Margarita Simonyan: Even We Are Shocked By the Scope and Scale of UK’s Anti-Russia Program
Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov
— The Anonymous hackers have posted information about the program online… Shall we call it «hydride warfare» like Poroshenko does or «hybrid warfare» like we always called it? It's the program against Russia that the UK started in 2015. London paid 6 million pounds to form anti-Russian discourse in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, and even Russia.
The head of the British General Staff calls us a bigger threat to their national security than ISIS (banned in Russia) or Al Qaeda. The Czech foreign minister said that Russia is dangerous for the EU because it utilizes hybrid threats. It seems the minister has never met the president of the Czech Republic. They love their demonstrative analogies and questionable accusations expressed through the media, they're too scared to say it in person. For some reason, the brutal dispersal of the demonstration in France with clubs and tear gas didn't cause a barrage of comments. But it appears that London is wasting its money. American experts claim that the attempt to isolate Russia was an arrogant mistake that backfired on them. I've been closely following the situation; WikiLeaks suddenly said that it might be wrong and they don't know for sure. I've got a feeling that they're not lying but that doesn't sound like WikiLeaks at all. Perhaps someone got their tail pinched.
I was even more surprised when I discovered that RT, which posted information on its Twitter, encountered censorship in its purest form. What happened?
Margarita Simonyan, RT Editor-in-Chief:
— After the Anonymous hackers published this phenomenal leak revealing that the UK spends millions of pounds paying various agencies including the Russian ones to perform open anti-Russian activities. They even openly call it «anti-Russian activities».
— Are we supposed to go, «wow, that can't be true»? Was there ever any doubt? I just wanted to point that out.
— You know, Vladimir, unfortunately, you might be surprised as I was when I discovered that some of my colleagues and acquaintances didn't believe it. They believe it's Kremlin propaganda which has no connection to reality. But it does. And it's much more intense than we believe it is. There will be many more leaks like this one. Everyone must admit that it's a thing. What's astonishing is that when they published it we were the only ones to notice. And after we noticed it, translated, and spread in the Russian-speaking media we were wondering why nobody was copying it. Why weren't they spreading the shocking news? People, especially those working in the media, which is unfortunate, refused to believe it. It can't be true. Maybe they were organizing rallies, seminars, and spending money on something they used to call «pro-democracy propaganda» or the development of peaceful initiatives. But now, they don't even feel bad about openly calling it «anti-Russian activities and Russia counter-action.» And our compatriots are engaged in this process. For a long time, there's been a conflict between Anonymous and WikiLeaks.
— Who's the cool kid.
— Maybe, we're trying to stay out of it. We only verify the leaked documents. We sent a request to the Foreign Office and they confirmed it. The British Foreign Office confirmed that it's true that it's a program…
— All of it?
— Yes. It's a program they're openly implementing and there's nothing wrong or odd about it. They told us that they wouldn't comment on the contents of the documents but they confirmed the fact that the program exists. That was the official response of the Foreign Office. What's left to discuss? Moreover, they thanked us they thanked us for attracting additional public attention to the program. Can you imagine the Russian Foreign Ministry having an official program where it would officially pay British citizens and organize seminars to deliberately spread anti-British propaganda to ruin Britain's image and reputation and disrupt its domestic stability? And when it gets discovered, Lavrov goes like, «Yeah, what's the big deal?»
— Do you mean…
— «Thanks for attracting attention to our wonderful program».
— Do you mean that the British troll factory allegedly exposed the Russian troll factory and tried to persuade everyone that there's no British factory? It appears that those who were revealing and exposing Russia’s horrible interventions were just earning their salary.
— You know, our journalists work directly. Our channel is direct and transparent. We've never concealed the fact that it's Russian and funded by the Russian state. We have the Sputnik radio station and many websites we even have a YouTube channel. But our work is no match for their obscene undercover operations. And they're proud of that.
— Good job. The only thing that puzzles me: The opposition and liberals keep saying that everyone should live an honest life, reveal their income sources, and pay taxes. Shouldn’t they open up and start paying taxes, for those programs in particular, and reveal their income sources?
Sergey Stankevich, A Just Russia:
— Aren't they obliged to do that?
— They are but they never do that. They love exposing and hate being exposed.
— You know, little strokes fell great oaks. Thank god we don’t have anything similar to the French Tahrir here in Russia. But that doesn't mean it's not being prepared. It's being prepared every day, every minute. Certain thoughts are being implanted into people's minds. And now, we see that those thoughts are being implanted into the minds of our fellow citizens according to a technique. The information that Washington or London has a sabotage technique doesn't sound as ridiculous as it would 10-15 years ago. It's true and it was exposed by an international hacker group. It's not like it was made up by us or you, Vladimir.
One of their targets (they have multiple targets) one of their targets is us public persons whom they call «the megaphones» of the Kremlin, state propaganda, and the government the public persons who are patriots and don't support the opposition. That's whom they're targeting. They're targeting you, trying to ruin your reputation they're targeting me, trying to ruin mine. They're targeting Sergey Brilyov, Dmitry Kiselyov, and many others. And they'll keep doing it. Why are they doing that? To make people like the ones sitting on that marvelous balcony of yours stop believing us. To make them think that we're engaged in some illegal activities. Nobody's going to conduct an actual investigation to make sure they're not plainly lying. Five years ago, Navalny said that I went to the US to give birth. I've never done that. I've never even thought about going to the US to give birth. First of all, I'm afraid of flying. And I'd never fly while pregnant. But that's not even the thing. He said that I went to the US so that my kid would be born a citizen. I still get messages on Twitter and Facebook saying that I'm a hypocrite for scolding America but giving birth there.
— I keep losing my Israeli passport, my American passport, and my Italian passport! I'm tired of searching! They keep saying I have them but I can find any of them.
— That's a well-known strategy: keep slandering and something will stick. Every time they will unearth something new following the technique composed by the Foreign Office.