Vladimir Kornilov: How I Recruited The “Enemy of the American People”

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The hero of the thundering fake publication in the “New York Times” revealed the primitive technology of anti-Russian prints.

Last Thursday the “New York Times” newspaper delivered via a sensational “investigation” how a couple of “Russians” disguised as “fake Ukrainians” broke the course of the referendum in the Netherlands, forcing the Dutch in a vast majority to vote a year ago against the Association Agreement with Ukraine. The article is even called: “fake news, fake Ukrainians: How a group of Russians influenced the Dutch vote”.

Yes yes, this was printed by the same “New York Times” that Donald Trump tenderly calls “fallen”, “fake” and even, along with CNN — “the enemy of the American People”.


I wouldn’t also use such categorical definitions, but what can I do if the US President himself calls this newspaper that? For sure, he knows better who is the enemy of the people headed by him, and who is a friend, doesn’t he? The article of this same “enemy of the people” received an huge resonance in Ukraine. Here only the lazy didn’t reprint it in various translations and interpretations. It is especially “Ukrainian Pravda” that amused me, which, even without understanding the essence of events, at first translated the title as follows: “How fake Ukrainians brokedown (!) the referendum in the Netherlands”.

Probably, according to the authors of “Ukrainian Pravda”,  the “disruption” of the referendum means for them its organization and carrying out, and a convincing victory of eurosceptics. Well if the referendum was really disrupted, then the word “disruption” already wouldn’t be fitting, right? However, “Ukrainian Pravda” soon realised that it blurted out something not correct, and corrected the title. But everything remained in the cache!

Also, many Ukrainian politicians directly responsible for the failure of numerous Kiev agitators (we must believe, “the real Ukrainians”) in the Dutch referendum rushed to reprint this article also. For example, the ambassador of Ukraine in the Council of Europe Dmytro Kuleba posted a link to this article with the enticing signature: “Fascinating read on how Russia (!) meddled in the Dutch referendum on the Association Agreement”.

​I recall that it is the same Kuleba who personally coordinated the actions of hundreds of Ukrainian propagandists during that referendum, and is directly responsible for the failure of the Kiev campaign. And nevertheless, as you can see, he wasn’t ashamed to refer to the article judging by which 2-3 “fake Ukrainians” (and not at all Russia) utterly defeated all efforts of the horde of agitators headed by him, Klimkin, and Leshchenko!

This article also received some resonance in a number of Post-Soviet countries. Espeically indicative is the position of Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who until recently was the President of Estonia. At first he presented a link to “sensation” from the “New York Times” with the words: “How we lose to authoritarian regimes”.

Then he, probably, read this article because just half an hour later, in a manner peculiar to Estonians, he again gave a link to it with the signature: “I’ll retweet again. This is probably the best account ever on how authoritarians undo democracy in the digital age. Read.”

It’s not absolutely clear what this “digital era” is here for, because in this article there is nothing about hackers or the breaching of electronic accounts. But nevertheless, it didn’t impeach him from responding in the same pathetic manner to this retweet to Tomicah Tillemann, the speech writer of two U.S. Secretaries of State — Clinton and Kerry: “Thanks for sharing. This should be required reading for every US, EU and neighborhood citizen. Kudos “New York Times”. That, of course, speaks volumes about the level of speech writers of American Secretaries of State.

The most amazing thing is that this article didn’t cause a special resonance in the Netherlands itself. Only the satirical site GeenStijl, which became the heart of the “against” campaign in the Dutch referendum, caustically derided the “New York Times”, having declared that “fake news about the fake news” clearly became the tendency of the year. The site sincerely laughed at how “three admirers of Putin” from the team of the socialist Deputy Harry van Bommel were able overcome a great number of Ukrainian propagandists from the “yes” camp sponsored by the billionaire Soros.

