Russia’s consulate general in Scotland has been forced to shut down part of its social media presence after an account was ‘hacked’ with a pro-Ukrainian message.
Andrey Yakovlev’s official Instagram account swiftly deleted a post condemning the Kremlin invasion of the country and signalling backing for the struggle of civilians battling to save their homeland.
The post, which also featured an image of two women holding a placard stating ‘I support Ukraine,’ was removed less than 30 minutes after being shared on Friday afternoon.
A statement from the consulate, based on Edinburgh’s Melville Street, later claimed they had been the victims of a cyber attack, decrying the claims as “false information,” however the post has since been shared hundreds of times online.
The post read: “I, Consul General of Russia in Edinburgh, Andrey Yakovlev, categorically condemn the behaviour of the military special operation of the RF Armed Forces against the sovereign, independent state of Ukraine.
“I fully support any assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the EU countries.”
It comes as dozens of Ukrainians fled the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol after being trapped for weeks by intense conflict with Russian forces.
The Russian military have been accused of firing on civilians during the evacuation from the network of tunnels underneath the sprawling industrial complex – one of the largest of its kind in Europe/
Mr Yakovlev has been the democratic representative of the Russian federation in Scotland since 2019.
A statement published on Twitter shortly afterwards appeared to suggest the post had been as a result of “hack”.
“On May 6, at 15:40, the Consulate General’s Instagram account was hacked,” it said.
“As a result of which false information was posted about the position of the leadership of the foreign institution regarding the events in Ukraine. This post has now been removed and the account has been restored.”
Over 125,000 Ukrainian refugee visa applications have been submitted through UK government schemes, according to figures released on Friday.
Almost 100,000 have been issued – 36,000 of which have come through family scheme and 59,000 via the sponsorship mechanism.
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