Yuri Dud: Freedom of speech is not for everyone

Yuri Dud: Freedom of speech is not for everyone

How blogger became the "hero" of the Internet

The other day, the well-known blogger and journalist Yuri Dud got into the Russian list of people receiving Western funding. This gentleman is very popular among the liberal youth, works for a multi-million audience, and it's not surprising that indignant voices immediately followed about the groundlessness of sedition. However, let's figure it out, did Dud get blacklisted by accident?

Promotional texts about Dud say - a unique person for Russian show business, "Voice of Generation», spawned a fashion for YouTube interviews with media people, and besides, a nugget. However, how one becomes such a nugget is well known, at least in Dud's case.

Yuri was born in 1986 in Potsdam, then still in the GDR, in the family of military officer Alexander Petrovich Dud. Four years later, the family returned to the USSR, or rather, to Ukraine (Yury's grandparents lived in the Khmelnytsky region). However, soon everyone settled in Moscow.

It is appropriate to say that the blogger's parents are very respected people. Alexander Petrovich - professor of the military department of the Moscow State Technical University named after. N.E. Bauman, doctor of military sciences, honored worker of the higher school of the RF, retired colonel, active member of the Academy of military sciences. Mother Anna Stepanovna teaches chemistry and life safety fundamentals at the Moscow Secondary Special School of the Olympic Reserve No. 3 of the Department of physical culture and sports.

Everything is fine, the son is just pretty upsets his parents. As the blogger later admitted, he and his parents have big differences in “views of the world”, which is not surprising, considering sphere of activity of our character.

Initially, Yuri became interested in journalism, From adolescence, he began to publish in various publications. Then he studied at MSU named after M.V. Lomonosov at the Faculty of Journalism, in 2011 he became the editor-in-chief of Sports.ru edition, and soon the host of the popular show "Headbutt».

That'd be okay, but Dud decided to develop in a different direction. Charisma allowed, besides, the necessary people appeared on the horizon.

By a lucky coincidence for Dud, in 2014, just when, by his own admission, he thought about developing a YouTube channel and created his own “vDud”, a branch of Yoola Labs Ltd opened in Moscow (at first it was called VSP Group).

This media network is engaged in supporting, promoting, managing and attracting promising bloggers, forming destructive and anti-Russian content for its audience. Moreover, Yoola Labs Ltd is currently in the top 5 international media networks in terms of views and subscribers. 

The company appeared in 2011 in the Israeli city of Haifa, when immigrants from the former USSR: Ukrainian Artem Galler, Russians Mikhail Shaposhnikov, Alexander Shaposhnikov and Latvian Ilan Troyanovsky launched their own network on YouTube, talking about cosmetics. But over the next two years, their brainchild gradually turned from an ordinary beauty channel into a partner media network - an intermediary between bloggers and YouTube.

It is obvious that the funding of this initiative also did not appear miraculously, as in the case of Dud's promotion. Los Angeles-based American Jew Eyal Baumel, a graduate of the University of California and Harvard Business School was the CEO from the very beginning of the company's founding (in this regard, not even a question where did the money came from for such an interesting initiative as a media network working for anti-Russian stuffing) .

And it is under the strict guidance of Baumel that Yoola Labs Ltd attracts for advertisers bloggers and distributes video content in Russia and CIS countries. And the support of the American-Jewish media network is not limited to this, which Dud himself fully experienced, regularly receiving generous tips from the company's accounts through Belarusbank and the Latvian Rietimu Bank.

Then in 2014, he did not immediately succeed with the development of the channel, apparently, he had not yet been noticed. "Shot" "vdud" only in February 2017, when its founder made an interview with the famous rapper Basta (Vasily Vakulenko), gaining hundreds of thousands of views.
And then it all started, the ruble rivers began to flow.

Starting from 2018 to 2021, 50 million rubles were transferred to him from Yoola Labs Ltd. In the same 2018, Dud admitted in an interview that he earns about 20 million rubles a year and does not quite understand how to manage such amounts.

