Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Zak Novak, a military journalist and volunteer who has been living in the territory of Donbass since 2015. The head of the Foundation found out from Novak why the lives of Russian-speaking residents of Donbass are not on the Western agenda, what NATO countries and the United States are ready to do in order to take over the world, and who benefits from spreading false information about Russian servicemen.
Mira Terada: Good afternoon, dear Zak! Thank you so much for agreeing to give an interview to the Foundation to Battle Injustice. Please tell our viewers a few words about yourself and what you do.
Zak Novak: First of all, I’m pinching myself every day just to know you, and it’s an honor to know you and seriously. And it’s an exciting moment for me.
M.T.: Thank you, Zak. I’m very excited meeting you as well.
Z.N.: My name is Zak Novak. My real first name is Zlatko, but everybody calls me Zak Novak. I’ve been using that nickname ever since New York. I was born in New Jersey and lived all my life in New York. My first tour was in Bosnia, Sarajevo and Zvornik. Many Russian volunteers came to help us out. It was incredible experience meeting the guys and I miss them very much, especially get emotionally guys who passed away. I want to thank Russia for coming, leaving their country and helping the brothers, Serbians, brothers and sisters. They were just outstanding. The people, we were so happy when we saw them. So this is my thanks. And it’s my way of returning the favor of helping out the Russians. They helped us, helped us out, the Serbs. And here I am helping out the Russians. So volunteer at first, then a war correspondent, journalist with Novorossiya TV, and then became an English teacher. So it’s been a few years now, four years teaching English to students. They tell “We must learn the language of the enemy”. The kids are great. Adults are great. What a great experience. Who can imagine from New York and now teaching English in Donbass. It’s a dream come true.
M.T.: I can’t just be silent about the story you just told me before we started recording it. Who is your most famous English student?
Z.N.: Aleksandar Vučić, president of Serbia. It was my first tour, the war in Yugoslavia. And they said, come on, let’s do an interview in a beautiful mountain region of Bosnia. And I see this tall guy, and he had a great sense of humor. He was really cool. I was doing an interview. He was he was like Russian, he was speaking so fast. It was really fun, exciting. And when I came back home after a few tours and there’s this guy on TV, I think it was CNN or I forget what station it was and I like, “Wow, Vučić, he’s president of Serbia now.” And he was like this skinny, tall dude, a journalist in Bosnia, a great guy. And it’s so exciting to know him in that sense. But I do wish to see him again, give him a big hug. What he’s doing for Serbia and the alliance, which is very important, the alliance with Russia. And with all the pressure, the pressure that Serbia has with NATO countries surrounding it and still those sanctions and yes, we’re still together and we’re never going to break that. Thanks to President Putin for helping with Kosovo. I have a lot of Serbian enemies. They hate Vučić, especially a couple of guys here in the battlefield here in Donbas trying to really hate me. And they said “Zak, Vučić is bad. He’s going to be with NATO. He’s going to give up Kosovo.” They’ve been telling me this for seven years, and he’s still fighting for Kosovo. He thanks President Putin and he’s not with NATO. He said no way to NATO. So there you go. I mean, the guy is great. He’s awesome and just haters out there.
M.T.: You were born and raised in the USA, however, as soon as the NATO bombs began to fall on Bosnia, you returned to your historical homeland, where you served for three years. Could you tell us about what you had to go through?
