Facebook Fact-Checker Arrested for Attempting To Murder Independent Journalist

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Facebook Fact-Checker Arrested for Attempting To Murder Independent Journalist  Marko Suprun

A Facebook fact-checker has been arrested for the attempted murder of an independent media journalist who he accused of spreading ‘misinformation’ online.

Marko Suprun, a NATO state-funded Ukrainian fact-checker with close ties to Nazi activists, was taken into police custody in Washington, DC, after attempting to murder an independent media journalist at an event hosted by a neocon Beltway think tank. 

Thegrayzone.com reports: The Ukrainian-Canadian host of a self-styled ‘anti-disinformation’ outfit — which receives thousands of dollars from the US and UK governments and works with Facebook to censor content — was arrested on Capitol Hill last week after assaulting a contributor to The Grayzone.

On April 16, Marko Suprun, who presents an English-language show for the group StopFake.org, and whose wife has served as Ukraine’s acting Minister of Health, was charged with simple assault after strangling, shoving, and stomping on Grayzone contributor Moss Robeson. The incident occurred during an anti-Russia event hosted by the neoconservative Jamestown Foundation, entitled “Russia’s Rupture and Western Policy.” Robeson was fully credentialed and authorized by organizers to participate in the discussion.

“This is the guy! This is the guy!” Suprun reportedly shouted, while forcing Robeson into the hallway, choking him with both hands, and pushing him to the ground, leaving his glasses broken.

Footage of the event streamed online shows that immediately after the assault, one of the organizers took to the stage to denounce the US-born Robeson as a “Russian troll” and claimed that The Grayzone’s contributor deliberately incited the physical attack against him, before admonishing attendees to behave themselves:

“Today we had a troll called Moss Robeson who provoked one of our participants and managed to get him in trouble. So I’m warning everyone, be careful. Don’t get into any arguments with anyone. Just walk away.”

Mr. Stopfake and ‘Dr. Death’ honor Bandera and court Nazis  Marko Suprun

Mr. Stopfake and ‘Dr. Death’ honor Bandera and court Nazis

Suprun’s organization, StopFake, publicly presents itself as a humble Kiev-based “nongovernmental organization” focused on fact-checking. Its stated goals include implementing “high standards of journalism education in Ukraine, raising the “level of media literacy,” and informing the public about “the danger of propaganda and dissemination of fake information in the media.” The group insists that it receives no government funds, stating flatly on its “About Us” page: “Stopfake.org is not supported financially or otherwise by any official Ukrainian organization or government agency.”

But the group’s claim of editorial independence is immediately contradicted by its own website, which admits just four sentences later that StopFake is “also supported by… the Foreign Ministry of the Czech Republic, [and] the Embassy of [the] United Kingdom.”

In fact, StopFake has received extensive funding from not only the British government but also the US-based National Endowment for Democracy, a CIA cutout that’s largely funded by Congress and the State Department.

StopFake was founded in 2014, but as a 2017 Politico report explained, “it was only after [the 2016] presidential election in the U.S. — when Russian fake news and cyberattacks were blamed for swaying the election in Donald Trump’s favor — that the site burst onto the global stage.”

“Almost overnight, the founders of StopFake went from provincial do-gooders to international media stars,” Politico marveled, while praising the group as “the ‘grand wizards’ of the fake-news-busting world.”

With lavish funding from Western governments and regular citations in legacy media outlets, Suprun has exploited his position in the “fake-news-busting world” to whitewash notorious Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera as a heroic resistance fighter who simply “refused to cooperate” with the Germans. His fascist-friendly tendencies do not stop there.

Not long after the Politico article was published, Suprun appeared at a nationalist summer camp in Ukraine alongside a pair of prominent neo-Nazi band leaders, Andriy Sereda and Arseniy Bilodub, who affectionately referred to Suprun as one of their ‘blood brothers’ — a term of endearment reportedly bestowed only on those who’ve completed a pagan-style ceremony which involves bloodletting. In addition to serving as the frontman for white supremacist band Perun’s Ax, Bilodub is also a leader of the infamous Right Sector movement and has been described as “the spiritual leader of the Ukrainian far right.”

Among the attendees of the Jamestown Foundation event, Suprun was hardly alone in maintaining such relationships. Other speakers from Ukraine included the odious Russian “opposition leader” Ilya Ponomarev, a political figurehead of the Nazi-infested Russian units in the International Legion, which reports to Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov. Ponomarev is also the spokesman of the dubious “National Republican Army” in Russia, on whose behalf he previously attempted to claim responsibility for Ukraine’s assassinations inside Russia.

After StopFake partnered with Facebook in 2020 to create a fact-checking service for the popular social media platform in Ukraine, it seemed that such associations might come back to haunt Suprun and his employer. In an effort to address the controversy, Suprun published a lengthy defense of his behavior which culminated with a bizarre admission:

“Have I had people with swastika tattoos in my office? I don’t examine people’s bodies as a rule, but yes. Does that make me a neo-Nazi? No,” he insisted. 

