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Political Scientist Debunks Pro-Russian Propaganda by Far Left Influencer Max Blumenthal

March 25th, 2022 11:55

A US polit­i­cal sci­en­tist has pub­lished an exten­sive thread on Twit­ter debunk­ing an arti­cle claim­ing that Rus­si­a’s bomb­ing of a Mar­i­upol the­ater was a false-flag oper­a­tion car­ried out by Ukraine’s Azov Bat­tal­ion. The arti­cle was pub­lished by The Gray­zone web­site and authored by its edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal, a far-left influ­encer and reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to Russ­ian state-backed media out­lets. Accord­ing to a Twit­ter thread by Neil Abrams:

March 22, 2022 OK, so @MaxBlumenthal  of @TheGrayzoneNews  recent­ly pub­lished an arti­cle claim­ing that Russia’s bomb­ing of a Mar­i­upol the­ater was actu­al­ly a false-flag oper­a­tion car­ried out by Ukraine’s Azov Bat­tal­ion. Read­er, this is one dis­hon­est arti­cle, and I’m about to show you why. Thread: The bomb­ing occurred a week ago. Locals, in an attempt to dis­suade Rus­sia from attack­ing it, had writ­ten “chil­dren” on the ground out­side in let­ters so big they could be seen from space satel­lites. But was it real­ly a false-flag oper­a­tion by Ukrain­ian forces?  Let’s dig in. […] So that’s it for the sub­stance of the arti­cle. In short, it’s a mess of unsup­port­ed asser­tions, a cou­ple bits of evi­dence that *would* sup­port his claims if they weren’t total­ly unre­li­able, and a bunch of oth­er stuff that’s impos­si­ble to ver­i­fy and total­ly irrel­e­vant in any event.

Read the full thread here.

The so-called “Azov Bat­tal­ion, a tiny part of the Ukrain­ian armed forces, has been at the cen­ter of a large amount of dis­in­for­ma­tion since the start of the Ukrain­ian conflict.

Blu­men­thal and his web­site The Gray­zone have repeat­ed­ly been described as among the most influ­en­tial left-wing ampli­fiers of pro-Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da in the West. A New York Times Op-Ed titled “Putin’s Use­ful Idiots” has described Blu­men­thal’s views on the Ukraine con­flict as “dis­tort­ed” and “sim­i­lar to Russ­ian propaganda”:

April 28, 2014 Anoth­er Amer­i­can pun­dit, Max Blu­men­thal, described the Euro­maid­an move­ment as “filled with far-right street-fight­ing men pledg­ing to defend their country’s eth­nic puri­ty.”  True, such peo­ple were present at the square, but they were mar­gin­al fig­ures, and slo­gans about eth­nic puri­ty nev­er gained pop­u­lar­i­ty. Yes, gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, Ukraine has its skin­heads and its anti-Semi­tes and even ser­i­al killers, pedophiles and Satanists. They are not present in small­er or larg­er num­bers than in any oth­er coun­try, even in the most mature Euro­pean state.  In one par­tic­u­lar­ly egre­gious pas­sage, Mr. Blu­men­thal writes about how the “open­ly pro-Nazi pol­i­tics” of the Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal par­ty Svo­bo­da and its leader, Oleg Tyag­ni­bok, “have not deterred Sen­a­tor John McCain from address­ing a Euro­maid­an ral­ly,” nor did it “pre­vent Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of State Vic­to­ria Nuland from enjoy­ing a friend­ly meet­ing with the Svo­bo­da leader this Feb­ru­ary.” That dis­torts how these things work.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report recent­ly report­ed that an Edin­burgh-based aca­d­e­m­ic at a lead­ing uni­ver­si­ty was accused of “effec­tive­ly help­ing the Russ­ian war effort” after he had shared the arti­cle on the Mar­i­upol the­ater by Blu­men­thal on social media.