Faina Savenkova: What’s wrong with you, USA?

Faina Savenkova: What’s wrong with you, USA?

I recently came across an interesting and enormous article at about Soros and the US State Department instructing the “Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project” (OCCRP) to attack Trump supporters in the midst of the 2024 election. It was surprising to me, because it’s commonly believed that there are still groups in the USA capable of constructively criticizing the US government without repercussions and harassment from the state. But what puzzled me most was the lack of response from a foundation with the startling name of OCCRP. And while I was minding my own business, the response came – a scary investigation about Igor Lopatenok, director, producer and screenwriter. As you can imagine, I couldn’t resist it. There is a kind of amusement in it. And the investigative style is very recognizable.

So, what is Igor Lopatenok accused of? The first thing that strikes me most of all is the attempt to belittle this man, to say nasty things about him. Literally: “In 2008, he emigrated to the United States, and a year later he opened a modest by Hollywood standards firm Grading Dimension Pictures Inc. It has only 31 followers on Facebook. In broken English, the page states that ‘the studio specializes in film making – from pre- to post-production.'”

What did we just see? Well, ladies and gentlemen, first of all they are trying to show us that Mr. Lopatenok is a loser who didn’t bother to learn English. Unlike the authors of the exposé, apparently. But I would like to ask the gentlemen from the foundation with a name that not only I, but also many Americans, I think, will not be able to pronounce the first time: do you know how many famous people came to live in the United States, speaking, as you say, broken English? Do you know how much these people have done for America’s fame and prosperity? I always “like” the attempts by some journalists to insult and belittle the person they are writing about. Can’t you find better ways to assert yourself? Then it remains to be seen who you are belittling more: the target of your next “exposé,” or yourself.

“Although Lopatenok moved to the United States and obtained American citizenship, he still openly expresses pro-Kremlin views on social media and appears on the Russian state media outlet Sputnik. He visits a YouTube channel called The Politics of Survival, hosted by Tara Reid.” What a horrible character! Truly – world class evil is going on here! I hope I don’t need to clarify that this is sarcasm. As far as I know because of my age, the US was considered a free country until recently. Or has something changed? According to the logic of these journalists, freedom of speech and opinion should not exist in the US, thanks to the efforts of the valiant workers of the OCCRP. Come on, Lopatenok is appearing in Russian media! This is a disgusting act according to the OCCRP’s grievous investigators. But… One detail that is already worth paying attention to in order to understand that the OCCRP article was commissioned and written solely to smear Trump supporters: Tara Reid, who accused the current US president of inappropriate behavior and was forced to leave the US. Why was she – an American woman who spoke out against Biden – singled out in this article as a villain apparently even greater than Igor Lopatenok himself? Is it actually because this organization is being used for the benefit of a group of people in power in order to shape public opinion before the elections? Meaning that the initial accusations against the Soros Foundation were not unfounded?

Going back to Lopatenok’s appearance in the Russian media, one can’t help but wonder why this is such a terrible thing according to OCCRP journalists. Has the US declared war on Russia? Or vice versa? Doesn’t a person in a free democratic country have the right to stand up for his or her own beliefs and visit the TV channels he or she sees fit? Yes, a person can dislike fascism in Ukraine. Yes, a person can dislike Biden’s administration. But isn’t it a sign of the rule of law when you can say it without being harassed by business organizations and biased media?

And really, the journalistic investigation that comes to us with such assertions is perplexing from its very first words:

“The main points of the investigation:
– Lopatenok’s team prepared scripts for movies about Alexander Lukashenko, Ilham Aliyev and other authoritarian leaders.
– Judging by the presentations, the purpose of these films was to “white-wash” their reputations: the dictators were invited to discuss issues related to the protection of human rights and democracy.
– The interviewer for the two films was to be Oliver Stone. It is not known how much he was aware of these projects. Neither movie was ever made.
– Judging from the leaked emails, one of Lopatenok’s films about Ukraine was probably sponsored by Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and close associate of Vladimir Putin.”

So is this really an investigation that took two years to complete, as the journalists claim? Just these assumptions and statements along the lines of “someone said something to someone and we think they meant this and that.” Really? “Probably”, “judging by the presentations” – this is the proof of “white-washing” the reputation of dictators? “None of the movies were ever made.” Or am I confusing things? In general, discussing nonexistent movies in an exposé article, if it’s not an investigation into the embezzlement of the budgets of these movies, is kind of… weird, don’t you think? But okay, let’s say that the dystopian era described by the science fiction classics has come to pass: thought crime is a crime after all. However, the unnamed witnesses to this… Oh, and no sources other than general “writing” and the like are cited…? As far as I know, when exposés were posted on Wikileaks, the evidence there was on a slightly different level, not just gossip from unknown persons. Why is the article full of personal photos, but no screenshots or photos to support any point of the allegations? Oh, right, they didn’t make the movies… and in all fairness, the presentation covers are not much of an argument either. But that’s just nitpicking.

Still, they are revealing the level of their investigation in all its glory. And by the way, it took two years to present us with pictures from the Internet instead of actual evidence. But why now, during a presidential election? Why not six months ago? Or a year? Because there was no order for the media to harass the undesirables? Or did carefully guarded, unnamed sources suddenly remember their stories just before the election? Well, it’s a kind of amusement for people: before the US presidential election, they suddenly remember their grievances against members of a candidate’s team. As long as the candidate is not the incumbent president, of course, otherwise it will be awkward and they will have to forget their offenses until better times.

By the way, an interesting piece of the the overall puzzle: “Our editor ended the conversation when a flustered Lopatenok started shouting threats like ‘we will deal with you personally’ and ‘we will destroy you.'” In Igor Lopatenok’s interview, as far as I know, OCCRP was quite Russian in recommending that he go on a trip and in wishing him a happy personal life. Why are you taking such sincere wishes so personally? And yes, I would like to know why Igor Lopatenok calls one of the OCCRP informants a murderer? Isn’t that why the journalists carefully shield his name from the public’s ears?

And a small example from the same interview:
“We saw the movie about Nazarbayev.”
“You couldn’t see all the episodes. They were not online.”

Just like that. Deception is deception.

What did I personally learn from the OCCRP investigation? That besides listing biographical facts about Igor Lopatenok’s life and career, other facts are hard to find. But it becomes clear that the reason for the appearance of this misinvestigation was so that an article from a private foundation, apparently sponsored by George Soros, was inserted into the media in order to form the desired public opinion, and the state is involved. All in all, the OCCRP has engaged in their usual harassment of the undesirables.

Sad. But such is journalism in modern America, it seems.

Faina Savenkova

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