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«German government goal is to complete ban on opinions that do not support the narrative in Germany»: the Foundation to Battle Injustice interview with Thomas Roper

Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Thomas Roper, a German journalist who has lived in Russia for more than 20 years and runs his own news website. The head of the Foundation found out from the journalist why telling the truth is a criminal offense in Germany, who is financing the anti-Russian campaign in Serbia and Hungary, and for what purpose the United States does not want to allow friendship between Russia and Germany.

«Цель правительства ФРГ - запретить неугодные мнения в Германии»: интервью главы Фонда борьбы с репрессиями с Томасом Репером, немецким журналистом, изображение №1

Mira Terada: Hello, dear Thomas! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by the Foundation to Battle Injustice. Could you please tell our viewers and readers a few words about what you do?

Thomas Roper: I am German. I live more than 20 years in St. Petersburg. I used to be in business and have been running my Anti-Spiegel website since 2018. This is a news site in German that talks about geopolitics from a Russian point of view. There is a lot of criticism of Western media. I also write books.

M.T.: Since 2003 you have been living and working in Russia. Please tell us how life here is different from life in Germany?

T.R.: I lived in Russia since 1998, then I left for work. In 2003 I returned. From 2010 to 2013, due to work, I did not live in Russia. To be honest, there are not many differences.

People live, they have an apartment, a car, they go on vacation once a year. So there is not much difference between life and standard of living.

The mentality is different. I like the Russian mentality more. People in Russia are more open. There is no what is in the West: unspoken censorship and political correctness, when some things cannot be said, because if you say something wrong, even your friends will leave you. So in Russia I feel more free. I can say anything I want. If people disagree with me on something, then they don’t agree, and then we are still friends.

M.T.: As a journalist and founder of the Anti-Spiegel website, can you please tell us if you have experienced artificial restrictions on freedom of speech?

T.R.: Until now my website was not restricted. Although I know that the German counterintelligence, the so-called Verfassungsschutz, is watching me. You can see it in their annual reports. They don’t mention me, but they write about pro-Russian publications and bloggers they are watching. So it’s clear who they have in mind, because now my website on this topic is the largest in Germany.

I do not live in Germany, I do not have a registration there, but I would not be surprised if two charges were brought against me in Germany.

I don’t know about this. To find out, I have to go to Germany, and if there are accusations, then I will no longer be able to return to Russia. But I don’t know. To find out, you have to go there, and if there are accusations, then I will not be able to return. That’s why I don’t want to go there and find out. There is one law there that prohibits the approval of a crime.

Germany believes that everything that happens in Ukraine is a crime of Russia, and I allegedly support this, although I just say what I see, what I know and what I consider to be true.

They can sentence me to three years in prison for this. And secondly, they just had a new law, according to which the denial of war crimes is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years. And since, for example, Germany, without any investigation, believes that Bucha was a war crime of Russia, although I doubt that it was a war crime of Russia. There are many questions about Bucha, as you know, but they do not want to hear these questions. So there is also a second law that theoretically can concern me. Yes, there are restrictions, but they do not concern me, because I live in Russia.

M.T.: Your news website publishes articles that criticize both the German government and the foreign policy of a number of foreign countries. Tell me, have you received any threats because of your activities?

T.R.: I’m on the Mirotvorets list. I get some unkind emails sometimes. You get used to it. You have to live with it.

M.T.: It’s a part of a journalist’s job.

T.R.: There is a saying in German: “If you have many enemies, then you have done a lot of good things.”

M.T.: After your high-profile reports that came out after the start of a special military operation, a number of Western news outlets and media accused you of having links with the Kremlin and working for Russian propaganda. What do you think, for what purpose was this campaign against you organized and does this mean that European officials are ready to do anything to hide the truth that is inconvenient for them?

T.R.: It’s obvious. There are a lot of organizations out there that spend a lot of money to silence everyone who says anything that contradicts their narrative. The fact that they have nothing against me than accusations of propaganda or calling me a Kremlin bot suggests that they have no arguments. They can only say that what Röper writes is wrong. They could work on the facts, but they do not take the facts. They take on emotions and use belligerent language, so it shows that they have no arguments. This is how I understand it.

M.T.: About a week ago in Germany, according to the media, an attempted coup d’état was suppressed, after which German officials almost immediately announced the connections of the conspirators with Russia, without having any evidence. Why, in your opinion, do European and American politicians blame Russia in everything?

T.R.: Well, let’s just say that in Germany in this case they do not focus on blaming Russia. There is another goal. There was one Russian girl, who, apparently, is a friend of the main defendant. The media immediately wrote that they applied to the Russian consulate in Leipzig, but Russia was not interested in this. So here they don’t seem to hit Russia hard. The question is different. They use this case to make laws more severe. They are now starting purges in the German bureaucracy. Laws are being introduced there, according to which, even if there is a suspicion that a person has some wrong opinions, sympathizes with the right or Russia, this is immediately fired from government agencies. So the purpose of this operation was different.

