Russian propagandists are distorting information about hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh just as were as regards the Donbas hostilities back in 2014.
At the onset of Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kremlin propagandists once again proved they can’t be trusted, while the very concept of journalism is no longer applicable to what Russian propagandists do. Meanwhile, they keep on altering the realities and manipulating their audiences worldwide, sometimes resorting to outright lies in their reports.
October 11 marked exactly two weeks into the launch of Azerbaijan’s operation to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh from illegal Armenian armed groups. In turn, almost as soon as the Azerbaijani military once again set foot on Karabakh lands, Russia’s so-called “war correspondents”, affiliated with the GRU military intelligence, deployed to the latest hot spot, having just arrived from Minsk, to portray the conflict in the clearly anti-Azerbaijani context… The tools they are now using have long proven to be quite effective, I must admit – manipulation, distortion of facts, full-blown lies, as well as staged reporting.
Over the last two weeks, Russian propagandists, some of whom are in fact active intelligence operatives guised as journos, have lied so much that any respectable agency would long have thrown them out, but that doesn’t seem to be a case in Russia. Russians, it appears, even encourages such behavior, awarding reporters with extra bonuses and promoting the most diligent ones up their parallel military career ladder. And when they fail to lie properly, their superiors scold these “war dogs delivering truth under enemy fire” like little puppies.
There’s a video posted on the internet where one of such “war correspondents”, Semen Pegov, who is now reporting from the Karabakh front line, was verbally destroyed by his chief Aram Gabrelyanov.
Gabrelyanov is the guy who in March 2008 launched the Life.ru project, which in turn conceived the Lifenews.ru portal, the most toxic cesspool of fake news about the Donbas war and beyond. Semen Pegov was part of that project, too, reporting from the war-struck eastern Ukraine.
In 2011, a few years before the war in Donbas erupted, Gabrelyanov took over the board of directors of OJSC Izvestia Newspaper’s editorial office, owned by the National Media Group. And here’s where the most interesting things started happening.
The thing is that it was Izvestia that became the main front outlet to provide cover for GRU operatives posing as journalists. Among them are the late Orkhan Dzhemal, whom Yevgeny Prigozhin’s thugs slayed in the Central African Republic where Dzhemal was digging into the PMC Wagner endeavors; Orkhan’s partner in Libya, Marat Saychenko, who later became a Life correspondent on the ground in Donbas, who got into a spotlight after being nabbed near Kramatorsk along with other Russian proxies carrying MANPADS, etc.
Also, until 2015, Yury Matsarsky, a journalist who is now working in Ukraine, had worked as Izvestia’s war correspondent. He’s the one who has been alleging ISIS presence in Ukraine and also was one of the few Izvestia correspondents, who was in 2013 allowed to interview Putin aide Vladislav Surkov’s father. That interview he co-authored with another Izvestia journalist, Marat Abulkhatin, who also became a Life correspondent in 2014 to become Saychenko’s partner in the Donbas deployment.
Therefore, it is not surprising that these people are lying in the interests of the Russian security agencies precisely because they are part of them. But their lies are just as ridiculous and worthless as the bravado of their handlers from higher security offices: “We will seize Kyiv in two weeks!”, “We will bury America in nuclear ashes!”, “We will drown Istanbul in the Bosphorus!” and the like…
From the very first days since two pseudo-journalists, directly reporting to the GRU, Alexander Kots (working for Komsomolskaya Pravda) and Semen Pegov (reporting for Wargonzo), arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh immediately after their Belarus job, I’ve been warning that the locals should kick these sham reporters out of their region… The thing is that Kots is a vulture that always arrives before something tragic and violent happens at his final destination, while Pegov is a manipulator who, instead of reporting truth, tells his audience exactly what his handlers owners need, while Aram Gabrelyanov’s powerful outlets sort of add legitimacy to his nonsense. If Russia wants to portray Nagorno-Karabakh residents as victims, this is exactly what these two will do, but once the Kremlin’s rhetoric changes, people in Nagorno Karabakh will be referred to as ungrateful scum dwelling in the outskirts of the empire.
A striking example of outright lies in Russian media reports is the situation with the liberation of Hadrut. Almost as soon as Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev on October 9 made the relevant announcement, both Pegov and Kots claimed Aliyev was lying. They posted photos and videos of themselves, allegedly in the city of Hadrut, with no Azerbaijani military seen anywhere around. The thing is though that the pics were taken back on October 6 and 7 as the two were transiting through the city.
Then, on October 10, both Kots and Pegov start telling tales about a 200-strong sabotage and reconnaissance group (well, that’s pure nonsense – there just can’t be so many soldiers in such type of a group) who they claim are Turkish spec-ops forces. So, Russian journalists said the group had entered Hadrut last night and that the brave Armenians were trying to knock them out of the area.
In parallel lines with this pile of manure, these pseudo war correspondents are spinning on their platforms footage initially posted in the internet’s grey segment, allegedly confirming participation of some Syrian armed groups in Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities. None of those videos, however, hold any evidence backing the allegation that they had actually been filmed in Nagorno-Karabakh and that the Mitsubishi L200 involved is “Azerbaijani military hardware”.
It is noteworthy that with their reports, the so-called war correspondents compromise journalism as such and the highly respected craft of war reporting – either because they’re being ordered to lie that way or simply due to their own ignorance they regularly make the most ridiculous errors in their reporting.
In fact, every report, every video these guys publish should be thoroughly dissected to expose all that manipulation and disinformation as they just keep lying through their teeth.
When World War 2 ended, it wasn’t only Nazi warlords who faced trial but also those who had been poisoning Germans with lies. I’m sure that’s exactly what will happen to every Russian propagandist. That’s of course if they live to see their dock.
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