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12 Jun, 2023 23:16

Ukrainian state-backed ‘kill list’ celebrates Berlusconi’s death

The infamous ‘Mirotvorets’ website has marked the former Italian PM as “self-liquidated”
Ukrainian state-backed ‘kill list’ celebrates Berlusconi’s death

A notorious Ukrainian government-linked website that hosts a database of supposed enemies of the state rejoiced over the death of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday, having branded him an ally of “Russian occupiers.”

‘Mirotvorets’ (Peacemaker) accused Berlusconi of being “an accomplice of the Russian-fascist invaders and terrorists” in their “crimes against Ukraine,” in particular for his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Yalta, Crimea in 2015.

On Monday, following the news of Berlusconi’s passing, the website put a flashing banner on top of his entry, crossed his portrait with the red letters “liquidated” and marked him as “self-liquidated on June 12, 2023.”

‘Mirotvorets’ is reportedly the brainchild of Anton Gerashchenko, who currently serves as an adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. As its location, the website lists Warsaw, Poland and Langley, Virginia – the headquarters of the CIA. 

The site was set up in December 2014, ostensibly by private activists, to name and shame the “enemies of Ukraine.” It has posted the personal information of individuals targeted by Kiev, including journalist Oles Buzina, who was murdered in April 2015. 

‘Mirotvorets’ also celebrated the killing of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, the daughter of prominent philosopher and author Aleksandr Dugin, in August 2022. Kiev denied any involvement in the car bombing that claimed her life, but US intelligence officials reportedly believe that “parts” of the Ukrainian government were responsible. 

Over the years, the Mirotvorets website had blacklisted high-profile Western politicians and public figures, including Croatian President Zoran Milanovic, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, retired US diplomat Henry Kissinger, and rock musician Roger Waters, among others. 

Though the US and the UK are Ukraine’s most prominent backers, ‘Mirotvorets’ had no qualms about blacklisting Keir Simmons, a British national working for the US outlet NBC News, for visiting Crimea earlier this year. London and Washington did not protest over the listing. Many more independent journalists have been blacklisted as well.

Berlusconi’s “crime” in the eyes of Kiev was that he blamed the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and repeatedly called for a ceasefire. Though his party, Forza Italia, is a member of the current ruling coalition, he had criticized Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni for siding with Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted to Berlusconi’s passing by calling him “a true friend” and a real Italian patriot, who helped Italy grow stronger within the EU and forged better ties between Rome and Moscow.

Berlusconi served as prime minister three times. His last tenure was from 2008 to 2011.