Z.N.: Well, it wasn’t like a return. I mean, I only went there on vacation. I never lived there. I wasn’t born there. I went to a vacation as a child and teenager. When the war broke out, it was first up in Slovenia, in Croatia. We were watching it on CNN and all these other stations. The first refugees were Serbs. They don’t talk about that much now, but the first images were Serbian refugees leaving Croatia and it was so horrible. And we’re looking at these images. My mom was a big influence. She’s watching TV and she’s looking at me. She slams the table and she’s like, “What are you doing here? Go help her brothers and sisters.” She was a big influence. She was really cool. And, Meera, in New York we lived with Croatians, Albanians and the Macedonians and Bosniaks, understand? So when the war broke out, we were all kind of friends. My parents went on picnics with them and wherever parties they came to our house, we went to their house. But when the war broke out, that was it. No more talking. We were deadly enemies. My father was very peaceful. He kept in contact. He was really cool. But my mom, she was notorious. She didn’t want to talk to any of them. She was fighting for Serbia. People have to understand, my mom is Macedonian, but she was born during Kraljevina (Kingdom) of Yugoslavia. And my aunt, she was born during Tito Communist. So you had to see the fights at the dinner table. Yeah. My mom’s monarchist. My aunt is a communist, and it was crazy. You have to understand, in America it was a mixture and getting really violent, fights on the street. I remember we had death threats. So many death threats. Seeing the images mom said “you go to help your brothers and sisters” and pack my bags and laughed. I met Captain Dragan. Awesome guy, great hero of Serbia, special forces in Australia. He did a lot of work down in South America. And I met him in person and he’s like “You ready to go?” And at first he was like “Zak, I like what you’re doing”, because I brought a lot of stuff toys, cigarettes, food, and even money, from Chicago. “I like what you are doing, I want you to that in the battle field”. I said “Captain, I don’t feel it’s enough, let me do that” and he’s like “okay, let’s do that”. Zvornik was my first tour, and it was really deadly at times, even more dangerous than Sarajevo. So yeah, the images, my mom influence, seeing the first refugees, seeing the Ustaše, the Nazi Croatians. People who think the Nazis are bad here. The Croatians were even ten times worse. But they’re now seeing images here. Now, some of our Russian prisoners being stabbed in the eye and cut in the face, and now it’s the same. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were Croatians doing that. So Bandera Nazis and Croatian Ustaše, they’re the same crap.
M.T.: At the beginning of 2015, you arrived in the Donetsk People’s Republic, where you began your career as a journalist. What brings you in Donbass?
Z.N.: Oh, okay. So after about five tours in Bosnia I got a little trouble, I fell in love with my Romanian Kalashnikov. I told I want to take it home with me. Zak, are you sure? It’s crazy. So I took it to a gunsmith and they took several pieces out, and so it was not operational. So took it whole New York, put it up and can’t trust everybody. My mom was like, “You can’t trust everybody.” And one day someone called the FBI and the FBI rushed in with their guns. And I’m like, “Guys, please”. Mom collapsed. And it affected us so much. I lost many jobs and I lost many friends because of that incident. I say “Zak, no more politics.” I was really trying, but it’s so hard when I’ve been activist almost all my life. I’ve been a meme member of S.H.A.R.P (Skinheads against racial prejudice). We were beating up Nazis in New Jersey. You know, that was huge. That was even in the newspaper. Palestinians, you know, I believe, you know, freedom for Palestine. So I was at demonstrations in Washington and stuff like that. People again told me cool it, chill out, relax. I became a soccer coach. Knowing the enemies that I had, they were the Croatians, Albanians and Bosniaks. Now, imagine I get my United States Soccer Federation coaching license. I was so excited. And no politics. And my kids, they like “Zak, wow, cool”. And then I see this one kid dashing. And I asked him what he was wearing and he said it was a Croatian soccer jersey. And I see this other kid. He’s hugging me. An Albanian and then Bosnian. And I was crying because these were my enemies and they are hugging me. They became champions. One Croatian mother came up to me and said “Zak, I know who you are. I know what you did. But I want to say thank you for what you do to my son, becoming a better soccer player.” So it was very emotional. I told her story to my mom and she was crying. So everything goes in circles. You know, it’s so hard. People need to understand if a Russian soldier goes back home to Russia, and the Serbian goes back to his home in Serbia, a healthy, normal, calm atmosphere, whereas in New York, I come home to New York after the war, I have enemies around me. We had death threats. We had a bullet shot through a liquor store and my dad was shot and some people said that Croatians actually paid these thugs. And then Donbas erupted and in 2014 mom and dad passed away. I miss them dearly. My dad was peaceful. The mom was a fighter, you know, she didn’t give a crap about anybody, always fighting for Serbia. She always loved Russia. She spoke pretty good Russian, by the way. And while we gather in the hospital, they both passed away. The medical system is horrible in America. Medication is so expensive, just pills for $30 each, it was just ridiculous. Mom was a proud woman. She didn’t want any burial. She didn’t want people walking on her. She always felt like she was an aristocrat. She was so cool and so they wanted cremation. And I took their ashes and spread their ashes in the river. You know, my relatives were so happy because they’re back home. Started arguments with my relatives. I wanted to go to Novorossiya. They said “Zak, no way. You have to retire, fix your dad’s house”. I just wanted to help out. “No, you did your Bosnia things, that’s it, please, enough.” We started negotiating and I said “Okay, 3 months, let me go there and promise I’ll come back”. And 2015 till now.
