Texas vlogger claims he's helping Russian soldiers 'fight fascism' and 'liberate' Ukraine

click to enlarge Texas man Russell Bonner Bentley vlogs alongside invading Russian forces, whom he claims are "fighting Nazi's" in Ukraine. - Twitter/Borzou Daraghi
Twitter/Borzou Daraghi
Texas man Russell Bonner Bentley vlogs alongside invading Russian forces, whom he claims are "fighting Nazi's" in Ukraine.

A Texas man named Russell Bonner Bentley is releasing vlogs from Ukraine, where he claims to be "fighting Nazis" alongside Russian soldiers in an attempt to "liberate" the invaded democracy of fascism.

"It's Tejas on the frontlines — with the de-Nazifiers and the liberators of Ukraine," Bentley said in his latest YouTube vlog. "These guys are tough, these guys are ready, and there's plenty of them. So far, Russia has used about 10% of its military power, and we're getting ready to bring the hammer down. These guys are gonna save and liberate all the good people in Ukraine. And, all the bad people: Boom! Kick their ass."

Bentley has been posting pro-Russian propaganda on his YouTube channel since first arriving in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donestk in January 2015, shortly after the Russian invasion of Crimea. Bentley told bewildered locals he was a "well-to-do" American who sold his assets and came to Ukraine "in search of freedom" and to "fight fascism," according to an article published in the Black Sea News, a Ukrainian news outlet.

Since then, the vlogger's YouTube channel has garnered 17,000 subscribers.

However, Bentley is reportedly not the wealthy U.S. industrialist he's claimed to be. Instead, he's a fugitive wanted by U.S Marshalls for international drug smuggling, according to a 2018 Texas Monthly report. Before that glamorous career, Russell worked as a German-based U.S Army engineer, a hard-partying musician in South Padre and an arborist, according to Texas Monthly.

Though the self-referenced "Donbas Cowboy" continued to post videos to his video over the past seven years, many had forgotten about him until most recent blog. Indeed, some commenters on Reddit expressed surprise the Russian-sympathizing Texan is still alive.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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