Brit YouTuber ‘thrown in Russian gulag’ for slagging off Putin grilled on camera

A video has emerged of the alleged interrogation of popular Brit YouTuber Bald and Bankrupt, real name Benjamin Rich, who was "thrown in a Russian gulag" for criticising Vladimir Putin.

He said he was stopped at a train station in Russia and brought to a police station before being chucked into a cell for "a few days".

Rich added that he lost his case in court and was chucked out of Russia and banned from returning.

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He explained this in a video, his first for four weeks, titled 'The Journey is Over'.

In a new video doing the rounds on social media, Rich appears to be getting grilled by Russian police on why he called Putin "crazy", and why he posted a link to fundraise for Ukraine.

In the clip he blames the English media for his portrayal of Putin, saying media organisations "constantly bombard" with anti-Russian material, and anti Putin messages.

"Of course it influenced me," he said, adding that when he was in Ukraine at the beginning of the conflict, he thought it was "a crazy decision" for Putin to invade, before he "knew the full reasons" as to why.

He added: "The second reason is that, maybe you wont understand, but when you have a face on YouTube if you want to earn money you have to say what people want to hear."

Rich said he made the comments so that he "wouldn't have a problem with YouTube".

He said he was pressurised by Ukrainians who threatened him. "I decided to write this to stop the threats," he added.

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He said he had more clarity after he learned more about the "special operation," as he called it, echoing Putin's name for the violent attempted occupation of Ukraine.

Rich said he realised that Russia "had to cleanse the area of fascists."

The YouTuber then told investigators that every content creator on the platform received an email detailing how they should speak about Ukraine, only "portraying it from the side of the Ukrainians."

He said that YouTubers cant earn advertising revenue if they portray the conflict from a Russian point of view.

Rich added that he put a link to a Ukrainian fundraiser on his account because the country's embassy in London asked him to on two occasions.

"Said what they wanted to hear so he didn't get gulagged probably," one respondent said, referring to the "act of banishing someone to a real or imagined, unpleasantly-harsh, environment," according to Urban Dictionary.

In a video he uploaded to his channel, Rich said: "The punishment one of the punishments is I'm being kicked out of Russia with immediate effect banned from coming back."

The Daily Star has reached out to him for comment.


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