On March 9, 2014 the Iranian Press TV published news that Blackwater fighters were allegedly seen in Donetsk. Blackwater is the U.S. private military company currently known as Academi and Xe Company. Russia Today refers to the Press TV on the same March 9, 2014, spreading the news.

Press TV quoted the Russian news agency Interfax, citing a Russian diplomat, that about 300 private army mercenaries arrived in Ukraine. Social networks believe that they came to fight the pro-Russian activists.


Academi became particularly well known after the Iraq war, in connection with allegations of killings of civilians, smuggling weapons and other things, as reported by the media. They were in Afghanistan too. Oil-producing and insurance companies use their services, as well as individuals. De jure, their services can be ordered by anyone. Another issue is that the board of directors include, for example, John Ashcroft, former U.S. Attorney General and Vice Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, former head of the National Security Agency.

On this video you can see how people dressed in NATO military uniforms run through the city with guns and bulletproof vests. This, and many other media sources reported that the video shows that locals chase the mercenaries and shout: «Blackwater!». On the other hand, Press TV reported that people pursue local resident, not military.

The video was shared by users on YouTube. But most of the uploaded versions begin with the mercenaries. However, we are interested in the moment and a little earlier, on 0:12 minutes of this video, where one can hear the people shouting: “Go to work! Go to work!”. They shout to the Deputy of Donetsk regional council. Similar story can be found on the «LB» website. They wrote about a group of people, who attacked Andrew Shishatskiy the former governor of the Donetsk region.

The phrase “Go to work! ” sounds a bit like «Blackwater!» when said in Russian. And, we suspect it could provoke the assertions in the media that people were shouting the name of the American security company.

In fact, based on available information it was the “Alpha”, Ukrainian special forces, which were called to secure the safe escape of local councillors including Shishatskiy from the captured regional council. The “Alpha” arrived late, and as a consequence some councillors were attacked. There are suspicions that special forces sabotaged deliberately.

As reported in the British press, the British newspaper Daily Mail turned for comment to Academi on March 9th, but there was no reply.