Russian Ambassador in Vienna Denies Massacre and Reaffirms Kremlin Propaganda

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: April 5, 2022; 22:31 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Russian Ambassador to Austria, Dmitry Lyubinsky (57), has attracted attention in connection with allegations and statements regarding war crimes in Ukraine that are in abrupt contradiction to the realities as currently captured by the "Western" side. Among other things, His Excellency claimed that "Ukrainians are blowing up their own hospitals." Following the, within a few weeks, fourth summons to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ambassador only let it be known that "for my part, I have categorically rejected all unfounded accusations against the actions of the Russian armed forces and especially against the Russian government."

Russian Ambassador in Vienna Lyubinsky Summoned to the Austrian Foreign Ministry Again. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons /, CC BY 3.0

H.E. Mr. Dmitry Lyubinsky (born 1967) is a Russian career diplomat from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, who worked for almost 10 years at the Russian Embassy in Germany, for almost 3 years as envoy at the Russian Embassy in Austria and has held the office of Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Austria since 2015.

Because of his long residence in the German-speaking countries, his hard study of the German language and his obvious linguistic talent, he speaks excellent German, the language of his host country, a quality that very few diplomats possess.

His Excellency Lyubinsky had made the following claims, among others, in an interview with the magazine "profil":

  • The ambassador had still denied in mid-February that a Russian attack on Ukraine was imminent. Now, as an excuse for why Russia had to launch its "special military operation," he said, "In the days that followed, we received additional reliable information about imminent attack plans by Ukrainian troops in the Donbass region."
  • The ambassador also claimed that the Russian army's actions were in accordance with the UN Charter under Article 51, which regulates self-defense and defense of allies.
  • The Ambassador claimed that the Ukrainians were using the civilian population as human shields and were blowing up their own hospitals by planting explosive devices.
  • The Ambassador also said that the sanctions against Russia are "pure brigandage".
  • The Ambassador claimed that Russia had further evidence of chemical and biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine, which will be presented soon.
  • The ambassador confirmed the goal of denazifying Ukraine and admitted that this would be a difficult matter.

In response, Foreign Minister Schallenberg sharply criticized the ambassador's statements and announced in an interview on the oe24.TV channel that he would summon His Excellency Lyubinsky to the Foreign Office. 

"He will be summoned to the Foreign Ministry because of this. This is a mockery of the victims of this war, when at the same time the pictures from Butscha are coming. We will tell the ambassador very clearly what we think about it," Schallenberg said.

According to the Kronenzeitung, Peter Launsky Tieffenthal, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, communicated the following criticisms to His Excellency Lyubinsky:

  • That the incidents surrounding the reports of atrocities against innocent civilians from Butcha, Irpin and other Ukrainian towns must be fully investigated and those responsible held accountable;
  • That Austria expects Russia to cooperate fully with the Vienna-based UN International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine and also to support the recommendations of the OSCE-appointed Moscow Mechanism Expert Mission to obtain full clarification of these incidents;
  • That Austria demands an immediate end to the military aggression and horror by the Russian Federation;
  • That the continuing violence will result in further massive, painful consequences on the part of the EU and its partners;
  • That misinformation will not stop investigations of alleged war crimes against civilians, nor prosecutions of those responsible.

Comment by Ambassador Dmitry Yevgenevich Lyubinsky (Dmitrij Ewgenjewitsch Ljubinskij) on his 4th summons to the Austrian Foreign Ministry:

On the same day, the Russian Ambassador to Austria disseminated his feedback-statement on Facebook, which is known to be the most popular Russian propaganda tool next to Twitter, where Russian propaganda is produced in incredibly large volumes and is broadcast or otherwise distributed via a large number of channels.

"For the 4th time in recent weeks, I was summoned to the Austrian Foreign Ministry on the evening of 4 April.

Another demarche in connection with the special military operation in Ukraine towards us was made at the level of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal.

For my part, I categorically rejected all unfounded accusations against the actions of the Russian armed forces and especially against the Russian Government, at whatever level they were expressed.

I have pointed to the gross manipulations and falsifications, as well as evidence of the compilations of various videos massively disseminated by Austrian media, including the criminal staging by Ukrainian mercenaries in Butcha near Kiev.

Not coincidentally, this is why the United Kingdom sabotaged a special session of the UN Security Council, which Russia is calling for to be held in this context.

After the conversation, I continue to note existing differences in our approaches and assessments."

It is simply a dismal picture of the everlasting East-West conflict between the free world and the autocracies that a cultured intellectual and brilliant Russian diplomat like Dmitry Lyubinsky, who has enjoyed and inhaled the benefits and relative transparency of the West for many years, has to represent internationally and publicly the disinformation propaganda of his employers, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin, without being allowed to express his certainly more nuanced personal opinion.