Lots of Russian-based disinformation about Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine has been a sovereign state since 1991, and has a right to remain a Free State instead of a Russian installed Puppet State. Russia is the Largest Country in the World already, and there is absolutely no reason for them to be extending their borders!
‘Male State — or ‘Male Legion’ (Muzhskoi Legion) as the group’s official Telegram channel has been called since the court’s ruling — has turned its attention to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, becoming some of Putin’s most loyal online soldiers. They parrot disinformation about civilian casualties of Russian attacks and praise possible war crimes. They use dehumanising hate speech against Ukrainians and antisemitic slurs against Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.‘
Bellingcat (stylised as bell¿ngcat) is a Netherlands-based investigative journalism group that specialises in fact-checking and open-source intelligence (OSINT). It was founded by British journalist and former blogger Eliot Higgins in July 2014. Bellingcat publishes the findings of both professional and citizen journalist investigations into war zones, human rights abuses, and the criminal underworld. The site’s contributors also publish guides to their techniques, as well as case studies.
Bellingcat began as an investigation into the use of weapons in the Syrian Civil War. Its reports on the War in Donbas (including the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17), the El Junquito raid, the Yemeni Civil War, the Skripal poisoning, and the killing of civilians by the Cameroon Armed Forces have attracted international attention.
The name derives from the idiom “belling the cat”, which comes from a medieval fable about mice who discuss how to make a cat harmless. One suggests hooking a bell around his neck, and all the mice support the idea but none is willing to do it.
Bellingcat is an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigation to probe a variety of subjects – from Mexican drug lords and crimes against humanity, to tracking the use of chemical weapons and conflicts worldwide. With staff and contributors in more than 20 countries around the world, we operate in a unique field where advanced technology, forensic research, journalism, investigations, transparency and accountability come together.
Our most popular posts of the last year included analysis of the April 7, 2018, chemical attack in Douma, Syria; exposure of a fake persona who had been widely cited in Ukrainian and anti-Putin Russian media as a Pentagon official; the illegal shipping of precursors of the nerve agent Sarin to Syria by Belgian companies; the Syrian Arab Army’s armored vehicle losses; and the use of drones by non-state actors in Syria and Iraq. Our most significant publications have included identifying a key suspect in the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 investigation as a high-ranking Russian intelligence officer, and identifying suspects in the Skripals poisoning as Russian intelligence officers as well. Our reporting has also been covered extensively by a range of international news media.
I’ll be using articles from Bellingcat for this post, and wanted to inform readers as to who Bellingcat is and what it does. Have recently written posts that included them: Here & Here. The Modern World needs more reliable Investigative journalism sites like them, IMHO, especially with all the Russian-based lies being promoted since their unprovoked ‘Hitler like‘ invasion of the Ukraine.
They were banned and designated as extremist by a Russian court in October 2021. But Male State — the online gang of racists, homophobes and misogynists Bellingcat investigated last year — has retained a significant following and managed to become a vocal and vile online booster of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
As we detailed in our previous investigation, Male State’s tens of thousands of members fight against everything they perceive as a threat to Russia. They wrap up their hate in an extreme right-wing ideology they describe as “national patriarchy”, all under the informal leadership of a college dropout named Vladislav Pozdnyakov.
Male State was founded in 2016 by Pozdnyakov on Russia social media network VKontakte (VK). There, they focused on trolling, harassing and threatening anybody they deemed an opponent to their ‘national patriarchy’, particularly women. These efforts led to Pozdyakov being convicted of inciting hatred against women in 2018.
After being banned from VK in 2020, Pozdnyakov and Male State took their activities to Telegram where, despite occasional bans of some of the channels they operate, they continue to grow in subscribers and propagandise openly.
In the weeks leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and on a daily basis since, Male State has become a vocal, profane and chauvinistic defender of Putin’s war. With many adorning their avatars with the ubiquitous “Z” that has become a symbol of support for Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine, Male State’s channels and many of its members leave no doubt as to where they stand.
I have seen WordPress blogs promoting Male State ‘n similar ‘HATE sites‘ by linking to their Russian-based disinformation articles, tweets, etc. about Ukraine ‘n Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In just the past several months, they’ve harassed and threatened retailers who use Black models in their advertisements, posted the private contact details of a member of feminist protest group Pussy Riot — who soon found herself the target of abuse — and reportedly sent threats to Russian women in relationships with non-Russian men.
The group’s language echoes the so-called ‘manosphere,’ complete with discussions of ‘alpha’, ‘beta’ and frequently ‘omega’ males rooted in long-debunked theories drawn from the animal kingdom. But Male State’s members and leader Pozdnyakov have also shown a particular hatred for Russian women in relationships with men from perceived non-white backgrounds, particularly Black men.
This cocktail of extreme right-wing views did not come from nowhere. According to Tanya Lokot, a researcher whose work focuses on the Russian-language internet, the kind of ideas espoused by Male State — misogyny, homophobia and a strong belief in traditional gender roles — are already a “normalised” part of Russia’s social and political discourse, even if not expressed as radically.
“Given the presence of these kinds of ideas… it’s not surprising these groups emerge. State-sanctioned misogyny has given an informal blessing to groups like Male State” …
“We hope that you’ll become our faithful companions and together with us wage an information war against…[the] enemies of our people,” Male State wrote in an August 2021 post on their Telegram channel, celebrating an influx of followers as the movement came into the media spotlight.
After being banned from VK in July 2020, Male State made a new home for itself on Telegram, where it founded a new channel. This main channel, under the title ‘Male State’, had almost 45,000 subscribers as of October 2021.
Will also post this at the Big Brother Report blog…
Big Brother is WATCHING YOU – ‘There were five forms of governance that migrated from theory to reality in the 20th Century: Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism and Progressivism. The common denominator among them was unprecedented control and regulation by the State over human activity. It is delusional to think that the Totalitarian impulse expired with the 20th Century.’ – E. Nuff Said