Putin: DNR will always get weapons, and we won't let them lose

Russian President Vladimir Putin says insurgent and terrorist groups in Ukraine’s east “will always get weapons,” including armored vehicles and artillery in response to questions of Russia’s material involvement the war against Ukraine.  He reiterated this position on the German channel ARD prior to the G20 Summit in Australia, days after NATO officials confirmed reports that the Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine was continuing full speed despite an agreed upon ceasefire.

The Russian president also stated he would not allow Ukraine to win the war, calling for “dialog” instead: “This points to the fact, that you want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there, all of their political foes and opponents. Is that what you want? We certainly don’t. And we won’t let it happen.”

Justifying his potion, the paranoid dictator expressed concerns that Ukraine would begin the “ethnic cleansing” (presumably) of Russians, and that the pro-Western government would become a “neo-Nazi state.”

RT compares Putin to JFK and the West…to Russia?

In a recent article on RT (aka Russia Today), the state-owned international network published an analysis on the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in it, a shocking comparison that likens Russian President Vladimir Putin to former US President John F. Kennedy, and the Western world to Cold War era Russia.

“It seems to me the curtain is being drawn closed again, only this time by the NATO nations and not Khrushchev. It’s as if our roles are reversed somehow. Vladimir Putin acting like JFK, and western leaders bent on some convoluted socialism.”

The comparison is naturally bizarre for two obvious reasons: JFK was an unapologetic liberal (while Putin is a staunch, if not radical conservative), and it’s only those among the conservative right who would ever raise the specter and threat of (presumably) Obama-brand socialism.

Butler on RT
Butler on RT

The head scratching quote was written by Phil Butler, editor-in-chief of Everything-PR.com and a regular ‘policy and public relations analyst’ for RT. The article in question was published in their “Op-Edge” section (which one can only assume is for op-eds…but, you know, edgier). For good measure, we should also point out that Mr. Butler is an MH17 truther.

The JFK comparison was not the only oddity put out by RT today, with Butler describing what can only be assumed as a continuation of his alternate bizarro reality, one where NATO expansion was designed to prevent a brain drain at gunpoint of western dissidents pining for greener pastures in Russia.

“If Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s erecting the Berlin Wall was to keep the best and brightest in the Soviet Union, then NATO militarism’s spread can easily be seen keeping citizens within the western fold. Let’s face it, it’s impossible to defect from the western alliance once your military is solidly encamped.”

Included are also a number factual missteps, such as the myth of aggressive NATO “expansion” (disproven), Reagan’s alleged broken promise not to all countries to join NATO (also disproven), and the following gem:

“Russia led by Putin owes nobody and seems ready to emerge as the world’s dominant economic force right along with China.”

While it’s refreshing to see RT paint Moscow as the villain for once, maybe waxing poetic on Putin has its logical limits.

In response to sanctions, Moscow goes nuclear

A new Russian PR campaign is threatening nukes in response to sanctions in a recent propaganda stunt.

Moscow’s government Public Relations Committee launched a T-shirt campaign today to put a positive, patriotic, spin on the global sanctions that have been levied on Russia’s economy and numerous officials. That spin, however, has been to playfully threaten nuclear war.

“Trendy answer – no sanctions!” – as the campaign is called – will run from September 23 to October 6, allowing Muscovites to trade in any clothing bearing foreign symbols or slogans for new “patriotic” swag.

Two of the three designs offered feature nuclear missile launchers with the slogans: “Sanctions? Don’t tell my Iskander” and “Topol’s aren’t afraid of sanctions.”

An ‘Iskander‘ is a mobile theater ballistic missile system with units in range of Poland and the Baltics, while the ‘Topol‘ is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching any city in the United States.

City organizers hope to “bring happiness” to at least 30,000 people, and will be touring the city in a bus in adorning imagery of the nuclear-payload on its mobile launcher.

