Russian Streamer Partners With Mercenary Group For Weird Propaganda Stream
In what has to be perhaps the most bizarre streamer collaboration in recent history, a Russian streamer named GrishaPutin has partnered with a mercenary organisation from the country to stream a modded version of Hearts of Iron 4. Wagner Group is a Russian-based private military company that is actively taking part in the country's brutal invasion of Ukraine – but also clearly knows a thing or two about video game streaming.
As spotted by PC Gamer, the streamer was dressed in full military combat attire, helmet and all, and was streaming a Hearts of Iron 4 game from what is visibly the Wagner Group headquarters in St. Petersburg. However, the game had been modded to bring it up to current times and also included leaders like Vladimir Putin. The 16-year-old streamer was joined by 20 other players online in what almost looks like World War 3 if current matters escalated dramatically.
The stream took place on Russian social network VKontakte, and was first spotted on Reddit. Viewers couldn't believe that it was taking place at the Wagner Group HQ, but GrishaPutin picked up the webcam and showed that he was actually there. The streamer, while not the most famous, isn't exactly obscure. He was in fact the second ranked player for Hearts of Iron 4 at one point, and streamed alongside some big names.
However, since the start of Russia's attack, the community has distanced itself from him due to his political views. He has claimed to be a member of the youth wing of Russia's governing party, and constantly makes displays of nationalistic pride. In the past, GrishaPutin has streamed Hearts of Iron 4 wearing period appropriate military outfits of whatever side he plays as.
As for Wagner Group, the private military contractor is owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch and supporter of Putin. The company is currently deployed in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As pointed out by PC Gamer, the company announced only yesterday that it will no longer recruit Russian prisoners in the invasion of Ukraine. The outfit has also been accused of war crimes by a number of international organizations.
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