Axe, Russian Shill, Misquoted


Categorie: Accountability, Blog Business, David Axe, Reporters |



A year ago, Russia and Georgia fought a brief, bloody war over Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russia won, and today South Ossetia is essentially autonomous, and a Russian client. The conflict featured propaganda efforts on both sides. Photographers in Georgia took several photographs, allegedly depicting civilians slain by Russian shelling, that appear to be staged or doctored. That’s what I told Russian Channel One when they interviewed me, last summer.

See my video of the interview process.

As an example, I pointed to photos that seemed too clean to depict shelling victims. For comparison, I showed some of my own photos from Iraq, depicting bombing victims (above) — as well as some photos by other journalists (see the screen-grab below).

On the war anniversary, Channel One replayed parts of my interview. They matched my discussion of my own photo with a screen-shot of another reporter’s shot. See that video here.

Now I’m getting e-mails from angry Russians. “This has caused a fury in Russian blogs, because a journalist/photographer from Nezavisimaya Gazeta has immediately claimed that this is a photo he made, not you — and definitely not in Iraq,” one reader wrote. “The big question in the Russian blogosphere now is: who is lying, David Axe or Channel One?”

Channel One is. My quotation was taken out of context.



6 Responses to “Axe, Russian Shill, Misquoted”

  1. Ariel says:

    The question remains weather use of any kind of heavy amunition leads to “dirty” pictures in everycase.
    Being a laymen it is hard for me to make any real conclusions but would guess that in some cases it is not so, either because of the type of ammunition used, or because of a distance to the area of the blast. In praticular I am puzzled with regard to a results of use of fleshette and if it’s victims would be as “dirty” as victims of regular shells. That’s because Jerussalem’s Hadassah Hospital’s doctors, who operated on Israeli war correspondent wounded in Gori, stated that he had fleshette wounds.
    Would be glad to hear your opinion on this matter.

  2. David Axe says:


    That’s a good question. I honestly don’t know.

  3. paulll says:

    Arkadiy Babchenko took the photo, he is from NOVAYA Gazeta, not Nezavisimaya

  4. Sergey says:

    Dear David im a producer of film for 1 channel Sergey Nadezhdin. Im shoked by scandel wich has benn started by mr Babenko and want to make a situation clear. We dont lie about your interview as some of Russian wrote you. We correctly transate your every word and do not take out your words out from context. It is easy to find out checking the video. We made a mistake put in one line your photo from Iraq and photo of mr Babenko just because we dont know that wasnt your photo when you show it as exemple pf not doctored photo. We explane thet was technical mistake with we admited but it didnt change point of your words.We put full text and full video of your interview in the net but some of readers just ignore all that and keep claim us (or you)that it was MADE FOR SPETIAL (i camt understand what for?) I want to thank you for your explanation which realy help. Someone of people in blogs wrote after it that you working for Kremlin-).But i want you to know – peaple who try to persuade you that we set you up or make mistake for some perpose ARE MAKING a MISTAKE or LYING TO YOU. Thanks for the interview and for the explanation. Good luck. Sergey Nadezhdin.

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