In Ukraine, a new teen gang inspired by Hunter x Hunter's Phantom Troupe is causing havoc.
According to CNN, bystanders have seen members of this newly formed gang, known as Redan PMC, brawling in the nation's streets. The gang is named after the Hunter x Hunter's Gen'ei Ryodan, or Phantom Troupe, which fans fear will be canceled due to a status change, and their clothes feature the group's symbol - a spider with the number 4 etched into it. So far, the group has been spotted in Lviv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city. In Dnipro, Ukraine's fourth-largest city, police allegedly detained the group's 16-year-old ringleader.
Redan PMC first appeared in Russia, specifically in Moscow, the country's capital. According to initial reports, the Redan PMC was formed solely for the purpose of brawling with football fans. They have, however, been fighting in large groups in designated areas around Moscow, including a subway station and a shopping mall. So far, the Moscow police have apprehended over 350 people for alleged involvement with the gang. Gas cartridges and knives were among the items confiscated from the group's members, according to a Russian security source.
Ukraine Believes the Migration Was Planned in Advance
The recent migration of Redan PMC to Ukraine has led Ukrainian authorities to believe that Russia is attempting to persuade Ukrainian youth to join its ranks, exacerbating the country's already serious problems. These allegations stem from a supposedly ongoing disinformation campaign aimed at the country's teenagers. At least 18 now-blocked Telegram channels have attempted to "conduct Russian military information campaigns, undermine the domestic situation in Ukraine, and involve minors in illegal activities," according to the Ukrainian National Police.
It appears that this Telegram campaign may have succeeded in influencing Ukrainian teens. Thus far, the police have apprehended over 700 people due to their alleged connections with Redan PMC, most of whom are minors. In Kharkiv, 245 participants took part in a large-scale flash mob, of which 215 were minors. Kharkiv's police chief, Volodymyr Tymoshko, stated that a Russian security force called FSB was directly responsible for the incident, influencing the teens through "manipulation and deception."
Recently, the alleged 16-year-old ringleader apprehended by Dnipro's authorities stated that he created the group to "make money from advertising posts, as the topic of Redan is popular on social media." However, he did add that the "idea came from Russia, intending destabilization." One of the instigators, a 15-year-old girl, stated that "there is no Redan in Kyiv" and that the 'fad" is "straight-up Russian propaganda."