Last month the US publication Vice posted a profile of Patrick Lancaster, a former USA naval intelligence officer now acting as part of Russia’s propaganda apparatus on YouTube. The article begins:
June 9, 2022 Patrick Lancaster seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. In February, on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lancaster seemed to be first on the scene to report that three Russian civilians had been killed when Ukrainian forces set off an improvised explosive device (IED) along the country’s eastern border with Russia. A month later, as the war raged, Lancaster reportedly found himself trailing a Russian soldier through the burnt-out remains of a Mariupol school that had allegedly been used as a base for Ukraine’s military. In the basement, Lancaster’s footage showed the body of a local woman who the Russian soldiers claimed had been raped by members of the Ukrainian military and had a swastika painted in blood on her chest. “It was a base of the National Guard and presumably the fighters of the Azov Battalion,” a Russian soldier told Lancaster on his YouTube channel.But the explosion on the Russian border turned out to be a fake, concocted by the Kremlin as a way to justify its imminent invasion. And evidence suggests that the soldiers who painted the swastika on the woman’s body were from Russia. As Russia’s invasion began, the EU and tech platforms moved swiftly to stem the flow of disinformation coming from the Kremlin about the conflict. But those measures have mostly failed, and for Lancaster, the war has been a huge boon, helping him boost his YouTube subscribers from just over 50,000 when the war began to over 500,000 followers today.It was no surprise that Lancaster, a former Navy intelligence officer from St. Louis, was the one sharing these stories. Over the last eight years, he has embedded himself with pro-Russian separatist forces in Donbas, spread pro-Kremlin disinformation about the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, worked with numerous Kremlin-backed Tv stations, and most recently appeared on Alex Jones’ Infowars spreading pro-Kremlin narratives about the war.
Read the rest here.
Jack Posobiec is another former US intelligence officer and prominent conspiracy theorist helping to facilitate Russian propaganda. Posobiec will be featured in a forthcoming GIOR report on US amplifiers of Russian propaganda.