Gonzalo Lira, an American author in Ukraine, has been reported missing by family and friends. Lira’s status has gone viral on social media following his recent disappearance, and CNN Chile has confirmed that his whereabouts are not known.
CNN Chile Reported That He Has Been Missing Since April 15
CNN Chile reported on April 18 that relatives of Lira had not heard from him since April 15. CNN Chile’s report described him as an author and film director currently living in Kharkiv.
Lira ran a YouTube channel with 143,000 subscribers, which he used to share his viewpoints on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His social media accounts had become controversial in recent weeks. Lira’s last tweets were critical of Ukraine and multiple media outlets. In a pinned tweet, he listed journalists that he claimed were victims of the “Zelensky regime” and wrote, “If you haven’t heard from me in 12 hours or more, put my name on this list.”
Eva Karene Bartlett, another independent journalist, wrote on Facebook: “I’m very sorry to say that I haven’t heard from Gonzalo Lira since morning April 15. On April 16, around 10 am, I sent a message asking how he’s doing. Normally he reads & replies very quickly. He hasn’t read it…”
She theorized he was either in hiding or captured.
Lira was supposed to appear in an interview with MoatsTV on April 17, but he missed the appointment and could not be reached, CNN Chile reported. George Galloway of Moats TV confirmed on his channel that Lira had not shown up for his scheduled appearance.
Lira Reported on Financial & Dating Topics Before the Invasion
In March 2022, The Daily Beast published an article that was highly critical of Lira. In the article, they reported that he was an American who had been living in Kharkiv for years and was in Kyiv when the Russian invasion started. Lira said he was trying to report on what was happening from the ground and be “as balanced and factually accurate as I can be.” The Daily Beast reported that his reporting sometimes consisted of “wild claims” that tended to side with Russia more than Ukraine.
Manoel Horta Ribeiro, a researcher at Switzerland’s École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, told Daily Beast that before the invasion, Lira focused on giving dating and relationship advice under the pseudonym “Coach Red Pill.”
George Michael, a professor of criminal justice at Westfield State University, told Daily Beast that much of Lira’s reporting focused more on financial literacy before the invasion.
Business Insider has a profile for Lira, listing him as previously residing in Burbank, California. Lira used to report frequently for Business Insider on financial topics, including an article in September 2010 about hyperinflation and a story in October 2010 about the “coming middle-class anarchy.”
According to CNN Chile, Lira wrote several novels, including “Acrobat,” “Counterparts,” “Operation Providence,” and “Double Salto.”
A biography of Lira on Amazon, written by Kirkus Reviews, referred to him as a Dartmouth graduate who was born in Chile. The biography said he received a “million-dollar advance” for his “Counterparts” book published in 1997.