Russians lives don’t count?

This is a piece in the Guardian about the conviction in a Russian court of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Not surprisingly it is written from a propaganda point of view.

The mainstay of Western propaganda is omission. This is an article about the conviction of Nadiva Savchenko but no where in the article is her crime mentioned. She was tried for and convicted of – on the basis of evidence – participation in the murder of two Russian journalists in Eastern Ukraine. Despite a court conviction – at a trial attended by amongst others Ukrainian journalists – the Guardian refers to her crimes as ‘alleged’. This is imperialism – the judgement of British courts and inquiries are always accepted (witness the Guardian’s slavering reporting on the inquiry into the murder of Russian spy Litvinenko) – but a decision by a Russian court is simply ignored. They don’t even bother to present a critique of the court process. It simply doesn’t count. It isn’t just the Russian legal system which doesn’t count. The lack of any mention of the actual crime reveals that the lives of the Russian journalists don’t count either.

The photo on this article of the prisoner in a glass box is captioned ‘Nadiya Savchenko in a glass cage in court’. A glass enclosure is not a cage. But they can’t help themselves. It is (it seems) quite standard practice in Russia for defendants to appear in court in a cage. But whenever the Western press is reporting on any of its heroes who is facing a court in Russia they are always described as being in a ‘cage’ as if it were an especial indignity. In this case it is a glass box, not a cage, but they can’t help themselves. Cage is the story line and they are sticking with it whatever the reality is.

The article reports on Savchenko’s hunger stikes:

She has declared that she will take her hunger strike ‵to the end‶, denying both food and water to protest against her sentence.

Shocking stuff. But Savchenko’s water and hunger strikes seem to be a device turned off and on, mostly off, for media effect. In her court appearances her cheeks seem remarkably plump. If she was on a water strike she would be dead. Not bouncing about in court. But, again, the narrative is written from a template – the narrative is superimposed on the facts of the matter.

There follows a discussion about sanctions. Apparently some in the anti-Russian camp were hoping that this sentence would lead to more sanctions against Russia. The Guardian cites ‘international affairs expert Vladimir Frolov’ in this regard. Vladimir Frolov appears to be a writer for the Moscow Times. This Guardian article is acknowledged as being sourced from the Moscow Times. (This appears to be the original). In effect then the article depends on journalists interviewing their colleagues – at best across collaborating media outlets.

The Guardian reports:

Within minutes of the sentencing Ukrainian and western officials demanded Savchenko’s release, at the very least as part of a prisoner exchange under the Minsk agreement that ended the conflict.

This is also a demand made by the US. The Russian point of view is that this case is not covered by the Minsk agreements because it concerns the murder of civilians not combatants. [1] Naturally the article does not present the Russian point of view. It doesn’t count.

The article reports that Savchenko has become a hero in Ukraine:

The defiant Savchenko has become a national hero for Ukraine, a political martyr for the west, and a severe annoyance for Russia.

Quite probably Savchenko has become a hero for some in Ukraine. It is unlikely that she is a hero in the Eastern provinces of Ukraine – where she was engaged in fighting. But – the whole Western media narrative and political class narrative on Ukraine is based on simply ignoring the wishes and aspirations of all those Ukrainians who live in the East of the country and who did not support the coup. The narrative continually talks about “Ukrainians’ longing for their European future”; however, as this web site has pointed out many times the testable facts of the matter are that such a longing is strong in the West of Ukraine, about even in the centre, and very much not the case in the East of the country where less than 20% of the population are longing for a European future. When the West talks about the yearnings of Ukrainians they simply discount the 13 million Ukrainians (out of a total population of 44 million) who don’t want such a future. Again; the narrative wins over facts.

Finally; the Western propaganda line on Russia often includes the position that the media in Russian is ‘Kremlin controlled’. (For example; this Guardian article cites some laws concerning registration of popular blog sites as media outlets as an example of ‘greater censorship of online publishing’).  [2] The propaganda article we have discussed above is cited by the Guardian as having originally appeared in the Moscow Times – an English language publication published in Russia and often publishing negative stories about Russia. No censorship there.

This reporting from an imperialistic perspective is not simply froth. It is part of the regime change operation – after all if Russian institutions cannot be relied on obviously we should go in and build their civil society for them. That is the implicit ‘liberal’ message that sounds out continually from these patronizing articles. Written by babies they nonetheless condition the public for war.




Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer