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  • Writer's pictureVex

Documenting Unreliability – Pro-Russian Influencers and Bad Ukraine War Takes

The purpose of this article is to record and archive the blatant fallibility, lies, and willful deceit propagated by pro-Russian or anti-Western personalities and various unprincipled grifters. Additionally, many of the personalities featured here often excoriate Western media and popular OSINT practitioners over any errors in reporting while wrapping themselves in filter bubbles via blocking of critics whenever their own mistakes are pointed out. In other words, aside from documenting the unreliability of these individuals, this article is also intended to shed light on their frequent hypocrisy. This article will be updated as new examples are produced by the aforementioned entities, and as such should be considered a “live” document subject to change at any time.

We’ll begin with one of the larger, more well known entities – Russians With Attitude. RWA is run by a pair of Russian bloggers who provide news, analysis, and flagrant disinfo through a pro-Russian lens. Their Twitter account swelled in popularity with the initiation of a renewed war against Ukraine by Russia in February of 2022, and now boasts over 160,000 followers at the time of this writing.

Their most notable biff is their prediction that Ukraine’s military would rapidly fold against the Russian military, even claiming that Ukraine as a whole would fall within hours. As of the time of this writing, the renewed Russo-Ukrainian war has lasted for over three months, with Russian forces now nowhere near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Russians With Attitude biffing it by predicting Ukraine would fall in hours

Of course, anyone even semi-competent would have known better than to make such a ridiculous prediction. The Ukrainian military has had 8 years to train, rearm, fortify their positions, and learn from the ongoing conflict in the Donbas. They had nearly 200,000 active personnel at the beginning of the Russian offensive, along with plenty of military hardware including modernized T-64 tanks, SU-25 ground attack aircraft, SU-27 multi-role fighters, anti-ship missiles, MLRS systems, several artillery systems, self propelled AA, counter battery radar, etc. They’ve also received ample support from the U.S. and other allies in their defensive efforts. To think Ukraine would fall within days, much less hours, is laughable.

However, this is not RWA’s only biff. They also shared erroneous information regarding a photo of Russian soldiers and where they were located, claiming the soldiers were standing in the Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk. In fact, they were standing in front of the State Administration Building in the Ukrainian city of Popasna, as pointed out by Danspiun on Twitter.

RWA getting a location in Ukraine wrong

Armchair Warlord (real name Tyler Weaver) is another popular pro-Russian account, one which happened to spread the same disinformation that RWA spread regarding the photo of Russian soldiers in Popasna. At the time of this writing, Armchair Warlord had about 28,000 followers on Twitter. They also cavort about as a legitimate OSINT analyst, which we will quickly see is not the case.

Armchair Warlord spreading disinformation regarding the location of Russian soldiers in Ukraine

Armchair Warlord deleted the above tweet and, to my knowledge, never corrected himself. After being called out over this, he promptly blocked me.

Aside from sharing plainly false information and failing to correct himself, Armchair Warlord has also engaged in the popular practice of making wild, baseless predictions about how long Ukraine could fight the war against Russia. In a stream entitled War in Ukraine - D-Day plus 3 Update which was streamed on February 26th, 2022, he stated that he would not be surprised if Ukraine was "militarily defeated inside of the week." He additionally stated that "we could conservatively expect Kyiv... to fall by the end of March." These statements are heard approximately at 33:40 and 33:54, respectively. As of the time of this writing - June 2nd, 2022, over 3 months since the start of the invasion - Ukraine is still fighting the war, Kyiv never fell, and the Russian military has now retreated fully from northern Ukraine. That Tyler parades himself around as a military expert while often mocking the "brOSINT" community while failing to verify information, failing to correct himself, and making utterly farcical predictions about the war's length and Ukraine's military capabilities is in itself laughable, and he has earned every ounce of mockery heaped upon him by my self and others.

The greatest irony of all this is that in the very same stream referenced above, at about 12:45, Tyler mocks those calling Russia a paper tiger or those noting that the war was not going as planned for Russia as being "laughable", and stating of anyone who says as much that "they don't know what they're talking about, and you should not take what they're saying seriously, because odds are they're not an expert." Not an expert indeed, Tyler.