Marko Suprun’s far-right connections in Ukraine are, in fact, extensive and well-documented, but they appear to pale in comparison to those of his wife, Ulana Suprun. Long before her 2016 appointment as Ukraine’s acting Minister of Health, where her lethal push for privatization earned her the nickname “Dr. Death,” Suprun has maintained close relations with a number of violent neo-Nazi organizations, including C14, which has been credited with carrying out a wave of brutal anti-Roma pogroms.

According to Ukrainian journalist Olekisy Kuzmenko, “Suprun’s contacts with C14 go back years.” What could have been a major scandal for Facebook got swept under the rug, and StopFake, which remains one of its fact-checking partners, only doubled down on its defense of C14.

Ulana Suprun has been described as one of the main patrons of the far-right activist Serhii Sternenko, 29, who led the Right Sector’s massacre of “anti-Maidan” protesters in Odessa in May 2014 and ultimately helped to ignite the civil war in eastern Ukraine. In March 2020, after StopFake officially partnered with Facebook, Suprun declared the “Russian world” to be “a threat that’s scarier than coronavirus,” and went on to hail Sternenko, who once stabbed a man to death, as “an example of that [new] generation of Ukrainians who can put everything in its place.” In the coming months, Suprun hired Sternenko’s girlfriend as her press secretary.

Suprun helps lead secret fascist network behind cover of Ukrainian American community

At the Jamestown Foundation’s April 16 event in Washington DC, Moss Robeson attempted to question Suprun approximately an hour before the assault. “Can I interest you in some OUN documents?” The Grayzone contributor asked Marko Suprun, who stonewalled. 

As an independent researcher, Robeson has spent years studying the present-day activities of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the infamous group of Nazi collaborators who oversaw the elimination of over 100,000 Poles and Jews in German-occupied Ukraine.

Evidence has emerged that the Supruns are sworn members of the contemporary OUN-B, the more radical ‘Banderite’ faction of the OUN which was personally founded by the genocidal fascist Stepan Bandera.

For decades, legacy media outlets have ignored the OUN-B’s continued existence in Ukraine and the diaspora, assuming the group to be irrelevant and defunct. That was certainly the impression relayed by the Jamestown Foundation forum’s alleged expert on “Russia’s rupture,” Janusz Bugajski, who visited the OUN-B headquarters in Ukraine in early 2024, but who privately insisted that the OUN-B no longer exists.

However, firsthand testimony and deep documentation reviewed by The Grayzone indicates that the group has been secretly maintained by its founders’ descendants, and continues to operate in the shadows behind a web of seemingly legitimate Ukrainian lobbying and communal organizations. The Supruns operate at the heart of this secret fascist network.  Marko Suprun

However, firsthand testimony and deep documentation reviewed by The Grayzone indicates that the group has been secretly maintained by its founders’ descendants, and continues to operate in the shadows behind a web of seemingly legitimate Ukrainian lobbying and communal organizations. The Supruns operate at the heart of this secret fascist network.

According to Ulana herself, she met her future husband, Marko Suprun, at a Banderite ideological camp in Ellenville, New York that consisted of “political workshops” with OUN-B leaders. The event was organized by the Ukrainian Student Organization of Mikhnovsky (TUSM), a Cold War-era international youth group affiliated with OUN-B and named for a pioneering ultranationalist who famously dreamed of an ethnically pure Greater Ukraine “from the Carpathians to the Caucasus.” Many contemporary leaders of the surviving OUN-B network in the Ukrainian diaspora cut their teeth in this organization, which kept the flame of Banderite fascism burning long after it was extinguished in Ukraine under Soviet authorities. 

In 1984, the TUSM elected as its vice president 21-year-old Ulana Jurkiw, just one year after she led a sit-in at the Dachau concentration camp museum to protest its supposed anti-Ukrainian bias. In 1981, Jurkiw participated in a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Banderites’ “restoration of Ukrainian statehood” in Nazi-occupied western Ukraine alongside the former Prime Minister of its short-lived Nazi client state, OUN-B leader Yaroslav Stetsko — who famously endorsed “the destruction of the Jews and the expedience of bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine.”

After Bandera’s former deputy Yaroslav Stetsko died in 1986, the local OUN-B leader in Jurkiw’s hometown of Detroit became the chairman of Stetsko’s government in exile, which only existed on paper.

Five years later, Ulana Jurkiw married Marko Suprun. They moved to New York City, where they became active in a pair of OUN-B “facade structures” established at the dawn of the Cold War — the Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM) and Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine (ODFFU). By the mid-2000s, Marko Suprun joined the board of directors of ODFFU, Inc., which owns the “Home of the Organizations of the Ukrainian Liberation Front” in Manhattan — the OUN-B’s headquarters in the US.

In December 2013, when anti-Russian ‘Euromaidan’ protests began to gather steam, the Supruns relocated to Kiev, apparently viewing the deadly political crisis as a major opportunity. By February 2014, Marko Suprun was hard at work assisting far-right leader Oleh Tyahnybok as a translator. Just over a year earlier, the New York Times observed that Tyahnybok infamously “used slurs to refer to the ‘Jewish-Russian mafia, which rules in Ukraine,’” and reported that “some of his [Svoboda] party’s members are unabashed neo-Nazis.”

