The German charity “Bridge of Peace - Assistance to War Victims,” which claims to be against fascism, is providing supplies to the Russian military disguised as humanitarian aid. This effort involves collaboration with SERB, a group associated with the Russian Interior Ministry, known for attacking Russian opposition activists and politicians. And not just “Bridge of Peace,” other German organizations have also been found to support the occupiers in Ukraine.
Lament for a Stasi officer
Nazis in Donbass
Lament for a Stasi officer
“We recently met a group of Germans who have been bringing humanitarian aid to the region for the past eight years. They have traveled to cities such as Gorlovka and completed 800 projects to assist those affected by the conflict. Despite facing sanctions, these individuals remain committed to providing aid to those who live here, peaceful people who have been bombed by Ukrainian fascists,” pro-Kremlin activist Elena Kolbasnikova says, sobbing, in a report by Tsargrad TV. Following the invasion of Ukraine, Kolbasnikova gained notoriety for organizing events in Cologne in support of the Kremlin, alongside her husband Maxim Schlund (who was later revealed to be the previously convicted Russian, Rostislav Teslyuk). The Insider has reported on Kolbasnikova's connections to the German far-right, the Russian Consulate General, and the Russian House in Berlin.
According to the Tsargrad report, Kolbasnikova mentioned Liane Kilinc, the chairwoman of Friedensbrücke-Kriegsopferhilfe e.V. (Bridge of Peace - Aid to War Victims), a German foundation. Kilinc was born into a family of a former employee of the GDR Ministry of State Security (Stasi), an agency notorious for its repressive actions against dissenters. “My father was prohibited from working for the rest of his life, despite serving his country,” Kilinc says in a propaganda film by former Russian intelligence agent Anna Chapman. Kilinc is involved in various initiatives, such as providing humanitarian supplies to civilians in affected areas and organizing events in Russia with the participation of children from Donbass, together with the authorities of the so-called DNR. On May 9, 2022, she was detained by the police for unfurling a “DNR” flag in front of a monument to a Soviet soldier.
Despite being portrayed as an “anti-fascist” in the media, Liane Kilinc has been shown in open sources to collaborate with the Russian far-right. This includes working with the right-wing radical group SERB, which is overseen by the Russian special services. Kilinc's Bridge of Peace foundation has also been found to provide goods for combat operations to the Russian army, such as engine oil for BMPs, drones and drone blockers, thermal imagers, etc., under the guise of humanitarian aid.
Nazis in Donbass
On January 31 of this year, Moscow to Donbass, an international volunteer group that claims to provide assistance to people in difficult situations in the DNR and LNR, shared pictures on Telegram from their recent delivery of humanitarian aid. Liane Kilinc and her Bridge of Peace foundation were among the participants on the trip. Notably, several well-known personalities appeared in the group photo while holding the organization's flag. One of them was Alexander Petrunko, a provocateur from SERB who is known for attacking Alexei Navalny in 2017 by using a corrosive liquid that damaged his eyes. The Insider previously reported that members of the Russian Interior Ministry's E Center oversee the SERB gang of provocateurs and police informers.
Some other well-known personalities can be seen in the group photo taken during the Moscow to Donbass volunteer group's trip, including Sergey Moiseyev, the chairman of Kharkiv-based separatist organization Rus Triyedinaya [Triune Russia], who organized events with far-right activist Georgiy Borovikov and his Right Russia party. Another participant is Gennady Shibanov, a neo-Nazi who coordinates the Russian Moscow movement and has been an active participant in Russian Marches. In 2013, Shibanov took part in riots in Moscow's Biryulevo Zapadnoye district, where locals outraged by the murder of 25-year-old Yegor Shcherbakov, set fire to a shopping center, vandalized a vegetables storage facility, and demanded the removal of illegal migrants. Shibanov was detained as part of the investigation but, according to LiveJournal user ivan777lapshin, was soon released on orders from an Interior Ministry officer named Alexey Okopny, who allegedly stated that Shibanov was working for them and had been in Biryulevo on their instructions.
