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Only the truth about Maksym Butkevych can neutralize russian propaganda – activist's father

13.07.2022, 13:49
Photo: Hromadske radio
Photo: Hromadske radio

Only the truth about the human rights activist and journalist Maksym Butkevych, who was taken prisoner by the russians, can neutralize the russian propaganda that is being spread against him.

His father Oleksandr Butkevych said this on Hromadske Radio.

"It so happened that the propaganda began 'pushing' fakes and disinformation about Maxim in the russian information space on the first day. The danger is that they started calling him a Nazi and saying that his human rights activities are only a 'cover,' 'legend under which a fascist and a punitive squad commander was hiding.' All this, of course, is done in order to justify removing Maksym from the ranks of war prisoners and separately incriminating him with terrorism, attempted attack on the state system, or something else," said the father.

"The only thing we can and must do is to highlight and spread the truth about Maksym as much as possible. This will neutralize the terrible russian propaganda that keeps being spread around and is very damaging. This is extremely important. The truth and the truth only – this is the one thing we have to oppose russian lies," he said.

Oleksandr Butkevych said that for a long time, they did not publicly announce anything about their son's capture, but decided to end their silence, as there was constant fomenting.

"Because it was 'a one-way street.' A very dangerous game for Maksym. That is why we ended our moratorium on silence. Before starting the publicity, I turned to the Intelligence Department for advice. I provided all the information. The response was: 'We heard you.' I still don't understand what that means," he said.

In addition, the father said that they last contacted Maxim on WhatsApp on June 18. He wrote that "everything is fine."

He also told the story of his son's capture: "The story of their capture is quite complicated. They were surrounded. Under mortar fire all night. One of the scouts reported that the ring of encirclement was rapidly narrowing and they had to leave their positions and come out. He gave them the coordinates of the meeting spot. They came out. When they reached the rendezvous spot, the scout informed them that they were at gunpoint and would be killed if they did not lay down their arms, and that he himself was a prisoner. That is, he was forced to bring them under the sights of the enemy. So they were led into a trap, and they decided to lay down their arms."

As IMI reported, in June, human rights activist, journalist, and co-founder of ZMINA human rights center and NGO "Hromadske Radio" Maksym Butkevych has been taken prisoner by the russians near ​​the captured Zolote and Hirske villages in Luhansk region.

russian propagandists announced the capture of Butkevych on June 24, publishing a video of his interrogation.

Maksym Butkevych is a Ukrainian human rights activist and journalist. Coordinator and co-founder of the "Without Borders" project, aimed at helping asylum seekers and Ukrainian immigrants and countering hate speech. Co-founder of ZMINA human rights center and Hromadske Radio. Previously, he worked for the BBC World Service and a number of all-Ukrainian TV channels, has been a guest lecturer at NaUKMA for several years, and was also a board member of Amnesty International's Ukrainian representative office and the community council under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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