VK.com claims it will delete anti-gay kidnappers’ content – but will it, really?

Russian social media giant VK.com (aka VKontakte), often called the “Russian Facebook,” claimed yesterday that it had no idea that neo-Nazi anti-gay kidnapping gangs had been using its service for the past year to organize abductions of young gay men, and then promote the crimes to the world.


We’ve been reporting since July of 2013, a good seven months now, about “Occupy Pedophilia,” the Russian vigilante group conducting the kidnappings. And the story has been all over the news for months. But this is the first VK.com has heard about it.

The Occupy Pedophilia anti-gay neo-Nazi kidnapping gang has as home at VK.com

VK.com super-user Maxim Martsinkevich posted on his VK.com account this photo of an abduction he did of a gay Jewish man, who is seen holding a dildo, while his head is shaved and painted with a rainbow, and Stars of David are drawn on his chest.

VK.com super-user Maxim Martsinkevich posted on his VK.com account this photo of an abduction he did of a gay Jewish man, who is seen holding a dildo, while his head is shaved and painted with a rainbow, and Stars of David are drawn on his chest.

The group is called “Occupy Pedophilia” because putatively it targets pedophiles.

In actuality, the group is virulently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and pro-Nazi.  And, like all good homophobes, thinks all gays are pedophiles.

Occupy Pedophilia has been in operation for a year and a half.  They have branches in 30 cities across Russia and the Ukraine, and claim to have committed nearly 1,500 abductions.

The St. Petersburg branch recently made a big splash when its head, red-headed sociopath Ekaterina Zigunova, permitted a UK documentary crew to film her abduction and torture of a young gay man.  (I’ve done extensive coverage of Zigunova’s horrific crimes here and here.)

Occupy Pedophilia finds its victims online, sets up fake “hook-up dates,” and the victim arrives at an apartment filled with a dozen men who – video cameras rolling – often strip him naked, tie him up, beat him, shave part of his head, paint a rainbow flag on his scalp, draw Stars of David on his chest (if he’s Jewish), force him to drink urine to cure him of being gay, then conduct an interview with the victim where he admits he’s gay, is taunted, etc.

The video is then published online, often on VK.com, though they’ve been using Facebook and Instagram as well to a more limited extent, and the victim is outed to the world in a country that is virulently homohpobic.  (Instagram yesterday, to its credit, deleted two accounts tied to the Russian kidnapping gangs.)  Lots of photos of the crimes are posted on VK.com as well.  The kidnappers also use VK.com to fundraise, to find additional kidnappers, and to find apartments in which to conduct the abductions.  More on all of that, below.

The Russian Government couldn’t care less about OP’s 1,500 kidnappings

Occupy Pedophilia St. Petersburg head Ekaterina Zigunova pours urine on the head of one kidnap victim in a photo found on her VK.com account.

Occupy Pedophilia St. Petersburg head Ekaterina Zigunova pours urine on the head of one kidnap victim in a photo found on her VK.com account.

The Russian government is fully aware of what’s going on, and up until recently wasn’t interested in doing anything to stop the abductions, even though the kidnappers gladly permitted themselves to be filmed in the videos.

In fact, the Russian government said yesterday that the 1,500 anti-gay kidnappings never even happened, that there’s no evidence (seriously), and Russia then proceeded to seemingly defend Occupy Pedophilia’s work.

Only because of a recent report on CNN did the Russians finally arrest the head of the organization, Maxim Martsinkevich, an ultra-nationalist, homophobic neo-Nazi.  In their latest statement, the Russian government seems to think that because it arresteed Martsinkevich, none of the other kidnappers need to be apprehended, even though they’re continuing to commit their crimes.

And of course, the Russians can’t charge Martsinkevich with attacking gays, as that would admit that homophobia is real.  So, rather than charge Martsinkevich for the nearly 1,500 kidnappings his organization admits to, the Russians are charging him instead with insulting World War II veterans.

Occupy Pedophilia, Martsinkevich, Zigunova, and their affiliates and minions have relentlessly posted videos and photos of their crimes on VK.com for at least a year, that I’ve been counting.  They are also actively using VK.com to plan and execute the abductions.

