March 10, 2014
The US State Department put out a catchy compendium of deceptions in recent days, being ten statements attributed to “Mr Putin says,” answered by misleading “facts” of their own. Here we examine the fiction, facts and propaganda of these 10 points, plus one big one they somehow left out, in countdown order from 10 to zero.
“10. Mr. Putin says: The Rada [Ukraine's parliament] is under the influence of extremists or terrorists.”
US propaganda lie: “The Rada is the most representative institution in Ukraine.”
The facts. Parliament was much more representative than the new junta because it was elected in a fair election in 2010. But on Feb. 22, opposition thugs beat up MPs who didn’t follow their line. Parliamentary seats and ministries were divided up among the opposition parties. The opposition — or their neocon handlers — had also made a deal with the local oligarchs to support their coup. These mafia billionaires likewise told parliament to fall in line. 18 of them were rewarded with governorships by the illegal regime. The people of Ukraine, who wanted peace and clean government above all, now are getting redoubled corruption and instability instead, thanks to US neocons and the dirty coup they financed.
“9. Mr. Putin says: Kyiv is trying to destabilize Crimea.”
US Propaganda lie: “Ukraine’s interim government has acted with restraint and sought dialogue.”
The facts. Kiev is ignoring Crimea’s statutory autonomy and calling its decisions illegal. Maidan terrorists have been caught trying to smuggle weapons and explosives into Crimea.
Yet not one person has been hurt in Crimea since its move towards full autonomy from Kiev began. Russian restraint has been even more remarkable, if one compares to the Shock and Awe of recent genocidal US invasions.
“8. Mr. Putin says: There have been mass attacks on churches and synagogues in southern and eastern Ukraine.”
I can’t find any trace on the internet of Putin saying this. Such claims have been made by Russian writer Israel Shamir. If it does happen, the oligarchs who own the Ukrainian media are in on the fix in Kiev, and they won’t report it.
“7. Mr. Putin says: Russian bases are under threat.”
The propaganda lie: Russian military facilities were and remain secure.
The facts. The lease on Russia’s Black Sea fleet naval base in Sevastopol, which was to expire in 2017, was renewed by Yanukovich in 2010 for another 25 years, to 2042.
Looking at NATO’s project of encircling Russia over the last decades, it is clear that Ukraine is the next target. Once you understand that NATO has just facilitated a violent coup to overthrow the Ukrainian government, it is clear that under their hooligan junta, the lease will become a worthless piece of paper.
In 1990, when Russia agreed to the reunification of Germany, the US and UK promised no eastward expansion of NATO. They have broken this promise 12 times. It’s a fact of history that the American nation has always expanded since its birth by breaking treaties and promises made with weaker nations. Today, those who try to make their own way free of US economic domination, like Libya, risk devastation.
Thus, not only Russian bases, but Russia itself is under threat by NATO’s persistent efforts to bring nuclear missiles right up to Russia’s borders. The NATO coup has installed a Deputy Defense Minister in Kiev, the Neo-Nazi Dmitry Yarosh, who vows to “liquidate the Russian empire.”
“6. Mr. Putin says: Ethnic Russians are under threat.”
US propaganda lie: “Outside of Russian press and Russian state television, there are no credible reports of any ethnic Russians being under threat. The new Ukrainian government placed a priority on peace and reconciliation from the outset.”
The facts: Since the Ukrainian media are all owned by oligarchs who swung their support to the new regime, they can be expected to hush up the facts.
But Western observers have also noted the fears expressed by Russian speakers in Ukraine. The Associated Press and US News reported that Crimean Russians are relieved that Russian forces are there to protect them “from a new Ukrainian government in Kiev that, they say, is ready to crush its Russian-speaking population.” http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2014/03/06/in-crimea-old-fears-combine-with-new-propaganda .
