Vladimir Solovyov is one of Russia’s most influential propagandists. He was repeatedly honored with medals by President Vladimir Putin and positions himself as someone whose patriotism is beyond reproach. Donning military gear, Soloviev aggressively promotes the the invasion of Ukraine, travels frequently to the front lines and regularly encourages all able-bodied Russian men to enlist or volunteer.
The Russian TV star’s on-air rants are often directed at anyone not taking part in the so-called “special military operation”. He reserves particular anger for young people who left the country to avoid military mobilization and for those who are unwilling to participate in what Soloviev frequently describes as another “great patriotic war”, “jihad” or “war holy” of Russia against the West.
Most recently, on his “Full Contact” show on Monday, the boisterous host claimed that young people played a key role in World War II. He stressed that it is a patriotic obligation of every young Russian man to contribute to the war effort.
But just a day earlier, a viral tweet had called Solovyov’s eldest son, Daniil Solovyov, 21, accusing him of working as a model in London instead of volunteering to fight in Putin’s war of imperial conquest. The tweet included a photo of Solovyov with his son, in addition to several photos of Daniil, including one that appears to have been professionally taken.
On Tuesday, the host had no choice but to respond to the viral rumor. In typical fashion, Soloviev exploded into another angry tirade.
With theatrical exasperation, Solovyov recounted having his son on the phone to discuss an allegation that he was working as a model in the UK. He admitted that his son had indeed studied in London several years ago, but pointed out that Daniil is currently in Moscow, “living a difficult life of a young average person” and “not trying to dodge anything. Soloviev stressed that his son is an adult and lives his life in his own way, saying it doesn’t matter “whether his father likes it or not”.
Calling his antagonists “beasts” and accusing them of being paid by Ukrainians, the host threatened to sue anyone who posts an allegation that his son is currently a model in London. Solovyov referred to his own trips near the front lines – where he films propaganda videos which are then aired on his own shows – as if visiting troops was like serving alongside them.
After the segment, meteorologist Evgeny Tishkovets, who regularly supports Soloviev’s demands for nuclear strikes against NATO countries, comforted the host, calling him “the coolest journalist” and urging him not to lend 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 choosing to live or study in the West. The judgments he makes on television also come up against his own frequent criticism of the injustice of losing access to his Italian villa because of the penalties. These are just a few of the ways the host’s patriotic speeches don’t fit their own lifestyle.