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Oleksiy Arestovych, the strange “psy” who cheers up Ukrainians

He bewitched half the country with his smooth voice, his good looks and above all his ability to embed calamitous facts in an unalterable story where Ukraine will win no matter what. Followed by millions of people plagued by anxiety, Oleksiy Arestovych, 47, comments daily on often depressing military news on social networks and on public television as a volunteer adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Pr aspera ad astra (“By arduous paths to the stars”) is the slogan of his YouTube channel, which has 1.6 million subscribers.

“In the Russian-speaking Internet, and in particular on YouTube, Arestovych occupies the space left vacant by Russian propagandists. » Roman Tsymbaliuk, Ukrainian blogger

This experienced ideologue with a tortuous background is aimed at a post-Soviet population to whom for decades we have been preaching Marxist-Leninist refrains of a bright future. And the success is there. His recipe? Predicting in a confident tone the imminent collapse of the Russian army, of Vladimir Putin’s regime, with well-crafted slogans. All in Russian, in a Ukrainian media landscape from which it was expelled, patriotism obliges.

“In the Russian-speaking Internet, and in particular on YouTube, Arestovych occupies the space left vacant by Russian propagandists, which is crucial for us”, deciphers the 41-year-old Ukrainian blogger Roman Tsymbaliuk. The last social network that is both very popular, not blocked and not controlled by the Russian authorities, YouTube has shut down the channels of the main spokespersons of the Kremlin. “Thanks to his duet with Mark Feygin [avocat russe et blogueur dissident], Arestovych has recovered a large part of the audience from Russian propagandists »welcomes the blogger.

On the register of seduction

In this circle essentially composed of men belching their anger and uttering threats, Oleksiy Arestovych is distinguished by an Olympian calm. Beautiful brunette with the appearance of latin lover, With mischievous eyes topped with angular eyebrows à la Jack Nicholson, and a three-day beard, he stands out from the stereotypes of the military expert to play on the register of seduction. His palette does not stop there. He approaches the mechanics of souls by means of the most diverse techniques. His astonishing biography bears witness to this: he was in turn an actor, psychologist, ideologue and intelligence agent.

A theater and film actor – without ever having really broken through – he also embarked on the study of psychology in 2003 as a disciple of the controversial Russian guru Absalom Podvodni, both astrologer and esoteric thinker. During these same years, Oleksiy Arestovych was active in the far-right Ukrainian group Fraternité, while his ancestors were not Ukrainians but Belarusians, Russians and Poles.

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