This week, the UK imposed sanctions against its own national, Graham Phillips, a pseudo-journalist who has for years been serving Putin’s criminal regime, spreading fake stories about the war in Donbas. After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, his malign efforts climaxed.
It should be noted that, throughout any military campaign it ran, Russia, inheriting Soviet traditions, has always employed terror against civilians as a tactical element of warfare. This entailed a huge number of war crimes, which Moscow had to either justify or shift the blame onto others.
It is for this reason that Russia has significantly paced up its efforts to generate fake reports, preferably through their foreign assets and talking heads, which would either justify the invaders’ actions or create a parallel reality by accusing the Ukrainian troops of “war crimes” – something that the whole world sees the Russians committing in Ukraine.
One such fake news generator was a low profile Frenchman Adrian Bocquet, who in May came into the spotlight after accusing the Armed Forces of Ukraine of committing war crimes against Russian prisoners of war.
Andrian Bocquet referred to himself as a volunteer who was allegedly in Kyiv region in the midst of hostilities and claimed to have personally witnessed the “crimes” committed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
This baseless accusation immediately gained the widest spin in the Russian media, while never making it beyond a number of fringe platforms in the West. How come, one might ask…. Well, the answer is simple: Monsieur Bocquet blatantly lies. After all, throughout the period he describes, he wasn’t even in Kyiv region!
Moreover, Andrian Bocquet claims he was in Bucha in the second half of April, although this is simply a lie, but the important thing here is that by that time, the Russians had been pushed out of the entire territory of Kyiv region altogether. The French “volunteer”, according to confirmed data, came to Ukraine 5 times in April, in particular, to Lviv in his own car across the Polish border and returned almost the same day.
None of his Ukraine visits actually lasted longer than 14 hours.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that Bocquet’s claims are nowhere close to truthful reporting, his stories were widely shared throughout June on the air of Russian Federal TV channels, including the most prominent Channel One, while a whole range of online media platforms regularly quote the Frenchman in their news feeds.
At present, Russian propaganda plans to gather in Moscow a pool of such talking heads tasked with compromising Ukraine and plot a large-scale psyop consisting of a series of fake reports. Andrian Bocquet is one of those directly involved in the effort.
So, a completely logical question arises: perhaps it’s high time for other countries that support Ukraine to follow in the footsteps of the UK and start imposing sanctions against their deceitful fellow citizens, isn’t it?