In addition, the “Trouw” newspaper echoed this, presenting the opinion of Van Bommel himself that in his “Ukrainian team” there were really three female citizens of Ukraine living the recent years in the Netherlands. And they even showed him their Ukrainian passports on this occasion. As you can see, the reaction of the Dutch media was much more reserved than the Ukrainians and Estonians. And this even despite the fact that in the Netherlands they, with a special force, are searching for a “Russian trace” wherever possible, and delete electronic voting in their country “because of threat of the Russian hackers” and try to blame Putin for all their troubles. But the article of the “New York Times” did not fit the bill. Probably, the Dutch journalists really understand that to shift the blame for the convincing victory of eurosceptics on two or three “fake Ukrainians” (especially because all Dutch people saw in the daily routine on their channels the mass of Ukrainian citizens who were agitating for them to vote “yes“) — it is to offend, first of all, the millions of Dutch voters themselves…

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So who are these mysterious “fake Ukrainians” who, if we believe the main “enemy of the American people” (once again it wasn’t me who said it, but the US President!), could break the course of the campaign during the Dutch referendum-2016? In the article only two surnames are mentioned. One of them is mine. Well, whose else’s?

And if your obedient servant is nearly the main figurant of this “sensation”, I will describe to you how it was created — I dare to assure you, this is a very indicative and entertaining story.

Well, few weeks ago I was called on behalf of Andrew Higgins, the Moscow correspondent of the editorial office of the “New York Times“, who invited me to have a talk with him in the center of the Hague. Frankly speaking, the surname of this “journalist” immediately said to me a lot. It is enough to look at the list of article titles with the signature by this Mr. in order to understand: his “investigations” have no big relation to journalism, if there is any relation relation at all. Here are only a few from his recent masterpieces:

Well, and everything in the same spirit. Already the titles are worth a lot, right? I dare to assure you, the contents there are worth even more! There is an impression that Mr. Higgins met in the high-priority train going on the railroad switch of the Eastern Line with the Ostap Bender of our days, and that the latter handed to him in exchange for chicken wrapped in newspaper “an irreplaceable manual for the inventing of anti-Russian articles”. As all his “masterpieces” are written with a uniform stamp, just change the words and surnames: “In the USA (in France, Germany, Ukraine…) elections (referendums, polls, plebiscites, negotiations…) are being prepared. Everything would be good, but Putin (The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Russian hackers, “fake Ukrainians” …) interfered. All this changed it in the favor of local agents of Moscow (Trump, eurosceptics, enemies of America, bad guys…). On this basis, sanction must remain (strengthened, extended, be added with military measures, become eternal…)”. As you can see, it’s the simple, primitive template that on a regular basis is published in the “New York Times” with the signature of Higgins.

You might ask: why did I agree to this meeting, foreknowing what Higgins will write? I did it for the article that you are now reading, and I agreed! For me, as a person who studied technologies of anti-Russian propaganda in the western media for a long time, it was very curious to see with my own eyes what the “enemy of the American people” under the name “New York Times” can build from our dialogue.

Our meeting with the master of anti-Russian prints lasted more than an hour. And it began with a terrible disappointment for Higgins. I, from passing through the doorway, specified if he knows how many hundreds of citizens of Ukraine participated in agit-prop during the Dutch referendum, and whether he understands that I am one of the few who agitated for the “against” vote? The interlocutor dumbfoundedly specified whether it means that I have a Ukrainian passport or not. When I confirmed this obvious fact, he with hope in his voice asked: “And you’ve never had a Russian one?”. When I confirmed that I was never a citizen of Russia, it was terrible to look at the face of my interlocutor. Even at that moment it seemed to me that he will now begin to cry. Of course, all prepared prints from Ostap Bender started to fall apart, and the editorial task to “find and neutralize” agents of the Kremlin was flying to hell!

I.e. I will emphasize: Higgins knew perfectly well that I never had a Russian passport. But it didn’t prevent his newspaper from listing me in the category of “fake Ukrainians“. I, myself, over the past few years asked Russian and Ukrainian journalists not to call me a Ukrainian political scientist, but to call me a Donetsk one. In addition, I said all life that my nationality depends and will depend only on what country my native Donbass will find itself in. I spoke about it, by the way, also to the Dutch during debates before their referendum. But forgive me, my passport is still Ukrainian! I.e. how does the “New York Times” divide citizens of Ukraine into “fake” and “real”?

Actually, it is this question that I asked directly to the editorial offices of this newspaper, having written to them via Twitter: “Dear editors! What does it mean “fake Ukrainians”? Your author knows that I am a Ukrainian citizen and that I don’t have any other passport”.

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Some commentators immediately began to react: “Just curious, would the “New York Times” call foreign-born US citizens “fake Americans” if they oppose Trump?” ​


This was a painful prick to the “New York Times”, considering the fact that all of them were indignant with Trump’s strikes against American “Mexicans”.