But we’re to believe that it was only yesterday that VK.com became aware that its social media network has been used to organize a criminal conspiracy against gays and Jews for over a year.

VK.com claims to delete content that is violent or abusive against gays and others

Here’s what VK.com’s spokesman told the Guardian yesterday:

When contacted by the Guardian, George Lobushkin, VK’s press officer, pledged to delete the content. “We do our best to remove the content that violates our terms of service, as fast as possible. Videos of violence and abuse are forbidden,” he said.

We also block and delete communities where users call to violence or illegal actions against gay people or any other people. Please note that we are the only Russian social network that lets its users select a same-sex person when specifying their relationship status.

“But it is very important for VKontakte to be an independent company, equidistant from any ideological position or belief. People can express themselves freely, as long as they don’t commit illegal acts or call others to those.”

But that’s exactly what Occupy Pedophilia’s leaders have been doing on VK.com, for at least 13 months now.  They have been posting videos and photos of their violent, abusive kidnapping and torture of gay people.  And they have been using VK.com, as recently as today, to help organize their abductions, which definitely count as “committing illegal acts” and “calling others” to commit them.

Occupy Pedophilia use VK.com to post “want ads” seeking apartments where they can conduct the “safaris,” as they call these abductions and torture of gay youth – “safaries” because they’re “hunting” gays, get it? – and they solicit teenage boys that they can use as bait for the kidnappings.  They are quite literally using VK.com to help commit their crimes.

Here are a few of Occupy Pedophilia St. Petersburg’s, and its allies, recent want-ads on VK.com, seeking help organizing its anti-gay kidnappings:

russian gays occupy pedophilia

In this case, both Pavel Smirnov and Occupy Pedophilia St. Petersburg are guilty of using VK.com to organize their abductions of gays. This is still live at the top of their page.

russian gays occupy pedophilia

russian gays occupy pedophilia

In this case, both Occupy Pedophilia St. Petersburg and Ekaterina Zigunova are guilty of using their VK.com accounts to plan and executive the abduction and torture of gays.

And here is Occupy Pedophilia St. Petersburg leader Zigunova raising money on VK.com with the sale of Hitler busts, who they call “our ideological mastermind.”  Daniil Konovalov, the racist anti-semite who is selling the busts, is a Hitler and Nazi devotee, and virulently racist. He is also closely tied to Occupy Pedophilia leader Martsinkevich.  His account on VK.com is private. It would behoove VK.com to check his account to see if it contains the same violent and criminal videos and photos, as his Instagram account was already closed down yesterday for similar violations.

russian gays occupy pedophilia

Why is violent and abusive content about gays and others ubiquitous on VK.com?

Video of Maxim Martsinkevich's kidnapping and hitting a young gay man - the video was posted on VK.com. But VK.com doesn't permit users to post videos of violence against gays. You'd think this video alone would be enough to get Martsinkevich's VK.com account deleted. You'd be wrong.

Video of Maxim Martsinkevich’s kidnapping and hitting a young gay man – the video was posted on VK.com. But VK.com doesn’t permit users to post videos of violence against gays. You’d think this video alone would be enough to get Martsinkevich’s VK.com account deleted. You’d be wrong.

It is difficult to overstate just how many accounts Occupy Pedophilia and its allies are using on VK.com to further their criminal conspiracy.

Many are obvious, such as the main Occupy Pedophilia account, Occupy Pedophilia St. PetersburgMartsinkevich’s, and Zigunova.  But there are sister “Occupy” communities across VK, such as Occupy Narkophilia, Slasher Against Pedophile, Occupy Pedophilia Volgograd, Occupy Pedophilia Dzerzhinsk, Occupy Pedophilia Tomsk, and on and on and on and on and on.

And that’s only some of them.

Now let’s look at the videos of violence and abuse that continue to be posted on VK.com by the same users over and over and over again – and the users never get their accounts deleted (see the horrific video to the right).  Not only do the videos and photos not get removed, but the accounts miraculously never get closed down.

Let’s take a tour of several accounts on VK.com.  Be prepared, as this isn’t for the faint of heart.

