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Facebook Blocks Page of Donetsk Leader Zakharchenko

The social networking site has made it abundantly clear it has zero tolerance for freedom of speech and obviously wants its users to move to Russia-based vKontakte


This article originally appeared at Fort Russ


On October 29, Fort Russ published the report of Novorossia.su that Alexander Zakharchenko had launched his own official Facebook page in order to "inform the public how things are in our republic, Ukraine, Russia, and the world in general by using modern tools of communication" and "increase transparency and political dialogue in the Donetsk People's Republic." Zakharchenko confirmed to RusVesna that the new Facebook page was indeed his own. 

However, according to a Facebook post being circulated among Western supporters of the DPR, Facebook has blocked Zakharchenko's page. Here is the notification, taken from the account of Zak Novak, an American volunteer in Novorossiya, which is spreading across social networks: 

"Facebook has blocked the account of Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader, President of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

'A couple of hours ago I discovered that my page in Facebook had been blocked for no apparent reason. It is noteworthy that the page went dead immediately after I published my message to the Ukrainian people on the occasion of the anniversary of Ukraine’s liberation from Nazi invaders,' Zakharchenko’s press service quotes him as saying.

"I believe that I managed to find the right words that drove the message home. They surely reached those whom I described as Nazi henchmen, their descendants and followers, in other words, advocates of Bandera and Shukhevich."

Zakharchenko said that in his message posted on Wednesday he did not use a single derogatory word or term, but Facebook’s moderators received more than 2,500 complaints.

'My post allegedly harmed the feeling of their dignity and caused irreparable harm to their honor,' he explained.

'The way I see it, this is clear evidence that Kiev is afraid of Donbass' opinion no less than it is afraid of its military strength,' Zakharchenko said. 'But the authorities in Kiev must have forgotten what the Donetsk people and their mentality are like. We will gain the upper hand in this media war.'

In his message on the occasion of the liberation of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from Nazi invasion Zakharchenko said that the Kiev regime’s policy of glorifying Nazi collaborators in fact stripped the Ukrainians of a great holiday."

This phenomenon is nothing surprising. Ukrainian trolls have waged a persistent campaign to report, spam, and block various Facebook pages and accounts which present views alternative to the official propaganda of Kiev. Notable precedents have included the massive harassment and compromising of Graham Phillips' Facebook. 


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