Bizarre Russian propaganda links Sims 3 to alleged Nazi assassination plot

The Sims 3 and expansions in a Russian propaganda video.
(Image credit: Russian state)

Due to the illegal and ongoing war in Ukraine, the Russian state and security services are currently in full-on propaganda mode at home and abroad. One of the latest claims involves the Federal Security Service (FSB) foiling "Nazi assassins" who, allegedly, were plotting the murder of one Vladimir Solovyov, a Russian state TV host.

The raid came with a list of seized items and photographs of the haul. Naturally this Nazi cell doesn't appear to be particularly shy about its affiliations, and among other things the pictures include a Hitler sticker, swastika t-shirts, and... multiple  boxes of the Sims 3 and expansions?

BBC Monitoring's Francis Scarr tweeted out photos from FSB footage, which can be seen below, alongside the official account of what was seized: "an IED, eight Molotov cocktails, six Makarov pistols, a sawed-off shot gun, a grenade," ammo and so on.

The photographs can also be seen on official state TV here at around 5:30.

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The Sims 3 being in there, and multiple expansions to boot, is such a bizarre insertion into what are fairly blatantly propaganda pictures. It's so odd you have to ask why these supposed Nazis were to be associated with it. One comical but surprisingly plausible explanation is that the FSB was told to take pictures with sims, as in phone sims, among the items—and simply got it wildly wrong.

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Who knows: but yet another amusing element is a book allegedly inscribed by the Nazis, which bears the signature of someone called 'signature unclear'. Clearly that order was also followed very literally.

An official Kremlin social media account confirms that the Solovyov 'plot' is being pushed by the Russian security services (machine translation): "The FSB has revealed the name of the journalist who was prevented from being attacked. It turned out to be Vladimir Solovyov."

Solovyov himself last night claimed on Russian state TV that the assassins were sent by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, while the speaker of the Russian duma is claiming this is proof of Ukrainian terrorism. I'm not sure if Simlish has have a word for 'horseshit', but perhaps it should now.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."