Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

Recent #CAN Mentions by #UKR Separatist Media

with 4 comments

Just a couple of recent references I wanted to share from the Donbas News Agency (DAN), part of the Ukrainian separatist official info-machine.

Early last month (5-6 December 2016), we got to read about the death of a Canadian working for a Ukrainian special forces team (in English — Russian version here, screen capture of English & Russian versions here or here):

“A Canadian mercenary enrolled in 73rd center for special operations of Ukrainian armed forces was killed as Kiev attempted to attack DPR positions on the south axis, DPR Operations Command deputy commander Eduard Basurin said speaking at a news briefing at Donetsk News Agency on Monday (5 December 2016).

“A sabotage and reconnaissance squad was uncovered operating in the vicinity of Vodyanoye. The servicemen of 73rd center for special operations carried out an armed provocation in vicinity of our positions. As the result of the gunfight that followed Ukrainian troops pulled back to their initial positions, one enemy fighter was killed. According to our sources, a Canadian mercenary was killed,” Basurin said.

DPR intelligence routinely spots foreign mercenaries deployed by Kiev to Donbass frontline areas. On November 1st Ukrainian military command has accommodated mercenaries on the premises of an orphans health center in Svyatogorsk.”

That “73rd Centre for Special Operations”  appears to be referring to Ukraine’s 73rd Special Naval Center based in Ochakiv – more on these guys in Ukrainian here (usual Wikipedia GIGO caveats apply).

On 6 December 2016, Ukrainian media reported one soldier killed (another media reference here), without offering any identifying informationI’ve emailed the UKR military info-machine for confirmation or identification, but I still haven’t heard anything back from Ukraine’s military media folks.

Responding to an email question I sent to Global Affairs Canada, on Wednesday (7 December 2016), a spokesperson emailed me saying, “Global Affairs Canada has received no official information supporting this report at the present time”.

A few days later, we get this from the separatist info-machine:

“DPR intelligence spotted military instructors and mercenaries from Canada, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in Kiev-controlled territory, DPR Operations Command deputy commander Colonel Eduard Basurin told a news briefing at the Donetsk News Agency on Friday.

“I would like to point out the increased activity of foreign military instructors and mercenaries in Ukraine’s territory. Over the week we spotted military from Canada, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.”

He showed journalists a Magnum Winchester cartridge of the kind that, Basurin said, is manufactured in NATO countries.

Supposedly the cartridge belonged to a Canadian citizen who arrived to Donbass for a ‘safari’. Earlier reports said a Canadian fighter had been killed in a clash with DPR militiamen in vicinity of Vodyanoye.

“Ukrainian gunmen organized a ‘safari’ in the ATO zone. Via social networks they call foreigners to join the hunt for separatists,” Basurin explained.”

The Russian-language version of this story also includes this graphic:


None of the above has been picked up by Canadian or other western media.  The “Canadian mercenary” story seems to have been carried by various Russian-language media (Google News), generally citing Ukrainian separatist sources.

You can download screen captures of the first story here (PDF), and the second story (PDF) here.


Written by

8 January 17 at 8:00

Posted in propaganda, Ukraine

4 Responses

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  1. To be fair, nobody tracks mercenaries… So, if a private Canadian person of, say, Ukrainian descent bought ticket to Ukraine & joined some “volunteer battalion”, no official organisations would have any information.

    On the other hand, there is no factual evidence provided that a Canadian was killed…



    9 January 17 at 3:31

    • You’re right about “volunteers”, but separatist media is presenting this (alleged?) “Canadian” as being a member of Ukraine’s special forces.

      If these folks really are SF the same way Western military SF is special, methinks they wouldn’t likely take walk-in volunteers.

      Another scenario: a dual Ukrainian-Canadian may have been killed.

      Yet another scenario: they may have made all this up.

      All interesting stuff for WTF? levels of discussion 🙂

      9 January 17 at 11:00

  2. […] this, some other previous mentions of Canadians in the separatist media and the latest mention of naughty Canadian troops in Russian-language media in Latvia, does this […]

  3. […] Previous mentions of Canadian mercs & ne’er do wells being where they’re not supposed to be by separatist & Russian media here, here and here. […]

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