Sergey Moiseyev has also been in contact with Konstantin Malofeyev, a sponsor of the war in Donbass and founder of the Tsargrad TV channel
Elena Romanenko, at the center of the photo, founded the Moscow to Donbass international volunteer group. In 2016, she also established the Ruspomoshch [Russian aid] fund, which is funded by the Presidential Grants Fund and sends children from Donbass to the Cossack camp “Predtechenskiy Gorodok” for what they call “spiritual, moral, and military-patriotic education.” “At the camp, children receive basic military training, strengthen their self-confidence, spirituality, learn new and useful skills, and find good friends,” the project webpage says.
What children do at the Cossack camp
The late Aleksandr Miroshnichenko, a nationalist and member of the Ghost Battalion who fought in the Donbass since 2014 and died last fall, had also brought up children at the same camp. Those who attended Miroshnichenko's funeral included Kilinc, Petrunko, Moiseyev, Shibanov, and Romanenko. Olga Beltseva, a United Russia party deputy in the Moscow municipal district of Otradnoye, can also be seen in the photo from the funeral. Her son is fighting in Ukraine, and she was one of the mothers of servicemen whom Vladimir Putin met in November at his residence in Novo-Ogarevo. Beltseva is also a volunteer for the Moscow to Donbass international volunteer group.
Funeral of Alexander Miroshnichenko
At Miroshnichenko's wake, Lyudmila Chubakova, another SERB provocateur and member of the Russian Marches, was photographed with Kilinc and Romanenko.
In another photo from a January delivery of humanitarian aid, Kilinc poses with fitness trainer Igor Grunsky.
Liane Kilinc and Igor Grunsky
Apparently, Grunsky is also a member of Moiseyev's Rus Triyedinaya organization and often appears in photos of the movement. In addition, the fitness trainer takes part in the activities of the Union of Orthodox Gonfalon Bearers, an organization close to the Russian Orthodox Church. This organization is part of the Orthodox national-fundamentalist movement, known for its dispersal of LGBT marches in Moscow and its public burning of books by Joan Rowling, Vladimir Sorokin, and Edward Radzinski. Its members use the slogan “Orthodoxy or Death!”, recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation. One of the leaders of the Union of Orthodox Gonfalon Bearers, Igor Miroshnichenko, is a neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier. It is most likely that Grunsky is also a member of this organization – he has even been photographed as a model in T-shirts from Miroshnichenko's design studio, Russian Symbol.
Grunskii wearing Russian symbol design studio apparel. The slogan is “Novorossiya or Death”.
Nor does the “anti-fascist” Liane Kilinc hesitate to collaborate with a movement whose member committed a resounding murder due to ethnic animosity. Assisted by the members of the National Conservative Movement, Andrei Yerin and Andrei Serbian, her foundation delivered a humanitarian shipment in June 2019. In Russia, the NCM activists are notorious for targeting LGBT individuals along with SERB. Alexander Petrunko, a SERB provocateur, accompanied NCM members on their trip to Donbass, as well as on many subsequent visits to the region.
Sending “humanitarian aid”. In the photo, along with Romanenko, Moiseyev and Petrunko are NCM members Andrei Yerin and Andrei Serbian
Website of the Bridge of Peace - Assistance to Victims of War Foundation
Yerin and Serbian almost always appear at NCM events together with their comrade-in-arms Andrei “Bely” Skvortsov. “Bely” [White] also participated in SERB's violent actions together with Petrunko, Chubakova, and group leader Igor Beketov (Gosha Tarasevich). For example, in May 2019, they tried to disrupt the LGBT festival Side by Side.
Two weeks after delivering humanitarian aid to Donbass, Andrei “Bely” was detained on charges of murdering a Kyrgyz citizen in central Moscow.
