“Azov” impostors continue threatening Dutch citizens in fake videos

In a video response published on their official channel, the Azov regiment took a creative approach to debunking a fake video being shared in social media. In the fake video, which appears to be the continuation of a story of an earlier fake distributed just two weeks ago, masked camouflaged men declare that they created a new battalion of “true patriots” and will make Dutch citizens “regret” about “making the wrong choice” in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement referendum.

For the first fake against Azov see: Fake Azov video tries to frame Ukraine prior to Dutch referendum

Trolling as a method of debunking

“A new fake directed against Ukrainian volunteer battalions is distributed over the Internet. Now the “performers” assert that they’re creating their own organization and don’t give up on their “pledges” from the previous video. The Azov regiment invites both Ukrainian and foreign mass-media representatives to ignore third-rate information attacks. Our video response to those losers who allow themselves to trample flags of civilized countries was created in 20 minutes and it did not require too many efforts. We wish everyone pleasant viewing!”

states the description of Azov’s video response. In it, Azov troops become members of the combined Russian-separatist forces, the invasion of which Ukrainian regiments such as Azov are resisting and issue an ultimatum to Zakharchenko, a warlord of occupied Donbas. Complaining about not being paid, nothing being left to steal, and not being able to sustain their families left in Russia, the pseudo-separatists threaten to leave to Poland to gather strawberries for a living.

Indeed, riots among the Russian-backed battalions were observed due to cuts in paychecks, and nobody is safe from being looted by warlords and their armies in the occupied regions of Ukraine.

The first site to share the fake video was the Dutch satirical blog GeenStijl, which was the initiator of holding a consultative referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

Read more: Ukraine-EU Association Agreement endangered by Dutch referendum

This second fake was published on 1 February 2016 on an account created on the same day. It is the first and only video on this account. The first fake was published in exactly the same way – the first video on a brand-new account.

Zone of turbulence prior to referendum

According to Ukraine’s Ambassador-at-Large Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine enters the zone of turbulence prior to the Dutch referendum, scheduled for 6 April 2016 and the number of provocations and disinformation about Ukraine targeting the Dutch audience will increase. Indeed, with the current speed of producing fakes (one in two weeks), we can expect to see at least eight more before the referendum. Will the Dutch audience be able to discern lies from truth under a propaganda attack using tactics that Ukrainians have already got used to over nearly two years of Russian aggression?


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