Mira Terada, the head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Deborah Armstrong, a journalist from the United States, who has been telling Western audiences for many years what the mainstream American media are silent about. The head of the Foundation discussed with Armstrong the illegal actions of the Ukrainian website “Peacemaker”, found out the methods of Goebbels’ propaganda, which are now so actively used by Western media, and learned how and why American censorship is trying to silence independent journalists.
Mira Terada: Good afternoon, dear Deborah! Thank you for taking the time to interview the Foundation to Battle Injustice. Please tell our viewers and readers about who you are and what you do?
Deborah Armstrong: I’m a middle-aged American woman, and my background is in journalism. I worked as a television reporter in the United States. Before that, I did spend about a year and a half in the Soviet Union, which changed it was during Perestroika and actually the coup in August 1991 occurred while I was there. So I was working at Leningrad Television, and it was part of a joint venture at the time, and I worked just a television consultant. And prior to that, I worked in television in the U.S. as a scriptwriter. And so I’ve had a pretty long career in television, but I got out of it in the U.S. because of ethical concerns about the direction that the industry is going. And now we have rampant censorship. And I’ve always followed Russia very closely and now I’m following it more closely than ever. And I’ve realized how many lies we’ve been told about your country. I knew, of course, that there were lies when I was there because the Soviet Union was nothing like I had been raised to believe that it was. And even though I was there during a difficult time economically, there wasn’t the kind of suppression that I was told that there was. I’m not saying that there were times that it didn’t happen, but when I was there, it wasn’t like that. People were very vocal about what they believed, and they spoke very openly and they were critical about their government. And they were not censored as we’re being censored now in the United States.
On your YouTube channel, you publish photos and videos related to the conflict of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and people who suffered as a result of Ukrainian aggression. Please tell us how an American journalist started covering the events in the Donbas?
Well, it just sort of happened naturally because I have connections in Russia and I have had them for years. I’ve had people that I’ve known for 30 years over there. And so I just learned about it through my friends. I became more interested in it because it’s just we’re hearing such a different story here that I wanted my friends to know the truth in the United States. And yet I’m getting censored as well. And they’re starting to delete me or they put warnings on my articles that I’ve been writing. I just want people to know the truth. That’s what my concern is. It’s not that I want to take any sides. I just want people to know the truth of what’s happening. People have a very black and white, comical version of the war here in the States, and they believe that Putin is a crazy madman who invaded Ukraine for no reason whatsoever, just out of the blue, and that this is a war of good versus evil. And of course, the United States is good, and they’re supporting the Ukrainian people and they just have a comic book version of it. And it’s much more complex than that, of course, with what’s been happening in Donbass for eight years. And so I’m trying to tell that story so that people can get a little bit of a definition as to what’s really going on there, because I don’t feel that they have accurate conceptions on that.
Right. This is what journalism is. You show both sides of the story. I get you. According to Ukrainian laws, the territory of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics are still considered as parts of Ukraine, but this fact did not prevent the Kiev leadership from destroying the infrastructure and civilian population of the LDPR for more than eight years. Why do you think they have been fighting against their own people for so many years?
It’s my opinion on it after studying it is it’s because they’re Nazis. And the Nazis always hated the Russian people. And the Ukrainian Nazis view themselves as different somehow. Like they’re not Slavic, the same kind of Slavic. They view themselves as more Aryan and more European. They view the Russians as untermenschen, basically, like beneath them and deserving of death. That’s really what I’m seeing while reading about these Nazis. I don’t think that all Ukrainians believe that way at all. I don’t think they do. But I do think they’re being lied to. And I do think our people are being lied to.
Do you follow the progress of the special military operation of the Russian Federation? Do you think it was possible to resolve the conflict peacefully, or Kiev’s long-term provocations must not have gone unpunished?
