Muscovites on Instagram have been left baffled by seemingly coordinated posts by Russian celebrities touting the improvement of life in the country's capital.
The news website Znak.com noticed the #ЖизньНалаживается (Life is Improving) hashtag circulating among celebrity Instagram accounts last week. The BBC’s Russian-language service reported later that the Kremlin was conducting a “Life is Improving” campaign ahead of presidential elections next March.
Sergei Kiriyenko, the Kremlin’s deputy chief of staff in charge of domestic policy, has tasked federal authorities with compiling information that could be used to demonstrate improved life, BBC cited three sources close to the government as saying.
Znak cited a source close to the Kremlin as saying that an outside PR firm could be involved in the hashtag campaign.
On Sunday, the MediaLeaks.ru news website compiled a list of Instagram posts with the #ЖизньНалаживается hashtag made by Russian celebrities with more than a million subscribers.
First among them was TV actress Anna Khilkevich, who on Sept. 30 boasted of relatives visiting from Paris expressing elation at Moscow becoming "brighter and more interesting.”
TV personality Anna Semenovich posted the following day that her “Life is Improving” because of decreasing bureaucratic hurdles she has to cross to collect documents.
Using the same hashtag the same day, another TV personality Olga Buzova hailed improved street lighting in Moscow.
On Oct. 2, pop singer Nyusha posted an image of her in front of a gondola in Venice with a caption praising improvements with traffic jams and parking in Moscow.
The posts each gathered from 14,000 to more than a quarter million likes, but some users made it known in the comment section that the same hashtag did not escape their attention.
MediaLeaks writes that Instagram users hijacked the “Life is Improving” hashtag to demonstrate the state of disrepair in other Russian cities.
Translation: Perm contrasts
Translation: What a bunch of garbage next to city clinical hospital no. 2