M.T.: For the last 8 years, residents of Donbass have been subjected to shelling and bombing by the Ukrainian army almost daily. In your opinion, for what purpose did the Ukrainian political leadership give orders to exterminate the civilian population of Donbass?
Z.N.: I stated in an interview a few days ago. I don’t want to scare people. I don’t want to sound religious. I’ve seen evil. I saw the face of evil. This is not just a war, it is scary. We’re facing an enemy that is not human. To constantly bomb and do the things that they do to people, whether it’s eye gouging. I remember even Croatian Ustaše, they are the same, they are working together. These are foot soldiers who a doing it for NATO, Washington. I don’t want to sound creepy but I’m serious. This is beyond evil. I remember Serbian refugees come back/ I remember one young man, his lips were all cut up. There was an exchange of prisoners and refugees. They made refugees chew glass. So we’re talking about psychos. We talking beyond evil. Even the Nazi Germany, they were crazy, but not like this. And this is sort of like psychological warfare. They use this. Operation Paperclip, this was secret operation where Americans rescued Nazis from World War Two, brought to the US and they were working quickly into the Intelligence Department whether it’s CIA, FBI, which is later the name, but before different names. The Nazis were teaching American officials, American intelligence officers how to conduct, methods of psychological warfare. And this is what they’re doing today. No difference. But it’s gotten worse. They are going to lose because for Donbass eight years of bombing, it just made us stronger. Yeah, we’re pissed off. We’re angry. Sometimes people have attitudes. I mean, the Croatians, what they were doing to the Serb, to the NATO bombing on top of that and we’re still standing. Vučić together with Putin. And then we got China with us. This is the only three that is fighting evil. And for a message to the protesters of Moscow, you better fucking wake up. I’m serious because you sold yourselves to the devil you know, you’ve been brainwashed. Where are you running to? You’re embarrassing yourself. You’re not embarrassing Russia. You’re embarrassing yourselves. And where are you going, to what country? The same country that is supplying weapons to kill us? Wake up! What is wrong with you? You have to also realize there’s sanctions, an embargo on Russia. It’s not Putin doing. It’s bot the economy’s fault. Putin is doing such an amazing thing of keeping in order and it’s not easy with sanctions. It was the same like Serbia. But you know what? We have to stand our ground. We have to say “This is my flag. This is my home. This is my country. my history, culture, the whole thing” stand up and defend, not run away, not protest against it. You’ve been brainwashed. But I’ve been talking about it for like four years. Hybrid warfare. It’s coming. It’s going to infiltrate you. It’s infiltrate the media. Teenagers in Moscow, they messaged me, some of the teenagers who I know from Crimea. I did English program during the summer. “Zak, is it true this and why the bombing”? Guys, wake up! Why are you asking me these questions? For eight years bombs are falling on Donbass. Why are you asking questions? Why Russia’s doing the special operation? Do you see? Do you understand? This is the problem. You see nothing for eight years till we’ve been bombed here and now all of a sudden, “Oh, we want peace, don’t bomb Ukraine.” Are you crazy? People got to wake up.
M.T.: Having extensive experience as a journalist, why do you think the Western media have practically not covered what is happening on the territory of Donbass for the last 8 years?
