A series of prank billboards have popped up over London showing a winking Vladimir Putin waving a Russian flag and “celebrating” the “Brexit collaboration” between Russia and the UK.
The campaign pretends to be the work of a group called “Proud Bear”; however, is actually the brainchild of a group of activists calling for an investigation into reports the Russians meddled in 2016’s Brexit vote that saw the UK vote to leave the European Union.
Some 17.4 million UK voters, or 51.9 percent, backed leaving the EU while 16.1 million, or 48.1 percent, backed staying.
Another iteration of the campaign features prominent “leave” campaigner and politician Boris Johnson waving a Russian flag alongside the caption, “Thank you! Boris”.
According to media reports, “Proud Bear” paid for the billboards via donations from the public who are also concerned about meddling in the EU vote.
There had been reports prior to the Brexit vote that Twitter accounts had been hacked and sent out pro-leave messages, although that has never actually been proven.
The group is also concerned about KGB operatives working in the UK and being suspected of poisoning UK informants, as well as the suppression of Russian journalists who are critical of the Putin’s government.
Apparently, there’s also a hidden message in the code to the group’s website that reads in Russian: “Theresa May prefers to promote Brexit’s ridiculous plan instead of stopping for a moment and truly investigating the question of whether Russia’s influence was really decisive in the vote.