Lies on Russia in the Independent

The question that interests me is why these Western (Guardian and Independent) journalists lie about Russia. Is it because they think it will help their careers? Because they can’t live without hating something? Because they are all in the pay of MI6? Because they have a kind of tribal mentality and they feel it their duty to write propaganda about Russia because Russian is the enemy of their tribe?

It is strange. More worrying is that based on the comments sections at least many of the readers of these papers believe what they read about Russia.

This is an example from today’s Independent. It concerns the recent demonstrations in Russia about the local elections in Moscow. As usual extracts and comments:

They are a line of Moscow’s notoriously brutal riot police, equipped with shields, batons and helmets.

What?!! Riot police who have shields, batons and helmets? Of course the riot police in France and the UK have what exactly? Daisies?

Olga Misik, 17, was photographed sitting in front of the officers reading out the country’s constitution – which affirms the right to peaceful gatherings – during protests on Saturday.

Yes. The Russian Constitution says: “Citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, mass meetings and demonstrations, marches and pickets.”. However there is a law which says that rallies have to be agreed with the authorities. In this case there was a sanctioned rally a week ago. At that rally the blogger Navalny called for a second and illegal rally. Any observer of Navalny can see that he has a tactic of trying to stage confrontations with the authorities so as to provoke a reaction which can then play out in a certain way in the press. The demonstrators at this second rally including this ‘heroic’ girl were breaking Russian law. Russia is not North Korea. What happened to this girl (for breaking the law)? She was arrested and released the next day.  She will have to attend court and will get a fine (assuming this is her first offence). All this stuff about ‘calm audacity’ and ‘peaceful defiance’ is sheer bunkum.

The girl is quoted:

I sat on the ground and began to read out our constitutional rights, specifying that what is happening here [police arresting protestors] is illegal.

In fact; under Russian law (made by an elected government) it is the girl who is breaking the law.

Constitutions are often waved around at such protests as a reference to how Mr Putin continues to ignore article 31 – the right to free assembly – to ban such demonstrations

No – the demonstrators were permitted to hold a rally and they did so. The Constitution is not being ignored.

This article is sheer propaganda. It attempts to create an image which bears no relation to reality – of jackbooted riot police crushing dissent and a brave teenage girl standing up to them. In reality the people attending this demonstration were breaking the law. They were arrested – without it seems significant levels of violence on either side, at least no such images have surfaced in the mainstream press or Russian state media – and some will face charges and a fine. Furthermore; the rally was about candidates for the upcoming local government elections in Moscow. It has nothing directly to do with the Kremlin.

There are certainly people in Moscow who support the cause espoused by these demonstrators; they want independent candidates to be able to stand in the upcoming elections for the Moscow City Duma. But there are also many who simply see them as troublemakers. And many who are just not interested; they are busy living their lives and don’t see a need to get involved in politics. I know. I live in Moscow region and I know people in all these categories.

It still shocks me that ‘journalists’ are prepared to write such utter garbage.


Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer