Maidans Without Fakes Simply Don’t Happen

Manipulations and manipulators

Techniques for spreading fake letters and wild rumours for the purpose of inciting mass unrest have existed for as long as there has been politics. As the means of communication have evolved, these techniques have improved, and the Internet and social networks have created a particularly effective hybrid of crowd-warming technologies.

So-called fakes have become one of the main elements of the political struggle. The same techniques wander from country to country, changing slightly depending on the specific situation.

This is about manipulating people. Where matters are brought to a Maidan, manipulators try to demonstrate the mass nature of the protest, often exaggerating the scale of the “mass” by a few-fold, or even many-fold. This requires photo and video confirmation, and the camera operator’s ability to choose the correct angle comes to the rescue.

The simplest thing is to choose a vantage point above the heads of the audience. Then a crowd of even 10-15 people deep will be perceived as extending over the entire perspective of the frame. Any image of rallies, marches, or demonstrations taken from a height is a winning one; it immediately feels like a “myriad” of people. Directing such activity is the most important thing.

Here, for example, is a video of a rally in Grodno, Belarus, at the “Grodnozhilstroy” enterprise. The crowd to the question of “Who voted for Tikhanovskaya?” in unison raises their hands. This is cited as evidence of the August 9th election being rigged. And how many people work in “Grodnozhilstroy”? Google answers: more than 3,500 people. In the video there are 100 people, 200 at most, these are protesters, the same number who are indifferent to protests are during this time at their workplace.

Are all the participants of the rally employees of “Grodnozhilstroy”? It’s unknown. All who are at the rally raised their hand “for Tikhanovskaya” actually voted for her? This is also unknown.

If the skill of the operator does not help, computer image processing specialists come into action. Another example: the poor quality of the video of the death of the demonstrator Traikovsky. Publicists claim that it shows that there is nothing in the hands of Traikovsky, and this refutes the official version that he wanted to throw an explosive device into the ranks of OMON. However, we see that Traikovsky is walking with his hands raised, and it is difficult to make out if he has something in one of his hands. We can see that he is trying to get closer to OMON. The flash allegedly from a police grenade launcher matches the location of Traikovsky’s palm in the video. The flash occurs at the location of the policemen in the video filmed from a different angle, but for some reason these videos appeared only three days after the incident. Why? Is it because the video was edited?

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Another video shows no flashes at all.

In general, a colour revolution without “sacral victims” is like a wedding night without a bride. At the time of the Ukrainian Maidan, the expression “Friday sacrifice” even appeared. On weekdays, the Maidan in Kiev functioned in a standby mode, there were only regular activists and onlookers, and on Sundays there was a “people’s veche”, where everyone was invited. And strictly on Fridays there was another “brutal massacre”. The most loud in Kiev was the appearance of Dmitry Bulatov, one of the leaders of Maidan, who had previously disappeared. The first on the spot were journalists, who showed Bulatov’s face with terrible bruises. He told the camera that he was kidnapped, tortured, his ear was cut, and he was crucified by unknown people, and then taken out of the city and thrown out of the car. The next day, there was a photo of Bulatov in a hospital bed, where he looked cheerful, without any signs of being beaten.

Then Bulatov’s ward was surrounded by a triple ring of opposition people’s deputies, who did not allow law enforcement and official experts to see him; new photos appeared of Bulatov lying lifeless in a hospital bed; the topic of the need to quickly take the victim abroad for treatment started to unfold, and he was taken to Lithuania. By the way, the removal of Aleksey Navalny to Germany for treatment is very similar to the evacuation of Bulatov.

A former associate of the Euromaidan leaders, David Zhvaniya, recently said: “There was no kidnapping. Bulatov worked for Poroshenko. Bulatov is a scoundrel hired by Poroshenko, who took the money that ordinary Ukrainians handed over to Automaidan. In addition, Bulatov agreed to participate in the staging of his kidnapping for money. It was just a PR campaign.”

The same Zhvaniya reported that the beating of Tatiyana Chernovol on December 25th 2013 was staged in order “not to let the Maidan quiet down, so that people did not start to disperse”. It is for the same purpose that Igor Lutsenko and Yury Verbitsky were kidnapped on January 21st 2014.

In general, the scenario of any colour revolution develops according to one scheme – from non-fatal incidents to fatal ones. In Belarus, Traikovsky, who died in the first days of the protests, apparently was “unplanned”, so the topic was promoted modestly enough. But as soon as some of those detained during the riots were released, the media and social networks were filled with heartbreaking stories about the atrocities of law enforcement and carbon-copy photographs of “continuous beatings”. However, it was possible to notice that in many pictures the “zone of continuous beatings” ended strictly at the line of underpants. Or they showed, for example, a strange bruise on the cheek. Strange, because boxers know that bruises on the cheek are extremely rare, but if they appear, then this involves a dissection of the inner side of the cheek against the teeth and is accompanied by a huge swelling over half of the face. In the photo, the young man with a “bruise” has a natural cheek shape.

And before the “last and decisive” march of Lukashenko’s opponents on August 23rd, a lethal victim appeared. It turned out to be a certain Nikita Krivtsov, a resident of Minsk, who disappeared on August 12th after leaving for work. He was found hanged in the woods. They claim that he was a participant in the protests, but there is no confirmation of this.

An external enemy is good for stirring up a crowd. In both Ukrainian and Belarusian cases, Russia was declared (or implied) as such, and fakes were launched about Russian special forces sent to help the “criminal regime”. In Kiev, in 2004 and 2014, there were also rumours that someone had seen Russian special forces arrive somewhere. All this “news” was thrown at the crowd, and the excited crowd believed it.

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There was a video of “Russian special forces” on the streets of Minsk – this is the production of NEXTA studios. The voice comments: “Russia? Yes, Yes, Russian identification marks! Holy shit!” Needless to say, the video is of poor quality, and it is absolutely impossible to make out any identification marks. However, the manipulation works.

Or a completely gross falsification of the video on “Twitter”: “In Belarus, an unusual flash mob: law enforcement officers who disagree with the brutal suppression of protest in cities throw their uniforms in the trash and quit”. And the cockades on the berets of “law enforcement officers” are Soviet-style with red stars…

And this is how a “popular protest” is formed, and how “public opinion” is created.


Anton Kanevsky

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