Busting Ukraine Fakes: ‘Donbass Man Beaten to Death by Russian Separatist’

By Graham Phillips

As you read this, you may well be hearing of a horrific video of a man accused of being a ‘drug dealer’ then ‘beaten to death by a ‘Russian separatist’, that story being gleefully circulated by Ukrainian, and pro-Ukrainian media. Video here –

Here’s 10 points to take into account – 

  1. The video is deeply unpleasant, and this sort of thing is, of course, unacceptable.
  2. In war, this sort of thing unfortunately happens – I recall being taken captive by Ukrainian soldiers at Donetsk airport in July of 2014, with a fellow journalist, Vadim, and watching as Ukrainian soldiers surrounded him on the ground and kicked him repeatedly in the head. This is far from an isolated incident.
  3. There’s more to this story than is being made out. I was there and about at this time, and do recall a man captured on grounds that he had been cycling between DPR and Ukrainian positions, relaying information to Ukraine of DPR positions, with fatalities linked to this. (Read the full story here)
  4. Fullscreen capture 12022016 233540.bmpThis video was put out by a battalion ‘Troy’ embroiled in a bloody internecine battle with former DPR commander, Olhon.
  5. They make the allegations that Olhon ‘beat to death’ the man in question.
  6. This allegation has been enthusiastically circulated by Ukrainian, and pro-Ukrainian press, without any corroboration, or contextualisation that the open vendetta the Troy battalion has, on not only this occasion, clearly compromised the veracity of their information.
  7. This video does not support the claim that the man was ‘beaten to death’. His wounds are certainly severe, painful, but clearly not life threatening. He is reported as now being on the ‘missing persons’ list in Donbass, yet there is no evidence this is connected with this video. To purport those claims is to pass off information from a clearly partisan source, entirely unsubstantiated.
  8. There are manifest attempts being made to demonise ‘Olhon’, a Russian volunteer fighter, commander for DPR forces, who came to Donbass during conflict.
  9. OlhonI’ve known, and had a working relationship with ‘Olhon’ for a long time – since October of 2014, in fact. He’s taken me to film frontline action many times. And I’ve known him to be, at heated times of war, pretty fierce. However, having spent a lot of time around him, I also know him to be a decent man – friendly, honourable, caring, kind.
  10. You won’t see any of the other side of Olhon in Ukrainian, or pro-Ukrainian media, such as the time he wanted to come with me on a humanitarian run to Gorlovka, on the city’s frontier, and was so moved by the plight of the people there that when the aid ran out, he took to paying pensions from his own pocket.

In conclusion – you can have your thoughts on this video, and naturally it’s unpleasant, unedifying viewing. However, there’s more to it than meets the eye, and the way it’s being circulated, make it, unquestionably, a fake.

5 thoughts on “Busting Ukraine Fakes: ‘Donbass Man Beaten to Death by Russian Separatist’”

  1. Graham, I’ve followed you for quite some time now and its fair enough to tell the truth when lies are present but I’m having a really hard time coming to terms with “I also know him to be a decent man – friendly, honourable, caring, kind.” when I see a man acting in such a way. Any “thinking” man would realise the potential for this footage to be used against the separatists is quite high, not to mention such acts are not carried out by “friendly, caring and kind” people, if this is the real face of the separatists I support then may need to start reevaluating who I actually support.

    Also just tried multiple times to comment via facebook, failure every time, might want to get this sorted out


  2. Also, I’ve just now seen the translation of whats been said, the man doing the whipping is stating that he is going to kill the man. Again, not a thing a kind and caring person does … Graham, why are you even taking these mens side, the very fact you take time out of your day to defend these kind of people is honestly disgusting


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