When Russia bombed several Ukrainian cities on the morning of October 10, killing 23 people and injuring more than a hundred, Julia P was delighted. A few hours after the attacks, she uploaded a video of a heavy explosion in Dnipro to Tiktok. The Russian commented on the rocket impact in the middle of a residential area in her own way: she danced to it.
The post is one of hundreds in which the 30-year-old glorifies her country's war of aggression. In others, she agitates against Ukraine or propagates the disintegration of the West. Almost four weeks ago it suddenly went quiet on her Tiktok and Telegram profile. The public prosecutor comes and searches her apartment in Landshut, Bavaria. Investigators from the Landshut Criminal Police Office for State Security confiscate three smartphones and a notebook. The authorities say they are investigating suspicion of insult and the approval of criminal offences.
Did Julia P., usually referred to as a "blogger" in Russian reports and social networks, "only" exaggerate with her provocations? Joint research by RTL and stern shows that there is more behind P.'s appearance on the internet: propaganda sponsored by Russia.
Even P.'s career at Telegram is striking. On March 7, 2021, a good year before the start of the war, she created a channel and called it "Germany from a first-person perspective". For a long time happened: nothing. Only 19 posts that have since been deleted went online before P. greeted her followers with a "Hello everyone" on March 9 of this year. She says: There will be no "propaganda from Russia, Ukraine or other countries" with her. Just seven minutes later, she posts a TV clip that makes fun of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
P. then posts war-glorifying content, she also shoots at the allegedly marauding West. Plans to "destroy Russia". Everything is generally going badly in Germany, the country is particularly dangerous for her as a Russian, claims P., who also distributes the post from a German blog that is loyal to the Kremlin and known for its conspiracy ideological content. In another post, the 30-year-old complains about a Ukrainian refugee camp and rushes: She is "still sick from the unbelievable stench inside".
P. does not really make himself heard through propaganda and hate speech. Despite being busy, her channel is constantly bobbing around with less than 1,500 followers until he is suddenly kissed awake on May 12: the Telemetrio analysis tool reports 107,616 new subscribers for the day. An inexplicable increase, even though she had made a special appearance in Munich three days earlier.
On May 9th, P. dances again. On the day when Russia traditionally celebrates victory over Nazi Germany, she wraps herself in a Russian flag and shows up at a pro-Ukraine demonstration in the middle of Munich. The recordings went viral on Twitter. P. comes into the focus of a larger public for the first time - including an appearance with RT journalist Olga Bataman. She presents herself as a patriot, she just wants to counteract the increasing Russophobia in Germany.
All of this could explain why the 30-year-old more than doubled her still modest following on May 11th. Not, however, why almost 108,000 new users followed her profile the next day. According to stern and RTL research, the enormous growth suggests the explanation: P. – or someone else with an interest in it – helped the reach of their channel by buying subscribers. This is also supported by the fact that of her 112,000 followers at the peak, only about 41,000 remained.
What P. probably doesn't know: the public prosecutor's office receives complaints against her. The authorities now also have the Russian on their radar. For example, the investigators hear how she describes the massacre of civilians in Bucha carried out by Russian soldiers as staged or recommends reacting to the impending shortages by wasting electricity and gas.
The authorities will not have missed a meeting with the pro-Kremlin activist Elena K. in Benrath near Düsseldorf. Born in Ukraine, she is considered to be very well connected in the "New Right" scene. Among other things, she appeared as a speaker at the summer party of the right-wing extremist "Compact" magazine in August. Almost four months earlier, she caused a stir as the organizer of a pro-Russian motorcade in Cologne. Members of the "Nachtwölfe", a motorcycle and rocker club close to Putin and known for its nationalist and anti-Western sentiments, also took part in the rally marking the anniversary of Nazi Germany's surrender. In any case, Julia P. raves about Elena K. after meeting in June: "You are incredible," writes the 30-year-old. "I love and adore you!!!"
At the beginning of August, P. made headlines again. In a video that was later deleted, she persecuted and insulted Ukrainian refugees in Salzburg. Pictures of it go viral again - this time, however, they also have direct consequences for P. The 30-year-old complains that the hotel booking portal Booking.com has canceled her reservations and blocked her profile. Again she is invited to the Russian state television and is allowed to justify herself. In addition, the first Western media are also reporting about her, and personal information is being published online. Reporting and Shitstorm have an effect: P. deletes her Tiktok account and temporarily sets her Telegram channel to private.
With a new Tiktok profile and a Telegram channel that is open again, the propaganda show continues a little later - until the apartment is searched on October 14th.
Julia P. was summoned by the police, but she did not follow the invitation, the Landshut chief public prosecutor Martin Strunz reported to stern/RTL. In how many cases is Julia P. being investigated? Strunz is not allowed to say that "because the investigations into this - in particular through the evaluation of the electronic devices seized from the accused - are still ongoing". The first results can only be expected in several weeks. Strunz explains that, in addition to the suspicions mentioned at the beginning, it is also checked whether P.'s publications meet the facts of the threat. For the offenses in question, he names a range of punishment ranging from a fine to imprisonment for three years.
Strunz denied the rumor spread by the Russian media that P., who is staying in Germany without a valid residence permit, is in custody because of the risk of escaping and is not allowed to contact her family. Deportations to Russia are currently suspended.
