A Russian zoo said it sent peacocks to the front to ‘inspire’ troops. It deleted its post after people used it to mock Putin.

  • A Russian zoo said it sent two peacocks to those fighting in Ukraine.

  • It said it wanted to “brighten up soldiers’ everyday life in combat.”

  • But it then deleted the post, saying comments were insulting Putin.

A Russian zoo said it sent two peacocks to Ukraine with the aim of inspiring Russian troops fighting there — but then deleted its post after people mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin in the comments, according to reports.

The Lipetsk Zoo, in southwest Russia, announced the move on social media website VK on Tuesday.

It wrote: “For guys in difficult combat situations, the beauty of birds inspires and brings a piece of joy. This is not an advertisement for the zoo, but a gift from the heart. We hope that the beauty of these birds will brighten up soldiers’ everyday life in combat,” The Daily Beast reported.

It also shared a video of a masked soldier in front of an enclosure with the two birds.

The soldier said that every soldier would be able to look at the birds and get some “spiritual peace,” according to The Daily Beast’s translation.

He added that an aviary was being built for the birds, according to Ukrainian outlet Pravda’s reporting.

It’s unclear if the video was filmed in Ukraine. It’s also not clear where the birds were sent, or how close to the fighting they had been.

The zoo later deleted its announcement post, according to The Daily Beast and Pravda.

It told Russian news outlet Rise that comments were left that insulted Putin.

The zoo blamed Ukrainian bots for the comments — a common excuse that Russia gives for online comments that insult Putin or criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It said that “insults against the president are unacceptable,” per The Daily Beast.

Some commentators were confused by the move, with one writing, according to The Daily Beast: “What are peacocks going to do there?”

Russia has heavily restricted information that its citizens can get about the war, and has punished Russians who speak out against it, leading to little visible dissent in the country.

While some protests have taken place, with thousands of people arrested, Russian citizens have largely not been seen to oppose the invasion.

Putin has also put in place a law that effectively criminalizes any reference to the fighting in Ukraine being a “war” or “invasion.”

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