One of the Estonians behind the new service pravdamail.com – that lets you email random Russian email addresses to tell them what is happening in the war in Ukraine – told Estonian World that the goal of the service is peace in Ukraine and Europe.
A member of the Estonian tech community behind the pravdamail.com service, who spoke with Estonian World under the condition of anonymity, said they got the idea for the service through discussions and exchanges of ideas.
“Someone said that it would be easy to get Russian email addresses and we could try to do the good old email marketing,” they said. “Someone sent us a link to the https://1920.in/ that lets you send text messages to Russian numbers. And then, in one of the group discussions, one team wanted to create something like this. And, as it’s done in Estonia, we did.”
According to them, getting Russian email addresses wasn’t hard. “Russia, sadly or fortunately, is not as demanding as the European Union when it comes to data security, so it’s pretty easy to find different Russian databases through the internet. It may not be 100% legal, but definitely many degrees more legal and human than attacking another country.”
So far, people have sent over 34,000 emails through the service and, according to the tech community member, the pace is growing.
Everyone should support Ukraine by whatever means they have
The goal of the people behind the service is, as they put it, “peace in Ukraine and Europe. We don’t think that our little project has significant weight, but it’s something that we could do, to help things along a little, letting everyone with an internet connection to take part in and move it along.”
“Everyone who (in addition to conscience) has free money, should support initiatives that have something to do with Ukraine. Everyone who has free time, should protest, volunteer or work against the Russian propaganda, like using services like pravdamail.com,” they added.
The pravdamail.com service was set up in the early days of March, just weeks after the Russian unprovoked war against Ukraine started on 24 February – the Estonian Independence Day. It calls on people to send pre-written emails to random Russians about the war in Ukraine, saying that “[m]any in Russia continue to support dictator [Vladimir] Putin because they only know the ‘facts’ from state propaganda.”
“Use this site to let them know what’s really going on. We’ve collected more than a million Russian email addresses just for that.”
There have been reports in the media that when Ukrainians in Ukraine try to tell their relatives of friends in Russia – even in Moscow – that there is a real war going on, the Ukrainian cities are being bombarded to the oblivion and thousands of civilians are being murdered, then the people in Russia refuse to believe it.
Russia has also outlawed speaking against the war and people who spread “fake news” – ie speak against the Russian official narrative – can face a prison sentence for up to 15 years.