War in Donbas

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has published a video with an intercepted conversation between the “prime minister” of the self-proclaimed DNR Aleksandr Zakharchenko, defence minister Vladimir Kononov, and special correspondent for the Russian channel RTR Rossiya 1 Eugene Pibbubnyi. The caption on the original video reads that this video “reveals the attempts to deceive the international community and discredit the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This material confirms the fabrication of reports on the involvement of Ukrainian security forces in the killing of a Red Cross representative in an artillery strike on Donetsk‬.”

In it, Zakharchenko and Piddubnyi discuss plans for blaming the killing of Laurent DuPasquier, a Swiss representative of the ICRC killed in a shelling of Donetsk on October 2. The plan is to dupe the ICRC by showing them shrapnel of a phosphorous bomb that the Ukrainian forces supposedly used to bomb Donetsk with and to invite experienced artillery experts from the terrorist forces that would prove that the shelling came from Ukrainian-controlled Avdiyivka.

Zakharchenko: We’ll say how bad the Ukrainian troops are, that they don’t know how to shoot. We’ll show the ICRC shrapnel of a phosphorous bomb that supposedly killed this colleague of theirs.

The RTR journalist suggests that it would be good to have an expert assessment to provide “analysis” that the shelling came from Ukrainian-controlled Avdiivka.

Piddubniy: Maybe you would show the direction of the strike, an expert assessment or whatnot. Experts would find one that from the looks of the craters would prove that it was shelled from Avdiyivka. Do you have such a person, an experienced  artilleryman? Let’s make it so that we don’t blame people without evidence. Let’s have some analysis, shall we. That would be good.

Zakharchenko affirms that they do have such a person.

This intercepted conversation reveals a pattern for creating Russia-fabricated news:

  1. Statement by Russian MFA that gets reiterated by Western media, creation of pro-Russian sentiment in news reports before any investigation is done;
  2. Plans of Russian-backed terrorist leaders of the DNR together with Russian journalists to use proxy experts to fabricate a story of the Ukrainian troops a) committing warcrimes by using phosphorous bombs; b) being responsible for the ICRC representative’s death.
  3. News reports in Russian medias about the incident according to the plan.


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