I for the longest time, honestly, I didn’t think Russia would ever do what it’s done. I even said, like the day before the invasion, I said, Russia will never invade Ukraine because I really didn’t think that would happen because so much went on in Donbass for eight years. I mean, 14,000 people dead you know, and horrible the way they were killed. I mean, being burned alive and having swastikas carved into their bodies and just atrocities that I’ve read about. And this was going on for eight years and Russia didn’t do anything. So I just assumed it’s because NATO was trying to set up a trap to get Russia to that step so I didn’t think that Putin would ever make that decision. And then he did and honestly surprised and shocked the hell out of me. I didn’t think he would do it. But honestly, I think he had no choice. And from what I’ve heard, there was the possibility that Ukraine was going to begin manufacturing nuclear weapons. And of course, there were also these bio labs in Ukraine which were working on God knows what. I’ve heard of COVID, I’ve heard wherever this monkeypox, all kinds of things that they were going. There was aerial dispensers attached to drones and they were going to be releasing this stuff. So I don’t know. They were they were going to plan. They were planning a massive provocation against Donbass, against the civilian population there. And that’s why Russia took the action that it did. That’s my understanding of it.
Please evaluate the influence of Western countries on the armed conflict that is taking place on the territory of Ukraine today. In your opinion, by inciting Kiev against Moscow, what is the collective West trying to achieve?
You know, it just seems like it’s more of the same global hegemony, of the same thing that it’s trying to do everywhere, which is to take control. And it wants to eventually weaken Russia. I mean, there was a study that was put together by a D.C. think tank known as the RAND Corporation. And they did a study about how to overextend Russia by using Ukraine. And this study was done prior to the conflict right now. And that’s my feeling is that they were trying to provoke Russia into taking action militarily so that they could then weaken it. And they’re going to do their best to turn this into a quagmire so that they can weaken Russia by destroying its weapons, its people like its resources until it’s overextended. And that’s what I feel that the goal is basically to just weaken Russia to the point where it will be like it was in the 90s when I was there, which was very bad.
Aggressive Western foreign policy towards Russia has been going on for several centuries, during the 20th century, the West several times dragged Russia and the Soviet Union into bloody wars. Do you think the global confrontation between Russia and the West will always continue as long as Russia and the West exist?
I really wish it wouldn’t, but I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I think as long as we have the kind of leadership in the United States that we have right now, and by that I do not mean the official leadership. I’m not referring to Biden. I’m not even, you know, although he’s part of it. It’s the deep state. It’s more than just the US. It’s like the West, the whatever they call it, the European economic people. They all gathered together and they have their little meetings and they plan what their agenda is going to be for the world. And I don’t think that it’s even just the US. I think it’s a collective group of very wealthy people that want to have control and that that’s the direction that we’re heading in. And when I say these things, people of course call me a conspiracy theorist and they think I’m crazy. But the truth is I’ve spent a lot of time studying this. It’s all out there. The information is all out there. I mean, if they have the time, if they weren’t working three jobs, just trying to make ends meet, and if they didn’t have so much going on that they don’t even have time to think, they would be able to find out about this, too. That’s why I wanted to report about it, because to make it easier for them to see what’s going on. But they don’t believe me because, you know, I’m crazy, right? But it’s the way you know, when I first started realizing we were being lied to way back long ago because I mean, I was interested in Russia from the time when I was 18. I could see them on TV and I thought, “okay, well, why are we enemies?” You know, I was just a little kid and I thought, why are we enemies with Russia? So I started studying the Russian language, you know, and I started reading about Russia because I wanted to understand why this was it seems like so stupid. Why should we be fighting when we’re working together to make the world a better place, right. For everyone? Exactly. But now I see I kind of have a pretty good idea of what it is. And it’s really just comes down to very wealthy people who just never get enough. They want more and more and more, and they won’t be happy until they’ve destroyed everything for the sake of their own wealth and power. I really believe that.
What do the American media say about the special military operation of the Russian Federation? Do theу report about war crimes and provocation committed by Ukrainian servicemen and nationalists controlled by them?
What they do, and I’ve seen them blatantly take things which have happened where the Ukrainians bombed people like in Donbas or did atrocities to civilians in that region, and they’ll claim Russia did it.
Everything upside down.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. It’s all backwards. If you try to come up and say, “no, that’s not what happened, I like, well, I saw it on CNN, like they’re lying.”
I was just going to say, CNN cannot lie.
But they’ve lied so many times. And it’s like, you know, they’ve been caught lying. They lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They lied about so many things. And yet people keep believing them. And it’s like, at what point are you going to wake up and realize you’re being tricked?