Here we have yet another pro-Russian Twitter account - 200_zoka - with about 86,000 followers on Twitter posting the same false information as RWA and Armchair Warlord were seen posting above. Again, this was a photo from Popasna, not Severodonetsk.

Next up is Anatoly Karlin, an individual with an interesting history and about 26,000 followers on Twitter. He is an avowed racist and generally unprincipled grifter who clings to whatever new, controversial thing will generate more clicks for his Substack. He’s also been laughably wrong about the Russo-Ukrainian war, predicting as RWA did that Ukraine would fall in hours. He also claimed that there were Russian navy landings in the Ukrainian city of Odessa - there weren’t, and as of the time of this writing Odessa was never directly assaulted at all.

A spectacularly bad take by Anatoly Karlin about the Ukraine war

After pointing out his failed prediction, he quickly blocked me on Twitter.

Anatoly additionally joins the ranks of exceptional predictors, with several predictions that have all somehow failed to come to fruition despite their speaker's best efforts at magical thinking and wishcasting.

Below are Anatoly's predictions regarding the course of the war, posted on February 23rd, 2022. Coincidentally, he made the same prediction as Armchair Warlord regarding Ukraine's military efforts only lasting about one week. As I have stated multiple times over, such a prediction was just as laughable then as it is now and no one who made such statements regarding the war should be taken seriously ever again without a thorough walking-back and an unqualified admittance that they had absolutely no rational basis upon which to make these claims.

Anatoly Karlin being laughably wrong about the length of the Ukraine-Russia war

Remnant Posting was a relatively popular Twitter account (now banned, though still active on Telegram and Substack) amongst people who appeared to be interested in what I’d call “alternative politics.” They were not necessarily pro-Russian so much as they were anti-Western/anti-mainstream U.S. politics. Regardless, they have a biff of their own to record.

RP claimed that “dumb, bovine Amerikans” would be shocked a week from February 27th of 2022 (the Russian offensive in Ukraine started on the 24th) in regards to a tweet by Adam Kinzinger, wherein Adam stated that Russia was a paper tiger. As you might recall from the analysis of RWA’s tweets earlier, the war has now lasted for months and Kyiv is not even close to being taken. Russia has thrown away thousands of men and millions of dollars in hard to replace military equipment for gains that could so far be considered marginal outside of the renewed flow of water to Crimea. Russia’s economy has been battered, and Ukraine is still fighting. Exactly what Remnant Posting expected us all to be “awestruck” about is beyond me.

Remnant Posting making a bad prediction about some unspecified thing Americans would be awestruck about

Now we have Max Blumenthal, an editor for Grayzone News who boasts a large following on Twitter of about 318,000 as of the time of this writing. Blumenthal claimed shortly after the renewed offensive began that Ukraine’s military was “vanquished” and that the U.S. government was going to prop up an insurgency within Ukraine to provoke a civil war. As I’ve already made abundantly clear, Ukraine – and its military – are still standing months later.

Max Blumenthal laughably predicting that Ukraine's military was vanquished days into the Russo-Ukrainian war

That Blumenthal is an empty headed hack should go without saying, but here we are.

We now add another account to the stable with Navsteva - sitting at around 19,000 Twitter followers as of the time of this writing. Navsteva took to Twitter in April to vehemently deny the sinking of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva by the Ukrainian military, as seen in the series of Tweets below.

Navsteva claiming the Moskva was not sunk and had entered Sevastopol

Navsteva claiming the Moskva was not sunk

Navsteva even chose to remark on the incident by saying the Moskva was still afloat and that it should be "a cautionary tale to wait for confirmation before declaring victory."

Navsteva making soon to be ironic statement about the Moskva and waiting for info to be confirmed before celebrating

Whether or not the irony of his own statements has ever struck him is anyone's guess, but he eventually caved and parroted the Russian MoD's official report on the event, in which they admitted the Moskva had sunk.

Navsteva admitting the Moskva had sunk

To make matters worse (or more entertaining, rather) all of the tweets by Navsteva featured here are from the same day.

That’s all for now, but watch this space for updates. More bad Russo-Ukrainian war takes will be added as they are found.

For more salt and gnashing of teeth, you can subscribe to my email list or follow me on Twitter @socialactuality. Thanks for reading.

- Vex

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