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“A Russian action film star is in hot water after he was caught on film wearing press gear while firing a machine gun toward Ukrainian lines with Moscow-backed rebels at Donetsk airport,” reports. “In the video released by the rebels’ NovorossiaTV on Oct. 30, the barrel-chested Mikhail Porechenkov is heard saying, ‘ceasefire,’ before opens fire with a mounted machine gun at the airport, grinning widely. Afterward, he poses for a photograph with the fighters, wearing a blue helmet and vest marked with ‘PRESS.'” The Spetsnaz star’s “hot water” immersion comes via The Security Service of Ukraine, whose Facebook page reveals that they’ve opened criminal proceedings against Porechenkov for violating article 258-3 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine: participating in terrorist activities. Some Russians are also displeased . . .

The Moscow Union of Journalists and a popular Moscow radio station also criticized the actor on Friday.

“I, as the chairman of the Union of Journalists of Moscow, believe this is sad and a shame, when in one moment what we fought for years to protect journalists is destroyed,” Pavel Gusev said in his statement.

He’s got a point there – unless the whole thing was being filmed for a movie in which the action star stars as a jobbing journo who just happens to like big-ass machine guns too much to resist. Oh and name that gun.

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  1. First question that comes to my mind is how do we know what he is shooting at, unless of course the translation gives that away.

    • He’s shooting at Ukrainians who are not Pro-Russian. Possibly part of the Motorola militia.

      • Yo didn’t you get the intel brief this morning?

        “Motorola” Battalion is a pro-Russian/separatist group currently operating in and around the Donetsk Airport. So named Motorola as that is the call sign / nickname of their commander.

        The guys the actor is actually hanging with in the above video are from the pro-Russian/separatist “Somalia” Battalion (who knows why the name), run by a guy named Givi, and also operating in and around the Donetsk airport.

        Here at 6:15 in this video below, Givi talks about the actor’s visit and what he says went down, and says it’s BS, they just let him shoot the machine gun for kicks at an empty building across the way. {English subs} If you are astute you will notice Givi’s left arm chevron (patch) is the same as the dudes in the other video.

        Propaganda all over the place so it’s hard to know what is what.

        Motorola has some crazy videos like testing body armor, with the guy in it.

        And using an auto grenade launcher to pull a prank on his troops.

        Givi seems an unflappable character by comparison. Smoking a cig and giving an interview during Grad rocket strike.


  2. As I recall, war tourism was not uncommon during the Balkan war. For a fee, the Serbs would provide an opportunity to take a few shots at the Bosnians from the relative safety of the hills overlooking Sarajevo.

  3. I find a government shelling civilians trying to indict those same civilians on charges of terrorism hilarious. Maybe if the Ukranian troops honored the Minsk accords, they would not get shot at?

      • So I must be a Russian troll to oppose Ukrainian attacks on civilians in violation of their human right to self-determination?

        Simple fact is that Ukraine is trying to use force to put down a legitimate secession movement from a region driven into poverty by decades of corruption on Kiev. They agreed to an immediate cease fire more than a month ago, and have yet to withdraw combat troops from areas that no longer want to be a part of Ukraine.

        • Part of the Minsk Accords stipulates that the Donbass must stay a part of Ukraine and that the rebels must stop shelling the Ukrainian Army and civilians. The rebels have yet to do that, so why should the military of a sovereign nation have to retreat from its own territory?

          And how do you know these areas want to leave Ukraine? The last real referendum on the issue was in the 90’s and the vote was overwhelmingly on the side of the Ukrainians.

        • 1. I’m fairly sure AK fire is the universal language for “get out”.
          2. It’s not “their” territory. It belongs to the people who live there. Ultimately, the people living there have a basic human right to self determination. Yesterday they made their intent rather clear in an internationally observed plebiscide.

          Ultimately, the Ukranian coup should not be surprised the when they overthrow a legaly elected president, some areas where said president was overwhelmingly popular, might object… Or just take their marbles and go home.

        • 1. No, it’s often the sound of a tiny group of fanatics and foreigners who don’t represent the majority.
          2. The old president should return home to contest the elections only after facing charges of killing unarmed protestors.
          3. If the Russians are so concerned about democratically elected governments, why did they invade Chechnya in 1994? Killing separatists and assassinating that government’s elected leader while killing 40 times as many civilians.

