Need debunking: Ukrainians discriminate against the Greek population near Mariupol

TheNZThrower

Active Member
According to Greek City Times, the Russians are not killing civilians in a captured village near Mariupol called Sartana. They also mention that the Ukrainians discriminated against them unlike the Russians:
A correspondent for Russian media asked a civilian of the village that “Western, EU, and Greek media say that the Russians are killing Ukrainians, terrorising the world, etc. Can you, as Sartana’s Greeks, say something to your compatriots in Greece?”

The Greeks of Sartana responded: “Nobody kills anyone here. The Russians do not kill anyone.”

“No one is shooting at civilians here...

“The Russians do not discriminate,” they continued, adding: “While the Ukrainians did, they forced us to speak only Ukrainian, although I do not know it at all.”
The article linked to the following tweets by the Russian embassy in Greece, which contained the interviews by the Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti:


The interviews are suspect by their very nature, not only as they come from a highly suspect source, but also because they were taken in Russian occupied territory. As the Russian government aren't exactly famous for respecting free speech, the best result the interviewees can get if they contradict the pro-Russia narrative is at best being ignored, and at worst some sort of punishment. If anyone else can corroborate the interviews, it would be much appreciated.

I would also like to note that Greek City Times is itself a rather unreliable source. It has claimed that the UN reported that casualties in separatist regions in Ukraine increased by 51% from February to July 2021:
The UN in another report found that when compared to the previous period, there was a 51% increase in Donbass (areas controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine) casualties between February 1 and July 31 2021.
However, the actual UN report was referring to the Donbas in general, which includes Ukrainian controlled territory in addition to the separatist republics. It also notes that most casualties were caused by landmines, which negates the implication that the casualties must be caused by Ukrainian forces directly:
During the period under review, the number of ceasefire violationsin the conflict zone considerably increased compared with the preceding six months, resulting in increased civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects. OHCHR documented 62 civilian casualties occurring in the reporting period, a total of 15 people killed (11 men, three boys and one girl), and 47 injured (30 men, 13 women, three boys and one girl), representing a 51 per cent increase compared with the preceding six months. Thirteen civilian casualties resulted from active hostilities, while 47 resulted from mine-related incidents and handling of explosive remnants of war.
To be continued...
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
These allegations aren't new, compare a 2014 question to the European Commission by a member of the Greek neo-Nazis, Golden Dawn:
Article:
According to a number of reports,(1)(2) the Ukrainian Parliament has adopted a bill banning the use of minority languages such as Greek, Russian and Hungarian, thereby undermining any notions of justice, freedom, civilisation, progress and democracy. [...]

Appearing on a Greek-language television broadcast, [Alexandra Protsenko-Pitsantzi, the President of the Federation of Greek Associations in Ukraine] spoke of a climate of fear, accompanied by both verbal and physical violence. The Hungarian Government has also expressed great concern at attacks on members of the Hungarian minority.

Article:
The Commission is not aware of any ban on use of minority languages in Ukraine.

Here's Ms. Protsenko-Pitsantzi writing on this year's invasion (excerpted):
Article:
(14 March 2022, Mariupol) The President of the Federation of Greek Associations of Ukraine Alexandra Protsenko has voiced an appeal to Greeks around the world urging the community to mobilise.

Ms Protsenko send out a public letter from the underground shelter she is finding refuge calling the Russian invasion and further acts of war a “genocide of the Ukrainian people and the Greeks of Ukraine by the Russian Federation”.

The town of Sartana, home to more than 10,000 Greeks, a leading Romanian language center with a unique museum of Greek history and ethnography in the Azov region, has been hit hard by Russian forces, injuring civilians and destroying a hospital and 90% of the residential area. The locals woke up at 3:30 a.m. on February 27, 2022 by powerful rocket attacks. Within an hour, 8 rockets were fired by the attacker. The locals ran out of their houses in their underwear and pajamas – and tried to hide in the basements. Those who risked driving to the field were blown up by a minefield. The head of the Greek Association of Sartana, Natalia Papakitsa, transported, thank God, the children to Mariupol with 2 buses. But at the moment, neither they nor other residents of Mariupol are able to move away from the city.

Russia’s armed attack on Ukraine, which began with the temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula on February 20, 2014 and certain territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and escalated on February 24, 2022, could lead to the natural disaster of the Greeks of Azov, and therefore of the unique culture with their own languages.

Ms. Protsenko-Pitsantzi is safe in Greece now and could certainly speak out on Ukrainian oppression if she wanted to:
Article:
Alexandra Protsenko-Pichagi described how the heavy bombardment of Mariupol on 2 March forced her to take shelter in bunkers. About two weeks later, she was able to leave the cellar. With the help of friends, she managed to escape in private cars and minibuses to Zaporizytsya and from there to Thessaloniki, Greece, where she was able to stay with her daughter.

It doesn't look like she feels liberated at all.

She explicitly called the Russian invasion a “genocide of the Greeks of Ukraine by the Russian Federation”.

P.S. The Ukrainian Greek language is called "Mariupol Greek or Rumeika or Azov Greek (in English)" (via https://wiki.mercator-research.eu/languages:greek_in_ukraine ).
 
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Broad claims like that are going to be hard to debunk. All you need is one Ukrainian discriminating against one Greek and you now have an air of legitimacy to your claim of "Ukrainians discriminate against the greeks!"

We absolutely can assess the source and claim itself though for issues. As an example, take a browse down any review or comment section related to Greek City Times. They're mostly comments indicating the site is heavily centered around anti-Turkish, anti-Azeri, and pro-Russian propaganda. Skimming through their articles, this is pretty overtly evident. Further, we can find many claims specifically about false information being given through the outlet.
Doing an assessment of this specific set of claims, we can find multiple other outlets which picked up the same claim and recirculated the Greek City Times story within 12hrs. A majority of these reposts come from small funnel websites dedicated too conspiracy theories, propaganda, and MDM (given context linking these is horrible counter practice but I will provide 1 since sourcing is also valued here; https://evidencenotfear.com/greek-r...ldiers-calmed-us-down-video-greek-city-times/)

The above cycle is a very common one. It's laundering the story. Greek City Times seemingly specializes in "surfacing", meaning that they generally act as a first hand source for MDM and propaganda that is then recirculated into other outlets. These act at broad not only to confirm generalized claims, but also to develop them into a new form and amplify their presence to target audiences. With that said, from the information available, it isn't very likely that GCT is Russian funded, affiliated, or supported. GCT if anything appears to just be Greek, whether that be government or private not sure. Although even in cases like this where it mirrors Russian narratives, and can even lend credence and support them, from what we know it's probably not likely this was done in support of Russia, but rather it more than likely continued to support goals wanted by the Greeks operating GCT.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I wasn't familiar with this abbreviation.
Article:
CISA’s Mis-, Dis-, and Malinformation (MDM) team is charged with building national resilience to MDM and foreign influence activities. Through these efforts, CISA helps the American people understand the scope and scale of MDM activities targeting elections and critical infrastructure, and enables them to take actions to mitigate associated risks. The MDM team was formerly known as the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force (CFITF).
 
I wasn't familiar with this abbreviation.
Article:
CISA’s Mis-, Dis-, and Malinformation (MDM) team is charged with building national resilience to MDM and foreign influence activities. Through these efforts, CISA helps the American people understand the scope and scale of MDM activities targeting elections and critical infrastructure, and enables them to take actions to mitigate associated risks. The MDM team was formerly known as the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force (CFITF).
Yeah apologies MDM is just a colloquial term for all three. Kind of an emerging term for it.
 

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