Z.N.: It’s not their agenda. Their agenda is to wipe us out. Like I said before, it’s practically evil. It’s something to wipe out. Sure, we could say about religion, culture. But another thing, you know, I talk to sometimes I have lectures at universities. People need to wake up because they like people like Russia, the country like Russia, because of its history, because of the amazing history. Well, and I have a lot of fights on Facebook and other social media. 1862, Civil War in America, North and South. Abraham Lincoln with his wife took off his hat and waving it, thank you. His wife paraded and there were gallows and everything. Do you know who came and helped the north in a civil war? Russia. 1862 the Russians came to help America defeat the South, the confederates. People forget about that. You should never forget who your friends are. You know, for history, Russia was always friends with America until after World War II. But now it’s gotten ugly. The thing is, America doesn’t like anybody who is bigger and better. Russia has a great history, great culture. Serbia withstanding the Ustaše, Croatians and NATO bombing. America doesn’t like Vučić, they want him dead. They don’t like Serbia. They want them dead because anybody who stands up and looks pure and good because we were pure and good, we never attacked anybody. Did you see Serbia attack anybody across border? Russia? No. So this is their thing. They hate something that is pure and good.
M.T.: How do you assess the influence of the United States and NATO countries on the eight-year aggression by the Armed Forces of Ukraine directed against civilians? Is it possible to say that the NATO countries were trying to “push” their expansion to the east in this way?
Z.N.: It’s not just a push to the east. It’s just to annihilate us. It’s to the east and then it’s going to go further. That’s their agenda. And president Putin, the hero. He’s a man of peace. He’s not just the president of Russia. He’s a world leader. And he saw it. He saw it. He’s a tactician. We know he’s ex-KGB and we love it. It’s so cool. But he saw the deeper plan. This was not just for Donbass, it’s going to go further. It was released that they want to wipe out even China, you know, so they’re going to go for China next. Eliminate Russia, go after China, destroy North Korea and of course, Serbia. They’re going to eat that up. So this is very important to defeat NATO. NATO needs to be crushed.
M.T.: The long-term aggression by the Kiev regime resulted in a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine, which has been going on for more than a month now. Do you think the Western countries, which have been financing and training Ukrainian servicemen for so many years, initially planned to provoke a conflict with Russia?
Z.N.: I mean, if NATO and Europe was really for peace and why you bluster protesters in Moscow. If you really are talking about peace, if you really want peace, why are you sending weapons?
Z.N.: Why are you sending the most dangerous murderers? These are not just professional soldiers. These are people probably released from jail. I’m not joking. I’ve that before. Released prisoners, these are maniacs. And you release then all over Ukraine. This is the peace you want? Jens Stoltenberg, I swear, if I ever see this man. They don’t talk about peace. The European Union talks about peace. How are you talking about peace? Protesters in Moscow, what peace when they keep sending deadly weapons and deadly mercenaries, criminals and murderers. This is their agenda and it’s evil. They just want to wipe us out.
M.T.: There is indisputable evidence that the United States allocated hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to train and supply Ukrainian nationalists, just as they financed Albanian terrorists during the conflict in Yugoslavia. What do you think the United States was trying to achieve by financing extremely radical groups?
Z.N.: We could even go beyond that. We could talk about ISIS. We could talk about terrorists throughout the world.
M.T.: Why is this happening?
Z.N.: These are foot soldiers still doing it for something that is so evil and satanic. It is to rule the world, you know, just to rule the world. But, you know, feeling no guilt, seeing children blown out to pieces, it’s nothing for them. The slaughter that they have committed throughout history, the American regime, including countries of the EU, they don’t feel it. They don’t care. They want us gone. And if you talk about the Albanians, look at their track record, I mean, you got cutting up surgeons to get organs and selling them on the market, the prostitution in Kosovo and – the Albanians are controlling a part of Kosovo and the drug running. This is not nothing new. I mean, the US regime has been which Central American, South America, the things they’ve done down there, horrific. Just to put some junta, Nazi dictator. We have Pinochet. We could talk about Pinochet, we could talk about El Salvador. That was a big subject. They murder. The Americans murdered their own people. Five nuns. I don’t know if you remember five Catholic nuns who were slaughtered on the street just to put in a dictator, you know. It was said American CIA agents did that. They’re going to do everything possible to put in this junta style, dictatorship style, marching style. It’s just evil.
