Vatnik Soup
Soup number196
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Vatnik’s professionPolitical scientist
Vatnik’s country of originUkraine and Canada
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Ivan Katchanovski

In today’s #vatniksoup, I’ll introduce a Ukrainian-Canadian political scientist, Ivan Katchanovski (@I_Katchanovski). He’s best-known for exaggerating the role of far-right and neo-Nazi involvement in the Ukrainian politics and in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

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Katchanovski received his PhD from the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.Even though his his h-index is measly 21, his academic record is pretty remarkable; among other feats, he’s worked as a visiting researcher at the Davis Center for...

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...Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.

Ivan is all about them “far-right elements” in Ukraine. His main narrative is that there is a small but powerful bloc of far-right actors who are integrated into the Ukrainian Army and are tolerated by President...

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...Zelensky, and that they also played a crucial role in the so-called Maidan massacre. Per Ivan, “the Maidan massacre [...] was a successful false flag operation, which was organized and conducted with involvement of oligarchic and far right elements of the Maidan...

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...opposition and snipers in order to overthrow the government and seize power in Ukraine."

After October 2014, he started presenting his theory on the events of the Maidan massacre. His 2015 paper argues that it was actually the snipers from the Maidan-controlled areas that...
...caused most of the fatalities. In his 2016 book chapter on nominally peer-reviewed Journal of Labor and Society, he again argued that “the Right Sector and Svoboda had crucial roles in [...] in the Maidan massacre of the protesters and the police.”

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Official investigation matched the used bullets to the weapons used by Berkut, the Ukrainian special police force working under Yanukovych. Researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University have refuted Ivan’s claims by using a detailed reconstruction of the events from various..

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Also, New York Times made an extensive research based on 3-D models on the events in 2018:…

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In February 2023, Ivan gave an interview to an obscure journal called “Historical Expertise”. The journal seems to focus on Russian history and culture, but it also contains a lot of pro-Kremlin propaganda in the form of interviews and articles. Anyway, the interview is titled..

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"Not a single person is convicted or arrested for the Maidan massacre", and in it Katchanovski makes a rather bold statement that it was actually the involvement of Ukrainian far-right actors that led to the annexation of Crimea, “civil war” in Ukraine, and to the...

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...Russian military intervention in Donbas. Apparently the Kremlin’s military interference, their meddling with Yanukovych, their plans to make Ukraine into a Belarus-like totalitarian state, their funding of pro-Kremlin politicians had nothing to do with all this.

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Academics need to be extremely careful in what they say, especially so when discussing over geopolitics. Ivan claims to be “neutral” and boasts that he usually doesn’t give interviews to Russian media.

We know this from his before-mentioned interview on Russian media.

Recently, he has been criticizing the use of phrase “Slava Ukraini”. He shared an article where Croatian President and fervent opponent of military aid to Ukraine, Zoran Milanović, compared the slogan to “Sieg Heil” used by the real Nazis.

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The phrase first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, and was later used by Ukrainians during the Ukrainian War of Independence between 1917 and 1921. Katchanovski has called this version of history “Wikipedia fakes propagated by whitewashers of OUN & far-right.”

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Remember when pro-Kremlin propagandists discovered that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, wore a bracelet that had a symbol that resembled a swastika. This was of course just the evidence he needed to prove his “Ukrainian Nazis” theory.
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In reality, the symbol was the Solomon’s knot, an age-old symbol found already in ancient Roman mosaics. According to Ivan, these bracelets are “also used by neo-Nazis in Ukraine.”

Man, it must be stressful to grasp at straws this hard to support your own theories.

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On various occasions, Katchanovski has claimed that if Ukraine had only complied with the Minsk Agreement, the war could have been avoided. While it’s true that Ukraine didn’t comply with the agreement, but neither did Russia.

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Incidentally, Ivan forgets to mention the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, which obligated Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and its borders.

I think we can safely say at this point, that you can’t trust Russia on any international agreement.

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Lately Katchanovski has been involved with another pro-Kremlin megaphone, Jeffrey Sachs. As you may know, Sachs is blaming the NATO expansion on the war in Ukraine, undermined Finland’s NATO membership, and appeared on Vladimir Solovyov’s propaganda show.

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He’s also testified on the Nord Stream sabotage in front of the UN Security Council on behalf of Russia. In May 2023, Ivan & Jeffrey sat down for a talk, in which Katchanovski falsely claimed that the West sabotaged the peace negotiations between Ukraine & Russia in Mar 2022.
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As it can be difficult to find funding for projects that don’t support official investigations, Ivan has decided to crowdfund his research. He managed to raise 3000 CA$ for his latest article, which will be published in near future in a journal called “Russian Politics”.

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To me it seems like Ivan REALLY wants to be relevant. He likes to quote himself, boast about his media appearances & his academic achievements, and generally tries to be noticed.

As of now, he’s mostly noticed and used by the pro-Kremlin media to support their propaganda.

Here’s Ivan’s episode titled “Ukrainian scholar calls out US media’s lies about war” on Useful Idiots with @aaronjmate and @KatieHalperShow:…

Thank you @JMacclein84780!