US Sees Russians in East Ukraine Protester Photos

Grainy Pics of Other Incidents Show Similar-Looking People

The Obama Administration hasn’t been able to offer much in the way of evidence for its narrative that Russia is secretly behind the protests in eastern Ukraine, but they’ve sure been looking awfully hard.

Today, desperately for something concrete, the State Department issued a batch of photographs, most showing protesters in eastern Ukrainian cities, and some showing Russian troops who the US insists must be the same guy.

The US started with a photo of a guy with a long beard in Slovyansk, and a picture of a Russian soldier in Georgia in 2008 with an even longer beard. Coincidence? The US can’t imagine it.

In addition to Beard Guy, the US also showed photographs of a poofy-haired guy in Kramatorsk, along with a group photograph of Russian Special Forces. In the back on the Special Forces photo, wearing a hat so we can’t see his poofy hair, is a guy with a similar goatee.

Beyond that, other photos showed the armed militia members holding guns “similar” to the kind the Russian military uses. That both are using Soviet surplus arms (as is Ukraine’s government and much of Eastern Europe, for that matter) is unsurpirising, but is the closest thing to a smoking gun the US appears to have been able to find.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.