(CNN) – Wang Jixian, a young Volcker, did not become the voice of Chinese opposition Ukraine. The 36-year-old Odessa resident, who was the main target of the invasion of Russia, wanted to show his parents that he was fine.
On the first day of the invasion, on February 24, Diktok said in a video released in the Chinese version of Duine, “I’m back from the grocery store.” Wang, a programmer from Beijing, described buying meat and fruit in the video, noting that some food stores were still open.
But as the days went by his mood was dark Russian attack It intensified. He said that when he entered Douyin, he saw Chinese videos praising Russian troops or supporting the invasion.
“I was so angry, so I wanted to shoot videos for them and tell them what the real battlefield is,” he told CNN.
His daily videos, which were posted on various platforms, including YouTube and the Chinese news processor WeChat, quickly became popular as a rare voice that gave Chinese viewers a glimpse of war-torn Ukraine, in stark contrast to the Chinese state media. Unsubstantiated claims that Ukrainian soldiers are using “Nazi” tactics.
In a widely viewed video, Wang held up his Chinese passport and said, “These Ukrainian guards are not Nazis, they are IT programmers, ordinary people, hairdressers, these are the people.”
But in doing so, China faced international pressure for refusing to condemn Russia’s invasion, and he found himself caught up in a tumultuous controversy as pro – Russian sentiment emerged on China’s highly controlled and censored social media. To change ..
The reaction of the critics
Wang studied art at the university and enjoyed dancing, music and painting, so when he moved to Odessa four years ago for work, he was immediately attracted to the “art atmosphere” of the city. The video last year showed a person playing the piano in a colorful room full of books and paintings on his doin account.
Your videos now look so different. Several nights were filmed with explosions in the background and air strike sirens. Other clips show snapshots of everyday life: quiet streets, with Ukrainian flags hanging outside buildings and painted on the walls.
“Are they anti-aircraft alarms? Those bastards are coming back,” he said in a video. “People are doing their own business. My next door neighbor is running his dog again. This is our Odessa.”
At other times, it can be very emotional. Referring to the famous quote from Communist leader Mao Zedong, someone told me today, “There are laws of the jungle in the community, where power comes from the barrel of a gun.” “Where is the sense in that?”
As the videos began to gain attention and sometimes received more than 140,000 views, the number of critics increased, calling him a national traitor.
“You no longer need this Chinese passport, you have already forgotten what country you are from,” was a popular comment about Doin. “The official position of the country should be the position of the entire Chinese people.”
China has sought to maintain a neutral stance, not to condemn Russia or call it an invasion, when it has often said that “legitimate security concerns of all nations” should be heeded.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who spoke with US President Joe Biden on Friday, said both countries have a responsibility to ensure peace. But the White House later said it was still concerned that China might help Russia.
“I do not understand how I betrayed the country,” Wang told CNN. He said he did not understand the position of China or Russia due to limited access to news broadcasts and widespread misinformation online; All he knew was that “every day the city is on fire and many are being killed.”
The comments of anonymous strangers online will not bother him, but they will do so when he comes from people he cares about, like the Chinese embassy staff he knew from his previous residence in northern Macedonia.
The employee recently approached him and said that Wang would pay to publish his videos, “Who sent you?” He asked. When Wang insisted he was not doing this for money, the employee responded, “Your current behavior is not in line with national interests. I want to sever ties with you. We will block each other.”
It “really hurt my heart,” Wang said.
Decided to stay
Chinese auditors have also blocked his online videos, he said. All of his videos are posted on YouTube, which is banned in China, except for VPNs, where only 80% of his videos are on WeChat and less than 20% on Douyin.
It is unknown at this time what he did to cause the fire. He was so frustrated that in a video from March 7, he taped an X-shaped black tape around his mouth and gestured to the camera to let him know he was safe and still in Odessa.
After talking to CNN, his Chinese social media accounts were blocked so he could not contact his family when he returned home.
He said he has received “countless” messages from contacts, pressuring them to stop posting. But he has no intention of doing so.
“I want the people of Ukraine, the heroes, and my neighbors (to give a little voice) because in my view they are all heroes,” he said. “I see peaceful people, I see brave people … I want to remind them to see who is dying and who is being killed.”
There are signs that your message may go down. Below his videos, hateful comments are interspersed with audience greetings, urging him to stay safe and leave. A few comments express support for Ukraine.
But for now, Wang has no intention of leaving, “until Odessa is destroyed to the point where humans can no longer stay,” he said. Aside from his preference for the city, it is a matter of policy, he added: “I can not bear the act of bullying people in front of me.”
When not shooting videos, Wang volunteered to fix people’s cell phones and help the displaced.
“(() If I come back and leave, I will regret it for the rest of my life,” he said.