The Propaganda War in UkrainePropaganda is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the warmonger. For this reason, Julius Streicher, a newspaper publisher, was executed at Nuremberg.
On the comment pages of Huffington Post and The Guardian newspaper, which formerly had the reputation of being left-wing, anyone who does not harshly condemn the Russian government or pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine is called a “Putinbot” or “Russian shill.” Any citation of Russia Today is immediately dismissed, not because the report has been proven false, but because it is Russia Today.
It is instructive to analyze some of the claims made in the Western media that Russia’s view of the developments in Ukraine is pure propaganda.
Claim 1. Are the leaders of the Kiev government Nazis?
The European Parliament in a December 13, 2012 resolution stated that it was “concerned about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda Party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter the Verkhovnati-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU’s fundamental values and principles….” It asked “pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party….”
US politicians did not get the memo. Svoboda’s leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry this year and in December 2013 appeared onstage with U.S. Senator John McCain.
Presumably, Kerry’s handlers do not read the BBC: “in 2004, Tyahnybok was kicked out of former President Viktor Yushchenko’s parliamentary faction for a speech calling for Ukrainians to fight against a ‘Muscovite-Jewish mafia’….”
In 2005, Tyagnibok signed an open letter with 17 others entitled, “Stop the Criminal Activities of Organized Jewry.”
According to The New York Times: “Svoboda was founded in 1991 under the name the Socialist-Nationalist Party of Ukraine, with a symbol that resembled a swastika.”
“Nazi” of course is short for “National Socialist,” but I suppose one could argue that “Socialist-Nationalist” is totally different.
Claim 2. Weren’t the pro-European Union demonstrators peaceful, unlike the pro-Moscow side?
Western media outlets repeatedly state that the former Ukrainian president shot his own people. What they have not done is provide proof. In fact, the former president’s party has asked for an investigation into the killings, which normally you wouldn’t do if you were behind it. Or maybe that’s what the Ruskies want us to think.
Western media are strangely silent about the 42 people who were burned alive at the beginning of May by a pro-government mob. What comment there is usually goes like this: they deserved it, because they rose up against the government.
The British Daily Mail newspaper shows numerous photographs of pro-European Union protestors with clubs and Molotov cocktails and at least one with a gun. A Wired Magazine photographer said, “Every single person without fail had a club or a bat or something like that,” and that he saw evidence of automatic weapons.
The BBC reports that, on one day in February, during the pro-European Union protests against the government, 18 people were killed, including 7 policemen. Presumably the policemen did not all die of heart attacks or from tripping down the stairs.
The American television network CBS reported that, during the pro-European Union protests, “150 policemen from the Ukrainian internal affairs ministry [were] held hostage by anti-government protesters….”
Before the coup, Time Magazine profiled “Dmitro Yarosh, leader of the far-right militant group Pravy Sektor, [who] says he and his antigovernment cohorts in Kiev are ready for armed struggle….” After the coup, Yarosh became the deputy security chief of Ukraine.
Members of the Svoboda Party, including Members of Parliament, physically attacked the head of Ukraine’s national television company, sending him to the hospital and forcing him to resign. “Ihor Miroshnychenko, one of the attackers and Svoboda party MP, explained: ‘I agree I might have overreacted. But, under the circumstances, something had to be done to make this person resign immediately.’”
You and I both know how this would be described in our media if a pro-Russian politician had done this.
Claim 3. Won’t the new government protect the rights of minorities, unlike the Russians?
The BBC reports that, in 2012, Miroshnychenko “charged the podium to prevent a [parliamentary] deputy [from] speaking in Russian. (Svoboda believes that only Ukrainian should be used in all official bodies.)”
With the center of the capital a smoking ruin, with billions of dollars of debt, you would have thought that the new leaders in Ukraine would have their hands full. Instead, one of the first acts of the new Ukrainian government was to try to eliminate a law protecting the status of minority languages, such as Russian.
By contrast, one of the first acts of the Crimean government was a resolution that “guarantees proportional representation in the republic’s legislative and executive bodies for the Crimean Tatar ethnic minority and grants their language official status….”
And a video purports to be a speech by the current Ukrainian prime minister in which he says that Crimean “Tatars should be punished.”
Claim 4. Wasn’t the overthrow of the previous Ukrainian government legal?
Radio Free Europe questions the legality of the impeachment of the former president: According to the Ukrainian constitution, there needed to be an investigation by the courts, and Parliament failed to get the 75% vote necessary.
Those who insist that the Crimea referendum could not have been fair because of the presence of Russian soldiers must concede that Ukrainian Members of Parliament were intimidated by armed gangs on the street. “The vote came after police stopped guarding presidential buildings, allowing protesters in,” BBC reports. An aide to the ousted president was shot, after all, and the conservative Daily Telegraph newspaper in Britain records that “[i]n the aftermath of the revolution, Ukraine’s police have disappeared from the streets.”
Claim 5. Wasn’t the Russian invasion of Crimea illegal?
I can’t help but notice that no one is being burned alive in Crimea.
Jonathan David Farley
Jonathan David Farley wrote “How Al Qaeda Can Use Order Theory to Evade or Defeat U.S. Forces: The Case of Binary Posets,” in Advances in Network Analysis and Its Applications, Evangelos Kranakis (Ed.), Vienna, Austria: Springer Verlag.