Manipulation. Australians Congratulated Russians on Bakhmut Liberation

Tetiana Fram - 05 July 2023 | 16:28

According to Gwara’s fact-checkers observations, Russian propaganda often uses alleged international support to promote its narratives. This time, a video is circulating online where the Australians allegedly congratulate Russians on Bakhmut liberation. Read in our investigation who is on the video and what it actually captures.

What happened?

Since the end of May, a video has been spread online (TwitterTelegram), where Australians allegedly congratulated Russians on Bakhmut’s liberation and supported the PMC Wagner fighters.

The residents of Australia came out in support of the special operation, the Wagner Group fighters, and congratulated them on the liberation of Bakhmut, aka Artemivsk. “Work, brothers! Here in Australia, we have your back. We are with you. Free our territories. Thank you, Wagner!” the video description reads.


We began our analysis by checking the Russian media, which we suppose should have covered such Australian support for the “special operation” (SVO).

Instead, in an article dated May 24, 2023, in the Russian publication “CHITA.RU,” we came across coverage of this event as a demonstration of Trans-Baikal Cossacks supporting the Russian SVO in Sydney.

“They think that the Trans-Baikal Cossacks are sitting out!” A demonstration in support of Russia and the SVO was organized in Sydney,” the article’s title reads.

The article quotes the demonstration organizer, the so-called ataman of the Trans-Baikal Cossacks, Semen Boykov.

We do this purposefully, even realizing there may be bad consequences. Visual support is important: flags and the letter Z. We do this to show that there is a Russian spirit here. They also watch us in Russia, and it is important to maintain a high military-patriotic spirit.

Moreover, the CHITA.RU article added a link to the AussieCossack Telegram channel of Trans-Baikal Cossacks in Australia, where a video celebrating the alleged Bakhmut liberation was released on May 23. Besides the event, the video also covers the reaction of Australian law enforcement agencies.

That is, on May 23, the Sydney police dispersed a demonstration of Trans-Baikal Cossacks.

However, the reaction of Australian society did not end there.

On May 24, the day after the rally, Australian human rights activist and critic of the Chinese Communist Party, Drew Pavlou, posted a video of the demonstration without police dispersal on his Twitter.

Russian Z fascists in Sydney, Australia host celebrations to mark complete destruction of Bakhmut. Chetniks and Greek Golden Dawn Neo-Nazis present in the crowd. Chants: “God bless Putin and God bless Wagner.” We would not allow ISIS celebrations in Sydney, why allow this?” the message reads.

This post went viral and received more than 1,2 million views.

In the comments, Twitter readers also posted a video of the police arriving at the rally.

Many people were outraged that such an event took place at all.

It should be noted that not only English-speaking users were outraged by the demonstration of the Trans-Baikal Cossacks in Sydney. The pro-Russian rally did not find favorable reviews among the Russian audience, where most commentators demanded that the Trans-Baikal Cossacks go to the Motherland.

“Why don’t they live in Russia then?”

As NYBrreaking later wrote on May 25:

“NSW Police were called to the event around 6pm. They said a small group attended the event and left shortly after officers arrived. No arrests or other measures were taken.”


The post is a classic example of manipulation. The video, in which the Australians allegedly congratulated the Russians on Bakhmut liberation, actually shows a rally of a small group of people, according to the Sydney police, who position themselves as Trans-Baikal Cossacks. Moreover, the demonstration was dispersed by the police shortly after it began.

Australia condemned the Russian invasion, imposed sanctions against high-ranking Russian officials, and accepted thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

On June 23, it was reported that Australia would provide Ukraine with a new aid package of $73,5 million, including 70 military vehicles for protection against Russian aggression. Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese said this on Monday, Reuters reports. The latest military assistance package will include 28 M113 armored vehicles, 14 special operations vehicles, 28 medium trucks, and 14 trailers.

So Australia’s total aid to Ukraine has reached $530 million, including more than $407 million since the start of the full-scale invasion.

Also read: Fake. Destroyed Ukrainian Tank on Handelsblatt Cover

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