Crimean sources even posted a video showing that a busload of their citizens returning from an anti-Maidan protest in Kiev were beaten to death. See rtd.rt.com/films/crimea-unmasking-revolution/#part-1
One of the first things the Rada did was to pass a law against the use of any languages other than Ukrainian. Although acting President Turchynov was well-advised to veto it, great damage was done. A bill was also introduced to ban the previous ruling Party of the Regions, favored by Russian speakers. It has in fact been banned by some local governments. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Kiev has itself to blame for alienating the eastern and southern provinces. www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/0228/Is-it-too-late-for-Kiev-to-woo-Russian-speaking-Ukraine
As for “peace and reconciliation from the outset,” the very first thing the Maidan terrorists did was to storm the government administration building and to lynch non-political IT staff that were working there.
5. “Mr. Putin says: There is a humanitarian crisis and hundreds of thousands are fleeing Ukraine to Russia and seeking asylum. ”
US propaganda: “To date, there is absolutely no evidence of a humanitarian crisis.”
The facts: I could not find any reference that Putin has said hundreds of thousands are fleeing. On March 1, Russia Today reported, “Up to 143,000 Ukrainians requested asylum in Russia… over the last two weeks of February.” Their source was the Russian bureau of citizenship. Of course, Russia is two or three times richer and a lot more stable than the Ukraine.
The humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine is just beginning, with the IMF demanding to cut pensions by 50%. The average retiree will be starved from $160 to $80. Meanwhile, billionaire oligarchs are made state governors so they can further enrich themselves, their cronies, and the banksters in the US and UK who rewarded them with these fiefs.
4. “Mr. Putin says: Ukraine’s government is illegitimate. Yanukovych is still the legitimate leader of Ukraine.”
US propaganda line: “On March 4, President Putin himself acknowledged the reality that Yanukovych “has no political future.” … The interim government of Ukraine is a government of the people, which will shepherd [sic] the country toward democratic elections on May 25th.”
Facts: The junta is illegitimate because it gained power by a violent overthrow of the government. Parliament was intimidated by force and bribery to change sides.
De facto, Yanukovich has no future, but de jure, he is still the elected president, because parliament impeached him under duress, violating the “reconciliation” agreement made the day before.
3. “Mr. Putin says: The opposition failed to implement the February 21 agreement with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.”
Bald-faced lie: “Under the terms of the agreement, Yanukovych was to sign the enacting legislation within 24 hours and bring the crisis to a peaceful conclusion. Yanukovych refused to keep his end of the bargain.”
The facts: Yanukovich signed the Feb. 21 agreement, which said:
“Within 48 [not 24] hours of the signing of this agreement, a special law will be adopted, signed and promulgated, which will restore the Constitution of 2004 including amendments passed until now. Signatories declare their intention to create a coalition and form a national unity government within 10 days thereafter.”
According to the BBC Timeline, on the next day, Feb. 22, while Yanukovich was in eastern Ukraine, extremists seized the government buildings in Kiev, and parliament voted 328-0 to impeach him – so much for a national unity government. Yanukovich fled for his life.
Russia is insisting on the national unity government. With the destruction of Yanukovich’s Party of Regions, parliament is composed of a coalition of three opposition parties: Tymoshenko’s Fatherland, protester and heavyweight boxer Klitschko’s Punch party, and the Neo-Nazi party Svoboda/Freedom. Power is shared according to how much each group contributed to the putsch. Thus the Neo-Nazis gained 30% of parliament and ministry posts, although they had only 10% of the vote.
The Feb. 21 agreement was blown out of the water by the extremist coup d’état, not by Yanukovich. Not so obvious, yet beyond reasonable doubt if you have an open mind to look into it, is that the coup was financed and fomented by the usual US-NATO-Mafia Color Revolution apparatus.
2. “Mr. Putin says: Russia’s actions fall within the scope of the 1997 Friendship Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.”
Half-truth: “The 1997 agreement requires Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, which have given them operational control of Crimea, are in clear violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
Fact: The Kiev junta broke the treaty of friendship first by acting as an enemy, in concert with the NATO threat. Every friendly agreement has two sides to it.