Martsinkevich’s VK.com account

Here are just a few of the offensive photos and videos posted to Maxim Martsinkevich’s VK.com account, depicting the various kidnappings of gays and Jews that he has conducted.  In fact, Martsinkevich has at least 29 Occupy Pedophilia kidnapping videos in his account.  It’s difficult to understand why this account has not been deleted.

by-default-2014-02-10-at-9.47 vk-vid vk-vid-2 vk-vid-5 by-default-2014-02-10-at-9.46.40-PM by-default-2014-02-10-at-9.46.47-PM by-default-2014-02-10-at-9.46.53-PM by-default-2014-02-10-at-9.46.59-PM vk occupy pedophilia gay russia vk occupy pedophilia gay russia vk occupy pedophilia gay russia vk occupy pedophilia gay russia vk occupy pedophilia gay russia vk occupy pedophilia gay russia vk occupy pedophilia gay russia


Ekaterina Zigunova’s VK.com account

Now let me show you some snippets from a video that Ekaterina Zigunova, the head of Occupy Pedophilia St. Petersburg, posted on her VK.com account nearly four months ago. It’s still up, and documents multiple abductions that Zigunova was involved in with her work with Occupy Pedophilia.

In total, Zigunova has 53 Occupy Pedophilia abduction videos in her VK.com account. Why has this account not been deleted?


The substance below being poured on the heads of her abduction victims is allegedly urine.  It’s the way Zigunova and Occupy Pedophilia “cure” their gay victims of their homosexuality.


Zigunova likes to direct the abduction, and interview the victims herself. The victims get called “faggot” repeatedly, and sometimes are threatened with rape, and outing to their families and jobs, which will in fact happen once the video is posted to VK.com and other places:

There are MANY more such videos in Zigunova’s VK.com account – 53 actually. Here are a few more of her kidnapping videos, many of which she stars in.


by-default-2014-02-11-at-9.54.32-PM by-default-2014-02-11-at-9.54


And she has videos from last July even.  In fact, her earliest Occupy Pedophilia kidnap video is from January of 2013.   Why has this account not been deleted?

That’s an awful lot of “who knew?” going on, VKontakte

I have only posted a fraction of the violent and abusive anti-gay content on VK.com, and the calls for assistance in the criminal abduction of Russian gays.  (Here’s another guy I stumbled across with six of the abduction videos.)

occupy pedophilia russia gay

Occupy Pedophilia’s St. Petersburg head, Ekaterina Zigunova, interrogates young gay man who she and her henchmen kidnapped, beat, and are now filming a “confession” from.  The confession will then be published online in order to “destroy his life,” per Zigunova’s own words.

This isn’t about free speech.  It’s about the coordinated kidnapping and torture of nearly 1,500 Russians (by Zigunova’s count), and the fact that the recordings of many of these abductions are not only available for easy viewing on VKontakte, but worse, the criminals conducting these hate crimes are actually using VKontakte to organize and commit their crimes.

I have an extremely difficult time believing that this is the first time VKontakte has heard about the use of their network to coordinate this ongoing criminal conspiracy.  But the proof is in the pudding.

Let’s see if VK.com actually deletes the personal and community accounts – not just the videos and the photos, but delete the entire accounts – of all those who have been trafficking in these hate crimes against young gay Russians for far too long.

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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60 Responses to “VK.com claims it will delete anti-gay kidnappers’ content – but will it, really?”

  1. Sweetie says:

    Age of consent is not the same as the passage from prepubescence to pubescence. It’s a legal construct not a biological one and it varies by country and even by state.

  2. RayDE says:

    Important reporting, John. vkontakte’s largest shareholder is United Capital Partners Fund. http://www.ucpfund.com/en/index.php
    Obviously, appeal to conscience doesn’t work with the crowd running the network. Maybe there’s a ruble angle?

  3. Sweetie says:

    Austrian men shave their legs. American college guys saw some business students on bikes on an exchange program and assumed they’re gay because they all had shaved legs.

  4. Janus303 says:

    The Restrukt page is still there. https://www.facebook.com/restrukt

  5. karmanot says:

    Yep, you are right. To bad, that bottom looked like Puti. :-)

  6. fhfhgf says:

    If you watch some of the videos where they interview the victims. They all say that the during the chats they had prior to being abducted, there is no mention of age. Only when arriving at the meeting point do they tell them the person was underage.