After a few hours, on the website of the newspaper a major correction to their article appeared: it turns out the “Ukrainian team” of agitators against the Agreement of Ukraine with Netherlands consisted of representatives of the “breakaway Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine”, and not simply the “Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine”.

Aha, here it is! It turns out that, according to the logic of this newspaper, a citizen of Ukraine who grew up in Donbass, which broke away from the former, is a “fake Ukrainian”, right? I.e. the “New York Times” officially and definitively recognized the separation of Donbass from Ukraine? Or how differently to understand this super-basic correction? Me, Personally, I understood it like this: dear Donetsk citizens, the Ukraine-EU Agreement doesn’t concern you any more, because you aren’t a part of Ukraine? Wouldn’t Higgins have written it directly like this? Why does his newspaper persistently repeat that Donbass is still a part of Ukraine, in which the real Ukrainians, and not fake ones are living?

Personally I, for example, haven’t been to the DPR to this day, and didn’t change my passport. So why did Higgins, knowing that citizens of Ukraine in a huge number agitated for “yes”, and me on the same basis agitated “against”, considered me – an ethnic Russian and native of Lipetsk, who up to six years of age lived in Russia – as a “fake” citizen of Ukraine? And tell me, my age-mate Pavel Klimkin, an ethnic Russian, a native of Kursk, who up to six years of age lived in Russia (and then, by the way, studied in Moscow University when I studied in Donetsk university) — is he a “fake Ukrainian” or not? He, after all, also participated in agitation during the referendum in the Netherlands! So how can Higgins distinguish the “fakeism” of one citizen from the “authenticity” of others?

Although in the article the author tries to explain his “logic” by the fact that, according to the “emails stolen by the pro-Ukrainian group of hackers”, your obedient servant “offered information and advice to politicians and others in Moscow during previous work in Kiev at a research institute financed by Russia”. Unbelievable! The political consultant offered political consultations! And for the sake of this there was a need to steal emails! Yes I did and I do it publicly, openly, on the air of all TV, in articles, in numerous round tables, organized by me. Moreover, I gave much more advice to Ukrainian politicians than to Russian ones, and I have never hidden it.

And Higgins knew about this perfectly well also. When he asked about these “stolen emails”, I asked him if he had read this “sensational” find. The interlocutor admitted that he read and that my letters were “the most boring part” of these documents. Of course, it was written there that I tried “to influence a situation at the international level”, and my report about a meeting with representatives of the Embassy of China is referred to here as proof. Thus, I described to Higgins the details about my meetings with representatives of the western embassies in Kiev, including the US Embassy. The diplomats regularly came to my office, I regularly and quite publicly visited diplomatic receptions and meetings, as well as most of my colleagues. But as you can see, the “New York Times” chose to refer precisely to the “stolen emails”, and not to the public articles in which I sometimes described these meetings, and about which I directly spoke to Higgins — of course it immediately adds to the information a sign of some mysteriousness and sensation.

So, according to the “sensational” revelation, I “contacted” a number of leaders of the “against” camp, including the aforementioned Deputy Harry van Bommel and the Forum for Democracy party leader Thierry Baudet. Forgive me, but what does “contacted” mean? I interviewed them, which I publicly and openly, under my surname, published on the site “Ukraina.ru” and even in the Ukrainian press! In these interviews, unlike the “New York Times”, nobody spreads “fake news”, but honestly and openly it was said that Dutch people in a majority will vote “no” in the referendum. And that’s how it happened!

I.e. honest public interviews now should be equated to “espionage contacts”? Does it mean that during the interview (sorry, contact!) with Andrew Higgins I recruited he and his newspaper, “the enemy of the American people”? Judging by Higgins’ “logic”, it should be! Now they need to justify themselves, like Van Bommel did in the Trouw newspaper?

Let’s agree that this is tremendous “logic”! I even told Higgins that some months prior to the referendum I gave open advice to Ukraine and Soros how they can easily and simply thwart the Dutch referendum, without resorting to considerable efforts. And I published it in the Ukrainian press. The American “journalist” didn’t believe it, and asked me to send a link, which is what I did an hour after our meeting. But Higgins couldn’t mention this open advice and how the Ukrainian side itself did everything possible for a victory of the eurosceptics, having ignored my advice about the only advantageous tactics — well, it doesn’t suit an editorial task to look for the “Russian trace” in all troubles of the western establishment. They can’t accuse Soros or “fake Ukrainian” Klimkin!

