VICE: Meet the US ‘Journalist’ Helping Spread the Kremlin’s Propaganda

Molfar has investigated the activities of the Kremlin propagandist with American citizenship – Patrick Lancaster. The results of our investigation were published by VICE and ZABORONA.

If you are interested in receiving the full Patrick Lancaster investigation file, send us your request at [email protected]

The investigation file contains much more information than the publications on media resources. In addition, in a personal request, we can provide additional materials to help you move forward in your own investigations into Kremlin propagandists.

Screenshot of VICE media publication

Patrick Lancaster is an American propagandist who came to Ukraine after the Revolution of Dignity and settled here – in the so-called "DPR". Lancaster has become one of the Kremlin's most notorious foreign propagandists in the occupied territories. He claims that Malaysian Boeing was shot down by Ukrainians, reports from Mariupol where Azovs allegedly tortured a woman by painting her body with a bloody swastika, and shows the corpses killed actually takes from the morgue. And he is one of the guests of the most famous pro-Trump podcast about conspiracy theories. 

Molfar also was investigating the case of carving swastika on a woman's body – we proved that this case was a falsification. See the details of the investigation at this link.

Patrick Lancaster, a US citizen and now a “DPR” resident, is a blogger with more than half a million YouTube audiences and thousands of Telegram and VKontakte subscribers. His videos are gaining hundreds of thousands of views, and YouTube channel traffic reaches 45 million. Almost all the covers of his videos are signed in aggressive red. Here are some of them: "Ukraine surrendered Mariupol", "Russian Army master class in Kherson", "Phosphorus bombs against civilians". Lancaster is not so often seen on the front line: he shoots reports in hot spots, but only after the occupation of the territories by the Russians. He is almost always accompanied by the Russian military during the filming of the scenes.

In the English-language segment of YouTube, Lancaster has taken the niche of a journalist who allegedly opposes the fake news spread by the liberal channel CNN and agencies such as Thomson Reuters. Lancaster himself believes that there is no personal opinion in his reports, but only facts and testimonies of injured Russian-speaking Ukrainians, who are "bombed by their own authorities." There is also no one among the heroes of Lancaster's video who would express a pro-Ukrainian position.

Patrick Lancaster works on two fronts at once. First, he creates for the Russian audience the image of an American anti-Americanist who sees Russia as the last island not yet corrupted by capitalism and liberal values. Secondly, it works for American viewers. Prior to the full-scale war in Ukraine and the blocking of Russian propaganda media by Western countries, the English-language YouTube channel RT had 1.9 million subscribers and 1.8 billion views per year, which is more than CNN's YouTube channel. Too many right-wing Americans are looking for an alternative to CNN and find it in the aggressive rhetoric of RT channels.

Lancaster spends most of his time in the so-called "DPR", where, according to information from open sources, he has already settled down and become almost "his own". What's more, his father, Timothy, has moved to Donetsk – on his page you can see the "Z" mark and complementary posts on the policies of Trump and Kentucky Senator Ron Paul (the same isolationist politician who tried to slow down the process of providing military support to Ukraine by the Joe Biden administration).

In addition to his journalistic activities, Lancaster notes in his LinkedIn account that, since 2015, he has been raising funds to help the residents of Donbass affected by the war. In December 2018, Patrick posted a photo on his Facebook page, where he is depicted against the background of bags and boxes of humanitarian aid in occupied Donetsk. But something else is interesting here: in the post, Lancaster claims that the humanitarian aid was bought with donations and money collected by him from sponsors, which helped to attract a French citizen Eric Kraus. As we found out, Eric Kraus revolves around Russian elites. He worked for a company whose owner was close to Nikolai Patrushev, the former head of the FSS and now the secretary of the Russian National Security Council.

In an interview, Eric Kraus called himself an outspoken Putin fan and said that Russia had become his home. Until 2001, Kraus worked as a chief strategist at the Russian joint-stock bank Investment and Banking Group NIKoil, which belonged to the Russian banker from the Forbes list, Nikolai Tsvetkov. Kraus was later released. The reason was that he called the representatives of the Russian oil company, owned by Roman Abramovich, "bandits." After that, Kraus took a similar position as a strategist at the Russian company Sovlink. At the time, Sovlink was a subsidiary of the Russian commercial bank Alba Alliance, which was owned by Russian Viktor Vekselberg. The latter is known for his close ties with the Russian authorities and – especially – with Nikolai Patrushev. Novaya Gazeta wrote about the friendly relations between Vekselberg and Patrushev.

Patrick Lancaster and similar Western influencers who spread Russian propaganda are very dangerous. That is why debunking their information terrorism schemes is one of Molfar's priorities.

Screenshot of the media publication ZABORONA
Patrick Lancaster's interview with Russian propaganda media
Patrick, his wife, her sister and friends – March 2016


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