A law enforcement officer familiar with the matter in Kharkiv confirmed the suspect’s identity but can’t disclose the information due to an ongoing investigation.
His Telegram channel has more than 50,000 followers as of May 6.
The suspect’s last Tweet was posted on April 30 and says that “climate change” is “barbaric.”
In a March 2022 profile in Daily Beast, Manoel Horta Ribeiro, a researcher at Switzerland’s École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne described him as a “medium-sized manosphere YouTuber,” referring to a “loose constellation of blogs, forums, and social-media accounts inhabited by pick-up artists, men’s rights activists, and incels.”
According to the report, he had previously been a “dating coach” to men and used the moniker “coach red pill.”
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