“The purpose of the project, which was initiated by designer Anastasia Zadorina and civil society activist Ksenia Melnikova – to support our country, to demonstrate their patriotism and love for the motherland by being creative and fashionable: using T-shirts, which promises to be a hit this season,” said a PR Committee spokesperson.

The ongoing rounds of sanctions issued by the west have been in response for Russia’s ongoing and escalating military aggression in Ukraine: First in occupying the Ukrainian province of Crimea, then arming and fomenting terrorist groups in the country’s east, up to the more recent invasion of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions by Russia’s armed forces. Many in the Russian public, however, have failed to grasp why they are being punished by the international community for the state’s ongoing international crimes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07iamFiyMSY

Nuclear T-shirt campaign in Moscow

Nuclear T-shirt campaign in Moscow

Nuclear T-shirt campaign in Moscow

Nuclear T-shirt campaign in Moscow

Russian colonel Zhirinovsky threatens "total annihilation" of Baltics & Poland

Appearing on a talkshow on Russia’s Rossiya 24 network, Colonel Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), issued a series of threats towards the European Union’s easternmost states.

On the show, Zhirinovsky, who is known for his controversial statements, threatened and suggested launching pre-emptive strikes against the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as Poland. He justified the remarks by suggesting that Russia “cannot allow” peripheral nations’ missile defenses and air forces to be within striking distance of Russia, and that Russia should seek to destroy them ‘a half hour before they launch.’

The language used in the broadcast was especially inciteful, not only calling for the carpet bombing of the four countries, but their entire annihilation.

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“What will remain of the Baltics? Nothing will remain…in Poland, the Baltics, they are doomed. They’ll be wiped out.”

“Let the leaders of these dwarf states reconsider this. Eastern European states will place themselves under the threat of total annihilation, and only they will be to blame.”

“…we’ll have to teach them the lessons of May 1945.”

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Recall that Zhirinovsky has personally aided Russian insurgent groups in Luhansk, and his party has openly set up terrorist training camps in the embattled Luhansk region. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry launched criminal charges against him in July for financing these groups.

The LDPR is Russia’s fourth largest political party.

Russian Communist Party wants Ukrainians fighting in the east classified as "terrorists"

Russia’s Communist Party is calling for Russia to officially recognize Ukraine’s volunteer battalions as “terrorist organizations.” The statement, issued by two Communist MPs, specifically names the the paramilitary-political party Right Sector, and the Dnipro, Donbas, and Azov Battalions in their complaint.

Azov Battalion recruits
Azov Battalion recruits

The named volunteer units are some of the most notable formations fighting on Ukraine’s front lines in the east, and the government has seen considerable success in its Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) thanks to the initiative of volunteer special forces that have been made up largely of local eastern Ukrainians. While autonomous in command they are subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which also controls Ukraine’s National Guard. The battalions also coordinate with and train at National Guard bases.

The appeal was brought forth by Russian State Duma deputies Valery Rashkin, the Deputy Chairman of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, and Sergei Obukhov, its Secretary, who appealed to Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika to recognize and include the groups as both foreign and domestic “terrorist organizations.”

Obukhov believes that Ukrainian forces fighting Russian-sponsored terrorists and insurgents in the east must be recognized in turn by the Russian Federation as terrorist organizations themselves, and that the Russian Foreign Ministry should petition the UN to ban their funding at the international level.

“I am a supporter of the toughest measures for persons, organizations and even states representing a real threat to Russia’s security and our citizens. No sanctions, protest notes and wailing about the “aggressiveness” of our country should worry us and make us detour from our path,”  said Rashkin.

The move appears to be an attempt to mirror calls by US Senators to classify the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR) as a “foreign terrorist organization,” and expert opinion that Russia is acting as a state-sponsor of terrorism. A WhiteHouse.gov petition for the US to designate Russia as the latter collected over 105,000 signatures.

“In Russia, this is already being done – for example, through the identification and confiscation of assets of the sponsor terrorist tycoon [Ihor] Kolomoiskiy. But the Americans, in turn, discuss funding the Right Sector. Apparently, to “promote democracy” through punitive actions. If so, then the United States should in fact be defined as a state sponsor of terrorism,” he Rashkin continued.

