Skeptical Crimean Blogger Now Writes “Only About Politics”

by    /  January 15, 2015  / No comments

Georgiy Sedelnikov. Image from strajj.livejournal.com.

This article is part of an extensive RuNet Echo study of Russian-language blogosphere in Eastern Ukraine. Explore the complete interview series on the Eastern Ukraine Unfiltered page.

This Crimean Livejournal user used to be an everyman blogger, but now he fills his blog almost exclusively with opinions on politics, media and conflict.

Georgiy Sedelnikov, a 30-year-old native of Sevastopol, wasn’t always a particularly politically-oriented blogger. Though personally interested in politics, Sedelnikov, who runs a LiveJournal page under the name Strajj, primarily posted and commented on nature photography, popular culture, amusing stories from around the internet, and events in his hometown. Only occasionally were his updates punctuated with political commentary on events in Russia, Ukraine and the world.

That began to change in December 2013, as the Euromaidan protests started gaining strength. Since then, Sedelnikov’s blog has become almost exclusively concerned with politics and conflict. Sedelnikov is a prolific blogger, and his page is updated numerous times a day.

Sedelnikov outlined his views sharply on the Euromaidan protests from the very beginning, in a 24 November blog post entitled “F*ck this E€uromaidan.”

I feel sorry for people who really believe Europe will help. People, you must understand that Europe is an organism that feeds on countries like Ukraine. I also want to say, how can you listen to [boxer-turned-politician Vitali] Klitschko and believe him when he pays his taxes in Germany.

The events that followed did nothing to allay Sedelnikov’s suspicions of the Maidan, he explained.

Before I didn’t write about politics so much, but after the events in Kiev, I started writing only about politics. The main thing that got me writing on politics was the one-sided lying coming from Kiev. I present a different point of view. One could say I’m one of those breaking the information blockade.

Asked about his political opinions, Sedelnikov states, “My views are very simple, I’m for justice and against fascism.” A cursory read of his blog indicates he is supportive of an assertive Russian foreign policy and deeply suspicious of both the West and Russian liberals. Unsurprisingly, he is extremely supportive of his native Crimea’s “reunion” with the Russian Federation and of the separatist fighters in Luhansk and Donetsk struggling against the “junta.” Sedelnikov doesn’t see any possibility of reconciliation at this point. “There’s been too many deaths on both sides.”

Sedelnikov, like many bloggers in Crimea, is skeptical of mainstream media.

The whole crisis and conflict in Ukraine shows the full unprofessionalism of all Ukrainian media as what they present is not news, but complete propaganda and lies. I experienced these Ukrainian media lies for myself back when there was the crisis and resistance in Crimea.

Rather than relying on the media, Sedelnikov would advise people who “want to find objective news to read social media” and notes that he himself prefers to rely on sources among ordinary people for the information he uses. Never-the-less he notes that “honestly, at the moment, without any bias, the Russian media are the most objective and democratic.”

Sedelnikov’s views have made him a number of enemies, including, he claims, members of the Ukrainian security services, who had monitored him in the past. “I’ve taken part in many demonstrations and the participants were always watched by the SBU (Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrainy, Ukraine’s state security service).” Sedelnikov claims that he was threatened with legal action for supporting separatism and that he has received numerous anonymous threats against himself and his family both by email and in the comments of his LiveJournal page.

Shortly before Crimea fought back [against Kiev] I ended up on a death list of bloggers who disagreed with the Maidan and this list was sent to me. Maybe it wasn’t really that serious but thank god I never got to find out.

Sedelnikov is a good example of the radicalising effect the conflict in Ukraine has had on a number of bloggers, such as Colonel Cassad. Whereas previously Sedelnikov was concerned primarily with distributing interesting or amusing content, with only occasional forays into the world of politics, now his blog is almost entirely devoted covering the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and the Ukraine-Russia tensions.

Written by Daniel Alan Kennedy

This article was originally published by Global Voices on September 4, 2014.

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