GUEST: Operator Starsky – soldier, press officer, blogger, and hipster.

Russia lies. From government officials to the military, diplomats, and propagandists – all the way up to Putin and his cronies. If their mouths are open and they are uttering sounds – you can make a bet that they are lying, and most times you’d win that gamble. The lies are often so monstrous, gigantic, so ridiculous, so irrational and contradictory, that they’d be comical. Except that Russian lies are also accompanied by theft, murder, rape, and torture. Brutality and depravity on a scale that Europe has not seen since the 1940s.

Today I’m speaking with Operator Starsky, a Ukrainian National Guardian, blogger, and self-described ‘war hipster’. He has created one of the most popular and original YouTube channels dedicated to the international community who support Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression.

#operatorstarsky #ukraine #ukrainewar #russia #zelensky #putin #propaganda #war #disinformation #hybridwarfare #foreignpolicy #communism #sovietunion #postsoviet

Oleksandr Kraiev

Eugen Fedchenko

Valeria Kovtun

Oleksandra Tsekhanovska
Olga Tokariuk


00:00 Introduction to Operator Starsky
01:23 The origins of Operator Starsky’s YouTube channel
03:40 Combining insight, humour and great English is rare
05:55 Moving to Moscow was essential to get on in society
06:38 Learning languages before the internet and cellphones
07:48 Reaction of Starsky’s commanders to his YouTube channel
11:18 What do the videos’ stats tell you about your audience?
20:03 Who is target audience for Russian ‘blitzcringe’ adverts?
20:53 Julia Davis translation of cringe Russian New Year show
23:56 Don’t go out on Armed Forces Day – you risk life and limb
25:20 The extraordinary success of meme warfare and NAFO army
28:35 Self-generating disinfo community, without command and control
29:33 Why Ukraine is winning: self-organising and distrustful of authority
38:12 Russian propaganda narratives worked better prior to 2022
40:22 Supportive commentary, even from countries targeted by Russian disinfo
49:47 The further West you go, the more idealistic is the view of Russians
59:06 Which countries understand the threat from Russia best of all?
1:03:02 Russia believed it’s bribes and assets in Ukraine would secure victory
1:04:35 There is no going back to normal – Ukraine is a frontline for freedom


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