With the death of Zakharchenko, Russia’s once again used a funeral as propaganda opportunity. Naturally the Kremlin’s jolly keen to show the majority of those living in occupied Ukraine support their sham republics and dislike Ukraine and its Government. This keenness comes in form of the now routine gross exaggeration the number of people attending the funerals of Russia’s puppet leaders and military commanders in Ukraine.
Cue Russian state media and Russia’s pet propagandists like Graham Phillips quoting impressive figures ranging from 120,000 – 200,000. However photos and film footage can be deceptive. The OSCE report on the event provides us with the only independent assessment of the numbers. On the day they only observed “several thousand” people “gathered in front of the opera house at 82 Artema Street for a pre-announced “lying-in-state ceremony.” This accurate assessment is born out by the photos and film footage only showing the crowd, many of which were soldiers, clustered outside the opera house.
Further proof of Russia’s funeral fakery comes in the form of a previous funeral. Feb 2017 saw the assassination of Russia-led commander Mikhail Tolstykh, call sign “Givi.” He also had a lying-in-state ceremony in the Donetsk city opera house. The crowds attending his funeral resembled the same numbers seen at Zakharchenko’s. Yet back then the numbers quoted by Russian state media & its propagandists ranged from just a few hundred – 55,000.
Donetsk city and immediate surrounding area has a population of around 1 million people. The fact that only a few thousand bothered to turn up for the funeral of their so-called leader of their so-called Donetsk people’s republic, graphically illustrates that Ukrainians want to be part of Ukraine, not Russian occupied Ukraine.
Russia’s resident propagandist Patrick Lancaster. “Givi” funeral – “1000’s attended.”
Russian state media – “Givi” funeral – “hundreds of mourners…”
Russian state media – “Givi” funeral – “55,000 residents…”
Graham Phillips at a party with Zakharchenko.