What do Tucker Carlson and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters have in common?
According to social media posts, both have been targeted for inclusion on a “kill list” backed by the Ukrainian government.
After Carlson, the former Fox News host, traveled to Moscow to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin, a Feb. 7 Instagram video claimed that “Ukraine puts Tucker Carlson on a ‘hit list’ after an interview with Vladimir Putin.”
A woman in the video claimed that after Carlson teased the interview in a Feb. 6 X video, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy added Carlson to Ukraine’s kill list, “essentially putting a hit out on his life.”
She referred to a Ukrainian website called Myrotvorets, which she said was run by Kyiv and backed by Washington. She shared a screenshot of a May 2023 article headline from the website The MintPress.
What is Myrotvorets?
Myrotvorets, which translates to “Peacemaker” in English, describes itself in English at the top of its website as “a non-government center for research of elements of crimes against the National Security of Ukraine, peace, humanity and the international law.”
The website claims to provide information for law enforcement and special services about “pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, mercenaries, war criminals, and murderers.”
The Myrotvorets Center was founded in 2014, and its website lists the personal information of people it considers Ukraine’s enemies. It lists Russian military personnel, but also celebrities such as Carlson and rock musician Waters, who was described as an “anti-Ukrainian propagandist” when added to the list in 2018.
Carlson was added to the list in 2023, as the entry shows, so he wasn’t put on the website as a result of his February interview with Putin.
Nothing on the Myrotvorets Center’s Carlson entry calls for Carlson to be harmed or killed, although other parts of the website use incendiary language, such as, “Russians and other enemies should be killed” and “the invaders on Ukrainian soil must be destroyed like rabid cattle!” according to a Google translation. Some on the list who are dead — including former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who died of natural causes in June at age 86 — have the word “liquidated” pasted over their photos.
Among the allegations listed against Carlson, based on a Google translation, are that he is “a helper of the Russian invaders and terrorists,” “is an anti-Ukrainian propagandist” and “showed public support for Russian aggression and murder of Ukrainian citizens.”
At the bottom of Carlson’s and other entries, a line asks law enforcement agencies to consider the entry as a “statement that this citizen committed a deliberate act against the national security of Ukraine.”
The website has targeted other journalists. Among them is Andrew Kramer, the Kyiv bureau chief for The New York Times, one of thousands of journalists added to the list in 2016 for applying for press passes to work in areas controlled by the Donetsk People’s Republic, who are Russian-backed rebels.
In a 2016 first-person account for The Times, Kramer described Myrotvorets as a “Ukrainian nationalist website” that has “close ties to the Ukrainian government.” (He did not explain those ties.)
Then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko condemned the leak of the reporters’ information, but the country’s interior minister and other officials welcomed the leak, according to The Associated Press.
There is no evidence the website has the U.S. government’s backing, as the Instagram post alleges, despite the website listing “Langley, VA, USA” as a location.
We reached out to the State Department but didn’t immediately hear back. A 2022 report on human rights practices in Ukraine said the website’s disclosure of journalists’ private information led to harassment. It said the site “reportedly maintains close ties to the country’s security services,” but didn’t specify what those ties are.
It’s unclear who started or currently runs the site. But George Tuka, a former Ukrainian politician whom the Times of London referred to as one of Myrotvorets’ “founding figures,” told the news site in 2022 that Myrotvorets is not funded by Ukraine, nor controlled by its state intelligence service.
Two experts on Ukraine told PolitiFact there’s no evidence the website is tied to Ukraine’s government.
Taras Fedirko, a University of Glasgow political and economic anthropologist, said the site is a “right-wing propaganda outlet” and described it as a publicity stunt. He said there’s “no evidence Myrotvorets is connected in any way” to Ukraine’s current government.
Fedirko said when the website started in 2014, it was rumored to be connected to Anton Gerashchenko, then a member of Ukraine’s Parliament. Gerashchenko was later a deputy to former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who served under Zelenskyy until 2021.
Fedirko described Gerashchenko as “by now a marginal figure in Ukraine’s volatile political life.”
Eugene Bondarenko, a University of Michigan professor who studies modern Ukrainian culture, said Myrotvorets has “been in hot water with the Ukrainian government.” referring to the condemnation by Ukraine’s former president for listing journalists. Bondarenko noted the Myrotvorets site is written in Russian, not Ukrainian, and “lists people, public officials and public figures, who are hostile to Ukraine, as the people who run this site see it.”
Is the website a hit list?
Whatever the site’s intentions, there have been people named on the list who were later killed, according to news reports.
Stanislav Rzhitsky, a Russian captain alleged to have killed 20 Ukrainian civilians in a missile strike, was shot to death in July 2023 in southern Russia. His address and personal information had been posted on Myrotvorets in 2022, The Associated Press reported.
Kramer, The New York Times reporter, said a pro-Russian commentator in Kyiv was killed near his home in 2015 days after his home address was listed on Myrotvorets.
Bondarenko said although people’s risk of harm increases anytime they’re doxxed, Ukraine’s security services wouldn’t need a site like this if it wanted someone taken out. They would “just go and get them.”
An Instagram post claimed that Ukraine added Carlson to an online hit list because of his interview with Putin. Carlson was listed as an “anti-Ukraine propagandist” on a site called Myrotvorets, but nothing in his entry called for him to be killed or harmed. He was added to the site in 2023, not after his Putin interview.
It’s unclear who runs the website, and it appears there were past ties to some Ukrainian leaders. But experts we spoke with said the site is not tied to the current Ukrainian government. We rate the claim False.