The very same “journalists” hunting me and Pratasevich as far-right sympathizers: another coincidence? Update on Belarus01.06.2021
Unbelievable. The same “journalists” who got me cancelled at the IWM and constantly target National Corps (Michael Colborne, Christopher Miller, Oleksiy Kuzmenko) tried to undermine Western support for Raman Pratasevich by highlighting his Azov connections even before the founder, and at that time commander, of the Azov Regiment Andriy Biletsky confirmed that Raman had spent some time within this unit, but as a journalist, not a soldier.
They immediately followed in the footsteps of Anatoly Shariy, pro-Kremlin propagandist who is declared wanted by Ukraine and whose party is about to be banned. He was the first to celebrate Raman’s detainment, just like he hailed the cancellation of my fellowship by the IWM, and posted a fake proof for his military service in Azov.
At the moment, pro-Kremlin Lukashenko’s regime, which landed forcefully in the Minsk airport the flight passing over Belarus and carrying Raman and his girlfriend, Russian citizen Sophya Sapega, accuses Pratasevich of mercenary activities in the ranks of the Azov Regiment, which threatens him with a huge prison sentence. The latest video of Pratasevich, the ex-editor-in-chief of the biggest Belarusian opposition Telegram channel, Nexta, which was released by the Belarusian KGB, shows signs of the torture on his face. I wonder whether those “journalists” are really paid by the Kremlin, as many believe, or not. For they do play in the hands of Lukashenko and Putin by portraying him as a Nazi or a far-right sympathizer.
As it was stated above, if the current IWM (that started a special Belarus blog) really wished to move beyond a simulacrum of Eastern European studies, they would welcome me as a coordinator of the Intermarium Support Group who has first-hand knowledge of these trends instead of succumbing to the truly totalitarian cancel culture under pressure of dubious, to say the very least, persons like Shariy. I bet that the ongoing debates about the extent of Pratasevich’s involvement in Azov and the firm conviction of experts and international community about irrelevance of this fact make them feel extremely uncomfortable.
Besides, my focus on (anti-)totalitarian studies proves to be increasingly relevant: Lukashenko’s official praise of Bolshevism on the occasion of his actions violating international law (not mentioning Putin’s war on Ukraine) means that “right-wing extremism as the biggest danger of today” is nothing but an invention of the Kremlin and its puppets aimed at justification of their REAL aggression against other states and terror on their citizens.
All those who support this discourse in the West using “the Azov Movement” as a scarecrow should understand that it will backfire on them sooner or later. And something tells me after Pratasevich’s case that sooner rather than later.