Gonzalo Lira, a Chilean author and former film director, travelled from Kiev to Kharkov after the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine to report on the situation there. He has said that Ukrainian secret police had twice attempted to abduct him at different locations, but he escaped. Fans of a video blogger critical of anti-Russian propaganda fear for his life after contact with him was lost in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov.Gonzalo Lira, who formerly posted videos on YouTube as “Coach Red Pill”, was due to appear on British dissident broadcaster George Galloway’s Mother of All Talk Shows (MOATS) webcast on Sunday evening.However, Galloway revealed that his guest had not been heard from since Friday, when the appearance was booked.
Lira had “brought us, right from the front line, the truth as he saw it down there on the street, in and amongst the war zone in Kharkov”, Galloway said, asking: “How can you possibly know that the information you are acting on is correct if you do not hear the other side of the story?”Lira has previously said that the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) had made at least two attempts to “disappear” him, as it has done to opposition leaders, journalists, and others critical of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government. He said he escaped capture after neighbours warned him the secret police were looking for him.In response, Lira made a point of posting at least once every 12 hours on his Twitter and Telegram accounts as proof he was alive.
Lira was born in Chile, but went to university in the US, where he later worked in Hollywood as a writer and occasional director. He has also stated that he has been a resident of the UK.He travelled from his home in the capital Kiev to Kharkov following the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine to report on the situation there, staying in the apartment of unnamed friends.Lira has posted scathing critiques of the Zelensky’s leadership during the conflict and of US foreign policy toward the Ukraine, Russia, China, and other countries, along with deconstructions of pro-Ukrainian propaganda videos and “false-flag” attacks. His last YouTube post was an interview with former US weapons inspector Scott Ritter, a prominent critic of Washington.