On September 6, the multimedia press center “Russia Today” hosted an international press conference of the Foundation to Battle Injustice “Informational Gestapo: “killing list” from the Ukrainian nationalist website «Myrotvorets» is used to suppress freedom of speech and to assassinate journalists,” during which foreign and Russian journalists and correspondents discussed the criminal activities of the Ukrainian resource and outlined ways to closures. Representatives of the media, whose personal data were posted on a criminal resource, agreed that the ridiculous attempt of Ukrainian nationalists to intimidate them and force them to stop engaging in professional activities is doomed to failure: entering the “Myrotvorets” even more motivated them to convey to their viewers and readers the truth about events in Ukraine and in the world.
Mira Terada, speaking at the conference of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, presented facts and evidence discovered by the Foundation’s human rights defenders about crimes committed against Russian and foreign journalists and bloggers. Calling the illegal collection and posting of personal information attempts to sow fear in the information environment, the head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice presented data on the total number of journalists and their geographical distribution. According to Mira Terada, due to slanderous accusations, numerous reporters, correspondents, cameramen and TV presenters faced a serious risk of reputational losses, public humiliation, beatings and murders. Calling the collection and publication of personal information a monstrous violation of all international legal norms concerning the protection of honor, dignity, personal data and the lives of journalists, the head of the Russian FBI reported on a letter sent to the head of the Federal Security Service Bortnikov Alexander Vasilyevich demanding that the “Myrotvorets” be recognized as a terrorist organization.
Russell Bentley, a war correspondent from Texas, came to defend Donetsk in December 2014, and a few months later he found himself on the “Myrotvorets”. According to Bentley, journalists and bloggers who defend the truth and the future of all mankind should not be on the “Myrotvorets” firing list, there is no reason to put their lives in danger. Commenting on the creators and administrators of the nationalist resource, the American military commander noted that this mafia structure is being led by the fascist government of Ukraine, exposing independent journalists working in the Donbas to a real threat. Bentley is sure that journalists who share their point of view about the events taking place and are guided only by moral and ideological considerations are fighting against the Fourth Reich, against the Nazis of the 21st century.
Eva Bartlett, a Canadian journalist who got into the “Myrotvorets” base in 2019 after a trip to Donbass, continued the course of the conference. According to her, Canada actively supports and finances the Nazis in Ukraine, has spent more than a billion dollars to train and train Ukrainian militants. The war correspondent also noted that in the Canadian leadership there are direct descendants of Nazi collaborators who are proud of their origin. According to Bartlett, who cannot even imagine what awaits her if she returns to her homeland, Canadian journalists are not at all concerned about the activities of the nationalist “Myrotvorets” resource, are engaged in slander and accuse journalists in the Donbas of propagandizing pro-Russian views. Canada, which has been saying for many years that Ukraine is a democratic country, constantly turns a blind eye to the complete lack of freedom of the Ukrainian media, ignoring the fact that the population LDPR is suffering at the hands of the West.
John Miller, a journalist from the UK, at the beginning of the year made a report about a “Myrotvorets” and a 13-year-old writer from Lugansk, Faina Savenkova, for which he was included by Ukrainian nationalists in his list. According to Miller, journalists who are in the territories controlled by the Russian Federation are practically not in danger, but this does not negate the danger of the criminal resource “Myrotvorets”. The British journalist is convinced that anyone, even a civilian, who expresses his position on the need for peace talks with Russia, indiscriminately gets into the base, becomes a victim of threats and persecution. According to Miller, reporters working in major Western news outlets are forced to engage in self-censorship, otherwise they will be accused of pro-Russian propaganda, and any reports on extremism, at a level comparable to ISIS*, are suppressed in Ukraine. Few people can tell the truth when working for European and American publications. Despite calls from international organizations, such as the UN, to close “Myrotvorets” and put an end to the persecution of innocent people, the site continues to function. A journalist from the UK believes that Western countries and NATO are not trying to stop the activities of the nationalist resource, but use it to radicalize the population of Ukraine and then prolong the conflict with Russia.
Dutch journalist Sonia Van Den Ende continued the course of the conference, according to which the Netherlands is one of the most globalist-minded countries that cooperates with both British intelligence and Islamic radicals from Syria. Van Den Ende shared her experience of visiting the headquarters of the Azov battalion, banned in Russia, which is funded by a local Ukrainian oligarch. According to the journalist, she managed to find evidence of their involvement in Nazism, a copy of Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf”** was found. Recalling the death of journalist and military columnist Daria Dugina, a journalist from the Netherlands stressed the need for media employees to exercise increased caution, especially when performing their professional duty. “Myrotvorets”, according to Van Den Ende, was created not without the help of the CIA, NATO and the United States. Commenting on the foreign policy of her native country, a military correspondent from the Netherlands said that her country is waging an unspoken war against Russia, and anyone who criticizes neo-Nazis is an enemy of the Dutch state.