        • Ok… I’ll play…

          1. Please prove that it’s a minority. The size of the uprising and yesterday’s election would indicate otherwise.
          2. Yes… Because he’s sure to get a fair shake from people who wanted to lynch him in his own home.
          3. You’re seriously comparing this incident to putting down death cultist psychos who blow up apartment buildings and schools? Really? Chechnya was a nest of vipers, they got what they had coming just like Georgia.

        • Yup. Russian troll. Seems the size of the uprising is determined by how many paid Russian troops are sent into Ukraine to pretend to be rebels. Let’s just never mind that, huh, and pretend there are not satellites constantly monitoring the Russian Army’s formations on the border. So we can pretend there is no “proof”.

        • @pwrserge
          1. I never said I had proof, merely that people running around with guns is not proof that you have a majority of the people wanting to form a new country.
          2. He shouldn’t have ordered the Interior Ministry to shoot unarmed protestors if he didn’t want his people to hate him.
          3. Chechnya never bombed Russia until after Russia invaded in 1994, killing more than 40,000 civilians and destroying all major cities and infrastructure. That is when radical Muslims began emigrating to Chechnya and forming radical movements like the one that bombed Russia in 1999. Before that point, the leader of Chechnya was a former Soviet Air Force general who had fought the Mujihadeen in Afghanistan.

          So once again, why should Russia oppose Ukraine’s efforts to do what Russia did in 1994-1996? The only difference is that Ukraine has had more success (winning back some territory so far) and has killed far fewer civilians.

        • Two points of note regarding Chechnya.

          First of all, in 1994, it didn’t have a democratically elected leader. Dudayev was democratically elected sometime before, but by the end of 1994 he has dissolved the parliament because it was objecting too much to his initiatives, and effectively ruled as a dictator.

          And second, by 1994, the republic had 3 years of de facto independence (self-declared in 1991, and Russia did not intervene then). In those three years, major ethnic cleansings of “hostile” populations were perpetrated by Chechen rebels – targeting primarily Russians, Jews and Roma, but in some cases also Muslims with ethnic origin from neighboring republics (e.g. Dagestan). The estimates for the number of victims are very rough due to inability to investigate for a very long time, but it’s on the order of tens of thousands.

      • @int19h
        I’ve heard of hostility towards non-Chechens under Dudayev, but hard proof is hard to come by. Can you point me towards reliable sources?

        • There’s little reliable evidence, because Chechnya was basically a black hole in 1991-94 – Russian forces pulled out, and various Chechen factions were fighting for power, with ethnic cleansing occurring in the background to all that (it wasn’t even an intentional organized campaign so much so as grassroots “hey, if I go and kill my neighbor and take his house for himself, no-one will mind – he’s not local so he doesn’t have a clan that would swear blood feud if I do it”). Most of what we have come from accounts of witnesses who fled the country at that time, and most of it is obviously in Russian, and I doubt it has an English translation.

          There is one solid number that gives some indirect taste of what happened there. In a Soviet census in 1989, right before all hell broke lose, the population of Chechnya was 27% Russian, or 270,000 people. Today, Russians are barely 2%, or 24,000 people. Now most of those fled, not died (though the point of the killings, to some extent, was to encourage the others to flee, leaving their non-moveable property behind). But even a 1:100 refugee/victim rate would net 2,000 people, and witness accounts recounting how many of their neighbors etc were killed or disappeared peg it higher.

          Another aspect of it is that when Chechnya went independent, its state structures largely reverted to their original tribal/clan (“teip”) system, complete with blood feuds and slavery. Slavery between teips is not illegal in that system, but rare in practice because it’s a grave offense against the other clan, and a blood feud will follow. But any foreigners who do not belong to any clan and therefore don’t have its protection would basically be fair game. So many of the victims were not killed outright, but rather enslaved, either to be ransomed for money, or to handle dirty work (construction, agriculture etc).

          There’s also a bunch of grisly videos from that time period (and later, all the way up to 1999) that document some individual instances of this kind of thing. Many of them are videos of hostage abuse filmed by their captors to force the ransom to be paid faster. One that I remember quite vividly was when they shot off a girl’s index finger with a Makarov. Plenty of beheadings, of course, and not the trademark Islamist sawing-off with a knife, but with whatever implements were at hand – axes, that kind of thing. Most of it is on LiveLeak these days.