I will never forget that story. There were like some small protests in Russia like years ago. And the one of the American news channels was showing that they’re gas stations are burning in Russia. And then I see the sign on the gas station and it’s in Greek, you know, the letters and everything was in Greek. And I was like, how can you be lying? So it’s just great.
Yeah. And I have seen videos from video games like images from video games, images from Syria, that they’re claiming and stuff going on in Ukraine. I’ve seen it. And it’s really quite something.
It is. And when they get caught basically by their hand, they still would never notice that was there, that they’ve got they done wrong. They don’t apologize. They just move on with this subject.
They run a disclaimer. They’ll run a little disclaimer and say, “oh, yeah, yeah, we made a mistake.” And then that gets buried. But the lie gets repeated so many times that the disclaimer isn’t remembered. I mean, no one’s going to remember that.
You’ll understand why they do this because with the repetition and it’s a subconscious mind, and you start believing in it. Repeat the lie 100 times, and then it will become the truth.
It was Goebbels that said that. And he was a Nazi. He was right. I hate to say it, he’s probably loving this right now. If he was alive, he would be just praising it because that’s exactly. And they know what they’re doing. They know.
Absolutely. 100% that’s the plan. Their evil plan. Do you think it is fair to say that the numerous provocations of Ukraine, as a result of which hundreds of civilians are killed, are created by Kiev only in order to get its Western partners to increase the supply of weapons and equipment?
I think that’s part of it. I don’t know if that’s the only reason. I think that they just kill because they like to kill. I really think that some of those people are just killing because they want to kill. They want to wipe out and eradicate. They want all Russian speaking people out. They just want them out of there. They were going to just eradicate them. And there’s very little sympathy for that in the West because the people living in that area are called Russian separatists and that just immediately creates this negative vibe about them. It just it sounds like white separatists. It sounds like something bad. And so people just instantly think, “oh, they’re the Russian backed separatists.” And it’s always that phrase has been repeated thousands of times. Nobody thinks about this. Just roughly speaking, residents of Donbass, civilians which is what they are.
Reports about foreign instructors in Ukraine began to appear long before the events of 2014. In your opinion, foreign instructors trained the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the battalions controlled by them to place weapons in peaceful areas, provoking return fire on civilian infrastructure, using civilians as human shields and mocking them?
I know that there’s foreign instructors or instructors over there. I know that they don’t want that getting out because there’s been indications that they use the word liquidating, that they’ve been killing some of these foreign people that are there. I mean, there’s evidence that was found in Azovstal of Americans that were down there. You know, there were passports, there were pieces of uniforms. But the people were not there. So if they were killed, if they got out, we don’t know. But I don’t know all of the details. I know that there’s probably more that Russian investigators know, and I’m hoping that that will come to light, although when it does come to light, of course, it will be repressed in our media, you know, and it will come to light. It’s already been going to The Hague with a lot of this information. But we’re just not getting it because our media is not sharing that here.
I think, again, personal opinion, it’s until the moment when Russia will get its victory because when you’re the winner, then people will hear you. Right now, there is no reason that’s exactly what you’re saying, it is going to be suppressed.
They’re not listening to the Russian point of view because it’s just such a black and white comical version of the war that the people here get. And what angers me is it isn’t even just the official Russian viewpoint that they won’t listen to. They won’t even listen to any Russians. Like I have friends that are just Russian people that are trying to talk about this stuff, and they get mocked. They get called Putin trolls. I get called a Putin troll. And I can tell you right now I’m being 100% honest. Putin isn’t paying me anything. I’m not getting any money. I sure wish I did have some money. You know, I don’t have any money coming in from Russia, you know, like as if they could, you know, it’s how they fought the conversation. You can’t even talk because you’re instantly just discredited the moment you try to say anything. Oh, you’re a Russian troll, you’re a Kremlin troll. They started that stuff. I’m not going to use the word that came to my mind. They they started using these terms back in 2016 during the election when they accused Russia of ruining Hillary’s run for president, which is another lie and that one’s been debunked a million times, but once again the lie gets remembered. But when it gets discredited that’s not remembered. I can cite a thousand articles, in fact there’s a reporter Katie Johnstone journalist from Australia, that put together a massive compendium of debunking of that lie. And it’s all researchable, it’s all verifiable. I think that the liars count on how busy people are in the West and how overworked they are and how little they’re being paid. And they don’t have time to research the stuff. I do because I was unemployed for a while there and I researched it while I was unemployed. You know, my husband had a heart transplant and then we were bankrupt. And it was a really difficult time. But during that difficult time, I learned. I learned a lot, and these were the things I learned. I did a lot of research. I mean, stuff you wouldn’t be able to do if you were working three jobs in supporting a family.