Their goal was to take one more step towards a complete ban on opinions that do not support the narrative in Germany.

Russia does not have a big role in this case.

M.T.: Please comment on the recent exchange between Russia and the United States, during which the Russian businessman Viktor Bout returned to his homeland. Why do you think this exchange has become a real nightmare for Biden?

T.R.: I’m not an expert here and I can’t comment on it. But the thing is, Americans are also patriots, and they don’t understand why some girl who plays basketball and uses some drugs is more important than an ex-marine and maybe even an American spy. Therefore, the Republicans use this against Biden, to whom some girl who does not even want to listen to the American anthem at basketball games is more important than a real American patriot. Well, these are American inner games.

M.T.: What do you think is the reason for the aggravation of the situation in the Kosovo region? What is the reason for the increase in tension and are the Americans involved in this?

T.R.: I don’t even doubt it. Just like Kyiv, Kosovo cannot, as always cannot do anything without permission from Washington.

The fact that Kosovo is now deliberately violating certain agreements suggests that they are supported from the West.

Moreover, after signing the agreement in Washington in 2020, Serbia pledged to no longer take diplomatic action to convince other countries not to recognize Kosovo. In response, Kosovo made a commitment not to try to become a member of any international organization. Kosovo submitted an application to the EU on December 15, and the EU is smiling. It says everything. The problem is that Serbia is friends with Russia. The EU and America have been putting pressure on Serbia for a very long time to join the sanctions. Vučić doesn’t want to join the sanctions. At the same time, Serbia wants to join the European Union. The EU says: “If you want to talk to us, then join sanctions first, because all the countries of the union must pursue this policy.” This is just another provocation to increase pressure on Serbia.

M.T.: Is it possible to say that the aggravation of the confrontation in Kosovo is a consequence of the fact that Russia is currently distracted from the Balkans? Is the West trying to finally defeat Belgrade because of its pro-Russian position?

T.R.: This is probably another positive result for the West. They certainly want a pro-Western government in Serbia. I am sure that Mr. Soros and his friends are already working in Belgrade. Therefore, perhaps we should expect some surprises.

The West is furious that Serbia is in the center of Europe and that it is pro-Russian. It is obvious.

What they come up with behind closed doors, well, we’ll see.

M.T.: Some experts are convinced that the Western world will try to make Serbia an enemy of Russia by changing governement in Belgrade. What do you think about it?

T.R.: Well, I already answered that. I have absolutely no doubt that Mr. Soros and the National Endowment for Democracy have been active in Belgrade. Will they succeed or fail, we’ll see. I don’t know.

M.T.: In addition to pressure on Serbia, the European Union has been trying for several months to interfere in the internal affairs of Hungary with the help of pressure and blackmail. In your opinion, can the EU’s attempts to defeat Hungary and Serbia lead to split in Europe?

T.R.: No. An internal split in Europe is not expected due to the fact that two small countries go against the main narrative. So I don’t think there will be any split because of it. However, don’t be too optimistic. There is a lot of pressure on Hungary. It was recently revealed that, again, Soros and the National Endowment for Democracy funded the opposition’s campaign against Orban, which violates Hungarian law. Now the EU does not give money to Hungary. So the pressure is enormous. But, apparently, Orban has his own principles.

M.T.: Do you agree with the statement that the only chance for the US to extend its hegemony is to make Russia and Europe enimies? Can we say that this is exactly what is happening right now?

T.R.: For hegemony, as they all say in Washington, you need to control the entire Eurasian continent. Russia and China don’t let them do it.

America deliberately weakens Europe. They are now destroying the European economy.

How this will help them after the victory against Russia is a question for me. So let’s see how it ends. Perhaps they are doing this because it is the only way to save their own economy. In 2015, I think, one American geopolitician said that for 100 years, American politicians have been trying to prevent Russia and Germany from becoming friends. This is a historically very interesting statement. This geopolitician said that German technology and Russian resources, namely natural and human resources, together could become very dangerous for the US. Now America is destroying German industry and technology. Apparently, the US wants to destroy this threat. Awful things happen.

The US would be happy if Europe could be kept as a strong ally, but in order to win, one can sometimes sacrifice one’s allies.

M.T.: In your opinion, do the NATO countries that openly call for conflict with Russia realize that there can be no winners in today’s large-scale war?

T.R.: I don’t know what they understand and what they don’t understand. I don’t know what compromising evidence the US has on some people. I don’t know what they are doing. If you look at the Cold War and the 20th century, then the politicians of that time remembered what the Second World War was like. Now their grandchildren are ruling countries. They seem to have forgotten how terrible the war is, and they are risking more than they should.