Kaja Kallas has addressed a gathering of the notorious group in Lithuania
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas addressed the first real-life gathering of the pro-Kiev ‘NAFO’ group on Saturday, praising the trolls’ work in “the information war” against Russia. Founded by an alleged Nazi sympathizer from Poland, NAFO has cheered the deaths of Russian civilians and fundraised for accused war criminals.
An acronym for the ‘North Atlantic Fellas Organization’, ‘NAFO’ is a collective of internet users easily identified by their use of Shiba Inu avatars and their fanatical support for the Ukrainian military. Referring to themselves as ‘Fellas’, NAFO trolls can be found on social media spreading Kiev’s talking points, ganging up to swarm polls and demand the censorship of pro-Moscow accounts, and soliciting donations for the Georgian Legion, a foreign mercenary group whose leader has admitted to multiple war crimes in Ukraine.
The group held its first real-life “summit” in Vilnius on Saturday, mirroring the NATO summit beginning in the Lithuanian capital on Tuesday.
Kallas, who described herself last year as one of the “fellas,” addressed the darkened room of keyboard warriors by video link. NAFO, she said, serves as an example of how to fight “Russian disinformation and bad takes with good humor, intelligence, and enthusiasm.”
Greetings to #NAFOfellas at the first-ever #NAFOSummit in Vilnius.#NAFO is a living example of how to disarm Russian disinformation with humour, intelligence and enthusiasm. Behind every Fella is a real person who believes in #Ukraine’s victory.
Thank you for your service. pic.twitter.com/VWOkAe3udrADVERTISEMENT
— Kaja Kallas (@kajakallas) July 8, 2023
“Keep fighting the good fight,” she told the crowd, concluding that “NAFO expansion is non-negotiable, and Ukraine will win.”
NAFO has grown into an internet-wide phenomenon over the last year, counting US Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace, and a host of Western analysts and spies as ‘Fellas.’ This membership roll has fueled speculation that the group is tied to Western intelligence agencies.
However, some pro-Ukraine commentators have argued that the group’s online activities – including their open mockery of a Russian civilian eaten by a shark in Egypt – are counterproductive to the Ukrainian cause. Additionally, NAFO’s reputation was damaged when it emerged last year that its founder, a Polish Twitter user named Kamil Dyszewski, has a lengthy history of posts praising Nazi Germany, insulting Jews, and denying the Holocaust.
Kallas was not the only NATO politician to address Saturday’s “summit.” The meeting opened with a speech from Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, and its organizers received a shoutout on Twitter from the Ukrainian government.
According to NAFO’s official Twitter account, the event raised $3,000 for various Ukrainian military and civilian organizations.
July 09, 2023 at 02:08AM