Putin loyalist claims on live radio that Ukrainians are shelling themselves

Zelensky says Putin living ‘bubble’ and may not be getting ‘realistic’ information

Maria Butina, a member of Putin's State Duma, has made the bizarre claim that Ukrainians are shelling their own cities.

While on-air with BBC radio host, Nick Robinson, Butina attempted to justify the war in Ukraine, which Russians refer to as 'the special operation.' According to false claims in Russian media, Ukraine is a Nazi regime bombing its own citizens, especially Russian-speaking ones.

"We have been warning the world that the Nazi move, and Nazi actions, in Ukraine is rising for actually many years," Butina said. "It took us eight years try to convince them that you cannot attack your civilian population, Russian-speaking population."

Dumbfounded, Robinson attempted to inform Butina of the situation in Ukraine and explain that Putin was the brute. However, Butina came back with more misinformation.

Robinson asked if that meant Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was a Nazi, to which she answered yes. However, Robinson pointed out that Zelensky is Jewish himself, and his great-grandfather died while fighting Nazis for Russia.

"I do believe Nazism is not about one nation, it's about killing, murdering, torturing any nation based upon their race, gender, nationality, country of origin," Butina said.

This, however, is not true. Nazism is a political ideology based on white supremacy and intense nationalism. Not all nationalities are subject to the intense violence and prejudice that Nazism promotes.

Earlier this week, a Russian gymnast used the letter "Z" to show his loyalty to Russia during the Gymnastics World Cup and said his reasoning for doing so was to fight the Nazis in Ukraine.

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As a member of the State Duma under Putin, Butina is loyal to her country, and whether or not she is aware of the truth in Ukraine, will defend Putin to the end.

The 33-year-old activist spent five months in a Florida prison in 2018 for conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent of the Russian state. Notably, Butina attempted to infiltrate the National Rifle Association on behalf of Russia, formed relationships with the Republican Party, and became friendly with Trump campaign aides during the 2016 election.

It was clear there would be no 'agree to disagree' ending by either person in Robinson and Butina's conversation. The two went back and forth, at times heated, trying to explain the truth in Ukraine.

"Maria Butina, what evidence have you got to suggest millions of people are fleeing their own cities, that thousands are dying because a country is bombing its own citizens- that's preposterous," Robinson asked.

"We have tons of evidence Russian army does not touch, they do not bomb civilian population. Absolutely not," Butina said. However, when asked to provide evidence of this, Butina was not able to and cited "Russians just don't do it" as the explanation.

"Ah, Russians just don't do it," Robinson replied. "I see, other than in countries like Syria, other than Czechia, other than in Ukraine today."

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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