On April 5, 2022, the UN Security Council meeting was held to discuss the issue of a full-scale unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed that meeting via video.
Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya once again sang the same old song about the “Nazis” and recited from a sheet of paper a "victim's account." On March 1, 2022, after a similar meeting of the UNSC, I already proved that Nebenzya was quoting “appeals” penned by Russian intelligence agents posing as rights activists, whom the Russian government uses to create content targeting Western audiences.
At that time, Nebenzya claimed he had received a letter from a Ukrainian civil society organization, the Berezhna Institute of Legal Policy and Social Protection, headed by Olena Berezhna, mother of the late Iryna Berezhna, an ally of Andrii Portnov.
The case was mentioned by investigative journalists with the RFE/RL’s SKHEMY project in their inquiry entitled Portnov’s Secret Fortress.
It turned out that Vasily Nebenzya repeated the same statement on April 5, 2022, having read out the text that had been sent to him by his colleagues with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, purportedly penned by yet another “human rights advocate” under their control. In particular, Nebenzya’s speech readout contains the following paragraph.
[Marina Vasilievna shared a story about how she was raped in the SSU (the Security Service of Ukraine - ed.) basement in Kramatorsk. “They fastened me to a sewer pipe. When they found out that I was Russian, they started beating me, torturing me with electric current, raping, threatening to bring my underage daughter, and do the same to her.”]
We were able to find out that such an interview with the woman who goes by the name Marina Vasilievna did take place (I will not mention her full name here to protect the woman from possible threats). She was interviewed by Maksym Grigoriev, Director of the Democracy Research Foundation, Member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. It must be noted that as they talked, Grigoriev referred to her as “Larisa Vasilievna,” although in the video she gives her full name and shares how she was allegedly detained by the SSU officers in Kramatorsk on January 19, 2015, that’s more than seven years ago.
[Larisa Vasilievna testifies about how she was tortured by the SSU in Kramatorsk:
- When they found out that I am a Russian, they started beating me, electrocuting me, raping me, and threatening that they would bring my underage daughter there, and that they would do (the same) to her…
- I went grey during the first day. I still have nightmares.]
Maksim Sergeyevich Grigoriev was born in Leningrad on August 18, 1975. He is a candidate of political sciences, graduated from St. Petersburg State University, Department of Physics (1992-1997); Russian Academy of Public Service under the President of the RF, Department of Political Sciences (1997-1999); Diplomatic Service Academy of the MFA of Russia (2013-2016)
1997 — Head of the Press Service of the All-Russian Union of People’s Houses, Congress of Intelligentsia of the Russian Federation
1997 — Head of the Press Service of the All-Russian Coordination Council for Elections under the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation
1999 — Leading Specialist of the Working Centre of Economic Reforms in the Government of the Russian Federation (during the period when Russia declared default)
1999 — General Director of the PR Department Consulting Group CJSC
2006 — Advisor to the Head of Rossotrudnichestvo [Russian Cooperation] in the RF MFA that is a traditional cover for the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia
2007 — Advisor to the Deputy General Director of Rosoboroneksport [Russia’s Defence Export]
2008 — Advisor to the governor of Novgorod Oblast
Since 2009 — General Director of the Democracy Research Foundation (since 2015, the Foundation has had an advisory status to the UN Economic and Social Council).
2010 — Deputy Chair of Administration of the Head of the Republic of Karelia, fired four months into his appointment
Member of the Scientific and Methodological Advisory Council under the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, member of the Council under the Chair of the Federation Council on Cooperation with Civil Society Institutions, Deputy Chair of the Public Observation Board of Moscow
Over the last several years, Grigoriev had more than 12 business trips to Damascus (Syria) where he had meetings with Syrian politicians and clerics, and “observed” Syrian elections, held under the control of the Russian intelligence agency.
Since 2014, Grigoriev was deeply involved in producing fake news about Ukraine. His mobile phone number is +7(903)130–96–76.
In June 2015, Ukrainian journalist Andrii Yanitskyi reported that Grigoriev had been spreading on the OSCE platform Russian propaganda of his own production about the Maidan (the Revolution of Dignity).
Grigoriev was also mentioned separately at that time by the chief of Institute of Mass Information, Oksana Romaniuk.
On March 10, 2022, a staff member of Institute of Journalism at the Kyiv National University, Kateryna Sokolova, wrote that Grigoriev’s propaganda had not yet been removed from the OSCE website.
English-language outlet New Europeans also wrote about Sokolova’s outrage over the OSCE’s stance on the issue.
In April 2016, Orysia Lutsevych, Head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme Chatham House, in her research paper called it GONGO— the government-organized non-governmental organization.
In April 2019, Russia's Mission to the UN used Grigoriev's report to spread a false claim that the chemical attack in the Syrian city of Duma was a hoax. This claim was later debunked by the European initiative EU vs. Disinfo. However, such a trifle didn’t stop Grigoriev, so he continued disseminating fake news reaching out to audiences as far as Singapore.
However, the most interesting thing about Grigoriev is not that, but the fact that he uses his work for political promotion of the Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief, Sergei Naryshkin, who keeps spreading myths about the “Ukrainian Nazis and their crimes”, and uses the Russian Historical Community as an advertising platform.
In January 2022, the organization hosted an exhibition of “violations of human rights in Ukraine” that was prepared (probably, with the money of the Foreign Intelligence Service) by Mr. Grigoriev and presented personally by Naryshkin.
During the opening ceremony, Naryshkin and Grigoriev exchanged flattering compliments, and Grigoriev also boasted that Naryshkin had written an intro to his book.
This proves that the report with “evidence” of alleged human rights violations by Ukraine was once again drafted for Vasily Nebenzya by individuals fully handled by the Kremlin, most likely agents of Russia's SVR intelligence agency, which means Nebenzya’s words cannot be taken seriously.
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