Loony tunes… the Western media on Ukraine

This is an article in Britain’s Daily Telegraph about the ‘great European state’, Ukraine.

The author is clearly living in a world away from history and away from reality. The article implicitly condones murder. What is concerning is that the author is, apparently, the Chief Political correspondent of the Telegraph. One would hope that someone in that position would have read some history, would have studied the text of the relevant political agreements (in this case the Minsk II agreements), and would be able to take a clear and objective view of the subject on which he is writing.

One of the most striking aspects of the narrative presented in this article is that it simply ignores the people who are on the ‘wrong’ side in a conflict, as if they don’t exist. It is an objective fact that millions of people in Ukraine do not want to be part of the EU and NATO. They voted in an election for a President who at one point decided to pull out of the EU Association agreement. This President was then deposed in a violent coup. (Or, if you like; he ‘left’ while there were violent disturbances going on outside his office and the two events have no causal connection). [1] But these facts are simply airbrushed away.

The people who do not want to be part of a ‘great European state’ live in the East of Ukraine. Of course there are millions who live in the West and centre of Ukraine who do want to be part of the EU. The country is split and has been split historically. Even going back to the the first World War people from the territory of Ukraine fought on both sides, some with the Soviet Union and some against. So; there is a complex situation with deep historical roots. The position of the deluded author of this article on the Daily Telegraph is simply to vanish out of existence all those millions of Russian-leaning Ukrainians in the East of the country. This is a kind of theoretical genocide. It is limited to silly newspaper articles but it sustains the real crimes of the regime in Kiev – a regime which has significant problems with ‘human rights’ [2]

One of the most telling phrases in this article is this:

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s army can prevent the “people’s republics” from expanding, but it lacks the military strength to recapture them.

Having just derided ‘the Russians’ (the author of the article has adopted the Kiev line that they are fighting ‘Russians’ – not local militias) for breaking the Minsk agreements by violating the ceasefire the author appears to condone a purely military strategy for resolving the conflict. This isn’t a violation of the Minsk agreements – it is throwing them out of the water. This is a particularly blatant example of the tortured narrative of the West; they use the Minsk agreements as a tool to get their way. But they only insist on the side which suits them. In reality the Minsk agreements call for a political solution, a degree of political and judicial autonomy for the break-away regions, and local elections. [3] Support for Minsk II cuts both ways.

This is the sort of fodder which is being fed to readers in the West. As always with these detached from reality narratives it is hard to know if the people who spin them are consciously lying or are simply deluded. Either way the narrative is so far from any kind of accurate vision of reality it is just a kind of fringe madness. Though one which the political and media classes in the West are still trying as hard as they can to turn into reality by sheer weight of power (control of the mass media, armed threats etc.).

Notes

1. See: https://thenewobserver.co.uk/a-taste-of-guardian-propaganda/ ; https://thenewobserver.co.uk/the-danger-of-not-studying-history/

2. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/kiev-allows-torture-and-runs-secret-jails-says-un-vwlcrpsjn

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minsk_II

Narratives v. reality

So. The EU and US encouraged a coup in Kiev in February 2014. [1]

Russia pointed out that the “revolution” included in its ranks a lot of quite extreme nationalist elements. This seems to be a fact. [2]

The West in general and US Secretary of State John Kerry in particular explained to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the more right-wing elements would become moderate and mainstream. This is Minister Lavrov reporting on his discussions with John Kerry from 30 March 2014:

No, I mentioned this to my Western partners a few times. When I brought this up, one of my key partners hesitated a bit at first and then said: “We’re watching Svoboda, but they’re members of the coalition and they’re moving towards the political mainstream.” It’s very hard to react to that, because that’s a level of a dialogue with facts in hands. Still, that is how it is. [3]

The same discussion is also reported on another Russian state channel where Mr Lavrov names John Kerry as the source of this explanation about the Svoboda nationalists becoming mainstream. [4]

But the person who has been arrested in Kiev for throwing a grenade at policemen during a nationalist demonstration against the implementation of Minsk 2 was a Svoboda party member… [5] In the parliament the nationalists are not accepting even relatively benign parts of Minsk 2 such as decentralisation. (Just wait till they get to an amnesty, an independent judiciary and the right for the East to maintain militias).

It doesn’t look like the Svoboda party is becoming “mainstream”. As usual on Ukraine the Western narrative is at odds with reality. No matter. They have so much power. The Western press will gloss it somehow. But – in general the Western narrative on Ukraine has really been blown out of the water. Even the most brain-washed subjects must be able to see that the February 2014 coup in Kiev was not really the work of peaceful hymn-singing democracy protesters. [6][7]

Incidentally the clip of Nuland speaking [7] sums up the problem with US/EU policy on Ukraine. Yes. By all means some even perhaps the majority of Ukrainians do want a “European future”. Even (the subtext) a NATO future. But the people of Crimea didn’t. They expressed that view in an overwhelming vote. And in the Eastern regions of Ukraine support for EU membership and NATO membership runs at less than 20%. The figures are from a Gallup poll and so cannot be dismissed as “Russian propaganda”. [8] So. There are significant numbers of people in Ukraine who did not back Maidan. These people were happy with the elected President Yanochovich. Therefore any reasonable and sensible solution in Ukraine needs to balance the aspirations of all these people. This is exactly what Russia is proposing; a federal Ukraine with some degree of regional autonomy. The problem is caused by the US and the EU who want the whole pie. They back the pro NATO pro EU section of the population, shut their eyes to the nationalist elements amongst them, and simply ignore the 25% of the population who don’t believe in the European direction in Ukraine. This is a recipe for disaster.

(Also in the same clip of Nuland speaking she talks about security forces driving a bull-dozer at protesters. That may have happened. Russian state TV however showed unmistakable footage of protesters driving a bull-dozer at police lines. [9] But, hey, perhaps they were “singing hymns” as they did it?)

Notes

1. http://www.rt.com/news/us-eu-ukraine-protest-062/
2. http://www.channel4.com/news/svoboda-ministers-ukraine-new-government-far-right; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svoboda_(political_party)
3. http://www.rt.com/news/lavrov-crimea-ukraine-west-181/
4. http://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/news/2014_03_29/Western-media-hush-up-some-facts-about-Right-Sector-while-speaking-about-Ukraine-Lavrov-8754/
5. http://www.rt.com/shows/news/314028-rtnews-september-1-17msk/
6. http://www.bangkokpost.com/print/396451/
7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2fYcHLouXY
8. https://thenewobserver.co.uk/estranged_from_reality/ (See the fact box on this page ”So much for democracy in Ukraine”)
9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhbzhrfY1Lo