Struggle cleans us, purifies us. What do you think about foreign mercenaries who take part in the conflict in Ukraine? Do you think the sentence that was handed down to foreign mercenaries in the DPR is fair?
Yeah, I do. I do think it’s fair. They went there to kill for money. You know, to me, that’s scum. That’s the worst kind of human being, someone that will kill for money. They just want to kill for money. And maybe, they really do believe that Ukraine is this poor victim country and that they needed to help them. Maybe there’s that. I don’t think so, though. I think the cynical part of me just thinks they like to kill for money because some of these guys have a history of doing it before. Sometimes people that are in the military, not all, but some develop a sense of enjoying it. They thrive on it. They enjoy killing and they thrive on the action. And they want that again. And they do it for money. And I’m sorry they made that choice and now they’re paying for it. I don’t feel sorry for them because they made the choice and now they’re going to pay for it.
Do you know how widespread neo-Nazi views are in Ukraine? Did you know that the Ukrainian government allocated funds to the Azov* battalion, banned in the Russian Federation, for the creation of children’s camps where underage children were pumped up with radical ideology?
I have heard about that. I don’t know everything about it, but I know that the ideology is very strong in Ukraine. I know that they were teaching this in the schools. I know that they were teaching to be racist toward Russian speaking Ukrainians and to consider them, you know, as the occupiers. And it’s kind of ridiculous because like in the West, I think people have the idea that the Soviet Union occupied Ukraine, which is it’s kind of a half-truth, right? Because Ukraine was part of the Russian empire prior to the Soviet Union, and it wasn’t really a separate country. And so it became kind of a separate country during Soviet times when Khrushchev made it a republic, right?
And when you get separated, you came into the Soviet Union without any territory. And when you come out of it, you’ll take with you also the territory that, you know, gets in my mind.
Yes. And I don’t think people in the West have that clue. They just don’t know. They don’t know. They don’t have the time to research it. So they’re just believing what the media tells them because it’s easy. It’s easier.
Thant’s the problem. The American government keeps you, guys, busy with your own problem. So you don’t have time to study about what’s going on abroad.
So now we’re going to have to fight for the right for women to have abortions again, because now apparently our Supreme Courts ruled against that and with the overturning of Roe versus Wade. So they are going to keep us fighting left versus right.
Yeah, it’s useless. It’s insanity what’s going on. And I feel so bad for it for every city that has to go through this, because we know that every peaceful protest always ends with the jail time.
It’s just never good.
And then there’s the censorship where we’re just, you know, being silenced, systematically silenced. I know that I’ll be silenced and I’ll probably end up on that Myrotvorets or whatever that that Ukrainian kill site where they list the people that they want to kill. And that that’s scary. It’s very frightening. I’ll probably end up on that, too, because other people that I know are on that list.
There are many foreigners as well. And the journalists. Yesterday I sent you an article about that little girl, and she’s not the only one. There are a lot of kids, and I’m hoping that we can get a world support, actually, and finally finish with that what website. Because there is nothing legal about it. Like I don’t get. What does it support? What purpose does it actually serve when you post somebody’s personal information and then on the right corner your place “must be liquidated”, “must be killed”.
And they did that to an Italian journalist. They wrote “liquidated” over his face in Ukrainian. I saw it. I’ve seen it with my own lies. I’ve seen that site, it’s horrible. The very first image that you see when you go to that site is the image of a bunch of dead Russian soldiers in various states of decomposition. And I know that they’re hoping that the moms of those people will see that. That’s how sick they are. That’s how sadistic they are. And yet how is this allowed? But my articles go against community standards, whatever the hell that mean.