“At around 10 p.m., three friends - Konstantin (19), a sporting goods store consultant, Grigory (18), and Anton (17) - were enjoying cherry ale while walking in the park. Along their way, they encountered two Kyrgyz men, Uual (25) and Altyn (32), who were returning to their hostel after work on construction sites. Konstantin believed that the migrant workers were unfriendly, as they either made a remark or gave him an unpleasant glance. As a result, he used pepper spray to attack them, causing a physical altercation to erupt. All three friends then drew knives, but it is unclear who initiated the stabbing. However, two of the friends testified against the youngest member of their group,” Moskovsky Komsomolets wrote.
From left to right: Andrei Serbian, Andrei “Bely” Skvortsov, Andrei Yerin at an NCM conference
“The “junior member” turned out to be Bely, whom MK describes as “the most ardent follower of ultra-right views and a nationalist well-known in narrow circles.” Together with his friend Gleb Nazarkin (also a suspect in the criminal case), he founded his own group of supporters of white supremacy. During the search, “various cold weapons, knives, machetes, overalls with symbols, and other paraphernalia and nationalist literature were seized from Bely and his companions.” Now, judging by the information in the nationalist blogs, he is serving 9 1/2 years in a penal colony for murder motivated by ethnic hatred.
However, the involvement of an NCM member in the murder had no effect on the decision of the Bridge of Peace Foundation to cooperate with members of the movement. In the fall of that year, the National Conservatives, together with the Kilinc organization, again took part in the delivery of humanitarian aid to Donbass.
NCM members sending a truck to Donbass together with the Bridge of Peace Foundation
On November 13, 2022, Saule Ivanova, coordinator of the Moscow to Donbass international volunteer group, made a plea for assistance on her VKontakte page. The plea was made on behalf of soldiers who required lube oil for their military equipment urgently. The very next day, the necessary gear oil was acquired, and Ivanova confirmed on her page that it would be delivered “to the motorized rifle units of the Donbass defenders” on November 16.
On November 16, a thank-you post appeared on the Moscow to Donbass group's Telegram channel: “The dry balance is that the loaded 20-ton truck with aid which departed today is carrying not one drum (180 liters), as initially requested, but two. Plus another four barrels. This oil is essential for maintenance and repair of infantry fighting vehicles,” the post says. The photos of the barrels have also been posted: the blue one will go to the DNR, and the green one to the LNR.
The next day, Saule Ivanova and Olga Beltseva of the United Russia Party write that the “humanitarian twenty-ton truck” was loaded and sent to Donbass. They thank Liane Kilinc and her Bridge of Peace – Aid to Victims of War Foundation. In the pictures taken during the loading process Killintz appears together with almost all of her old posse - Elena Romanenko (Moscow to Donbass IVG), Gennady Shibanov (Russian Moscow), and Lyudmila Chubakova (SERB).
From left to right: Lyudmila Chubakova, Elena Romanenko, Saule Ivanova, Liane Kilinc
On November 22, Moscow to Donbass publishes a report that the “twenty-ton truck” arrived at its destination and was unloaded at a warehouse in Donetsk “with the financial support” of the Bridge of Peace Foundation. Personal thanks are due not only to Liane Kilinc, but also to the entire leadership of the foundation, the “normal Germans.” A video of the unloading of “humanitarian aid for war victims” shows drums of transmission oil previously purchased for infantry fighting vehicles. Kilinc herself wrote in VKontakte that a transport with “humanitarian aid” had been delivered.
A drum of transmission oil in a video of the unloading of “humanitarian aid”
The previously mentioned Sergey Moiseyev from Rus Triyedinaya organized a fundraising campaign on January 9-10 to collect donations for gasoline to be used to transport various supplies such as thermal underwear, ammunition, thermal imagers, and medical equipment to the soldiers stationed at the front line. Loading of the supplies took place on January 10 at the Rus Triyedinaya warehouse, and the next day, the Moscow to Donbass IVG confirmed that the truck had been loaded and shipped from Moscow. Moiseyev participated in this event and most likely loaded his humanitarian aid onto the same truck. The photographs show drums of transmission oil, and the text also acknowledges “personal thanks for the three transmission oil drums for combat infantry vehicles.” Similarly, Bridge of Peace published a video on their website depicting the arrival of the humanitarian convoy in Donetsk on January 14.