M.T.: What do you think is the true goal of the United States in Ukraine? How likely is it that the development of biochemical weapons was really carried out in American laboratories in Ukraine?
Z.N.: Yeah, I did actually a story on it, working with the Novorussia TV way back. You know, we learned about the chemical labs, I think maybe 2016 I first discovered. They did a large expose. Chemical warfare, they will use everything. And again, the protesters in Moscow, you don’t know what you’re dealing with. It’s not just military, okay? And I know NATO’s going to lose this. We will be victorious. What I’m worried about is the releasing of the chemicals because they want us dead. I’m talking to the protesters in Moscow. Wake up because we will win this war for sure. Guaranteed. They don’t like to lose. They will release chemicals. And that’s what I’m worried about. They were prepared for this. This was plan B for them.
M.T.: Well, we hope that it will never happen. Since the beginning of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine, anti-Russian propaganda in the Western media has only intensified, Russian citizens living abroad regularly become victims of Russophobia. In your opinion, who benefits from inciting anti-Russian sentiments in society?
Z.N.: Who benefits? NATO and America, they benefit. They love it. They want this. They want us exterminated. Do you remember the Twin Tower attacks? Actually, I was working as a private investigator and it was a husband and wife type case. I forget the wife of the husband, and I was in Staten Island. I was on Staten Island side, and I saw smoke for the first building, but then I saw the plane hit the second building, and people went crazy. And just the phones were not working. I remember seeing the people getting off the ferry and they were pale as a ghost, just screaming everywhere. And you know what was really funny? That people were screaming like, “this is what you get pushed. This is what you get when you keep talking about war, all these provocations, this is what we get to stop”. I was really surprised about that. That’s pretty cool. And it just shows you how knowledgeable and cool American people can be. And Moscow protesters should see and understand that. So, what happened? How many cool Middle Eastern people that I knew were getting beat up on the streets in America? So many were colleges, universities, Middle Eastern kids getting beat up because of the Twin Towers. They didn’t like that. They loved that. And you going to tell me who and what’s happening to Palestine? The Palestine still survives somehow. The people still are there. America hates that, they’re trying their best to eliminate you? but they can’t. They can’t. There’s something good that is left. There’s someone they’re protecting. We’re still surviving, we’re still holding on. America is trying its best and EU countries, NATO are trying their best to quickly eliminate us and stop hearing our voices.
M.T.: Is it an attempt to build empire?
Z.N.: Absolutely. That’s what the devil wants, right? I don’t want to sound religious or scary, but it is what it is. Wake up.
M.T.: With the intensification of propaganda, the spread of unreliable news has also intensified, often aimed at discrediting Russian servicemen and their mission in Ukraine. Often, fakes broadcast by Kiev expose Russian servicemen as violent rapists and murderers. Do you think this is how Ukraine is trying to get additional assistance from Western countries?
Z.N.: All this was prepared in advance. This is prepared in advance. Hollywood, they know how to play the games and are using every trick in the book. They use actors. I’m sure you were in the States and you heard about marathons and you see the same faces at all the places in television. So these are experts in doing this. But this is also part of, like I said, Operation Paperclip, grabbing Nazis from World War II and letting them work in United States and how to work propaganda machine. So what I am worried about. when I saw Bucha where the bodies. I’m getting intelligence that people better wake up because some are dead, some are actors, but the ones that are dead are pro-Russian civilians. NATO, America and EU countries are getting away with murder. You’re killing our civilians and saying to the world “look what Russia did”. So you see, it’s like carte blanche. They’re giving it. You see how evil that is, that how sick that is? You’re killing innocent civilians. And telling the world the Russians it. It’s sick.
M.T.: At the beginning of a special military operation, a large-scale anti-Russian advertising campaign began in Western social networks. As it turned out later, this campaign was funded by a number of Western organizations, including the International Renaissance Foundation, which is funded by the Open Society Foundation of billionaire George Soros. What do you think about this?