Ukrainian Volunteer Corps
Ukrainian Volunteer Corps

The Communist statement also recalls that on March 3 a criminal case was brought against Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh for “public calls to extremist activity.” The incident in question occurred when Russia alleged that Yarosh had made a posting on the Russian social media site VK appealing to Chechen leader Doku Umarov for support – a statement which Right Sector says was the result of the account being hacked.

Yarosh, a commander of the Right Sector ‘Ukrainian Volunteer Corps’ battalion, was recently put on a Interpol’s wanted list at the request of Russian authorities.

Rashkin previously urged Russian special forces to “follow Mossad examples” and assassinate” Yarosh.

RT goes beyond the pale

Russia’s English-language propaganda network, RT (formerly Russia Today), known for its outlandish and over-the-top coverage of world events from a typically anti-Western perspective has reached new depths in the ongoing crusade to demonize Ukraine as it fuels and backs a proxy war in a pocket of the country’s east. While recent coverage of debunked and entirely fabricated claims has been gaining circulation in Russian-language media designed for internal consumption (including the now widely talked about ‘crucification’ hoax), RT’s latest foray is the first with such bloodied verve and disregard for competent journalism to reach an equivalent level for western audiences.

How does it reach this level? In the following 14 minute segment by RT, Ukraine is accused of the following: Murder, torture, crucifixions, beheadings, rape, ethnic cleansing, systematic genocide, instituting man-made famine, using Weapons of Mass Destruction and banned weapons, international conspiracies, and being both literally Hitler, and worse than Hitler. It’s the kitchen sink.

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The episode of the program called “The Truthseeker” aired with the title: “Genocide in Eastern Ukraine.” The purpose being to do everything it could to depict Ukraine’s war against well armed Russian militias as nothing more than unprovoked ethnic genocide against an entirely civilian, Russian population. It even led in with a short description of Rwanda – for context.

Quoting “investigative historian” Eric Zuesse, the channel calls Petro Poroshenko’s reformist government “the most far-right wing government on the face of the Earth” on a “one way killing spree.” As elections recently showed, less than 2% of Ukraine’s far-right garnered votes nationwide, significantly less than recent results in even the European Parliament.

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The host speaks liberally of “Kyiv’s mass daily bombing of unarmed civilians,” claiming a “Kyiv junta” uses “banned cluster bombs” designed to kill everyone in the surrounding area. He describes a child dying almost immediately in front of his mother’s eyes, a direct contradiction to the statement of the massive blast radius he led in with. He was only getting started.

[quote style=”boxed”]The Ukie army, being a direct successor to Hitlerite Wehrmacht, terribly hates Saur-Mogila, as it is a symbol of Russian valor in the Great Patriotic War. All the time their artillery and mortars lob shells directly at the memorial. But they cannot get any closer.

One day, the pravoseki [Right Sector militants] came there. NazGuard [National Guard], Azov-2 and Dnepr-2. And then they instilled European values in the village. They cut out [murdered] all the men. They would cut them alive. They would cut the arms, then the legs. Then the head.

They did not cut the women – they raped them. And now they continue [to rape them], during the pauses between battles. Doubtlessly, the various fanboys of Europe and the Maidanites will say that these are made-up fairy tales.

Take note, chocolate baron, truth is on our side, and, one day, we will come for you. Yes, you, personally![/quote]

If the above sounds like it was pulled directly from a troll’s rant from the comment margins, or some obscure hate-speech blog, that’s because it was. What was presented on air was a slightly doctored version of the above, published on June 25, with adjusted grammar and evocative narration. The source for the RT centerpiece was “Slavyangrad,” a blog dedicated to such fringe musings. (The name being a Russified portmanteau of Sloviansk & Stalingrad). The rest of the entry deals with the fight against “Ukie-stan,” and the threat of female Polish snipers.