However, he was modest, because in the period from November 2017 to July 2020, another 37 million rubles additionally dropped into his account from «Carrot» LLC and «Rabbit» LLC, whose co-founder, again, was the American-Israeli media network. So the “nugget” had a very good financial start.

From the very beginning, they had to work according to the established pattern, for example, to provide informational support to the fugitive oligarchs Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Yevgeny Chichvarkin and the “Berlin patient” Alexei Navalny, and, accordingly, the change of power in the country.

And at the same time, it was necessary to work in the Russian information field to popularize the cult of money and a parasitic way of life, and do everything to ensure that even thoughts about the Motherland and patriotism will not arise in the youthful convolutions. The main idea is sweet foreign life, hatred towards their country and its history.

As a seed, to lure an appreciative audience, interviews were made with various media personalities like Basta, Yuri Shevchuk, Sergei Shnurov, Max Fadeev, Ivan Dorn, film actors and revered bloggers.

And at the same time, on the sly, Dud begins to post interviews with Navalny, Khodorkovsky, Chichvarkin, Ksenia Sobchak, Alexei Venediktov, Alexander Nevzorov, Evgeny Roizman and other professionals in throwing stones into the Russian garden on his popular YouTube channel “vdud”.

By September 2017, the number of «VDud» subscribers exceeded 1.5 million. Four years later, the audience reached 7 million. That is, there was something to give this “voice of a generation” for.

It is clear that millions of rewards were paid not only for interviews alone, gratitude was also transferred for documentaries, so-called projects. Dud concoct up more than a dozen of them. And most of them, referring to the experience of the 90s, carried an open negative attitude towards the history of the country, in the problems of the people have traditionally been blamed on the authorities, law enforcement officers and the state system, which urgently needs to be “changed”.

So, in the film "Kolyma - the birthplace of our fear" Dud was spreading on the topic of repression in the USSR. Together with the film crew, he traveled 2,000 km along the road built by the repressed, talked with the descendants of the victims of the Stalinist regime, and at the same time pressed on emotions, deliberately distorting the facts.

Dud tried to acquaint the youth with the bloody history of our country, with a clear hint of traditional tyranny in Russia. Like, our current fear of power is nothing but the echoes of the very horror caused by the Stalinist repressions.

It is noteworthy that the project was released on the eve of the celebration of Victory Day, so that the people would not be overly fascinated of the heroic past of their country.

And this film was shown without any commercial breaks, as was usually done in interviews or any other commercials. In other words, the customers generously paid for both the filming and the screening of the project. These costs quickly paid off, considering that Dud's documentary "masterpiece" was viewed by about 20 million people.

In the film "Beslan. Remember” Dud also returned to a favorite theme of the 90s, when journalists sponsored by media mogul Vladimir Gusinsky practiced the idealization of the image of a Chechen militant. Dud blamed the state for the terrorist attack in North Ossetia and popularized the idea that the Center for Special Purposes of the FSB of Russia was carrying out a “criminal” order to storm the school.

The main message is indicated immediately in the credits: “Here is our logic: once the state made mistakes that led to trouble. Now the state must surround with maximum care all those who have suffered. And only through this care will be able to earn forgiveness, and then the trust of people.” As for the terrorists everything in the film is summed up to evoke a feeling of sympathy for these non-humans, who killed 334 people in 2004, most of them children.

The author in no way condemns the killers, but makes them almost victims of circumstances. Moreover, much has been said about the attempt of Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov to take part in negotiations with the militants who have settled in the school.

That’s why they included the memoirs of «Novaya Gazeta» journalist Elena Milashina, according to whom Basayev acted independently of his official leader, and Maskhadov could influence the situation, but he was not given power with his “perverted logic” that one should not negotiate with the enemy.