  4. “wearing a blue helmet and vest marked with ‘PRESS.’”

    Is that particular “PRESS” a noun or a verb?

  5. God forbid a culturally & regionally Russian Eastern Ukrainians shoot at actual Nazi-hijacked Ukrainian regime, backed up by CIA/USAID/Soros-color-revolution coup.

    Shoot away, Ruskie. Shoot away. xD

    • Don’t forget ethnic Russian. This is nothing more than a racist land grab by a corrupt regime in Kiev that illegally overthrew a lawfully elected president.

      • Yes, and I’m sure that once Putin annexes the Russian-speaking part of Ukraine it will be his last territorial demand in Europe.

        • Yes… Because if Putin really wanted the region, he would not just roll in the tanks like he did in Georgia… [/sarc]

          Although I do find your comparison rather odd given which side in this conflict is running rewound with swastikas and lightning bolts on their gear… [Hint: it’s not the separatists.]

      • Even assuming that it was a coup, the national boundaries of a country do not change simply because the government changes. Ukraine was not dissolved when the government was dissolved.

        Moreover, you simply cannot deny that there are thousands of Russian troops and masses of Russian equipment supporting the rebels. If it is an internal issue, why is Russia intervening? And not just intervening, but adamantly denying that it is doing so, despite the fact the evidence is incontrovertible.

    • How quickly people forget Pavel Gubarev, the rebel leader and Neo-Nazi currently laying low in Russia.

        • No, I meant Pavel Gubarev. Look him up on line and you’ll find pictures of him standing under a swastika flag.

      • There are neo-Nazis on both sides. Gubarev is the famous one in DNR, but Ukraine has the Azov batallion that’s pretty much entirely neo-Nazi (look up their emblem), and headed by Andriy Biletskiy, the leader of the “social nationalist party”.

  6. I wonder how some of these guys would feel about the prospect of local majority Mexican-American groups attempting to secede parts of the southwest from the U.S.

    • A apples and oranges. American nationalists did not violently overthrow a lawfully elected pro-Mexican president. In any case, states have every right to secede if the actions of the federal government violate the Constitution.

        • Would that be the same Lincoln who suspended hebeas corpus and would be guilty of war crimes by modern standards?

        • @ Pwrsrg …against a Southern succession movement who seceded after not getting their way politically and specifically after Lincoln was duly elected president. Also regardless of any legitiment or withstanding issues they had, never base your movement off something as asinine as slavery. But I guess that contridicts your earlier point that just because someone was duly elected means he can’t be “despotic”. Critics seems to get hung up on Lincoln imposing martial law, but forget that Congress did authorize it during a Civil War, only to have the Courts strike it down in the end.

          I don’t particularly care about the fight between Ukraine and Russia, but I find it a bit vexing that people will come up with all types of excuses for Putin’s involvement.

        • @YD…

          Not really my point. A tyrannical president can be removed legally in one of three ways: impeachment, resignation, or death of natural causes. Secession is a separate topic. In my opinion, no nation is a suicide pact. If a large majority in a region feels that their views are not reflected in a coalition national government, they have every right to secede and form a government of their own. This right is recognized in the UN charter.

          The Civil War was never about slavery, it was about economics with Lincoln pulling a anti-slavery publicity stunt at the end of the war to rally public support for a long and bloody war. Slavery had naturally been phased out in many other regions of the world. Look at the British Empire as a contemporary case study.

        • While I have little interest in most of this argument, I have to laugh at the idea that we should pay attention to anything having to do with the UN.

      • @pwrserge
        If you take a look at the Bills of Secession from various states (ex. South Carolina) you’ll find numerous references to the need to protect slavery from the Government and the Northern States and next to nothing about economics unless it related to slavery.
        And as to slavery dieing out, it was not. It would continue as an institution well into the 20th century in German and Belgian colonies.

    • To add to Dave’s comment: While being assisted by well armed Mexican troops with tanks and artillery, but with their badges of national origin removed. We’ll call them “volunteers.” They are not fighting for Mexico, they are in Texas and southern California “on their vacations.” I wonder if the US Army allows its troops to “borrow” heavy artillery and tanks, small arms, anti-tank weapons and lots of ammunition while those troops are “on vacation.”