The Supruns were largely catapulted into the spotlight by their “Patriot Defense” initiative, which sent first aid kits to volunteer battalions in Ukraine, including extremist groups like Right Sector and Azov. “Patriot Defense” originated in the Manhattan branch of ODFFU, and rented an office in the Ukrainian headquarters of OUN-B. In the meantime, the Banderite-led Ukrainian World Congress adopted Patriot Defense and hired Ulana Suprun as its Director of Humanitarian Initiatives.   Marko Suprun

The Supruns were largely catapulted into the spotlight by their “Patriot Defense” initiative, which sent first aid kits to volunteer battalions in Ukraine, including extremist groups like Right Sector and Azov. “Patriot Defense” originated in the Manhattan branch of ODFFU, and rented an office in the Ukrainian headquarters of OUN-B. In the meantime, the Banderite-led Ukrainian World Congress adopted Patriot Defense and hired Ulana Suprun as its Director of Humanitarian Initiatives. 

In 2016, the Supruns’ status as a diaspora-bred Ukrainian power couple was cemented when Ulana became the acting Healthcare Minister of Ukraine, and Marko joined StopFake. Already millionaires, they lived in a Kiev apartment that belonged to a treasurer of the Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation (UAFF) — another “facade structure” which owns 40% of the Banderite headquarters in Ukraine’s capital, according to an OUN-B financial report. Their landlord’s first husband, Oleh Vitovych (1967-2011), was an early leader of yet another far-right organization in Ukraine.

In 2019, when UAFF leaders engineered a coup d’etat in ODFFU for the OUN-B to retain full control of its building in Manhattan, an anonymous whistleblower submitted a sensational complaint to the New York State Attorney General’s office, entitled “UAFF Inc  -  Large Scare Fraudulent Financial Activities  -  Fascist Organization  -  Underground Paramilitary Training Activities  -  Grand Scale Fraud.” The report described Marko Suprun as “a very active [OUN-B] member.”

In 2019, when UAFF leaders engineered a coup d’etat in ODFFU for the OUN-B to retain full control of its building in Manhattan, an anonymous whistleblower submitted a sensational complaint to the New York State Attorney General’s office, entitled “UAFF Inc  -  Large Scare Fraudulent Financial Activities  -  Fascist Organization  -  Underground Paramilitary Training Activities  -  Grand Scale Fraud.” The report described Marko Suprun as “a very active [OUN-B] member.”

The small entourage of the OUN-B’s Ukrainian-American leaders participating in the Jamestown Foundation’s April 2024 forum included UAFF president Walter Zaryckyj, an influential OUN-B figure affiliated with the TUSM, who arrived at the event alongside the Supruns. During a previous visit to the OUN-B’s Manhattan headquarters, Zaryckyj warned Robeson about the looming presence of “someone out in Washington who’s gonna blow you [up] and [The Grayzone editor] Max Blumenthal and that whole fucking circle of dipshits working with the Russians.”

Marko Suprun and his aforementioned landlord have served on the board of Zaryckyj’s Center for US-Ukrainian Relations. The Center is yet another important OUN-B front, which was established in 2000 by the “informational arm” of the UAFF — in other words, the US branch of the OUN-B’s Ukrainian Central Information Service, which shared its international headquarters with a private Stepan Bandera museum in London.

But the Supruns’ extensive links to Ukrainian fascist movements don’t end there. 

In 2012-13, the Center for US-Ukrainian Relations established a Washington bureau in the headquarters of the neoconservative American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), with financial support from Ulana Suprun’s father, George Jurkiw. An official Ukrainian Catholic University Foundation profile describes Jurkiw as “a defense contractor that helped produce valuable technology and fire suppression equipment for the A-1 Abrams tank.”

ODFFU president Mykola Hryckowian, another veteran of the now-defunct TUSM youth camps, currently heads up the Banderite bureau in the AFPC. Robeson reports that, prior to the assault by Suprun, Hryckowian subjected him to profanity-laced tirades before complaining to forum organizers about alleged “harassment” by Robeson.

American Banderite leader Walter Zaryckyj openly refers to Herman Pirchner, the president of the AFPC, as “one of [his] best friends.” The Grayzone exposed Pirchner in 2020 as an inner-circle member of the “Christian Right’s secretive and powerful Council for National Policy.”

In 2018, after Max Blumenthal questioned the AFPC’s judgment for hosting a meeting with far-right Ukrainian politician Andriy Parubiy in the Senate, Pirchner responded with a bizarre non-sequitur in defense of the long-dead Nazi collaborator  Bandera, whose OUN-B organization actually helped arrange Parubiy’s trip to Washington.

When another gadfly, Moss Robeson, challenged OUN-B activist Marko Suprun six years later in Washington, Suprun decided to take matters into his own hands, strangling the “Bandera Lobby Blogger” and winding himself up in a DC jail. 

But as with his apparent affection for Nazis, this rare moment of accountability was unlikely to interfere with Suprun’s lavish Western funding. As the Ukraine proxy war slogs ahead, propagandists like him remain too useful for Washington to discard.