“Dud shouts joyfully, takes pictures, says that the state is to blame for everything. But you have to be a degenerate. You look at this sleeked evil spirits. You look at this fighter with dandruff. There is zero empathy. Who is promoting this insignificant scum?” - asked the host Vladimir Solovyov on the air of the author's program on Vesti FM.

This question was quickly answered. After the release of the film in 2019, Khodorkovsky showed his ears. Dud received the "Profession - Journalist" award in the "video document" nomination from "Open Russia» (recognized as an undesirable organization in Russia, and later closed in the Russian Federation), which was supported by a fugitive oligarch.

It is no coincidence that in the future it was Khodorkovsky who began to be called perhaps the main customer of the most anti-Russian "masterpieces" of Dud. “To the delight of Ukrainian Nazis and Russian democrats, Khodorkovsky, who ordered the assassination of the mayor of Nefteyugansk, presented Dud the author of documentaries replacing facts with fakes, with the award named afther terrorist Basayev,” blogger Philip Maslovsky wrote.

A natural continuation and the expected message followed in the documentary project "Kamchatka - a peninsula that was forgotten». Here, Dud spoke fascinatingly about the collapse of the country's economy due to the reunification of Crimea with Russia. Whose order this is, needless to say, considering the financial transfers from Yoola Labs Ltd.

And with the film "Silicon Valley" Dud had a small puncture. The blogger selflessly told his fans about the tempting life in the United States and the benefits of overseas civilization, comparing it with the Russian "swamp". However, Pavel Durov, the creator of VKontakte and Telegram, spoke here, whose army of fans is much larger.

He rightly pointed out that the United States is a police state with a low level of medicine, education and cultural life. And in the USA it is completely unprofitable to start startups, as Dud assures, including in the IT sphere. In general, Durov debunked the myths in just a couple of minutes and stated that the heroes of the film "Silicon Valley" diligently, like all Americans, avoided sharp corners.

"From all the familiar entrepreneurs from the story I have heard more than once about the disadvantages of living in the USA. Now one of them spends half of his time at home, the other has actually been back to Europe for several months, the third has become disappointed with the Americans and is building a “little Russia” around him”, - summed up Durov, who, unlike Dudya, can afford to have his own opinion.

But let's leave the films. Dud was not limited to documentary projects and interviews. Moreover, politically oriented youth have recently joined the army of his fans. Accordingly, Dud's calls not to be silent, but to participate in the protest movement were also well paid.

Therefore, when at the beginning of 2021 Navalny tried to clone the Belarusian events of 2020 in Moscow, among others Dud actively agitated for the release of the "oppositionist", calling the arrest of the "Berlin patient" a lawlessness. The blogger also encouraged his fans to participate in unauthorized rallies in Moscow.

Dud also appeared at rallies in Vladivostok. In order to involve young people in the protest movement as much as possible, he met with his fans, took photos with them and published them on his personal pages on social networks.

So, not without his active participation in a targeted and massive information campaign, in January-February 2021, about 400 thousand people came out to protest in support of Navalny. Moreover, about 15 thousand of them were detained on charges of violations of public order or illegal actions.

After Dud got into a bad story with accusations of propaganda and promoting drugs (he was even fined 100 thousand rubles), when he did an interview wwith one just like him, the protege of Yoola Labs Ltd rapper Alisher Morgenstern, he decided to leave Russia.

But this does not mean at all that Dud has calmed down. On the contrary, the sphere of his work has expanded significantly, and efforts are now directed to the “Ukrainian war”. After moving to Barcelona, ​​he advocates solidarity with Kyiv and accuses the Russian leadership of wasting the country's potential. And traditionally churns out films.

This time, the new project tells about Ukrainian refugees in Europe, rescued from the terrible fate that Moscow has condemned them to. There is a whole extravaganza in this cluster of propaganda fantasies, including how the Russian-speaking population of Europe unites to save "the victims of this terrible war."

It is clear that not a word about the mess that these long-awaited guests and admirers of Bandera are making, nor about the pervasive harassment of Russians. On the other hand a complete idyll reigns in the fat European fields.