I posted a translation a couple of days ago alleging that the Azov Battalion was demanding a set price for allowing civilians to be evacuated from the Azovstal plant in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. According to the following report, the last of the civilians have finally been permitted to leave. Der Spiegel and Anti-Spiegel have very published different versions of what happened.
Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from Anti-Spiegel:
The last civilians were evacuated from the steelworks and how “creative” Der Spiegel reports about it
Azov militants have finally let the last civilians out of the Mariupol Steel Plant.
The fighters of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion have finally withdrawn the last civilians from the Mariupol steelworks. The report was also confirmed by the Ukrainian government, which does not prevent Der Spiegel from presenting it differently. I’ll first translate the Russian news agency’s report on the subject, then we’ll see what Der Spiegel makes of it.
Start of translation of TASS bulletin:
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister confirms that civilians have been evacuated from Azovstal
According to Iryna Vereshchuk, “this part of the humanitarian operation is over.”
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk confirmed on Saturday that civilians have been evacuated from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.
“All children, women and old people have been evacuated from Azovstal,” she wrote on her Telegram channel. According to the deputy prime minister, “this part of the humanitarian operation is complete.”
Earlier, the DNR’s territorial defense staff reported that a group of 50 people were evacuated from the facility on Saturday. Thus, the total number of civilians evacuated from the facility reached 176 people.
A day earlier, 25 people, including women and children, had been evacuated from the site area.
Fighting for Mariupol began on February 25 and the city was completely blocked. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian nationalist groups have been expelled from the residential areas and the Azovstal plant has been blocked. According to the Interdepartmental Coordination Center for Humanitarian Aid of the Russian Federation, on May 5, 6 and 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Russian Armed Forces opened a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of civilians from the plant premises, their presence in the underground structures of the plant reported by the Kiev government. Russian and DNR forces have been systematically opening humanitarian corridors since late March.
End of translation
Der Spiegel‘s lies were discussed in the UN Security Council
Der Spiegel lies so blatantly that one of its articles was even discussed at the UN Security Council meeting on May 6th. Der Spiegel had shown a video in which a woman who had escaped from the steel mill reported on her experiences. Der Spiegel had presented it as if the woman had accused the Russian armed forces of not letting the civilians out of the plant.
In reality, the opposite was the case, and the woman also told the opposite of what Der Spiegel reported to its readers. Just a few hours after I reported it, Der Spiegel removed the video but kept the truth from its readers. Der Spiegel cited “subsequently discovered discrepancies in content” as the reason for having “temporarily taken down the video”.
This brazen lie by Der Spiegel was exposed and criticized even in the UN Security Council. In Der Spiegel, however, you don’t hear a word about the fact that the “news magazine” has had the “honour” of being mentioned in detail at such a high level.
Der Spiegel just continues to misinform
Instead, Der Spiegel cheerfully continues to disinform its readers. It reported on the evacuation of the last civilians from the steel mill under the headline “Besieged Mariupol — Last Evacuation Attempts as Russia Seems to End Ceasefire”. The headline itself is misleading because it speaks of “evacuation attempts” when in fact all civilians were rescued. The Der Spiegel article begins as follows:
“The last phase of a large-scale evacuation campaign has started in the southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol. Together with international aid organizations, the last civilians locked in catastrophic conditions on the site of the Azov steelworks besieged by the Russian army should be rescued on Saturday. Russia had promised a temporary ceasefire for the evacuation — but apparently continued to attack with great severity in other parts of southern Ukraine. According to the Reuters news agency, the Ukrainian military command on Saturday evening reported that Russian forces continued to attack the Azov steel plant with tanks and artillery.”
Der Spiegel continues its disinformation campaign, because with the formulation about the “Azov steelworks besieged by the Russian army”, Der Spiegel suggests that Russia is not letting the civilians go. The subsequent formulations that Russia had promised a “temporary ceasefire” and the immediately following mentions of Russian attacks also suggested by Der Spiegel that Russia might not have complied with the ceasefire.
If the former news magazine wanted to report correctly, the article should have started with the fact that Russia announced and observed very long ceasefires every day, but that the Azov fighters did not want to let the civilians go. And Der Spiegel could have used the opportunity to point out its “error” in publishing the video about the first evacuated civilians. Instead, against its better judgment, Der Spiegel simply continues disinforming its readers.
It is only in the second paragraph of his article that Der Spiegel mentions to its readers that the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister has reported the evacuation of all civilians held at the site. Instead of emphasizing this important message, however, Der Spiegel writes in the third paragraph:
“However, it is estimated that dozens of civilians are still trapped in the factory’s bunkers — and time is running out.”
Whose estimates is Der Spiegel basing its report on? That remains its secret, but the rag from Hamburg suggests to its readers that civilians are still there and that the evil Russians won’t let them out. And Der Spiegel does so, even though Ukraine has confirmed the evacuation of all civilians
There is a technical term for what Der Spiegel does, it is called “propaganda”. Oddly enough, there are still people who buy Der Spiegel or have subscribed to it, i.e. pay money to be deliberately lied to…
Afterword from the translator:
Just a little titbit on the magazine’s illustrious history. The first issue of the news magazine Der Spiegel was published 75 years ago — at the initiative of the British military administration.