SARFAN fans! Today we briefly dive into a translated article brought to our attention by a dear reader, and it covers an old topic of ours, Oleg Muzyka and his fascination with undermining the MH17 investigation and his amateur attempts at propaganda.
To readers unfamiliar with our posts, we have delved into Oleg Muzyka several times in the past few months. He’s an interesting individual to say the least. On top of likely evading criminal charges in the Ukraine, he is a member of a facetiously named group known as the “Global Rights of Peaceful People”, and one of his main hobbies is blaming Ukraine for the downing of flight MH17 and defending Putin’s military involvement in the incident at all costs. One of Muzyka’s favorite propaganda pieces appears to be documentary (to use the term loosely) “MH17 – Unheard Witnesses”. This is likely a case of pictures speaking louder than words, even distorted pictures, and Muzyka seems to have an innate understanding of this. The MH17 film isn’t the first time he’s embraced propaganda, and this is evident as he continues spewing propaganda as his various speaking engagements and interviews, and through his own blog posts and editorials.
We’d like you to recall our first Muzyka post, a post that likely set the standard for our deep-dives that we should aspire to get back to. It covers the 2014 anti-Maidan attack on pro-Ukrainian marchers and the Trade Union building fire in Odessa. An event that would involve firing AK-47s into crowds of protestors by a group that would later dub itself the “Global Rights of Peaceful People”, which seems to be a bit of a cognitive dissonance on their part, but who are we to judge? It was in the aftermath of the 2014 anti-Maidan attacks in Odessa that Muzyka first began to dabble in dishonest propaganda.
“Remember Odessa” is a work by former East German filmmaker Wilhelm Domke-Schulz, which premiered in Moscow before screening in Germany. Last year, Domke-Schulz presented his film at the Russian Embassy in Berlin, attended mostly by older Soviet-era and pro-Putin Russians, and of course Oleg Muzyka himself. Muzyka was also a speaker at the event, offering his version of events that ran counter to the investigations of the Council of Europe, an independent commission of journalists, and a group of residents of Odessa known as the “May 2nd Group”. According to the film, and by Muzyka’s own falsified account, pro-Ukrainian fascists backed by the West intentionally burned down the Trade Union, killing 42 people. In reality, both investigative groups concluded that no one planned to start a fire and that the first shots fired that day came from the anti-Maidan mob. Specifically, AK-47 rounds were fired into the crowd of pro-unity protesters, resulting in the first of 48 deaths that day and the violent escalation that led to the Trade Union fire.
Muzyka continues to prove himself as an amateur propagandist, while bolstering the propaganda films at their screenings he also takes advantage of the visual medium in follow-up photos at the events. He seems to follow the ‘repeat a lie enough times to make it true’ school of thought, and so his pro-Russian propaganda appears more credible when supported by his misleading photos and articles regarding the events. Case in point, “Remember Odessa” was screened at the Russian Embassy with a largely Russian audience, and yet pro-Russian website “News Front” covered the screening with photos of Muzyka and Domke-Schultz claiming “German director receives congratulations from a grateful German audience” at his film premiere in Berlin. This was not the first time Muzyka leaned on News Front to push his lies. Muzyka often works directly with News Front and regularly compares Ukrainian nationalists with Nazis, conveniently throwing susceptible viewers off his own pro-fascist scent.
So what do we take away from this SARFAN fans? I think its important to recognize the multitude of forms in which Russian propaganda can reach us. Not only that, but the corrupt and bastardized forms it takes when it comes to manipulating the truth. As such, we must continue to be diligent in scrutinizing information from all sources, and strive to find the truth of each event. But as with all our articles, we hope this information leads to broader knowledge and reaches an audience who works towards holding Russia accountable for their actions. In the current landscape it appears to me that they seem to get away with whatever they want with merely a slap on the wrist and a light scolding. The bar is already so low, any other minor consequences would be an improvement. It appears that I’m again rambling, so I will sign off here, as always SARFAN fans, stay informed, be safe, and if you have any ideas for articles in the future, please reach out!