Sources Say Oligarch Funded Scheme to Paint Swastikas in Ukraine, Rolling Stone

26 March, 15:04
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Sources Say Oligarch Funded Scheme to Paint Swastikas in Ukraine, Rolling Stone - фото 1
Multiple sources tell Rolling Stone that a Ukrainian businessman offered payouts for a false flag operation aimed at bolstering Putin’s claim that Ukraine was a Nazi hotbed.

In the months before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, an oligarch with Russian ties allegedly paid for locals to paint swastikas around Kharkiv, sources say. The effort, according to the sources, was part of a false flag operation to exaggerate Ukraine’s Nazi presence at a time when Putin was using it as a pretext for war, sources told Rolling Stone.

Pavel Fuks, a Ukrainian businessman who formerly had Russian citizenship, used intermediaries to pay criminals between $500 and $1,500 to paint antisemitic graffiti across Ukraine in December, January, and February, the sources reportedly told the publication.Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade Ukraine in late February in what he called a "special military operation". He has called Ukraine's government — whose president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is Jewish — a "band of junkies and neo-Nazis" and said that the invasion aimed for the "demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine."

 

Former Ukrainian kickboxer Oleg Plyush told Rolling Stone that he was friends with Fuks and spoke to him about the swastika plot. Plyush said he was aware of three pieces of antisemitic graffiti that he said were funded by Fuks, including some in Kyiv. The graffiti was carried out by "street thugs," two of whom he personally knew, Plyush told the publication.

Fuks, who is Jewish, helped finance the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center in Kyiv, which Ukrainian officials say was damaged earlier this month by attacks from Russia.

Plyush said that Fuks had told him he had "no choice" but to implement the scheme if he wanted to stay in business in the region. Rolling Stone did not say who this pressure came from.

According to the publication, the use of Nazi symbols is a tactic known to be used by Russian intelligence to help stir unrest, and the claims that Fuks was involved do not suggest the actions were driven by antisemitism.

Former KGB general Oleg Kalugin wrote in his memoir that KGB officers paid American agents to paint swastikas on synagogues and hospitals in New York and Washington during the Cold War to make it look antisemitic, per Rolling Stone.

Sources Say Oligarch Funded Scheme to Paint Swastikas in Ukraine, Rolling Stone - фото 89995