  7. aaaaaaaaaa says:

    There is a video on YouTube showing one of Max’s ‘interviews’ with a alleged Italian paedophile. Luckily he manages to talk his way out of the situation by manipulating him into changing his view on him. Not that its hard to trick an utter goon like Maxim Martsinkevich. The man thinks he is Bane for fucks sake. Meat-head prick.

  8. Mighty says:

    This all just proves the point that civil rights should NEVER EVER be put up for a vote. At this point if it were up to the people in Russia lgbt people would probably be slaughtered. This is so horrific. It amazes me just how evil humanity can be.

  9. FLL says:

    Yup. That’s why I think there has to be a change in the Kremlin leadership before these crimes get prosecuted in Russia. The United Nations might even get to it first.

  10. Ninong says:

    And some torture victims were 19 or 20. And one torture victim in particular, Denis, was only 15.

  11. Ninong says:

    In the BBC documentary, Vlaidmir was the bait. As you can clearly see, Vladimir is at least 19, maybe 21 or 22. They have also used Pavel and Sergei, both of whom are pictured in that BBC documentary. None of them is less than 19 or 20.

    I remember one video that they posted some time back where they claimed the bait was 15. That was one in which they entrapped a civil servant (working for the government). Maxim called the local police and they came out to the apartment and picked up the victim, along with the video “evidence” provided by Maxim. That guy is reported to have “died during trial.” I guess they mean he was found dead in his cell???

    Most of the time the bait is just one of the younger, more attractive members of their crew. In fact, Katya tells the BBC interviewer that Pavel used to be bait for previous safaris.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is ridiculous, sorry. It even looks like he shaves below the belt. The “bear hugs” with his victims remind me of Sandusky.

  13. Anonymous says:

    One of them is gay because he coerced a blowjob…

  14. Anonymous says:

    I guess you missed the part where underage kids were tortured. Maybe you were being a selective listener.

  15. Anonymous says:

    And the people they torture are actually 13-15 year olds. Obviously you are dropping by for the first time, but thanks for playing.

  16. chris10858 says:

    Even if they are “catching” people going after underage kids, they have no legal standing to do what they do to them. If anything, they violate international human rights. Plus, theyve tortured underage kids who tried to answer an ad. This is about sick, twisted f*cks who are sadists and most likely are finding homoerotic satiation from what they do.

  17. 4th Turning says:

    I did. Terry did a commendable job, I thought, from my perspective as one who has had the
    benefit of extra time to follow what is happening over there on this blog and other sources.
    Putting myself in the place of even a fairly well-informed and hopefully sympathetic viewer
    just learning about this terrible situation, I think too much information was crammed into
    the standard two minute segment to have any lasting impact. But someone at ABC has
    definitely been following John’s investigation and seen to it that money, a crew, and a
    senior reporter have been sent in to cover a potentially huge story especially if stuff
    starts happening in India and Africa. I just don’t want this story to become another
    soup of the day given our notoriously short and superficial attention span. And
    I don’t want to see conscience and human rights dismissed as merely further
    western meddling in their precious domestic affairs. I want word to reach as many
    of our brothers and sisters as possible that the whole world knows and is watching.
    How we are suppose juggle so many issues, I cannot say. But one thing for sure
    most will feel like a mosquito bite compared to what’s ahead-thanks GaiusPublius
    for your Climate Warning… There ought, in my opinion, to be 144 comments
    beyond the present 44.

  18. F Young says:

    “if they really use 13-15 y.o. baits”

    That’s a big assumption. Actually, on online contact sites, readers generally assume that the posters are in fact older that the age they claim to be in their post. So a reader could assume that someone who claims to be 15 is actually 17, 18 etc.

  19. The_Fixer says:

    Yes, it left a lot unreported. But those are the constraints of the nightly news format.

    And yes, it was far better than nothing. At least it was another news outlet reporting on this travesty.