Z.N.:I don’t mean to discredit that. I hate using George Soros always. George Soros always seems to either with the Democrats or with the Republicans. It’s not just from Soros. Root elements are in the CIA, they are doing this. George Soros is always going to be used as that name for whatever. I think we need to stop it because it makes us sound a little bit like “George Soros again, George Soros again.” It’s all CIA. There are different foundations, different U.S. aid groups. You have to be careful with all these humanitarian groups, even Red Cross and all of them. If you Google, Red Cross was actually helping Croatian Nazis. They were given passports at the Vatican and helping them get to South America. So you have to watch out for all these humanitarian groups, these aid groups. They’re all part of it. And they infiltrate and this is how they get to people and then they become protesters. This is all funded by the CIA and many of the underground elements, intelligence elements working to do this. So you don’t need to say George Soros, it’s more deeper than that.
M.T.: The number of victims of US and NATO war crimes is estimated at hundreds of thousands of people, dozens of cities were destroyed, millions of people were forced to leave their homes and flee to escape from NATO warheads. Why do you think none of the Western officials, military or government organizations have been brought to justice so far?
Z.N.: How are you going to bring them to justice? When you put guys like Wesley Clark, who bombed Yugoslavia and being given to a hero, how are you going to put all these great, great American generals who killed Saddam Hussein, the Iraq bombing, how do you bring them in court when they were portrayed as heroes? You can’t. They planned this and they painted this picture knowing that there’s going to be, people will say “Wait, that’s wrong”. You’re going to lose because these guys are portrayed as heroes. So it’s impossible. President Putin sees this. enough of the humiliation. How could you take away a team’s name, flag at the Olympics? Olympics are no politics. You keep humiliating a country, you take away its name even though I laugh because what was at the Olympics before Russia won, beat up America with no name on it. That’s what you get. Embarrassing.
M.T.: Out power is not only in our flag or in our hymn. Our power is in our hearts and souls.
Z.N.: Of course it is. But it’s still not right to take away our name, to take away our identity.
M.T.: Indeed. It’s wrong. Even by trying to weaken us, they still don’t know what makes us strong.
Z.N.: Sure, sure. But see, we’re talking on our side. They don’t think like that. They think “that’s the bad guys”. They are trying to eliminate us. They’re trying so hard, and they’re going to portray us as the bad guys. General Wesley Clark and all these guys, it’s crazy, but that’s what it is. This is why President Putin saw this and said, “enough is enough. Stop humiliating my people, the Slavic people, my country, my culture, my history”. Enough is enough. And he saw slowly and slowly over the years as an intelligence officer, what America was planning, and special operation is at the right time.
M.T.: The hypocrisy of the Western media is astounding. Commenting on the bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO countries, one of the largest American weekly magazines stated that in this way ” a massive bombing attack opens the door to peace.” What do you think about this?
Z.N.: Just reading that, just hearing that, how funny that sounds. They bombed your country to smithereens, kill your people so we could bring peace. It’s insane. It’s crazy. This is their way of peace. You can’t sit down and negotiate. You can’t say, “Hey, wait a minute, let’s look at a little historical a little bit here.” Kosovo is always Krajina, there is not Croatia there. Why don’t you look at it, sit down with all the parties and maybe we can divide this instead of bombing, instead of sending in murderers to kill. And they do it constantly throughout history. That’s the only way is aggression. It can never sit down and talk. EU is made of what? You’re selling weapons. What do you what happened to all that transparency and open their borders. What a mockery. This was all planned. This was just a show, a painting to make us “It’s beautiful. It’s great.” We were brainwashed.
M.T.: Do you think Russia and its allies will be able to rid the world of Western hegemony?
Z.N.: Sure. Absolutely. But that’s what America fears, and that’s why they’re trying so hard in this media war. They’re going to lose the war. That’s when you’re pushing this media war which is powerful. It’s going to take time but we need to be united. We need to talk to our citizens, stop being brainwashed, stop being bought by the CIA. You got to unite because the hybrid war is that, the media war and divide and conquer. They’re trying to get to our people in Moscow, like in Belgrade and Vučić. What are you doing? Why? Don’t you see the guy? He’s with us. What are you doing? This is the problem. The faster we unite will be, the faster we defeat NATO, defeat the US and defeat EU. That’s very important. We need to be united.