British Steel Walles have been in contact with 17 Russian women on the mountaintops.
He talks daily with four of them, before the war in Ukraine he did not talk to anyone. He did not have an active account on Tinder, nor was he interested in the dating app.
Now he has a goal: he wants to tell the truth about the war to Russians on Tinder.
– If all Russians were aware of the war and the reality we are seeing, the war might end sooner, 46-year-old Steele tells TV 2.
The British man lives in Brighton, UK and usually works as a tour guide.
– When the war began, I had a colleague who was going to Ukraine to fight the Russians. It didn’t work for me, but I still wanted to help. At the same time, Steele says, I felt powerless and wasn’t sure what to do.
On March 22, the well-known hacker group Anonymous posted a message on Twitter that showed a creative way to help Ukrainians.
Create a Tinder profile in Russia!
1. Go to Change Settings / Location to: Russia
2. Take a selfie with the image of the war in Ukraine
(or just upload pictures from gallery below)
Edit “About Me” with the text on the website
4. Show love, not hatehttps://t.co/TJtxJWoZ3Z
– Anonymous (YourAnonNews) March 22 2022
“A special love operation”
They call the plan “Special Love Operation”Referring to how Putin called the war a “special operation.”
The idea is for people to create an account on Tinder. Then they change the country they live in, to Russia, so that they are matched with other Tinder users who live in Russia.
Then they will publish a photo showing the actions of the war in Ukraine, and write what is really going on in their personal files.
Dear Russians, the West does not hate you. We hate war. The Russian army kills innocents and Putin lies and hides the truth from you.
Your brothers and sisters are dying because of a mad dictator. Spread the truth. Make love, not war! “
This is how Wallis has dealt with many Russian women.
According to Wallis, it is not only the Ukrainians who are struggling, but also the Russians who are now living under severe sanctions.
He believes this should be taken seriously.
– I think that Now is the time to use Tinder, but not to find love, he says.
Some women speak up in support of Putin, and then the conversation on Tinder doesn’t last long. But there are also many who do not support Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Wallis is not alone. There are many who do the same thing as him.
This Romanian Alex Strembino is delighted, because it was he and some of his colleagues who came up with the idea and Create the site For the initiative after the war began.
– When the war began, the situation was very tragic. We wanted to help. At first we donated money, but after a while I felt like that wasn’t enough and that we had to do something, he says.
Strimpino thought a lot about what he could contribute. He and his colleagues read the news and understood that the Russian people had to see and hear the truth of the war.
This was the beginning of the “Special Love Operation” project.
– I’m married and I have nothing to do on Tinder, but now we must try to do everything we can to stop the war, he says.
Then he downloaded the app and created an account. She was the first Russian woman to support Putin. When Strimbeanu began talking about the war, the conversation immediately ended.
In the end, he called many.
– After I match with someone, I talk a little bit about everyday life, and then I start talking about war. He says it is important to create curiosity in them.
Those who do not support the war have spoken to Strimpino about what they are doing these days. To date, he has been in contact with five Russian women.
Strimbeanu doesn’t have an overview of how many people are using Tinder in this way, but after hacker group Anonymous shared the initiative on March 22nd, many wanted to do the same.
Strimpino says he’s received a lot of good feedback, and he hopes to do more in the future.
Censorship and Punishment
Russia has blocked access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram since the invasion of Ukraine.
People who spread “false news” about the Russian military, or use the term “war”, can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. And media describing the war as an attack risks punitive action.
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