Bernhard Zimniok: A Pro-Russian Voice in European Politics

Bernhard Zimniok is a German politician and ex-Bundeswehr colonel. He is serving as an Alternative for Germany Member of the European Parliament. Zimniok is part of a eurosceptic group in the European Parliament that supports the lifting of EU sanctions on Russia. In 2022, The European Parliament adopted a resolution declaring Russia a state “sponsor of terrorism” over its war in Ukraine. Zimnoik refused to label Russia a sponsor of terror.He consistently votes against resolutions critical of Russia’s activities, including its aggression towards Ukraine and interference in other countries’ affairs.

Zimnio voted against an April 29 resolution on Russia, Alexei Navalny, Russian troop buildup near Ukraine, and the attack by Russia’s secret services in the Czech Republic.

He has also abstained from resolutions on the violent crackdown against protesters in Belarus and Russia’s persecution of Lithuanian judges involved in the

His party advocates for lifting Russia sanctions [and] AfD representatives at the European Parliament are part of the far-right eurosceptic political group.

In January, Bernhard Zimniok urged to carry out an independent investigation into the death in a Ukrainian prison of a video blogger, journalist, filmmaker, and dual US and Chilean citizen Gonzalo Lira, as well as criticize the current authorities in Ukraine. Here, Zimnoik took sides with Russia as Last spring, Russia urged the global journalistic community to stand up and defend Lira following his abduction by the Security Service of Ukraine and demanded his immediate release. The SBU detained the blogger in Kharkiv in May 2023 for supporting the Russian special operation in Ukraine.

Zimniok repeated that “due to his critical coverage of the Ukrainian leadership’s activity,” Lira was repeatedly detained, “tortured,” and eventually died, with “necessary medical care being denied.”

He said the event shows that Ukraine is entirely out of line with European values. The MEP said that further military support for Ukraine is unacceptable for several reasons. “First, anyone who knows anything can see that Ukraine has no chance of winning. In light of this, it would be quite bold to overburden our taxpayers further,” he noted.

Zimniok’s vocal support for Russia’s narrative regarding the death of Gonzalo Lira in a Ukrainian prison reflects his pro-Russian stance, disregarding the broader context and complexities of the situation. His reluctance to endorse further military aid to Ukraine underscores his alignment with Russian interests, raising concerns about his commitment to European values and solidarity.

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