    • A more accurate description of what you are suggesting(as we are talking about the “big guy on the block” doing what it wants), is that the US invade Chihuahua or Sonora, remove all insignia from its troops entirely beforehand and station them in “major strategic points” or areas of instability (Ukrainian Military Bases come to mind) with more or less full logistical support. You propose the question as if we would begin treating Mexico like a lost interest we want to recover (part of the Iron Curtain in the case of Ukraine) as part of a potential territorial conquest downplayed as assistance to a neighboring country during a time when the people feel like the government (Kiev) completely abandoned them.

      Of course this is imho (feel free to correct me on inaccuracies) and in that vein, I feel we will have our own(not so hypothetical) civil war questions to answer soon enough.

      • Regarding my somewhat absurd hypothetical situation, it’s only meant to give some people an opportunity to check themselves for a double standard when it comes to the prospect of an ethnic group breaking away part of a sovereign nation in favor of the neighboring homeland of their forebears.

        • and questions like that are why I enjoy TTAG, more often than not I am confronted with some sort of catalyst to thoughts I most likely would not have otherwise. Regardless if they are of the same opinion as mine, they serve to reinforce one of my favorite personal truths: Question Everything, a sort of “Nullius In Verba” for me at least 🙂

      • I can think of an example where we did more or less this. The war of Texan independence comes to mind…

      • I often (half) kid we should sell California to China, settle our debts with them and piss off the Mexicans. When they complain, tell them to take it up with the Chinese.

        • The survivors would just move to AZ or NV, anywhere but Mexico. Hey, why don’t we sell Mexico to China instead?

  7. I knew it was this guy before the vid even loaded. He’s the modern day Russian equivalent of Ahhhnold.

  8. “Vat iss dat chu ah sayink? I am havink trooble hearink chu! Spik up!”.
    Old Mikhail has an appointment with the audiologist in his future!

  9. As in the African and Middle Eastern wars, let’s ignore them so they can shoot it out and settle things decisively.

  10. Just to let the good people of TTAG know what is going on with the pro-Russian/”the Ukrainians are Nazis” meme being circulated here:

    They being paid by the Russian government for propaganda purposes.

    “To my question about a technical task—what exactly should be written in the comments—a young guy, a coordinator, told me, briefly and clearly, that they were having busy days at the moment and that yesterday they all wrote in support of [Moscow acting mayor Sergei] Sobyanin, while ‘today we shit on Navalny,’” she wrote on her VKontakte [ed: a Russian social network] page.

    According to Lvova, each commenter was to write no less than 100 comments a day, while people in the other room were to write four postings a day, which then went to the other employees whose job was to post them on social networks as widely as possible.

    Employees at the company, located at 131 Lakhtinsky Prospekt, were paid 1,180 rubles ($36.50) for a full 8-hour day and received a free lunch, Lvova wrote.”

    • Oh, man. The shilling argument. Listen, the state of Russia or the Ministry of Defense might be paying people to further their agenda, but those people most certainly do not speak fluent english, since those type of people have better jobs then this. Secondly, they are most likely posting on sites like, which is like Russian Facebook, or, the state sponsored press agency. They are most certainly, and I can guarantee you this, not posting on a small American firearms blog.

      You’ll notice that this professionally written article does a great job at talking to a large extent, and in great detail, about inflammatory comments posted like gay-hate or anti-semitism. They know this will detract its readers from the fact that they don’t even list the number of employees with the company. This is typical. What, they employ maybe 10, 15, 20 people? Who post “no less then 100 comments a day”? Big deal, do you know how many websites are talking about the Ukraine/Russia deal? Pretty much every single one that has to do with politics. And I’m not just talking about the American ones.

      These articles that talk about governments paying an “internet defense force” is just the sensationalized crap meant to scare its readers, while at the same time giving them something to bitch about AND vigorously link in every debate to discredit the “Russian trolls”. The firearms community hates when it is the victim of sensationalist garbage. I would think this community would think twice before letting such bullshit fire them up.

    • Not all Ukrainians are Nazi, of course, but there are plenty of Nazis fighting on the front lines on Ukrainian side. Go to Google Image search and search for “Azov batallion”, and look at the flags and chevrons that they’re using. Then go to Wikipedia and read up on Andriy Biletskiy, the head of the batallion.

  11. Don’t believe me? Google “russian government pays trolls” and you will find a host of articles from more or less reputable MSM sources.

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