‘Useful expert' from US invents Pentagon's plan to evacuate Zelensky to Lviv

‘Useful expert' from US invents Pentagon's plan to evacuate Zelensky to Lviv

He spreads Russian narratives to English-speaking audiences through Substack and Asia Times

The Hong Kong-based Asia Times and leading Russian media outlets spreading information that "the Pentagon is undoubtedly developing plans to rescue President Zelensky" in the event of a "collapse of his government". The article’s author, Stephen Bryen, is a former US Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (1981-1988) who now positions himself as a "leading expert in security strategy and technology". The article contains an unjustified analogy between this “plan” and the liberation of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from prison by German special forces in 1943. Additionally, it claims that Lviv is the most likely place where the Pentagon could take Zelensky. The article was originally published on the Substack platform and includes many Russian narratives.

The article starts with an extensive description of the rescue of Benito Mussolini by German special forces after his imprisonment in 1943. However, the author then offers a personal opinion that this could be a "model for rescuing Zelensky". In other words, the author resorts to an analogy between the ideologue of fascism and Adolf Hitler's main ally in World War II and the president of a country that is countering full-scale aggression. This corresponds to the Russian narrative of Ukrainians as Nazis.

Bryen then promotes two other Russian narratives: that the West is losing in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin wants peace, while NATO, represented by the US, is only continuing escalation.

The article contains many unsubstantiated and absurd claims. In particular, that Pentagon officials allegedly persuaded French President Emmanuel Macron to "propose the idea of sending NATO troops to Ukraine" and that mobilisation in Ukraine is leading to unrest, including in major Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa.

Bryan frequently publishes pro-Russian material on the Substack social network, which is then picked up by Asia Times. Additionally, his articles on Zelensky's "war" with the generals, the high costs of Ukraine, and how this hinders US support for Taiwan have been published on the Real Clear Defense website.

Stephen Bryan has shown interest in Russia since at least 2017. For instance, The National Interest published his complimentary material about the Russian S-400 air defence system.

Russian media outlets have shown a great deal of interest in Stephen Bryan, as evidenced by his own tag on leading Russian news sites, such as Lenta.ru.

Earlier, Ukrainian experts refuted Bryan's unsubstantiated claims about moving the capital of Ukraine to Lviv.

Andriy Olenin

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