  20. jack says:

    Age of consent is 16 in Russia. Some torture victims seem 25-40 y.o. on photos. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_consent_in_Europe#Russia

  21. Sweetie says:

    15 year olds are not prepubescents so it has nothing to do with pedophilia, no matter how illegal or immoral sex with adolescents is considered. Pedophilia involves sexual interest in prepubescents. There is a world of difference between a sexual teenager and a child.

    Loretta Lynn married when she was 15 (to an 18 year old) and raised a family. It’s only recently that people can’t seem to tell the difference between a teenager and a prepubescent child.

  22. Sweetie says:

    They neglected to mention the refusal of the government and police to acknowledge this and do something about it. Instead, they focused on vigilante street groups. It was better than nothing, though.

  23. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    There’s a couple problems with that:

    1. If the people they catch are underage, it’s just two young lovers.

    2. We only have the word of the kidnappers that the ads said the person was that age. They have not behaved in a reliable manner, so we can not trust them.

  24. jack says:

    Just to play devils advocate: if they really use 13-15 y.o. baits (re. job offers above) then people they catch are actually pedos.

  25. MJL says:

    as much as I would be glad that facebook and VK say that they’re going to do something, and as glad as I would be that the accounts will be closed, it really won’t be a victory until these people are arrested, tried, and convicted. we need THESE results the most.

  26. The_Fixer says:

    Anybody see ABC’s World News tonight (2/12)? They featured a story on the plight of Russian Gays and the brutality they endure. They even had an excerpt of a video showing a guy who had been beaten, laying on the ground and being taunted by his torturers.

    They did not cover the social media aspect of this. The report showed a Moscow gay bar that has been shot up, and also showed the “Morality Police.” These people patrol the city’s gay district, and pay special attention to patrons of the gay bar featured in the report. They warn those who they find leaving the gay bars, and warn them that others may not be so forgiving.

    They also covered a religious extremist group that believes all gay people should be exterminated, and they are using the bible to justify this. Nice folk.

    So the problem isn’t just with the Occupy Pedophilia group. They may be the most prominent haters out there, but they’re not the only ones.

  27. Sweetie says:

    It looks like that’s a photoshop. See photo 9 on this site:


  28. Sweetie says:

    It looks like the new tactic is to put up a “log in or sign up” notice for just those videos. The other videos open without this.

  29. A lot of these guys look queer as a $3 bill. Did you see that Daniil character? I

  30. Bird says:

    The biggest problem is that the Russians don’t see those actions as crimes :( They have been fed the vile propaganda for years!!!

  31. FLL says:

    Nice catch. Was Maxim brazen enough to put this on his VKontake account?

  32. karmanot says:

    The real Maxim Martsinkevich

  33. Dmitry Musolin says:

    I think we can do this. Are you interested only in Pedofiliay groups or Nazi ones too? Also, shoud it be screen-shots of our complains and their responses or saved Russian texts?

  34. Facebook has taken down the red-headed sociopath’s account. We’re still waiting for kidnapping ring leader’s acct to go.

  35. Unresponsive my ass, that would mean VK lied to the Guardian yesterday :)

  36. Dmitry, I’d like to see the actual emails from VK refusing to help. Can you send them to? [email protected] Send me all of them, your emails asking for help as well. I can get someone to translate them.

  37. Dmitry Musolin says:

    yes, it looks like this.

  38. The_Fixer says:

    Thanks for fighting the good fight! Sorry to hear that VK is so unresponsive. Apparently, they want to keep every last user – even if some of those users are the lowest form of human life on the planet.

  39. Dmitry Musolin says:

    We (Alliance of Straights for Equality of LGBT and other organizations) write to vK technical support every week and usually they say that it is fake video or the group does not call for violence. Sometimes they close some groups or profiles, but soon we see them open again!

  40. aaaaaaaaaa says:

    I bet VK are worried that 75% of their user-base will leave in protest when it is seen to almost promote being gay.

  41. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    I think a call for adding all those identified to be named, PUBLICALLY, to no-travel lists might be instructive. I’m pretty sure that the crimes seen in the videos would qualify them for visa/transit bans in many countries. They are a risk to the safety of the LGBT communities.

