Donetsk separatist from Texas: "I'll be back in the US on a tank to free the Americans" - ForumDaily
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Donetsk separatist from Texas: 'I will return to the USA in a tank to free the Americans'

US citizen Russell Bentley from Texas told how he decided to join the separatists in the Donbass, shared his passionate feelings for Vladimir Putin and his firm intention to “liberate the Americans” by returning to his homeland in a tank.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Russell Bentley

At a press conference in St. Petersburg, Bentley said that - from his point of view - “the LDPR, the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin have chosen the right path.” He also expressed the opinion that everything the United States has done in the 21st century is “a crime that is no different from the crime committed by Germany when it started the war.”

According to the Donetsk separatist from Texas, he never regretted that he “chose this life.”

“I wanted to take the right side in the historical process, and I took it. The war in Donbass is the best thing I did in my life. I’m on the same path as the LDPR and Russia, because our goals coincide, they are fighting for a prosperous world,” said “Texas” (this is the call sign he uses in the Donbass).

Russell emphasized that he is delighted with Russian President Vladimir Putin and considers him a genius. But the American is not delighted with the US elite: “It seems to me that since Kennedy, my country has not had a decent president. “I have no confidence that Trump will interrupt the policy that the United States has been pursuing for many years.”

On the subject: NPR: Butina and her mentor urged the United States that Russia did not knock down MN17 over Donbas

According to Russell, there are “many good people in the United States who are forced to live under such power.” The main dream of the Donbass separatist from Texas is “for people in the USA to be free in reality, and not as it is now.”

“If I return to the USA, it will only be on a tank. Not to defeat the United States, but to free the Americans,” the man said.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Russell Bentley

Who is Bentley and how did he get to Donetsk

In 2013, Bentley, he said, could not shake the feeling that his life was fading away. Born into a wealthy family, he dropped out of school and worked in a factory before joining the army. He worked odd jobs and found his calling as a marijuana dealer, which forced him to go on the run. He himself quickly turned into his worst fear: a middle-aged man with a belly and no money, and decided that he needed to “express himself with action,” he writes Texas monthly.

For many years, his media diet consisted of a huge number of pro-Kremlin sites. The perspectives he found there, from articles mourning the declining American middle class to reports of the failure of the American justice system, echoed his own view.

Despite near-unanimous international condemnation of Russia's aggression, Bentley was seduced by Putin's view of the war. Shortly after the occupation of Crimea, Putin criticized Western leaders who condemned the takeover and said that "neo-Nazis and Russophobes carried out a coup" to overthrow the Ukrainian government. Putin said this new regime is persecuting ethnic Russians in the country and he is intervening to save them. Bentley, following the instructions of the Russian media, also became “convinced” that the United States was behind all this.

On the subject: US citizens are suing Western Union because of remittances to militants in the Donbas

Over the next months, he joined more than a dozen Facebook groups on the subject of the Ukraine-Russia confrontation (one called the “President Vladimir Putin Fan Club” and another called the “Vladimir Putin American Fan Club”). He contacted influential Internet activists, authors of alternative websites, and gave a speech on RT.

Bentley dove into Russian sources that blamed the war on "US-backed Nazis" and began dreaming of teaming up with "like-minded freedom fighters," and a few months later he began planning his trip to Donetsk.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Russell Bentley

He told his family that he was leaving, got a tour visa to Russia, sold his favorite things, packed and flew away with 3 000 cash dollars, which he collected through the GoFundMe portal for his “Mission to establish facts in the Donbas”.

Crowd funding sites, such as GoFundMe, JustGiving and Indiegogo, are commonly used for charity purposes, including for raising money for victims of tragedies. People can donate money in exchange for small gifts or "benefits", notes Air force.

Bentley used these sites to fund his own initiative to participate in hostilities in Ukraine. In November 2014, he launched the GoFundMe page, where he collected over 3 thousand dollars. But most of these sites strictly prohibit campaigns to raise money for violent purposes. Despite the rules of the site, in the last campaign of Bentley, organized on Indiegogo, there is a video about how he is touring areas of conflict with a machine gun and shooting at a Ukrainian military drone.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Russell Bentley

He arrived in Ukraine in early December 2014 and joined a group led by Alexander Khodakovsky, who was sanctioned by the United States “for responsibility for or complicity in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine.” Bentley came up with the call sign "Texas" and used a straw hat in battle.

In his first media interview, he said, "Every person that was killed, every house that was burned, every bullet hole in every fence, every hungry dog, every trouble in this war is due to the decisions of the United States and the influence of the United States."

In Donbass, Bentley quickly became a “folk hero” for supporters of the Russian occupation. In September 2015, he visited a high school class in Makeyevka, a city northeast of Donetsk, and the teacher introduced him to his students as an “almost legendary man.”

From time to time he appears on Russian state television. He also became a regular guest on the streaming radio show Jeff Rense, who denies the Holocaust and invites supporters of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazism to him.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Russell Bentley

Bentley is now using the same crowdfunding sites to raise funds for the publication of the book, offering military emblems and T-shirts from the Donbass in response to donations from $100 to $999. He needs at least $9 for the book and has already raised more than half. For a donation of 000, he promises “a tour of Odessa and Kyiv after we liberate them.”

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