DESTRUCTION's SCHMIER Calls PUTIN 'The New HITLER', Says He 'Needs To Be Stopped'

April 9, 2022

Schmier of German thrash metal veterans DESTRUCTION has compared Russian president Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler for launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.

In a recent interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Schmier shared details of a recent alleged "bot" attack that hit DESTRUCTION's social media accounts, prompting him and his bandmates to delete hundreds of posts. Russian bots were revealed to have played a significant role in shaping the 2016 United States presidential election by posting fake and inflammatory posts on social media. The country has reportedly ramped up its disinformation campaign since the start of the war.

"We had what I would call a 'botstorm' instead of a 'shitstorm,'" he said. "We had Russian and Latin American bots attacking our web site trying to post pro-Russian propaganda on our page. It was an interesting experience. I had to call my bandmates and say, 'Listen up. Everyone log in to our webpage and clean up our page since we're being attacked by Internet robots.' It was sad to see how the war works on the Internet; how the bots shape the opinion. We've heard about the bots, but when they're attacking your Facebook page and you see the hundreds of messages they're posting and the hundreds of people you have to block that are bad profiles, you see the tragedy of this. Like, 'Oh my god. That's how it works. Okay.' It was interesting. The interaction was intense on that post. We had fifteen thousand likes and a thousand comments, and we had to erase a couple of hundred weird propaganda posts.

"The Russian war has affected the world. I saw that Putin has worked hard on his propaganda for the last few years. With [Russian state-controlled television network] Russia Today, he installed a propaganda tool, just like CNN for America. Russia Today was spreading the Russian way everywhere in the world. A lot of the fake news, the Russian news, has been established in countries that do not like Western culture, like Arabian countries or countries in Latin America, where people hate the capitalistic system and hate America. Those people now believe Putin is a savior. That was shocking to me. I'm not a capitalistic person either, but we saw a long way coming that Russia is not allowing any freedom of speech. Then, they're doing propaganda in the worst way outside of Russia. That was something that the Western world didn't see coming. That has affected our divided world right now so strongly."

Schmier then went on to discuss how the Russian/Ukrainian war is being played out in real-time via social media and how the war primarily rests at the hands of Putin.

"Of course, there's the war," he said. "Now we have the first time, all those pictures. The modern world is there with a camera all the time and we see the brutality of the war. Nobody wants this war; the Russians don't want it either. It's their president. How do you stop a maniac like this? As a German, I feel like he is the new [Adolf] Hitler and needs to be stopped. But the problem is that we all depend on him, at least in Europe, which is breast-fed on his gas and oil. We have to cut this immediately. It's just heartbreaking. I've been to Ukraine. Our lighting engineer is a Ukrainian woman, Lena, she gets the news from Ukraine and shows us pictures and her family is suffering over there. It's so brutal to see this in the world today, 2022 when we're so educated. How can this still happen? I don't know."

Back in May 2016, just months prior to that year's U.S. presidential election, Schmier called then-presidential candidate Donald Trump "a conservative idiot" who "is hypnotizing the masses" and he said it was "scary to see."

"I don't believe in politics," he said at the time. "The problem is we are getting ruled by the industries. It's all about making more money; we all know that."

DESTRUCTION's latest studio album, "Diabolical", was released April 8 via Napalm Records. It is the band's first album without founding member/guitarist Michael "Mike" Sifringer, who was replaced by Martin Furia last August.

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