Ultranationalists gloating over Russian mercenaries aiming for a bloody victory in Ukraine at a celebration in Sydney have been labeled “fascists” and a “terrorist group” by outraged social media users.
Footage of the party held on the grounds of the Russian consulate on Tuesday evening was posted by Drew Pavlou, who is best known as an outspoken activist against China’s ruling Communist Party.
Pavlou, who labeled the gathering as “fascist” on Twitter, demanded Australian authorities treat supporters of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a terror threat and called for the consulate to be closed.
The first video shows a group of about 50 men and male youth, dressed almost entirely in black, standing behind a table outside, many of them carrying Russian flags or holding up a banner with the insignia of the private military group Wagner.
The keynote speaker wore a tank top emblazoned with a large white Z, a symbol of support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, where Wagner forces managed to take the eastern city of Bahmut this week.
A group of Russian ultra-nationalists have gathered at a consulate in Sydney to celebrate the fall of a Ukrainian city to Putin’s forces
“We greet the Russian Wagner Group,” says the keynote speaker in Russian.
‘We salute the Russian army. We congratulate you on the liberation of the city of Bahmut. It’s our Artemovsk now.’
Artemovsk was the name given to the city under the USSR, the Russian-ruled communist goliath that formed after World War II until it split apart from the 1990s.
The speaker goes on to say to his ‘brothers’ that ‘here in distant Australia we support you’.
“We are with you, heart and soul. Liberate our territories. Everything will be Russia! Thank you Wagner. Keep it up,” he says before introducing a cheer.
A second speaker then continues in English.
God bless all Russian soldiers who fight for our freedom. God bless the Wagner group in particular and Putin in particular,” he says.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022, enraging leaders from around the world and sending both countries into a prolonged bloodbath.
The video sparked outrage when posted online by outspoken anti-CCP activist Drew Pavlou
Mr Pavlou (pictured at the 2020 Brisbane rally) called for action against those who support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The hurtful celebration enraged Twitter users with one demanding that those appearing in the video be “deported to Russia.”
“If they can defend the invasion… let them fight in it,” the shocked user wrote.
Mr Pavlou called for action by Australian authorities to make such gatherings illegal.
“I just find it shocking that they are allowed to do this in Australia and that the government is not taking any steps to criminalize this kind of behaviour,” he said.
They advocate mass murder. They advocate the invasion of a sovereign nation and the mass murder of its citizens.
“I think it’s no better than an ISIS meeting, a terrorist meeting.
“They should be classified as a domestic terrorist group just as we designate ISIS as a terror organization in Australia and we would not allow ISIS supporters to hold rallies.”
ISIS is a radical Islamic group that has been sanctioned around the world for its violence against civilians.
Pavlou argued that pro-Putin supporters in Australia posed a real danger.
“These guys are a domestic terror threat and we should treat them as a domestic terror threat,” he said.
Police were summoned to the Russian consulate on Tuesday night and spoke to one of the meeting participants
Simeon ‘The Aussie Cossack’ Boikov has been detained in the Russian consulate since an arrest warrant was issued against him in January
“These guys have made numerous death threats against people in Australia, they should investigate these guys.”
“We need to investigate whether these guys have guns, whether they pose a threat to the Australian public.”
Rally organizer Simeon Boikov, who calls himself the Australian Cossack, has been detained in the consulate since an arrest warrant was issued after he failed to show up for a court hearing in January.
He is accused of assaulting a 76-year-old man at a rally in support of Ukraine at Sydney Town Hall in December.
Pavlous accused Boikov of calling for the assassination of Alexei Navalny, a leading Russian opponent of Putin’s regime.
Speaking to ABC current affairs show Four Corners in 2021, Mr Boikov called for the ‘liquidation’ of Mr Navalny.
“He thinks the Russian opposition should be killed, so why should we protect his freedom of speech,” Pavlou said.
“So how do we protect their right to free speech if they had their way, they would kill everyone.”
The impassioned activist also called for action against the Russian consulate for organizing the rally.
“What are they for?” he asked.
“They just hold these pro-terror rallies and they try to intimidate Ukrainians with this kind of thing, why do we tolerate this kind of behavior.”
“Every day there is a new provocation with those Z signs and the Wagner flags as they slaughter Ukrainian civilians.”
NSW Police and the Russian Consulate have been contacted for comment.