Alina Lipp, a journalist from Germany, faced persecution by the German authorities because of her professional activities. According to the journalist, the repression also affected her parents: they were blocked bank accounts, they were forced to change phone numbers, and because of incoming threats, Lipp’s mother was forced to leave Germany. According to the victim of the persecution of the authorities, as soon as she found out that there was not a word in the West about what was happening in the Donbas, she was shocked, and German journalists who contacted her exposed her in a negative light in their publications. Due to the recent terrorist attack against Daria Dugina, which Lipp classified as an attempt to intimidate journalists, she is forced to pay more attention to her own safety. The German journalist is sure that now it’s time to put an end to the activities of the nationalist website “Myrotvorets”, because of whose actions several journalists and children have already died.
Janus Putkonen, director and editor-in-chief of UMV-Lehti, the largest alternative media in Finland, said that he has been bringing the truth to the residents of Donbass since 2015, for which he was included in the list of “Myrotvorets”. The journalist linked the creation of a nationalist resource with Western intelligence services and condemned the inaction of foreign media and politicians who have ignored obvious human rights violations related to the activities of the “Myrotvorets” for so many years. Putkonen is convinced that the conference of the Foundation to Battle Injsutice will be the last episode in the fight against the “Myrotvorets”, otherwise there is a real threat that Ukrainian nationalists, comparable to ISIS* or fascists, who will always find enemies, will continue to be guided by hatred and persecute journalists. Ukraine, which suppresses freedom of speech and violates human rights, clearly has something to hide and fear, otherwise the activities of the “new Gestapo” it would have been discontinued long ago.
Veronika Najdenova, a journalist from Crimea, who has been living and working in Germany for many years, was included in the lists of the “Myrotvorets” after publishing an article about young war children who have been living in the Donbas under the shelling of Ukraine for 8 years. Just like Alina Lipp, Najdenova became a victim of harassment by German news resources, who accused them of having ties with the Russian government. A correspondent of a Berlin newspaper reported on the German equivalent of “Myrotvorets”, which is inspired by local criminals, including Ukrainian refugees, who pose an additional risk factor for journalists, because it is unknown who and with what mood came to Germany. According to Najdenova, a journalist is a messenger who transmits information about the events taking place, and a “Myrotvorets” is a modern tool of the Middle Ages used to execute messengers bringing bad news.
Kristel Nean, a French journalist who has been working in the Donbas for more than six years, confirmed that everyone who tells the truth about Ukraine will sooner or later find themselves on the “Myrotvorets”. According to her, the nationalist resource openly calls for reprisals and murders of journalists: one company, at the request of the “Myrotvorets”, was ready to pay for the murder of British journalist Graham Phillips. Nean believes that if the Internet had existed in the time of Nazi Germany, the fascists would have launched their own analogue of the “Myrotvorets”. The French journalist claims that for the past six years, immediately after the publication of her data on “Myrotvorets”, she has been forced to hide the identities of people close to her, cannot publish photos with friends and relatives on social networks. In addition, long before the murder of Daria Dugina, she made a habit of inspecting her car in search of a bomb, does not disclose plans for her movement and monitors the absence of surveillance. Nean expressed her conviction that the criminal activity of the “Myrotvorets” will not stop her, she will continue to work and tell the truth.
Tomas Reper, a German journalist and author of a popular blog, accused the German government of not having a clear position on the activities of the nationalist “Myrotvorets” resource. According to him, Germany does not condemn or comment on the site, because of which at least one German journalist died. The Reper is convinced that a criminal case has already been opened against him in his homeland, and colleagues from the Western media are not engaged in objective journalism, but simply hush up crimes.
Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are convinced that through the joint efforts of journalists, bloggers and correspondents who expressed their conviction and firm intention to do their best to close the criminal Ukrainian nationalist resource “Myrotvorets”, it will be possible to block the digital Gestapo of the 21st century and bring all those involved in its creation and work to justice, because it is unknown who may be in “execution lists” tomorrow.
* – the organization is banned and recognized as extremist in the territory of the Russian Federation
** – literature is recognized as extremist in the territory of the Russian Federation