Putin’s Propaganda

Putin’s Propaganda

by

Howard Adelman

To test Vladimir Putin’s claims about the Ukraine to back up his rationale for his occupation of the Crimea, and to refute his rationale that I provided yesterday, I list those claims under propaganda and then depict the actuality as observed by those who were there. Many of these sources are Jewish, some who stand in strong opposition to former President Viktor Yanukovych and to Putin, usually from Kyiv, and some who strongly back Putin’s position, usually from Odessa. Putin is not the only one who spouts his line. There are plenty of Ukrainians, Jewish Ukrainians among them.

Lev Gudkov, Russian sociologist  and Director of the independent LevadaCenter: “In propaganda it is very important to consider the effect of squeezing out alternative versions of events, all alternative information. As a result, even people who don’t believe or who doubt the official information are not in a position to work with other points of view. And this is the foundation of propaganda.”

Propaganda

Russia is concerned with defending the rights of the residents in Crimea.

Actual

Black Sea TV, an independent Crimean TV station, was cut off from broadcasting on Monday. It still reached cable and satellite viewers (one-third of its normal audience) until the station’s electricity was cut off.

Propaganda

Russian channels and the government channel in the Crimea claimed that ultra-nationalists are coming to force everyone to speak Ukrainian.

Actual

The Russian Language Act withdrawing Russia as an official language was itself withdrawn after it passed. In any case, whatever the faults of the Act, it never envisioned forcing anyone to speak Ukrainian.

Propaganda

In addition to protecting Ukraine’s Russian minority, Russia is involved in the Ukraine to combat anti-Semitism espoused by elements of Ukraine’s far-right nationalist movement. Ukraine in general is being overrun by gangs of anti-Russian fascist thugs. Inna Olar, a Jewish 55-year-old information-technology manager who lives in Odessa, the Black Sea port in the south of Ukraine, claimed that the nationalists are Nazis and anti-Semites with symbols derived from those used by the SS and they revere Stepan Bandera who regarded Jews as agents of Soviet imperialism.

Actual

According to Arseniy Finberg, a 31-year-old director of a tourist company and father of two who participated in the demonstrations in Maidan, there was no need for Russia to step in on their behalf. Hundreds of Jews stood on Maidan; allegations that anti-Semitism tainted the protests are largely exaggerated. The handful of attacks on Jews in the square—including someone who had a drink poured on her when she tried to stop young nationalists from putting up anti-Semitic posters—were unusual. He suggested that they were the work of those looking to discredit the Maidan movement. Further, two IDF trained soldiers of Ukrainian origin organized the patrol to prevent hooliganism. (For the full stories, see Tablet Magazine.)

Further, virtually all the thuggery has been sponsored by Russia. In Crimea, gunmen seized part of a Ukrainian missile facility in CapeFiolent, near Sevastopol, according to Ukrainian officials. Further, a senior United Nations envoy was forced to cut short his mission and decided to leave the country after being “threatened” by a gang of armed men shouting “Crimea is Russian! Putin! Putin!” After pro-Western Ukrainians had reinstalled the national flag on the roof of the regional government building in Donetsk, a dozen people were hurt when pro-Russian protesters took back the building by force and re-installed the Russian flag.

Propaganda

Putin blamed Ukraine’s opposition for the ongoing crisis, calling it a Western-backed “unconstitutional coup” and “armed seizure of power.” Innar Olar echoed this view and opposes the new government. “It came to power in a coup.” Putin refuses to recognize even the early elections scheduled for 25 May 25 to be held “under the auspices of terror”.

Actual

The authorities in Kyiv were elected and, in turn, by a democratic vote in Parliament open to the media, selected the new Prime Minister and President.

Propaganda

A woman who lives in Donetsk called the Maidan protesters terrorists. “All of Ukraine thinks that. No one came for himself. They came to earn money.” On a trolley recently, she overheard a group of miners saying they had been offered 10,000 hryvnia—about $1,000—to join the protests. “All the people there were paid.

Actual

Alexander Roitburd, a famous Ukrainian artist of Jewish origin who participated in Maidan, portrayed the conflict as one between the rule of law and Western values versus being forever trapped in a post-Soviet space.

Propaganda

The events in Kyiv were fomented by Western sources eager to economically exploit the Ukraine and include the Ukraine within the Western hegemony of power.

Actual

Roitburd insisted that Maidan was a spontaneous civil movement that succeeded in attracting the support of the country’s richest men and was a revolution of everyone from the lowest people to the oligarchs, who secretly helped.

Propaganda

Western media as working for spy services to foment revolution.

Actual

CBC and CNN had crews in Kyiv and reported no evidence of media playing a role in stirring up the people.

Propaganda

Hundreds of thousands of Russian-speaking refugees have fled a “humanitarian catastrophe”.

Russian media widely reported that more than 650,000 Ukrainians crossed out of southeastern Ukraine into Russia since the beginning of the year.  

Actual

The latter was illustrated by an undated photo but revealed to have actually have been taken at the Shehyni border crossing between Ukraine and Poland. Further, the UN’s High Commissioner on Refugees says it has seen no evidence of unusual migration on the border. There is no evidence of any refugee flow outside of Crimea though many Tatars have relocated to Istanbul and Kyiv while others remain back to guard their property.

Propaganda

The current Crimean authorities were elected legitimately.

Actual

The new pro-Russian Crimean leader, Sergei Aksyonov, was installed last Thursday in a closed session of the regional parliament not open to the press to verify, at the very least, that there was even a quorum present, with the parliamentary session itself was occupied by armed men and the parliamentary building surrounded by Russian troops. Before being “elected”, Aksyonov led a party with only three of the one hundred seats.

Propaganda

The armed men in Crimea surrounding the army bases in Crimea, according to Putin, are not Russian troops but pro-Russian local self-defence groups.

Actual

If you believe the above, then you could believe the moon is made of cheese 

The reality is that current Russian initiatives as instigated by Putin are driven by a Russian messianism and phobia of the West. (See http://epaper.nationalpost.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

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One comment on “Putin’s Propaganda

  1. Rami Amit says:

    I strongly recommend that you read John Perkins book “confession of an economic hit man”, and you will see that this is nothing but a repeat of the old tactics mentioned in the book. No news media including the author of this outrages pro western garbage brings up the claim that the Russian’s action in Crimea belong to the 19th century. The last I heard March 2003, when the USA invaded Iraq on a false pretenses, was in the 21st century. And what about the USA invasion of Grenada and Panama (in the late 20th century), and bringing back to power the Shah of Iran in 1952 (also in the 20th century. So P L E A S E.

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