Graham W Phillips
A new series looking at the most prominent purveyors of Ukrainian propaganda.
Ukraine propagandist ‘Rob Pulse’ of ‘Rob Pulse News’ didn’t much like the last expose I did on him, when he claimed he’d found ‘Russian troops’ in what was actually the Ukrainian army. Actually he liked it so little, that in an extraordinary move he complained to Twitter and asked them to remove every single mention of it. That’s right – MENTION. I had to remove all tweets even with his name in them, to restore my account.
On the other hand, this is just a selection of what I’ve put up with from ‘Rob Pulse’, the man who calls himself an ‘investigative journalist’ in the last year, without once complaining, as he’s run a relentless hate campaign, based on lies, abuse, and falsehood –
He posts photos of my passport –
Draws arrows to falsely insinuate I fire weapons in combat positions – an assertation clearly designed to put my life in danger by demarking me as a ‘combatant’ –
Digs through social media photos to accuse of me having ‘underage friends’ – this, just some Halloween fun with students from Donetsk National University where I’d recently spoken, given a sinister twist by the propagandist –
Pauses my videos at moments I’m speaking, or in expression, then makes false accusations based on those screenshots –
He’s frequently tried to get me arrested, tipping off authorities with information –
Ran attacks against me while I was in captivity, unable to defend myself –
And this really is just a sampling. I’ve stayed above personal attacks, and only wrote the above expose to address his putting out of a blatant falsehood. Have never complained about his tweets – clearly they are nasty, vindictive and breach all Twitter policy, but I do believe in freedom of speech, however unpleasant the individual who chooses to exercise that.
In Rob Pulse’s case, it’s actually enlightening to let him go on. You see the hapless, yet relentless Rob Pulse – on Twitter since December 2010, with over 32,000 Tweets putting him as a 20+ a day Tweeter, yet since troubles in Ukraine, and Donbass began, much more active and even often double that a day now – is a man who invariably finds a way to get everything rather embarrassingly wrong.
Take this, just one example, of his claiming these two, clearly completely different men, are the same person –
But who is the blundering, hyper-sensitive propagandist? ‘Rob Pulse’, an invented name, used for his tag, his Twitter name ‘Silver Surfer’ taken from the Fantastic Four series of films. Rob thinks he’s an ‘investigate journalist’, yet the only record of his ‘investigate journalism’ – credit in a couple of hit-job pieces by notorious pro-Ukraine propaganda outlet The Interpreter.
He’s actually called Rob Schultz, where he’s from is undeclared – he lists his locations on Twitter as Miami and London, yet several references connects him to the English town of Stockport. His user photo is an opaque one of himself in shades, yet there do exist photos online of Rob Schultz. However so sensitive is Pulse, who appears to be around 40, that posting a photo of him will result in his immediate reporting of your account to Twitter – as I found –
While Pulse/Schultz stays pretty faithful to the pro-Ukraine script in general, he often blunders off into territory even they won’t touch. Comes out with claims like my video of Ukrainian forces firing phosphorus was a ‘fireworks display‘, an assertion so bonkers he found little support for that even in pro-Ukraine ranks never shy of embracing the crazy (as long as it shows DPR, LPR, Russia in a bad light, of course) –
In Pulse-world, all Russian journalists are ‘GRU’ agents – as I pose here with Alexander and Roman, of Life News –
Then, the standard, oft-peddled Ukraine line of everyone filmed in Donbass being ‘Russian actors’ and often the ‘same person’, well, suffice to say Rob follows it zealously – here on January 16th –
Sadly for Rob, he got it completely wrong here, and for a man who loves nothing more than self-congratulation on Twitter (‘I picked the right tweet to translate‘ just one of many self-endorsements), had to issue a rather less than humble admission that, once more, he’d cocked up –
Not learning from this lesson, just a week later, on January 23rd, Rob was now saying that people filmed at the scene of the Donetsk trolleybus shelling tragedy were ‘Russian actors’, the ‘same people’ (as the above even). But even his normally loyal followers, now near 8000, spluttered at this, even more ridiculous than his earlier claims.
Hasty, across-the-board deletions ensued from Pulse. All of this leading up to Pulse’s most embarrassing ‘self-expose’ yet, when he found ‘Russian troops’…. in the Ukrainian military, one which prompted his Twitter meltdown, reporting every tweet with any reference to that.
So, that’s Rob Pulse – quite a combination of a man – vindictive yet hyper-sensitive. An ‘investigative journalist’ who doesn’t investigate anything. A rampant egotist, terrified of his own photo being shown. A man still believed by some, despite a track record now littered with gaffes, blunders and cock-ups. Clearly the amount of effort put in by Pulse requires a considerable time input, with no apparent source of income derived from that. Who pays Pulse / Schultz for his ‘work’ is unclear, as is whether he has other employment, income source.
No question though, Pulse plays his part in the Ukraine propaganda game. His tweets then retweeted by more senior figures – Louise Mensch of the Guardian being a notable ‘fan’, along with Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, and others. Whether they know just who ‘Rob Pulse’ is though, is another story, one which if Pulse is telling it, will have little relation to reality.