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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Liveblog Day 152
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian Ultrnationalist Bragged About Repair of Separatists' BUKs
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A Russian ultranationalist movement leader has been caught on tape speaking about an anti-aircraft BUK system in the possession of pro-Russian separatists in southeastern Ukraine.

Sergei Kurginyan, a Moscow theater director who heads the leftist ultranationalist "Essence of Time" group bragged that Russian "civil society" was helping the separatists with military supplies and had found a repairman to fix the BUKs in the separatists' possession. Kurginyan, an outspoken supporter of the separatists fighting in Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine, travelled under armed guard among the separatists in recent weeks.

The July 13 episode for his Essence of Time's YouTube channel, Kurginyan explains that Russian civil society is providing military aid to the separatists -- a theme he accentuated in his scandalous press conferences with separatist leaders recently.

The Interpreter has translated an excerpt:

"But, our very talented and even brilliant electronics experts will of course repair -- I think they've even already repaired, it seems to me -- the BUK system seized from the Ukrainian bandits -- the Banderaites [supporters of Ukrainian war hero Stepan Bandera]-- I don't want to say 'the Ukrainian people' but the bandits and the Banderaites and in the very near future, I simply know a brilliant electronics expert who has flown there -- precisely as a representative of civil society who will help the fraternal people. In very short time it will get it back working. It will be fixed, yes? It might even turn out there are even several systems."

Read more on our Russia This Week blog.

A fan account for the popular Crimean prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya has also been caught bragging about the BUKs -- and it has not been deleted.

This account may have been used by Kremlin propagandists to spread the pre-seeding of the message about the stolen BUKs as we reported at the time, but what's interesting about the tweet is that it doesn't say the BUKs were seized, just that they "appeared":

Translation: Kupol Anti-Aircraft weapon - detection radius 150 km. ZRK Buk - target kill radius 20 km. Some excellent cookies have appeared at the militiamen for the Ukrainian Air Force.

Read more on our Russia This Week blog