At the end of January, Kilinc's foundation helped transport satellite dishes for Internet reception to Donbass, as well as weather stations and anemometers for artillery. In February, Bridge of Peace also paid for the delivery of an anti-drone rifle and a drone, which went to the LNR Cossack regiment.
In September 2022, Kilinc ran into legal trouble: The Brandenburg police has been investigating her foundation on suspicion of incitement to hatred and genocide denial. The reason was a photograph on the Bridge of Peace official website, showing men and women with the Novorossiya flag and the forbidden symbol Z. Now the organization's account is closed, and its non-profit status (which exempted it from German taxes) has been canceled. Judging by the message on the foundation's website, humanitarian aid shipments from Germany have been suspended and now aid is being transported from Moscow. The activist herself has left the country, allegedly because her house was “besieged by dubious characters in cars with Ukrainian license plates,” and is now in Moscow as well. Donations for the organization are being made to her personal German bank account. “Basically, we are accused of delivering food and water to the wrong people. The reasons for this are purely political. We are involuntary witnesses to the real situation in the DNR and LNR, which belong to Russia after the referendum,” Kilinc complained in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Nevertheless, the Bridge of Peace– Aid to War Victims Foundation is still registered in Germany. It even supports music festivals, one of which is scheduled for July in the German city of Friesach. “We don't want any election campaigns or advertising of political parties on the festival grounds. We cordially invite all people who stand for peaceful coexistence and who, through their actions, shape the future for the benefit of our planet and the entire human family. We treat each other as equals, which means no rush or discrimination. We do not tolerate racist, chauvinistic, nationalistic, violent, homophobic, sexist, militant or other discriminatory attitudes,” the organizers of Pax Terra Musica write on their website. It is unclear how support from a foundation that, together with neo-Nazis, supplies goods for the BMPs and artillery of the Russian occupation troops, is compatible with such values.
The Bridge of Peace - Aid to War Victims foundation is not the sole purportedly charitable organization that supplies the Russian military in Donbass. In September of last year, reporters from the German broadcasting corporation MDR turned their attention to the Future of Donbass association (Aktionsbündnis Zukunft Donbass e.V.). After an investigation, it was discovered that the association not only collaborates with a similarly named association in Luhansk and the leaders of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People's Republic,” but also supplies the separatists with walkie-talkies. The General Directorate of Customs in Erfurt is scrutinizing the association for EU sanction violations. The Thuringian constitution protection office acknowledged to reporters that it is aware of the situation but declined to comment further, “as public statements on the matter could be of interest to foreign intelligence services.” Nevertheless, according to the Zukunft Donbass website, trucks loaded with “humanitarian cargo” continue to travel from Germany to the occupied regions of Ukraine, sometimes on military vehicles with the letter Z.
Military truck with the letter Z, which arrived from Germany in Lugansk
Zukunft Donbass is known to openly support Russia in the ongoing conflict. Just four days before the invasion of Ukraine, a post appeared on the organization's Facebook group saying, “Not everyone can or wants to evacuate. Our donations are for those who cannot not or do not want to evacuate. Right now, when the Western clique of politicians are being dodgy and ignore events in Donbass, we must and will act.” In July, shortly after Russian troops seized the Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, the group commented, “Yesterday was an important day for the people of the Luhansk People's Republic. With the liberation and capture of the city of Lysychansk, LNR territory went under full control of the LNR people's militia and the Russian armed forces.” The Russian embassy in Vienna and the consulate general in Leipzig have written about Zukunft Donbass's so-called “humanitarian missions.”