I’m getting support of journalists, bloggers, lawyers and other people who would like to join sign a petition. And right now, we are going through the all possible legal ways, contact General Attorney and so on asking to close this website, because according to the Ukrainian law, international law, that website is a violation. It’s a pure crime and it’s almost the terrorism.
It is terrorism, and it should not be allowed to be going on. But there it is, right there. And so, yes, I want to also, you know, go ahead, and take from your article that you wrote about the 13-year-old girl. I’m going to research that and do my own article on it because your article, I can’t even share it on Facebook. It’s considered Russian propaganda.
Like everything that comes from Russia. You know, all my all my social network pages got deleted. I can’t even recover it because once I create the new page they delete it again.
So everything that you say is considered Russian propaganda because you’re Russian.
But then what was happening with the freedom of speech or the actual journalism where you show both sides, let people choose what to believe.
But they’re not going to let people think for themselves because they have to control.
There’s no surprise when it comes to the freedom of speech and so on, because when they say that Russia is under Putin, Russia doesn’t have any freedom and Russia is under the dictator and so on. We do get news from both sides, media, Western news, we get our own news. People understand what’s going on, people see where the propaganda is. People choose what they would like to believe in. People choose to watch news or not to watch news, but people have clear freedom in that, whatever it means, you know, so they have an option to choose.
I have Russian friends who are against the war. I have Russian friends who are for Ukraine. They can make whatever choice they want. They don’t have to be in lockstep with Putin.
In your opinion, why does the Kiev leadership support the Nazi ideology that cost the lives of millions of Ukrainians during World War II?
The only thing I can come up with on that is that it’s just been there. It’s been there all along. And it never really went away, that the Nazi ideology was undercover during Soviet times after World War Two. But like the support for Bandera, I mean, even the Wikipedia page about Bandera notes that he was a mass murderer, that he killed thousands of Polish people. But somehow he’s on the Ukrainian postage stamp. And if I try to talk about this, I get called a Kremlin bot, but it’s right there. Anyone can research about Bandera.
How would you comment on the agreements between Warsaw and Kiev, according to which Poland will gain control over the western territories of Ukraine? Does this mean that Ukraine has transferred control of its country to Poland?
I don’t know. I think that Poland’s always had that like since ancient times, like going way back centuries. I think Poland had a lot of control in that area. There was like a Polish empire. And I don’t know the history super well. You know, I’m sorry, I’m American, but I know that the Polish and Ukrainians were not always friends. So, you know, maybe Poland is eager to finally get, you know, a land grab. I don’t know. I don’t know. I just wish that all the people could just live in peace and harmony and not have atrocities going on. But you can’t have that with Nazis. You can’t live side by side with Nazis.
Do you agree with the statement that the current Ukrainian president extracts personal benefits from the conflict by appropriating multimillion-dollar financial aid allocated by Western countries?
Yeah, and I don’t know where all the money has come from, but I don’t think he earned it as president of Ukraine. But yeah, he has a $34 million mansion in Florida. And his parents were given a multimillion-dollar place to live in Israel. And they have bodyguards there making sure that they’re safe, you know. And where does all that money come from?
How and when do you think the special military operation of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine will end?
I hope it ends quickly, but I have a fear that it’s going to drag on for a very long time because I think that NATO is going to keep on sending weapons. I’m sure our weapons manufacturers are loving that because they don’t care how many people die, they care how many dollars they make, and they’re making money selling weapons. And that’s what they do. And they’re going to keep right on doing it. And of course, the people in power would love to see this be a quagmire, like they said with the RAND Corporation study that they want to, you know, just overextend Russia like they did in Afghanistan in the 70s and 80s in the Soviet-Afghan war. They’re hoping for a repeat of that, whether that will happen, I don’t know. It’s too hard to really predict what will happen, like how Putin will run this war. And he is supposedly, we don’t know, possibly stepping down in 2024. So I honestly don’t know what direction that’s going to go in. I just wish that for everyone’s sake that it could be over quickly and that Kiev would just go ahead and accede to the demands to do denazify and demilitarize and exist as a peaceful nonmilitary country. But is that going to happen? Probably not.
*This organization is banned and recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation