The only thing stopping you from knowing what Tsar Nicholas II did this morning (answer: reviewed the Izmaylovsky Regiment) or what Alexander Pushkin thinks of current Russian politics (not a fan of President Dmitri Medvedev), is a Twitter account.
Spoof accounts are one of Twitter's most enjoyable features – and in restive Russia, they have become an uncensored forum of political and social commentary. Tolstoy has an account, so does Lenin. It is not the afterlife that Russia's most famous historical figures might have expected.
GlobalVoices has the run-down:
The first Russian fake Twitter users appeared long before other well known faux accounts, like @ArabicObama, @KimJongNumberUn or @Angela_D_Merkel. Some have developed their own particular ironic styles and have become integrated into the socio-political landscape of the Russian blogosphere.
Constantly gaining new followers, Twitter parodies represent a new literary genre: a critical, often sarcastic view on politics, provided from the historical/political perspective of the accounts' respective ‘owners.' Some definitely remind of the legacy of Kozma Prutkov, a fictional character of the mid-19th century, who mocked arrogant officials some 150 years ago. Meanwhile, some accounts (like the one of @LevSharansky) mock the opposition and the West.