Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The true story of Mark Paslawsky, the 'only' American fighter with Kiev forces — RT Op-Edge

On Tuesday, August 20, a US army veteran named Mark Paslawsky was killed during a battle in Ilovyask, near Donetsk, which is currently held by anti-Kiev rebels.

Fighting on the side of pro-government forces, the American had sprung to prominence because of his Twitter feed (@BruceSpringnote), often sharply critical of Ukrainian politicians, and a fawning video interview with Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky shortly before his death.

The 55-year-old West Point graduate, who was also a former investment banker, mainly focused on Moscow, Kharkov and Kiev, claimed he had changed his nationality to Ukrainian to enlist in the Donbass Battalion. Paslawsky fought under the pseudonym ‘Franko’ and served in the US army until at least 1991, when he was described as a captain in a New York Times op-ed.

His death inspired uncritical and shoddy obituaries in the popular American press. The NYT, under the headline “An American Voice on Ukraine’s Front Lines Goes Silent” used employees of Euromaidan PR as sources, and Vice, rather ridiculously, claimed he was “The Only American fighting for Ukraine.” The only small nod to the soldier’s background came via a quote attributed by Ostrovsky to a colleague, going by ‘Lex’: “He really hated the Russians. We all hate the Russians.”

There was a very good reason for Paslawsky’s use of a nom-de-guerre like ‘Franko’ and the social media handle ‘Bruce Springnote’ and for the soft soap in the US media.

Paslawsky was not an “ordinary Joe” from New Jersey with benign family connections to Ukraine who suddenly decided to help defend the motherland, he was the nephew of the notorious Nazi Mykola Lebed – who incredibly was employed by the CIA from 1949 to possibly as late as 1991. There is no insinuation that Paslawksy also harbored fascist or anti-Semitic beliefs, but family influences surely played a significant role in the formation of his world view.

Complete story at - The true story of Mark Paslawsky, the 'only' American fighter with Kiev forces — RT Op-Edge

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