Russian Media Got Exclusive Julian Assange Arrest Footage, Raising More Questions About WikiLeaks Russia Link

The first and only footage of Julian Assange's arrest on Thursday was captured by a Russian government-owned media outlet.

Julian Assange winks.
Jack Taylor / Getty Images

The first and only footage of Julian Assange's arrest on Thursday was captured by a Russian government-owned media outlet.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Thursday morning at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, England, where he had been holed up for seven years, after Ecuador revoked his grant of asylum, as The Inquisitr reported. But in one of the more curious aspects of the dramatic arrest, the first and only footage of Assange being pulled out of the embassy by police was shot by a media outlet owned by the Russian government.

Though the charges against Assange in the United States relate only to his alleged conspiracy with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal classified material in 2010 and 2011, according to the Justice Department indictment, Assange and WikiLeaks also published Democratic campaign emails stolen by Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential campaign, as another Justice Department indictment filed last year by Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller alleged.

Assange also formerly hosted a political talk show, The Julian Assange Show, on the Russian government-owned propaganda network RT. The outlet that filmed the Assange arrest, Ruptly, is a subsidiary of RT, and also fully owned by the Russian government.

So how did Ruptly get one of the world’s biggest scoops by exclusively filming the Assange arrest? According to a CNN report, Ruptly news executive Laura Lucchini said that her organization simply put in more hard work than any other news-gathering crew.

Though it is owned by the Vladimir Putin-controlled Russian government, Ruptly is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and was founded in 2013, according to a report from Fast Company.

Lucchini claimed to CNN that she feels “free” from the Russian government, and repeated that her organization got the Assange footage simply by staying in place and staking out the Ecuadorian embassy after others had gone home.

“I wouldn’t have accepted this position if I wouldn’t have felt free in my decisions,” Lucchini told the U.S. news network. “We don’t know why other camera crews left. We decided to carry on staying there because the eviction was expected. And it happened this morning.”

In addition to his alleged connection to the Russian election hacking operation, Assange, according to a Rolling Stone report, also claims that he arranged asylum in Russia for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified information on the NSA’s surveillance programs.

“We’ve demonstrated that WikiLeaks, as a media institution, has the resources, capacity and will that a lot of media organizations do not,” Assange said in 2012.

Russia recently extended Snowden’s asylum through 2020, according to a CNN report.