  42. jomicur says:

    I can’t claim to know anything definite, but:

    1) I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of these same gangs are subjecting lesbians to African-style “curative” rapes.

    2) Any attempt by Russian gays to retaliate would almost certainly be prosecuted by the authorities, even if they’re doing the precise same things the Neo-Nazis get a pass for. As one of the guys in the Channel 4 program (I think it’s Dima, the guy who lost an eye) notes, gays there are at a double disadvantage, since any attempt to stand up for themselves (much less actually retaliate), makes them criminals under the “propaganda” law.

  43. Breadmaker Judy says:

    omg that’s horrible

  44. Really? Well, it depends where the videos were uploaded I suspect. Hey, they promised to take action. Now we have them by the nads if they don’t. Let’s see what they do today. And if they don’t, then we’ve got them admitting they’re aware of the problem to the Guardian, and not doing anything about it.

  45. Bose says:

    And, at least in my experience, when VK.com disables or deletes a user, the videos in the account often remain available and playable when embedded at other sites.

    Plus, anyone who uses the VK “Add to my videos” appears to create an independent copy of the existing video, with no visible audit trail. So, Zigunova’s videos need to be rooted out wherever they are in the accounts of her “friends.”

  46. I’m talking to some folks who may already have a lot of them

  47. FLL says:

    The only gay vigilante groups that I think would be in any position to cause trouble for the anti-gay criminal gangs in Russia are vigilante groups in Finland, Sweden and Norway, and that certainly is a possibility.

  48. FLL says:

    These crimes may take years in order to be prosecuted, and it may necessitate either changes in the Kremlin or actions at the United Nations. The time to start gathering data for future use by Russian or international law enforcement authorities is now.

  49. cm says:

    Two questions that I don’t see addressed here: 1) What type of treatment are the lesbians over there getting? They seem to be absent from the news feeds. 2) Are these perpetrators not worried about gay vigilante groups eventually organizing in like manner and fighting back? Of course, they would be a lot more discreet about it out of necessity.

  50. FLL says:

    Yes, John, VKontakte has almost certainly known about these videos for quite some time. However, things have become too uncomfortable for them this month because of the combined media exposure created by the Human Rights Watch video a week ago, the British Channel 4 documentary a few days ago and your own investigative coverage (especially the details about the Facebook and VKontakte accounts) over the last week. Things have reached critical mass and VKontakte is yelping like a puppy. Pressure works, especially combined pressure from a variety of media sources.

  51. Not necessarily, the only two main accounts coming down are hers and his. The rest of their friends are still live, and we’ve got multiple videos and images. It’s always a trade off between leaving these accounts live for intelligence purposes, versus trying to damage their infrastructure, which is clearly based on VK.com.

  52. StraightGrandmother says:

    Won’t that be rather difficult when these accounts are taken down? To go and identify the perps and the perps of perps?

  53. Yes, I’ve asked people to help identify the photos, it takes going through FB and VK and identifying people. No takers.

  54. Harry Underwood says:

    Shouldn’t some sort of database site be set up to name, shame, picture, locate and call for the arrest of OP members, not just these stories about them?

  55. Someone has to help do it. I thought of this last night. There are too many, and they download far too slowly.

  56. bkmn says:

    My question continues to be who are the real pedophiles in Russia and who is enabling them? In the US it was largely the Catholic church and the fundamentalists who try to group gay people and pedophiles together. This smearing of gay people allowed the pedophiles to continue to molest with little repercussion.

  57. heimaey says:

    I was thinking the same thing.

  58. goulo says:

    It would probably be wise to download and archive the films and photos as evidence lest they disappear down the memory hole and their non-existence be used as “proof” that no crimes occurred…

  59. jomicur says:

    I’m a bit confused. Kidnapping and torturing young gay men? When a fiend like John Wayne Gacy does that, it’s proof that he’s gay and that all gay men are sick (or something). But when good Christians do it, it proves what good Christian citizens they are (or something). Never mind Katya herself, (who probably ought to have her own listing in the DSM); her male cohorts pretty clearly have some deep-seated issues of their own. But I guess they’re really just too enthusiastic about their patriotic allegiance to Russian Orthodox theology (or something).

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