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I, by the way, told Higgins, and then also another correspondent of the Dutch newspaper that right after the referendum Ukrainian Deputy Sergey Leshchenko publicly admitted that “donors’ (read — Soros ones?) money” for the campaign in the Netherlands accumulated in Kiev, which the Dutch voter still doesn’t suspect. So why didn’t the western and Dutch press pay any attention to this? I asked the Dutch journalist what would happen if I or someone else also wrote that “money for the Dutch campaign accumulated in Moscow”? Oh if you could see the dreamy look of this Dutch journalist!..

But it’s enough about one “fake Ukrainian”. Because the “New York Times” spoke not only about me, but also about 26-year-old student Nikita Ananyev, who took part in agitation for “against”. He was born in Moscow — it’s enough to declare him as a “fake Ukrainian”! Do you know what is most shocking? That Nikita since six years of age (well, just like me and Klimkin!) lives in the Netherlands and  has been a citizen of this country for a long time! I.e. according to the American newspaper, citizens of the Netherlands also didn’t have the right to take part in campaigning if they were in the party of eurosceptics?! This is really sensational! Then let’s return to American citizens of Mexican origin — so why did the “New York Times” so actively fight for their right to vote and for equal participation in presidential elections? Rhetorical question, isn’t it?

I deliberately searched for Nikita after the release of Higgins’ article and asked if really the latter asked him about his nationality. The Dutch student of Russian origin affirms that he didn’t even take an interest despite the fact that they talked for almost an hour and a half. Seemingly, Higgins again didn’t want to burst into tears, understanding that the answer will not fit in Ostap Bender’s “Irreplaceable manual”. I asked Ananyev whether he at least once, somewhere, at any action before the referendum, presented himself as “Ukrainian”. He said: “Of course, never! A times I said that the roots of my ancestors are in Crimea – that is a real fact”. Sorry, but in which way did the “New York Times” make from the citizen of the Netherlands a “fake Ukrainian”?! And who is fake here — the young student Ananyev or the journalist Higgins?

The newspaper, however, wrote that Van Bommel had “the Ukrainian group”, which actively helped him during agitation. As the socialist deputy himself explained, three women, citizens of Ukraine who long ago married Dutch people and who live in the Netherlands, were involved. One of them originates from Donetsk (well, i.e. if to take into account the “logic” of the correction of the “New York Times”, it is from the region that “broke away” from Ukraine). And the two others — from Odessa and Lvov. Yes yes, precisely from Lvov. Moreover, the women from Lvov spoke openly about it during the campaign. Thus, the day before the referendum the Vikna program on STB tried to unravel the mystery of the “fake Ukrainian”. Having caught up with her on the central square of Amsterdam, Ukrainian “journalists” asked her where exactly did she live in Lvov. She honestly answered: “On Lenin Avenue”. When representatives of STB started having fun, she explained that now it is Svoboda Avenue, but when she lived there, this avenue had such a name. Of course, this explanation wasn’t shown on the TV channel broadcast — this also isn’t suitable for the editorial task.

So, in an article called “fake news, fake Ukrainians: How a group of Russians tilted the Dutch vote” some real citizens of Ukraine are mentioned, there are real citizens of the Netherlands and … there is no Russian! And what about “fake news”? An American blogger from Alabama who tried to analyze this article wrote: “It is amusing because no fact in the piece agrees with the headline. The piece itself turns out to be fake news.”

Quite so! And that’s why Donald Trump has a full basis to call this newspaper and some other mainstream media of America the tender words “producers of fake news”. And, for this reason these people who don’t have any relation to journalism brought this situation where western society (not only USA) practically ceased to trust US newspapers and television news.

Excuse me for the long text, dear readers. I especially in detail analyzed the article “New York Times” and primitive technology of anti-Russian printing because I had the opportunity to be a living witness, and a figurant involved in this article. As you can guess, all other anti-Russian “sensations” mentioned above are born from the same template, on the same “Irreplaceable manual for the invention of anti-Russian articles”. The principle is simple: if there are no the facts confirming the Russian intervention in this or that process in the West, then it is detriment to the facts! The main thing is to accuse the opposite side of producing “fake news” at the right time!

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