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As insurrection raged, a South Florida video blogger provided a play-by-play – to Russians

Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

The Russian-speaking video blogger from South Florida walked alongside the throngs wearing MAGA hats and carrying Trump flags as the crowd descended on the Capitol, heeding the call to disrupt the certification of Electoral College results.

His broadcast reached Russian speakers across the United States and in the mother country, pushing the Stop the Steal narrative and other debunked allegations of election fraud.

In the digital version of a tip jar, his YouTube and Instagram accounts included electronic payment links to PayPal and Zelle for those who might want to thank him for his broadcasts.

His name is Stanislav Doudnik. He’s a Hallandale Beach-based private detective/blogger, part of the growing, insular community of expatriates from the former Soviet Union that has put down roots in South Florida. Members have bought real estate, run businesses and forged connections.

The rumored presence of Russian speakers in the crowd of insurrectionists on Jan. 6 has intrigued federal investigators, although initial estimates of the size of that contingent were apparently exaggerated. In the case of Doudnik, there is no evidence that he was more than an observer, broadcasting pro-Donald Trump screeds in Russian. Still, he claims his bank account was just closed in retribution.

His politics aside, Doudnik has a controversial past, a curious present and seems a contradiction.

 

He made headlines in 2018 when the Miami Herald reported that his firm, General Investigations Services in Broward County, planted tracking devices on the cars of two Hallandale Beach city commissioners and a candidate for office to find alleged mischief. A onetime employee fessed up and Doudnik denied any knowledge.

In his day job as private detective, staying in the background and under the radar is paramount. Yet on Jan. 6 and over the weeks that followed, the Florida detective made himself a very public figure, appearing across the globe on that most public of forums, the internet, and on Russian TV. He warned that America was bowing to radicals like antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement and was on the verge of embracing socialism.

LIFE IN THE 954

Public records show Doudnik, 45, came to the United States in 1995 at the age of 19 and has lived in South Florida since then, mostly in Broward County. He was an émigré from Tashkent, the capital of what today is Uzbekistan but had been long under rule of the Soviet Union until its dissolution at the end of 1991. He’s a member of an international group of detectives that includes Russians who openly boast of their work for the FSB, Russia’s feared spy agency.

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