Sniper Deki who turned into a journalist

Sniper Deki who turned into a journalist

Ukraine told the OSCE how Russia passes a war criminal off as a journalist

Yesterday you, a foreign mercenary sniper, kill people in a foreign country in the interests of a third country, and tomorrow you are a journalist and attend the briefings of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this third country. A seemingly fantastic situation, however, it is quite real when it comes to a country of distorting mirrors - the present Russian Federation. Black is white, and a war criminal is a serious foreign journalist whose words are valued by the Foreign Ministry and broadcast to an international audience.

The first one who drew attention to the sharp transformation of a Russian militant of Serbian origin, Dejan Beric, in early March was a well-known Ukrainian journalist in Moscow, Roman Tsymbaliuk.

Due to the nature of his work, he is a constant "fan" of briefings by Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. Roman's attention was drawn to another briefing held by the press secretary of Russia's diplomatic propaganda, which "at first glance seemed like a normal set of Russian cliches about how the Russian Federation is fighting the world's evil." However, what was the surprise of the correspondent when, after looking in the face of a "journalist" with whom Zakharova spoke nicely, he recognized a mercenary from Serbia, Dejan Beric, with the call sign "Deki" - "one of the most famous in Donbas," a "legendary" sniper as he has recently been praised by Russian propaganda resources.

"It turned out that the briefing is attended by Russian militants who became famous for the murder of Ukrainian soldiers," the Ukrainian journalist stated in his video blog.

A war criminal had previously been popular among Russian propagandists who "used" him in their interviews and television shows, making films about him and telling about "cruelty of the junta" in Donbas. However, he has reached a new level now - briefings at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"Here it is - the true face of Russian journalism. [...] It remains unclear whether 'Deki' came to the briefing with a sniper rifle or left it in the wardrobe so that the barrel did not stick out and did not embarrass other journalists, because not only fans of the 'Russian world' “but also foreigners from other countries come here," Tsymbaliuk joked.

However, the war is the same as journalists. They are hybrid. But let us return to 'Deki.'

Dejan Beric, born in 1974, a native of Serbia, has long been known on the website Myrotvorets, an online resource that collects information about militants of the Russian occupation forces in Donbas.

"An activist of the Serbian Chetnik movement. A militant of the North Wind division of the 1st brigade of the Yugo-Vostok battalion, a sniper. The commander of a reconnaissance detachment of a separate special forces battalion of the 5th detached motor-rifle brigade of the 'DPR Defense Ministry.' A sniper saboteur from the 1st 'international brigade of the Southeast.' A member of the 'DPR' gang since April 2014. Involved in the murder of peaceful residents of Donetsk," reads a brief description of the Serbian.

The Ukrainian media started writing about "Deki" when the mercenary was captured by the Ukrainian military in the middle of 2014. However, he was at large soon - he was either exchanged or bought out. But he did not repent after that, continuing to do what he can best do - shoot at people.

According to information on the Internet, professional sniper Dejan Beric fought on the side of the regular army of Milosevic during the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Then he owned a plastic window manufacturing company but it went bankrupt and Beric fled to Russia, where he earned on the construction of the Olympic Village for the 2014 Olympic Games.

Shortly after the Games, Russia began a hybrid occupation of the Crimean peninsula and Dejan Beric, apparently already recruited by the Russian special services, went to Crimea for other "earnings," this time deadly ones. With the completion of the "Crimean" phase, he was sent along with other mercenaries to Donbas, where he began his "service" in the "DPR army" - one of the Russian occupation corps. He was promoted to "captain" and even received a "passport of a citizen of the DPR."

He has a number of awards, both from the so-called "DPR" and from the Russian Defense Ministry, in particular, a so-called medal "For the Return of Crimea."

In his words, he led a group of snipers in Donbas. He claims in the film about him that he killed a lot of people in Donbas, but sleeps well at night...

Of course, with such a "CV" you can go to Russian journalism and became a respected foreign correspondent at the briefings of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Moreover, Maria Zakharova's office is glad to see a foreign mercenary with a "DPR passport" - the latter comes and tell lies, as he saw with his own eyes how "Ukrainian punishers" were shelling peaceful cities of Donbas. In a quick reaction to Tsymbaliuk's video blog, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced in March that Beric was a correspondent for some little-known Russian resource Politrussia from December 12, 2018, which means they didn't see "any legal grounds for not admitting Beric to briefings."

But the country of distorting mirrors would not have been itself if it had not gone further and had not made the sniper named journalist a favorite of Russian diplomats in the OSCE...

An Ukrinform correspondent learned that the Russians brought propaganda statements of "foreign journalist" Beric to the level of the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation - one of the two main, permanent bodies of this organization.

Both during the Forum meetings (meets every Wednesday) and during the meetings of the second OSCE decision-making body, the Permanent Council (meets every Thursday), the issue of Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine and the illegal occupation of Crimea is permanently discussed. On a weekly basis, the Ukrainian delegation and the absolute majority of the missions of other participating countries point out and condemn regular manifestations of Russian aggression, calling on the Kremlin to stop hybrid aggression and leave Ukrainian territories. The delegation of the Russian Federation, in the absence of support from other countries, is engaged in cynical blasphemy and in its speeches denies any involvement in the war started by the Kremlin, spreading both old and new propaganda theses, cliches, and just nonsense.

On June 19, during the Forum meeting, the Russian delegation decided to provide some "evidence" in support of their absurd statements about the alleged shelling of peaceful cities in Donbas by the Ukrainian military. A representative of the Russian Federation quoted relevant "revelations" from a "foreign journalist" who visited Donbas and said this during a briefing on June 5 at the Russian Foreign Ministry. However, the foreign journalist was not named then.

On July 3, the Russians started the same story at the Forum, accusing the Ukrainian side of not wanting to perceive "objective information" and at the same time scolding international journalists who write their stories about Donbas from Kyiv. The truth, they say, is written only by "Serbian journalist Dejan Beric from Politico."

After all, using the simple Google search for the words “Dejan Beric” you can find something else different - and certainly not "Serbian journalist Dejan Beric from Politico." This, in fact, was done at the Permanent Representation of Ukraine to International Organizations in Vienna, whose diplomats represent Ukraine, including at the OSCE. On July 10, at the Forum meeting, the delegations of the participating countries presented information about "journalist" Beric with calluses on his fingers not from a pen, but from a weapon.

“At the meeting on Wednesday, we responded to the information of the Russian delegation about 'Serbian journalist' Dejan Beric. We explained to all the delegations of the participating countries through a slideshow what kind of person he is, that he does not represent Serbia in any way and that he is not a journalist. He is a war criminal and a murderer who is admitted to briefings at the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation as an alleged 'foreign journalist' with the goal of working out propaganda questions and comments to discredit Ukraine and the Ukrainian Armed Forces in particular," Deputy Permanent Representative of Ukraine to International Organizations in Vienna Ihor Lossovsky told Ukrinform.

According to the diplomat, he spoke in detail to those present at the meeting about the "combat path" of a mercenary from Serbia as part of the Russian occupation forces and about his participation in the battles in Donbas against Ukrainian forces, and about the sniper's rewards from official Russian institutions for killing Ukrainian in Donbas. And, in fact, about the Russian side covering a war criminal from justice, because, according to Serbian law, he will be imprisoned for a long time if he returns to the country.

"By the way, during the meeting, a representative of the Serbian delegation became interested in this case. He noted that the country's criminal code provides for a large prison term for participation in a war or armed conflict in a foreign country, as well as an even a longer term for organizing the participation [of other persons] in a war or armed conflict in another country, which directly applies to Dejan Beric. At his request, we gave him all the information we have about this," the diplomat said.

But the most important thing is that, according to Lossovsky, foreign diplomats in the OSCE were once again able to see how Russian diplomatic propaganda works.

Another distorting mirror has been broken...

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