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Kremlin TV Star Erupts After His Son Is Accused of Dodging War

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Vladimir Solovyov is one of the most influential propagandists in Russia. He has been repeatedly honored with medals by President Vladimir Putin and positions himself as someone whose patriotism is beyond reproach. Donning military outfits, Solovyov aggressively promotes the invasion of Ukraine, frequently travels to the frontlines, and routinely encourages every able-bodied Russian male to enlist or volunteer.

The Russian TV star’s on-air rants are often directed at anyone who isn’t taking part in the so-called “special military operation.” He reserves special ire for young people who left the country to avoid a military mobilization and those who aren’t eager to participate in what Solovyov frequently describes as another “Great Patriotic war,” “jihad” or Russia’s “holy war” against the West.

Most recently, during his show “Full Contact” on Monday, the boisterous host asserted that young people were instrumental in World War II. He stressed that it is a patriotic obligation of every young Russian male to make a contribution to the war effort.

But just a day earlier, a viral Tweet had called out Solovyov’s eldest son, 21-year-old Daniil Solovyov, accusing him of working as a male model in London instead of volunteering to go into battle in Putin’s imperial war of conquest. The tweet included a photo of Solovyov with his son, in addition to multiple pictures of Daniil, including one that appears to be professionally shot.

By Tuesday, the host had no choice but to address the viral rumor. In his typical fashion, Solovyov blew up in another angry tirade.

With theatrical exasperation, Solovyov recounted getting his son on the phone to discuss an allegation of him working as a model in the U.K. He admitted that his son indeed studied in London several years ago, but pointed out that Daniil is currently in Moscow, “living a difficult life of an average young person” and “not trying to dodge anything.” Solovyov stressed that his son is an adult and is living life in his own way, claiming that it’s irrelevant “whether his father likes it or not.”

Describing his antagonists as “beasts” and accusing them of being paid by Ukrainians, the host threatened to sue anyone who published an allegation that his son is currently modeling in London. Solovyov brought up his own trips to the vicinity of the frontlines—where he films propaganda videos that are subsequently shown on his own shows—as though visiting the troops was the same as serving alongside them.

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Popping in after the segment, weatherman Evgeny Tishkovets—who routinely supports Solovyov’s demands for nuclear strikes against NATO nations, comforted the host, calling him “the coolest journalist” and urging him to pay no attention to his detractors.

The choices of Solovyov’s own family members stand in stark contrast to the propagandist’s daily condemnation of other Russians who choose to live or study in the West. The judgments he makes on television also clash with his own frequent gripes about the injustice of losing access to his Italian villa because of sanctions. Those are only some of the ways the host’s patriotic speeches fail to match up with his own lifestyle.

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