Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo support Russia against Ukraine (according to Putin)

Controversy once again splashes the Russian leader, immersed since February 24, 2022 in a terrible armed conflict with neighboring Ukraine. This time, Vladimir Putin and his team have crossed the red line, as they have not only designed and spread a false advertising campaign about the war but have also used such well-known faces as Jennifer Aniston, Cristiano Ronaldo, Elton John o Leo Messi in their propaganda and have attributed false pro-Russia statements to them.

“We are impoverished, it’s time to forget about Ukraine”says the quote attributed to Jennifer Aniston. “Ukraine no longer exists. All our money was thrown away”, says Messi’s. Both false, like so many others. According to the Russian organization Agentsvo, between June 14 and 15, 120,000 quotes were published attributed not only to Aniston or Messi, but also to other personalities such as Ashton Kutcher, Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson o Elton John: “We fell into the Ukrainian trap. Now, the EU has collapsed,” the Rocket Man interpreter reportedly said. Some messages whose veracity there is no record of and which have gone viral with more than 500,000 views. Agentsvo links these posts to the Russian disinformation network behind Doppelgänger, a disinformation operation unmasked in 2022 and attributed to two Russian companies. They point out that these are, for the most part, programmed computer bots and that the campaign began after the parliamentary elections of the European Union.

As we said, the supposed quotes appear accompanying the image of their ‘authors’, and have spread in several languages: from English to German or Polish. They all suggest that Ukraine is already lost and that international aid must end before it drags the rest of the countries into ruin.

It is not the first time it happens. In 2023, a similar campaign was extended through the main social networks. Then they were personalities like Oprah Winfrey, Cristiano Ronaldo o Kim Kardashian those who supposedly positioned themselves on the Russian side. “It’s frustrating how the Ukrainians keep all our money,” they attributed to the Portuguese star. “Someone really needs to put a stop to this.”