Mayor of Slovyansk in Ukraine says photos are of his friends
April 24, 2o014
Following two days of propaganda centered upon dubious photographs the junta in Kyiv and the war machine media in the United States insist proves the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine, The New York Times has issued a retraction. It is buried on page A9 of the newspaper.
The Times quotes Vyachislav Ponomaryov, the mayor of Slovyansk, who says the man shown in one of the photographs submitted to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is a close friend. He declined to name the man. “He has a good background. He is one of my old friends. I have good friends in South Ossetia and in Grozny,” Ponomaryov said.
“We don’t have any direct contact with the special services of the Russian Federation,” he said. “Everyone you see here in the militia are my friends, my brothers, my allies in the battle with fascism. We have volunteers who came to us from Moldova, from Russia, from Belarus, from Kazakhstan, from the North Caucasus.”
The establishment media in the United States claims the photographs show Russian Federation troops. The State Department pawned the photos off as evidence despite the fact the authenticity of the photographs could not be independently verified. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday the images prove Russian troops are in Ukraine. “So these are just further evidence of the connection between Russia and the armed militants,” she said.
The Times reports the photographs were lifted from the internet by the junta and passed off as evidence. Freelance photographer Maxim Dondyuk, who worked for a Russian newsmagazine, said he had taken the group photograph in Slovyansk and posted it on his Instagram account, according to the newspaper.
“It was taken in Slovyansk,” he told The New York Times. “Nobody asked my permission to use this photograph.”
On Thursday, the State Department was backtracking. Psaki admitted the photograph does not show Russian troops in Ukraine and said it appeared in a “draft version” of a briefing packet released by the State Department.
The sloppy propaganda, however, has not deterred the State Department. Psaki claimed there is enough material to “make a connection between the Russians and the armed militants” in eastern Ukraine.
“We don’t have a shadow of a doubt about the connection,” she said, but did not offer to provide additional information.
Despite the admission by the State Department and the retraction, much of the corporate media continues to use the photographs as propaganda to make the case Russia has invaded Ukraine.