This story’s pretty distressing, so we gotta warn you up front: Some S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl superfans were apparently killed by Russian security forces who allegedly believed they were actual terrorists.
As reported by military historian ChrisO_wiki (via PC Gamer), the Russian FSB claimed that it killed three men in Voronezh in November who were part of a Ukrainian nationalist terrorist cell. The agents claimed they tried to detain the three men but were forced to kill them when they put up “armed resistance”; afterward, security forces claimed to have found improvised explosive devices on the scene.
But the video of the “terrorist compound” splashed all over Russian state media actually shows a bunch of props and imagery from factions in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl that do not correspond to real-world political history. And the state-sponsored Moscow Times, of all papers, identified the men killed as airsoft gamers with a history of cosplaying and larping S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games specifically, which heaps a mountain of doubt on the FSB’s official account – and suggests that Russian security forces killed a trio of innocent gamers by mistake.
1/ In what may be a bizarre case of mistaken identity, the Russian FSB has killed a group of Russian people it claims are pro-Ukrainian saboteurs – but who reportedly appear to be Airsoft enthusiasts who were engaged in live-action roleplay of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video games. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/LOfYpWOs8x
— ChrisO_wiki (@ChrisO_wiki) November 25, 2022