As for Russian rights in Crimea, it has been a part of Russia for a long time. Russia lost thousands of soldiers defending its port of Sevastopol in the Crimean War and in WWII. The province was transferred to Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union, when this had little meaning. Even after the breakup of the Soviet Union, this was not so important because Ukraine and Russia were brotherly states.
Western intervention has turned Ukraine into an enemy. At this point, a patient and long-suffering Russia has bent over backwards too far and too long, and is justified in reclaiming its historic, vitally strategic territory.
Nevertheless, Russia is being careful to do this in a legal way. Crimea has a special status of autonomy within Ukraine, which allows it to vote on a referendum for full autonomy, or on return to Russia.
If we compare Russia’s action with the American habit of violating the integrity and sovereignty of other nations, there really is no comparison. The US attacks countries at will that are on the other side of the world, and have never had much to do with the US. The difference is night and day. Russia, on the defensive, is doing what’s necessary and repairing a historical mistake in the most painless and friendly way possible, without hurting a soul. Expansionist America, world power of aggression and genocide, has gotten 95% of Ukraine with her coup, but she wants it all!
In reality, Russia would have every right to reclaim all of Ukraine. Kiev was the first capital of Russia in the 10th century, until it was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th. Russia finally got it back in the 17th century (except for the westernmost end that was part of Austro-Hungary, until that empire was destroyed by Woodrow Wilson’s own military intervention). Ukrainians themselves admit that Russia and Ukraine are one people.
How does the neocon project to usurp Ukraine compare to the Zionist project in Palestine, where the US squanders billions every year to prop up an illegal occupation regime based on the ridiculous, revanchist claim that a tribe with the same religion lived there for some time, 2,000 years ago? In both cases, the US is on the wrong side of humanity.
After Iraq, Libya, and so many other American holocausts, the world at large is astonished by the self-righteous hypocrisy of John Kerry, who can tell Russia with a straight face, “You don’t invade a country on phony pretexts.”
Russia doesn’t. The US does.
1. “Mr. Putin says: Russian forces in Crimea are only acting to protect Russian military assets. It is “citizens’ defense groups,” not Russian forces, who have seized infrastructure and military facilities in Crimea.”
Propaganda half-truth: “Strong evidence suggests that members of Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine forces in Crimea.”
Fact: CNN reported on March 1, “The pro-Russian leader of Ukraine’s Crimea region claimed control of the military and police there Saturday and appealed to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for help in keeping peace.”
And a Sky news team reported their conversations with Crimean volunteer border guards news.sky.com/story/1219619/ukraine-gangs-smuggle-weapons-into-crimea
0. The Lie of Omission — The Biggest Lie of All.
The State Department propaganda doesn’t touch the question of who were the snipers shooting and killing both police and protesters on Feb. 18th and 20th. These provocations elicited a storm of gunfire, causing many deaths, which in turn brought about the rapid fall of the government. It is a classic provocation tactic which US special forces have often been suspected of before, see http://www.voltairenet.org/article182547.html
The Estonian Foreign Minister, who visited Kiev on Feb. 26th, reported that it was a common belief there that the snipers were elements from the new coalition, who sought to topple the government and gain power.
Further evidence has surfaced about this: http://ivn.us/2014/03/07/evidence-suggests-ukrainian-sniper-attacks-created-instability/
Large quantities of weapons were looted from arsenals shortly before the sniper massacre. On Feb. 18th, Ukrainian News Agency broadcast footage of an opposition parliament member’s car being stopped and searched by protesters. “According to the caption, the driver of the car, Sergei Pashinsky, is a member of the Ukrainian Fatherland political party. In the video, the car is stopped by protesters and searched. Inside the trunk was a sniper rifle with an attached silencer in a case. The protesters replaced the rifle and allowed the Honda to leave… Sniper rifle with a silencer, shot both riot police and protesters, in order to give their bodies for the victims of the regime!”
So who has really threatened and violated the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine? Isn’t it the neocon Nuland who was overheard discussing who the US is going to put in power there, and who publicly boasted the US invested $5 billion in 65 different organizations to subvert and overthrow Ukraine?
Originally appeared in The Progressive