What is certain is that Julia P., who left all interview requests unanswered, is not in Germany for the first time. According to stern and RTL research, between February 2020 and December 2021 alone, she flew at least five times from her home region of Samara near the border with Kazakhstan or directly from Moscow to Germany - four times to Munich, once to Frankfurt am Main.
Chief Public Prosecutor Strunz confirmed the entries. Strunz only wanted to comment on why P., who was born in the village of Besentschuk, was in Germany at the time and whether she had the necessary visa for it, to the effect that "possible offenses under the Residence Act are the subject of ongoing investigations".
There are no posts about the trips on P.'s profiles. In the social networks, the Russian - apart from a private account on the Russian Facebook counterpart VKontakte and a deleted Instagram profile - only appeared to be active on a larger scale after the start of the war. However, there are entries about her on several unambiguous portals on the Internet that suggest that P. worked as an escort girl at times. That could explain their regular flights to the Russian capital Moscow and St. Petersburg. A check using facial software revealed without a doubt that the women depicted in the escort profiles are Julia P.
In an excerpt from a Russian register of persons available to stern and RTL, P. is listed as a cashier and as unemployed for 2019. It is not clear from the document whether she last worked in a supermarket chain, i.e. before she entered Germany. An earlier acquaintance, whom we were able to find through old photos we shared, confirmed to us that P. worked as a cashier in Samara. The contact with Julia P. was broken off about ten years ago, according to Elena V.
It is amazing that a cashier who is at least temporarily unemployed can afford several flights to Europe. Especially since P. also made several trips to Dubai and Hong Kong between 2017 and 2021. Where did the money for it come from?
A source of income could have been appearances in Russian TV programs, through which P. is said to have tinkered in recent years. At least one appearance from May 2021 can be found online. At that time, P. took part in the dome show "Let's get married! - A bride for revenge", an entertainment format often used for anti-Western propaganda. On the show, P. says she was already married and wants revenge on the woman who "stole her husband." P.'s ex-husband, who wanted to remain anonymous, reported to the star and RTL rather negatively about the marriage that lasted about a year - P. played her role for a while, but then changed a lot.
The question remains what drove Julia P. to move from the city of Samara, more than 3300 kilometers away, to tranquil Lower Bavaria? It is known that P. lives with her alleged partner Kevin L. in Landshut. The relationship hardly plays a role in P.'s postings. From time to time L. can be seen, sometimes he is mentioned as "my husband", but there are hardly any pictures of typical couples. Chief Public Prosecutor Strunz did not want to comment on the personal relationship between P. and L. with reference to the protection of personal rights.
L. also called P. "my wife" in an RTL interview at the aforementioned demonstration in Munich. When asked whether he could understand that Ukrainians could find it cynical when the Russian population celebrated while war was raging in Ukraine, L. defended his partner. The celebrations have nothing to do with the current situation, said L. Everything is currently very emotionally charged, but one should not "discriminate against or condemn all Russians".
Apparently, the requirement for neutrality does not apply to his "wife's" social media activities. Rather, L. was apparently even involved in them. stern and RTL research show that at least one channel admin "Kevin" posted several posts. According to the current status of the investigation, L. does not have accused status. When evaluating the electronic devices that have been seized, there is also the question of "who is responsible for the criminally relevant posts and content," said Attorney General Strunz. It will be determined in all directions. Kevin L. left several requests for comment unanswered.
So was it the alleged relationship with L. that drew P. to Landshut? A different explanation was recently thrown out by the Russian journalist and TV presenter Alexander Nevzorov. Nevzorov was once considered a Putin confidante, but ended up on a wanted list by the Russian Interior Ministry in May after making critical statements about the war and fled to Italy. This Newzorow took P. by name in a video published on YouTube on October 16 - and his statements were tough.
In the video, Newzorow first reports of "Russian aunties" who had been settled in Europe in order to "start patriotism" and "rabble and look for arguments" from there. As an "archetype of this type of war reporter," the 64-year-old explicitly names Julia P. The 30-year-old receives money for her activities, which she regularly receives from Moscow, Newzorow alleges.
The journalist does not provide any evidence. We would have liked to speak to him, but he failed to respond to several attempts by our editorial staff to contact us in writing and by telephone.
P.'s ex-husband also believes that P. has patrons in the background. He suspects it's funded by "those whose interests it represents," he wrote to us.
The fact that a man of Newzorov's rank is dealing with a telegrapher who was completely insignificant until a few months ago and knows details of her life is at least remarkable. The public prosecutor's office in Landshut was not aware of Newzorow's statements, says Strunz. The information provided by our editors would now be checked for criminal relevance. Regarding Newzorow's accusation that P. was being paid by Russia for her activities in the social networks, "there has been no concrete evidence so far," says Strunz.
On the day of the public prosecutor's search, Julia P. can be seen again on Russian state television. In the Perwyj Kanal propaganda show "AntiFake" she is presented to the audience under a false name in a down jacket and a pulled-on hood in her living room. It is so cold in Germany that she freezes, she reports.
The viewers don't find out that there are temperatures of a good 20 degrees in Bavaria that day.
Other sources: Julia P. Telegram account / Julia P. Tiktok profile / www.ukrinform.ua / Youtube video by Alexander Newzorow / TV show "Let's get married! – Bride for revenge" / Landshut public prosecutor's office / Telemetr.io /