A US Navy veteran divorcee is being investigated for her involvement in the management of the pro-Russian social media account Donbass Devushka, which leaked at least four classified documents. The propagandist has been unmasked as 37-year-old Sarah Bils, who served as a non-commissioned officer in the US Navy and is a tropical fish seller from New Jersey.
Bils is known to her 100,000 devoted fans online as 'Donbas Devushka', or Donbas Girl. She posed as a geopolitical expert and a Russian Jew from the seized Ukrainian city of Luhansk. However, her lid has been blown and she has been unmasked as an American citizen.
Leaking Classified Documents
Bils has been identified as Donbas Devushka, who is not only a Russian propagandist but also is behind leaking at least four classified documents, the Wall Street Journal confirmed in an exclusive interview.
At the same time, the WSJ specified that there is no evidence that Bils used her access to classified data to steal it during her service.
Bils claims on her Telegram account, well-liked messaging platform in Russia and Ukraine, that she engages in " Russian style information warfare."
It recently shared some of the documents that Jack Teixeira, a member of the US National Guard who was charged with two felonies on Friday, allegedly leaked.
The Department of Justice is currently investigating her as part of its probe into how compromised DoD information surfaced online.
Bils, who had security clearance, denied that she was involved in helping Teixeira.
The 37-year-old also published movies and podcasts online in an effort to support the Russian army while accurately repeating pro-Moscow talking points.
Military bloggers in Russia who support the Kremlin have complimented them, including the very effective Rybar Telegram channel.
Bils claimed that in 2014, when the initial Russian invasion took place, she had been traveling between the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and eastern Ukraine. She also claimed that people were being killed by the Ukrainian army in Luhansk, a city in the country's Russian-occupied Donbas area.
Together with Mila Medvedev, she has also posted under the aliases Luganskforlife, MeatballSubZero, YuGopnik, and GhostofLugansk.
Enemy of the State
Her account occasionally posts violent and graphic photos of the combat, extols the brutal Wagner group of the Russian military, and occasionally celebrates in the killings of Ukrainian fighters.
Bils told the WSJ that 15 other people help her run the account. Her character Donbas Devushka has tens of thousands of followers on their Twitter, YouTube, and Spotify podcasts. In the podcast, Bils, who had previously claimed to be from Eastern Europe, can be heard pretending to have a different accent.
However, she has now been unmasked. Bils in fact has experience working as a former US Navy aviation electronics specialist, having worked at Whitby Island in Washington State.
Her real name and identity were first uncovered on Twitter and Redditt and first reported by volunteers from the North Atlantic Fella Organization, which raises money for Ukraine and combats false information online.
The Ukrainian group was able to identify her thanks to yet another unique side business that Bils operated. in addition to serving in the Navy, Bils ran a company that sells tropical fish and food imported from Poland.
In June 2020, Bils had participated in a popular podcast on fish tanks, which ultimately proved to be her downfall. As a result, NAFO was able to match Donetsk Devushka's voice and home's decor to her postings.
She is from Oak Harbor, Washington, and served at the US Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island until November of 2022. She received an honorable discharge, but not before being demoted.
Bils claimed that her "leftist views" caused the Navy to "kick her out." Her Twitter account has since been locked, but her pro-Kremlin commentator interview YouTube channel is still accessible.