For this post we look at Russia’s propaganda targeting the Ukrainian army. And reveal the somewhat amusing neo-Nazi hypocrisy of those promoting it.
First a little location background.
The front line in eastern Ukraine is 457km long. From the south coast on the Azov Sea, it winds its way north, to a little beyond the occupied city of Luhansk. In eastern Ukraine, within the border Oblasts (provinces) of Donetsk and Luhansk, Russia’s set up two puppet organisations. These are the so-called Donetsk & Luhansk people’s republics.
Russia’s Nazi Propaganda.
Since Russia invaded Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014, a major focus of the Kremlin’s efforts is the attempt to portray Ukrainians as rabid Nazi’s. Naturally the Ukrainian army is included in this labeling. Check out Russia’s insidious propaganda and you’d be forgiven for thinking Ukrainian soldiers are nothing more than drunken rapist, who wake up every morning with an insatiable desire to kill and loot Ukrainian civilians.
Russia’s on the far-right and Ukraine the left.
The Donetsk & Luhansk Oblasts are the two areas surrounding the occupied cities of Donetsk & Luhansk. Yellow line marks the border with Russia.
Cue Russia’s latest propaganda farce.
March 11th – Anna News International, a Moscow based media outlet, supposedly interviewed a soldier. This man claimed to have “repeatedly watched” so called Ukrainian “Right sector” forces firing on positions of the Ukrainian army.
This random soldier of Russia’s so-called Donetsk people’s republic says – he saw Azov regiment soldiers firing on other units of the Ukrainian army. He claims this was done in an effort to get Ukrainian units to think Russia’s forces did it, prompting them to fire on them.
Via his Russian social media VK account, Russia’s propagandist Graham Phillips as ever helped promote this fake news. Note the video has been viewed 6,220 times.
Who are the Azov regiment?
As this Ukrainian Kyiv News article details, those serving with the Azov regiment do have what some would call right-wing views. These views are not hidden and as the article shows, people in Ukraine are free to report on their actions and beliefs. The Azov ideology, if I can call it that, is far from prevalent in Ukrainian society or the Ukrainian army. Since campaigning for Ukraine in Aug 2014, I know of many Ukrainians who disapprove of the Azov nationalist views and openly express such opinions on social media. Despite this and the fact the Azov regiment is merely a small part of the Ukrainian army and has had little involvement in the fighting for 3 years, Russia’s propaganda does its best to suggest it plays a major role in shaping events on the front line.
Ironically, the Azov regiment was originally one of the many local militia units which sprung up to stop Russia’s invading forces in 2014/15. Now incorporated into the Ukraine’s National Guard, in terms of their military capabilities they’re known as hardy, well trained, professional fighters. With limited deployment on the front line since 2015, they had initially played a major role in stopping Russia’s invading forces capturing the city of Mariupol on Ukraine’s south coast.
In Feb 2019, a combined arms special task unit from the Azov regiment was reported as deploying on the front line. It’s reported as having been attached to the 30th Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. As this example seen here shows, Russia’s propaganda would have you believe that the Azov regiment simply pitches up at the front line, shoves everyone else out of the way and starts firing at whatever the hell it likes.
Back to that all seeing eye soldier.
Mentioning the village of Spartak, the Anna video indicates he’s part of Russia’s forces defending positions on the outskirts of the occupied city of Donetsk. This puts him facing Ukrainian units defending the town of Avdiivka.
Where’s the evidence?
Strangely, but unsurprisingly, neither this soldier, his officers, Russian media, or anyone else thought to film or photograph this repeated blue on blue firing event, or even say where it happened. All the more surprising when you consider the propaganda field day Russia could have with genuine proof of such an event?
What makes the claim all the more unbelievable are the OSCE daily reports. Since 2014, these detail fighting in this area virtually every single day, including now in 2019. So clearly no one needs any prompting to fire at anyone.
The Anna News Agency video.
Meanwhile on March 19th 2019.
With Russia’s propaganda having claimed the Azov regiment is busy provoking people to fire in the Donetsk Oblast, a few days later their suddenly reporting them doing the very same a few hundred kilometers away in the Luhansk Oblast.
And again… where’s the evidence?
Despite this alleged firing going on for “half-hour,” once again no one thought to film it, photograph it, or is capable of even telling us where the hell it happened. On top of which, without producing any evidence to prove it, Russia’s Luhansk republic makes the bold claim that two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one wounded by this fantasy firing.
The below Russian-backed Serbian Fort Russ News piece is another shallow effort to denigrate the Ukrainian army. Nothing within it is true. No evidence is ever presented to backup these far-fetched claims and the fact the article starts with the word – Moscow, is a bit of clue from which direction the propaganda’s coming from. Fort Russ News promotes Russia’s disinformation emanating out of occupied eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile… let him without sin… cast the first stone.
You couldn’t really make this up. Here’s Putin and Russia’s propagandist Graham Phillips supporting and working with genuine far-right, neo-Nazi’s. It’s all the more comical because Phillips spends much of his time dutifully insinuating Ukraine’s overflowing with Nazi’s.
Below in London, Graham Phillips (right) is seen working with neo-Nazi thug Piers Mellor (left). A self-confessed football hooligan, Mellor’s a proud supporter (naturally) of the ultra-nationalist, Golden Dawn, political party in Greece.
More on Mellor and his associates here.
2015 Phillips organised pro-Russian demo in London. A staggering 11 people attended.
On Face Book Mellor supports Phillips.
In Nov 2018, Phillips was banned from Twitter for posting “hateful content” which comprised Nazi slurs against Ukrainians.
Worth mentioning here that Phillips has previously joined UKIP and as seen below, showed public support for what many people consider to be a racist party.
Below Mellor on a Golden Dawn, anti-immigration demo in London.
Mellor with friends, wearing a Greek nationalist band – Der Stürmer t-shirt.
The band supports Golden Dawn’s anti-immigrant platform. I’m sure the small guy in the middle was an orc in Lord of the Rings.
The bands name is taken from the Der Stürmer German newspaper. Published from 1923 to the end of World War II, it was a significant part of Nazi propaganda, and was vehemently anti-Semitic. Note name wording on the paper and Mellor’s t-shirt.
1936 copy of Der Sturmer.
Meanwhile in Russia…
President Putin is best buddies with the notorious Nazi saluting, far-right loving Alexander Shprygin. The then head of the official Russian football supporters group, Shprygin was deported from France for football hooliganism during Euro 2016.
More on Shprygin here.
Might I suggest the young lady works on her Nazi salute. Or did someone ask who needs a bra? For modesty sake, I covered up her…
Seen here in the city of Saint Petersburg, Russia has its fair share of nationalists. Thousands are routinely seen parading through Russian cities on events such as National Unity Day. Their calls of “Russia for the Russians” are a popular refrain.
And lest we forget. During WW2 Russia allied itself with Nazi Germany to invade Poland. Something the Kremlin would much rather everyone now forgot about.
A coincidence I’m sure (yea right). Who does Piers Mellor spend his time promoting on Twitter and Face Book? Yes, it’s our old fake news friend, Fort Russ News. And he has the t-shirt to prove it.
Since 2014, Mellor’s amassed the heady total of thirty seven followers. Now don’t laugh, because it’s 37 more than his mate Graham Phillips has. Note – Fort Russ News is writing about our UK Brexit. Hmm… Russian interference?
T-shirt pic posted on Mellor’s Face Book page July 2018.
Tired of Russia’s Fake News?