3RT’s “Truthseeker” continues his disconnected rant with uncited reports of civilians being “systematically massacred” under “mainstream media silence.” The channel typically positions itself as ‘alternative’ news to the “mainstream,” and regular quotes on the ticker featured lines from Russian tabloid LifeNews, known for generating comical hoaxes.

This talk of systematic genocide was sure to mention the serial ‘murder’ of journalists to endure this silence, bringing up the recent controversial case of a Russian journalist who was, as it turns out, sent to be shot by Russia, sacrificed for media exposure and propaganda material. Footage of his death has now predictably been exploited.

8RT, as it is known, regularly parades Holocaust deniers, extreme fringe theorists, conspiracy nuts, and other unknown ‘specialists’ to provide bombastic statements on the air under the misleading guise of being accredited experts. In a shining example of just how unhinged the network could possibly be, an American “living in Eastern Ukraine” was brought on screen to give his testimony: “walking up to someone and disemboweling them, a child, that’s an act of heroism for Bandera [Ukraine Nazi followers].” The unknown man went on to talk of man-made famine, a particularly seditious remark to make given the Soviet Union’s man-made genocide of Ukrainians under Stalin. He claimed the Ukrainian government was “burning wheat fields,” bombing farms, and shooting ambulances. He estimated “several hundred thousand people will starve to death.” Who is this sickly man making these statements? RT doesn’t care.

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RT captions a video of children and quotes them as Nazis
RT captions a video of children and quotes them as Nazis

A good part of the segment was devoted to intentionally mistranslating the word “inhuman” when used by government officials (namely, PM Yatseniuk and President Poroshenko) to rather read as “subhumans,” and deliberately echo Mein Kampf. The Hitler-inspired connections did not end there, as literally every single Hitler-related trope was covered, from death squads, to concentration camps, to even the concept of “Lebensraum,”  living space. The wordsmith “Truthseeker” even connected every dot in succession: Ukrainian death squads will ethnically cleanse Russian ‘subhumans’ into concentration camps, and be given Lebensraum from the pro-Nazi government. There simply isn’t a way to fathom how something as inflammatory, egregious, and outright fabricated could be disseminated to audiences under the auspice of being legitimate news.

When the opponent of mainstream media is the extremist fringe – but given the funding, presentation, and exposure of any regular mainstream media outlet – it can only lead to journalistic gongshows such as this. RT has literally reached the point where the inmates are figuratively running the asylum. RT has gone beyond the pale.

Russian lawmaker asks to ban 100-ruble bill because of nude statue

In a letter to the Central Bank, Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) lawmaker Roman Khudyakov has called for the removal of the classical Greek statue of Apollo from the Russian 100-ruble bill, saying the statue showed “intimate parts of the body” and that the banknote should come with an “18+” rating, referencing the rating system used for films.

Russia recently enforced a ban on ‘indecent’ language in the arts.

The bill currently depicts the statue of Apollo riding a four-horse chariot from above the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. The statue was altered during restorations in 2011 which included covering Appolo’s penis with a fig leaf.

russia-rouble-naked-apollo.si
The controversial banknote

“You can see clearly that Apollo is naked, you can see his genitalia,” Khudyakov told Reuters Television.

Khudyakov says he was inspired after overhearing a conversation between two children gawking at the image: “The girl screamed at the boy: ‘Can you see that? I told you, there is a penis here!’ I was shocked, you know.” He then justified his request by saying “As bills of that denomination often get into the hands of children as pocket money, I strongly request your help in changing the design of the banknote or otherwise bringing it into accordance with current legislative regulations.”

“I submitted a parliamentary request and forwarded it directly to the head of the central bank asking for the banknote to be brought into line with the law protecting children and to remove this Apollo.”

Officials responsible for enforcing the recently-introduced law on protection of minors from harmful information declined to comment officially on Khudyakov’s grievance, but noted that money printing was outside the powers of the agency. The request to remove the statue from the bill comes admin a significant growth of religious and social conservatism in Russia, especially with regard to the Kremlin’s stance toward sexual relations and perceived