The organization has an account for donations at the Wartburg-Sparkasse, a savings bank located in one of Thuringia's districts. Recently, the association collaborated with prominent medical institutions in Germany such as Helios Klinikum Meiningen (the university hospital in Jena) and the Ambiente nursing home in Erfurt. However, as discovered by The Insider, before the war in Ukraine, Zukunft Donbass partnered with charities that now support Ukraine and condemn the Russian invasion. Human Plus e.V. worked with Zukunft Donbass from 2016 to 2018 to provide humanitarian aid to Luhansk and other towns in Donbass. According to Anestis Ioannidis, the Chairman of Human Plus e.V., Zukunft Donbass founder Raisa Steinigk was a “freelancer” for his organization. However, Steinigk, who regularly appears on pro-Kremlin TV channels such as RT, often referred to herself as “Human Plus' coordinator for Eastern Europe.”
Raisa Steinigk is interviewed by RT Deutsch
Meanwhile, major German and Swiss companies such as Leisure Cargo and Jet Aviation support Human Plus, which is currently aiding Ukraine. However, the organization no longer mentions its partnership with Zukunft Donbass. According to Anestis Ioannidis, he is in contact with Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, who provides him with a list of essential items to assist the residents of the Ukrainian capital. The foundation of the well-known German actor Til Schweiger is currently a partner of Human Plus. When asked about their cooperation with Steinigk, Human Plus did not respond to The Insider's inquiries.
The Deutsch-Ukrainisches Zentrum e.V. supported the fundraising efforts for two medical facilities in the Donbass region. Although the project was purportedly a part of Human Plus, the donation link actually led to Zukunft Donbass. Currently, the Deutsch-Ukrainisches Zentrum e.V. aids Ukrainian refugees in Germany and provides humanitarian aid to cities under Kyiv's control, such as Lviv and Ivankiv in the Kyiv region, which was liberated in April of last year.
According to Deutsche Welle, Zukunft Donbass founder Raisa Steinigk was born in the Zhytomyr Region of Ukraine but has been living in the German state of Thuringia since 1974. “During the years of Ukraine's independence, she visited the country several times and constantly monitored the situation in her homeland. The beginning of hostilities in eastern Ukraine in 2014 shocked her,” DW wrote in 2017. According to her statements to reporters, the woman was deeply affected by the sight of bombed-out houses in Donbass, which almost caused her to become depressed. As a result, she “decided to provide assistance to hospitals in the Luhansk region.” However, The Insider examined Steinigk's biography and found that her support for Donbass may be linked to business interests in Russia.
The woman's LinkedIn profile says she works as deputy general director of the German company CasusBioOil Trading. According to the firm's website, it was set up to import German sesame from Russia to Germany as biofuel for airplanes. However, due to the 2014 sanctions, the project was effectively frozen. Despite this, the German company participated in business conferences in Russia until recently. Steinigk herself actively promoted the cultivation of German sesame for export in interviews with Russian agribusiness publications.
The Insider uncovered another German charity, Friedenshilfe Großostheim e.V., that openly collaborates with the Russian occupiers. The organization delivers humanitarian aid to the city of Alchevsk in the Luhansk Region. Friedenshilfe partnered with various organizations of war veterans, Combat Brotherhood, United Russia, Igor Strelkov's Charitable Foundation, and the trade union of employees of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, to implement the Warmth of the North project. The initiative aims to foster interaction between the Russian Federation entities and the occupied territories of Ukraine, such as organizing the participation of Russian athletes in competitions in Donbass and vice versa.
Friedenshilfe Großostheim's website claims that the organization is politically neutral, but one of its board members, Tatiana Raab (Alifanova), acted as an observer during the “general elections” held in the so-called LNR in 2018. “We visited three polling stations. I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout, there were so many people there, and everyone was smiling. In general, it was a people's holiday, the people gladly came to vote,” she said at a briefing, emphasizing that people were voting to achieve “international recognition of their young Republic.”