More Russian propaganda lies debunked - Troll factory gears up

Behind the Dutch Terror Threat Video: The St. Petersburg "Troll Factory" Connection - bellingcat

By Bellingcat

At 13:30:09 GMT on 18 January 2016, a new YouTube channel called ПАТРИОТ (“Patriot”) uploaded,
titled (in Ukrainian) “Appeal of AZOV fighters to the Netherlands on a
referendum about EU – Ukraine.” The video depicts six soldiers holding
guns, supposedly from the notorious far-right, ultra-nationalist Azov
Battalion, speaking in Ukrainian before burning a Dutch flag. In the
video, the supposed Azov fighters threaten to conduct terrorist attacks
in the Netherlands if the April 6 referendum is rejected. There are
numerous examples of genuine Azov Battalion soldiers saying or doing
reprehensible things, such as making severely and
However, most of these verified examples come from individual fighters,
while the video with the Dutch flag being burned and terror threats
supposedly comes as an official statement of the battalion.
The video has been proven as a,
and is just one of many fake videos surrounding the Azov Battalion.
This post will not judge if the video is fake — as this will be assumed —
but will instead examine the way in which the video originated and was
spread. After open source analysis, it becomes clear that this video was
initially spread and likely created by the same network of accounts and
news sites that are operated by the infamous “St. Petersburg Troll
Factories” of the and its sister organization, the The same tactics can be seen in
from Andrey Soshnikov of the BBC, in which he revealed that a fake
video showing what was supposedly a U.S. soldier shooting a Quran was
created and spread by this “troll factory.”The Video’s Origin
The description to this video claims that the original was taken from
the Azov Battalion’s official YouTube channel, “AZOV media,” with a
link to a YouTube video with the ID of
Predictably, following the link to the “original” video shows that the
video has been deleted by the user, giving the impression that the Azov
Battalion uploaded the video and then deleted it by the time the copy
(on the “Patriot” channel) was created. There are no traces of any video
posted with this URL in any search engine cache or archival site (e.g. or It is most likely that a random video
was posted to a YouTube channel, quickly deleted before it could be
cached or archived, and then was linked to in the video from the
“Patriot” YouTube account.
While the circumstances around the video’s original source is
important in its own right, the manner in which the video was spread
shortly after its upload yields interesting results.
The Initial Propagation
At 14:16 GMT on 18 January 2016 – 46 minutes after the video upload
on the “Patriot” channel – a newly registered user named “Artur 32409”
posted a link to the video and a message in Ukrainian supporting Azov’s
alleged actions on the website
Starting four minutes later (14:20 GMT), two newly-registered accounts on the Russian social networking site (VK) shared the video 30 times over a period of 24 minutes.

During these 30 shares on VK (at 14:38 GMT), an exact copy-paste of the text written by Artur 32409 from is
The author represents him/herself as a pro-Azov Ukrainian woman named
“Solomiya Yaremchuk.” This user did not cite Artur as the source for the
content. There is a strong possibility, if not certainty, that “Artur
32409,” the blogger Solomiya Yaremchuk, and the
various VK users are either the same person, or part of the same group
propagating the fake video. Further evidence provided later in this post
reveals that “Solomiya Yarumchuk” is a fake account and has strong
links to the “St. Petersburg Troll Factory.”.



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By: Vivant et libertas (1510.60)

Tags: Russia , Troll factory , St. Peterburg

Location: St Petersburg, Russia