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.

Valentina Lisita's trolling inadvertently exposes more on 'Material Evidence' campaign in New York

In a series of typically vitriolic Tweets,  pro-Putin pianist and part time Twitter troll Valentina Lisitsa took time today to support the anti-Ukrainian photo exhibit in New York – Material Evidence – and help cover up its dirty handlers while also smearing Euromaidan Press. As readers may recall, in a previous article I uncovered the truth behind this exhibit and its connections to Russia’s extremist far-right, as well as its part in an anti-American content farm. The exhibit’s website’s association to propaganda efforts were extensively documented.

Ms. Lisitsa is partially correct, the domain ‘Material-Evidence.com’ shows its administrative contact to be the exhibit’s curator, Mr. Benjamin Hiller. The reason for this is simple and anyone can see in the WHOIS report: it was updated October 8, 2014. Ostensibly, this was to disassociate the involvement of any Ms. Zakharova. ‘She’ remains the registered owner for sites like Anti-Liberal.com and Grant-JT.com (the associated site of the far-right Journalistic Truth, working with Material Evidence and promoted through them).

The original owner
The original owner

The registrar for Material-Evidence.com remains REG.RU, a Russian service; its contact email the same associated with all of the other extremist or propaganda content farms.

We have since reached out to Mr. Hiller and he has informed us that in light of this news he is going to reevaluate his involvement in the project and whether our claims were true, and issue a statement regarding the situation. He reiterated that he does not support Russia’s far-right, and informed us that the Russian government involved itself in the Moscow exhibit:

“The Russian Government pressured the photographers not to show two images in Moscow as “it would shed bad light” on the “Pro-Russian Separatists” in Crimea. These images are shown in NY.”

He also took time to address the name issue, saying he was made the owner for legal reasons:

“We had to change the admin after the webpage developer used the name from this crazy Pro-Putin ballerina – we warned him that he gets sued for that if he keeps on going.”

We will continue to update the public on the Material Evidence campaign, and future statements from those involved. We will also continue to debunk any and all statements from Ms. Lisitsa in her campaign to discredit Euromaidan Press and journalists exposing the truth everywhere.

New York’s anti-Ukrainian art gallery, and the far-right Russian network behind it

Two weeks ago a number of buses and subways engaged in an advertising blitz for an art exhibit opening in New York City titled “Material Evidence.” The gallery claimed to tour the reality of the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. Recently, this exhibit was allegedly vandalized and its curator attacked – so let’s get to the bottom of this.

“Material Evidence”?

Material Evidence is a photojournalism art gallery documenting various aspects of the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, claiming to give “the whole reality about the countries involved in civil war” and posing the question: “who’s next?”

Prior to arriving in New York, the exhibit toured in Berlin and was promoted by Russian network RT, where organizers lashed out against the perils of democracy:

“In the last decades the international community has been observing, once again, a distortion of what is considered the ‘rules of democracy’, which are constantly broken by political dictatorships,” organizers of the exposition say. Democracy, they argue, should result in minimizing conflicts and confrontations. Instead, the drive for democracy is tainted in blood.

The messages on their official site do little to help viewers understand more. Below is an excerpt (errors preserved, emphasis added):

The evens of the last months in Ukraine have almost led to the dissolution of Ukraine as a sovereign country.
Bloody collisions on the «Maidan Independence Square» in Kiev resulted in an upsurge of nationalists-banderovtsy groups on the ground who where the main force behind the overthrow of the last president. This uprising could not be ignored by the Eastern parts of Ukraine, which are mostly populated with Russian-speaking people. The residents of the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine strongly oppose «benserovtsy» and «Westerner Oligarchs» who had come to power. Accordingly the Autonomous Republic of Crimea held a referendum on the separation from the Ukraine and its reunification with Russia.

Much less than the advertised ‘whole reality’, this message clearly tows strongly typical Russian propaganda and/or trolling rhetoric seen online: The debunked fiction of far-right nationalists taking over Kyiv, the east ‘opposing‘ the revolution, ‘Western(er)’ conspiracies, and pretending the widely condemned occupation of Crimea has a semblance of legitimacy. Simple enough.

Bus advertisement in New York
Bus advertisement in New York

Who is behind this?

While the curator of the NYC gallery states that the Material Evidence event was “backed by crowdfunding and private fundraising efforts,” RT’s coverage admits that Material Evidence is organized by Zhurnalistskaya Pravda (Journalistic Truth, JT), a Moscow-based newspaper with a heavy anti-Ukrainian slant (a recent article mockingly asks readers how many Kharkiv residents will survive until the spring).

Journalistic Truth is also advertising a number of cash prizes for journalism via the Material Evidence site totaling over $93,000. In other words, they are not on a shoestring ‘crowdsourced’ budget.

The current JT page is devoid of any information on the publication’s founders, but WHOIS info and a cache of the page from January shows it is owned by Fregat Publishing LLC. So, who runs the paper? Its Editor-in-Chief is Vladislav Shurigin, and Deputy Editor is Denis Tukmakov – both of whom work for Russia’s extremist / ultra-nationalist-communist newspaper Zavtra. In the case of Shurigin, he is also a member of the National-Bolshevik party (a Nazi-Communist hybrid), and a member of the notorious Izborsky Club, a group which advocates forming a “Eurasian Empire.”

Vladislav Shurigin at a Material Evidence exhibit in Moscow
Vladislav Shurigin at a Material Evidence exhibit in Moscow

Shurigin promotes his involvement in the Material Evidence on his blog and is referred to as its Project Manager in the Russian media.

For those unaware, Zavtra and his club are run by Alexander Prokhanov, a notorious anti-Semitic conspiracist who is now a regular at Russian government events.

An attack

Anti-Russia photo vandalized in the gallery

On October 3 the website Hyperallergic ran a report that the gallery had been sacked by three vandals, and Material Evidence’s curator, Benjamin Hiller, had been pepper sprayed. The article doesn’t state that the individuals were Ukrainians, but does say that “Pamphlets containing anti-Putin and neo-Nazi slogans were also distributed throughout the Ukraine-focused section.”

The story itself raises many questions. For one, the lead photo that was vandalized (as seen in the article and to the right) was actually one denouncing Russia, with a swastika emblazoned over top the Russian flag. This causes one to wonder why (presumably) pro-Ukrainian neo-Nazis would deface a swastika and an anti-Russian symbol.

Second, the victim, Hiller, alleges that two of the vandals approached him and asked if he spoke Russian – why? Were they Russian speaking New Yorkers themselves? Hiller’s account becomes less credible when his statement on crowdfunding and fundraising is taken into consideration.

Third, the “pamphlets.” In the photo provided by Hiller below neither has neo-Nazi slogans nor anti-Putin anything. These are also not pamphlets, but an assortment of graphics printed on standard 8×11 printer paper, possibly at random.

The graphic on the left does indeed contain neo-Nazi and neo-Pagan symbology, including the Wolfsangl used by the Azov Battalion, and a Nazi Totenkopf – below reads “freedom or death.” However, the print-out on the right commemorates the ‘Heavenly Hundred‘ who were killed in Kyiv, showing them with angel wings. An unusual combination.

Was the attack staged? When factoring in the the shady financial backers, vandalism of an anti-Russian photo exhibit, and unrelated printed pictures reported as neo-Nazi propaganda, there certainly leaves much to be questioned.

Is there any evidence that this group is shadier than the extremist backers already named? Well, let’s take a look.

Who else is involved in this?

Minoborony.com
Minoborony.com

Weeks ago, when ads for the gallery first started blasting New Yorkers, celebrity singer-activist Ruslana published a blog pointing out that the gallery’s site, Material-Evidence.com, was registered to Svetlana Zaharova – a famous ballerina who is also a Russian MP and member of Putin’s ruling party, United Russia. Although we cannot verify that the Svetlana Zaharova who is the listed owner of the website is the same Svetlana Zaharova who is a member of the Russian Presidential Council for Culture and Art, we felt this needed a bit more digging.

Doing just a quick search found that Ms. Zaharova is the administrative contact for a number of Russian websites, many of which are ostensibly anti-American. All of these blogs appear to be part of a content-farming, propaganda network, each consisting of hundreds of original (poorly written) articles with little traffic or comments.

GoodbyeUSA.com
GoodbyeUSA.com

For instance we have minoborony.com (“Ministry of Defense”), where America is the “No. 1 Terrorist.” The site claims to be owned and copyrighted by the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defense, but is clearly a fan site.

GoodbyeUSA.com follows the same rhetoric, and RonovoRossia.com is your typical Russian nationalist blog.

But it’s Trueman-lab.com that is the most shocking, dealing mostly in anti-American propaganda with racist anti-Mexican cartoons and articles thrown in the mix (as in this piece: “But I can hardly respect those who never worked or even planned to, by whom I mean about 40% of immigrants”). This is the only site of the network which is in English, however, it’s clear the content was not made by a native English-speaker, made obvious by the Russian-language use of «brackets» instead of quotation marks. One particularly cringeworthy video (with a computer generated voice over poorly written text) even alludes that the U.S. infected the Congo with Ebola as a biological weapon.

Finally, if we look up the registrant’s email address, it ends up there are a number of unfinished websites in the works, including: Anti-Liberal.com, AntiLiberalism.com, and TerraUSA.net.

Question to readers

The exhibit is already being exposed to students, with a group from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice visiting on October 1. Given the connections of the exhibit’s owners, their other anti-American projects, and those involved in their funding, should this be in New York?

Pro-Russian performers in Donetsk make Nazi salutes

Yesterday in Donetsk performers celebrating the 6 month anniversary of the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” took part in a Nazi march while giving a torrent of Hitler salutes. The performers mocked Ukrainians as “Nazis” and “fascists” in Donetsk’s main square, but did so under the flag of “New Russia” while German music played in the background.

Russians enacted a similar, but much more lavish performance during a national broadcast in occupied Sevastopol earlier in the summer.

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 propaganda movie being made about Russian propaganda

In a deliciously meta twist, a propaganda film about the propaganda (and real) war in Ukraine has already begun filming in Russia.

The film, (sarcastically?) titled “Truth,” will launch with the tagline: “Everyone has their own truth…”

Filming has nearly completed in Kaliningrad and focuses on Russian journalists “who for the sake of truthful reporting often sacrifice their lives.”

The storyline is said to involve the Azov Battalion, Berkut police, Donetsk militants, and American mercenaries for good measure. If promotional images for the flick are any indication, I predict the plot involves a fascist Kiev junta who may or may not abduct and murder RT truthseekers who were only trying to warn the world of the democratic Nazi menace.

Hopefully I didn’t ruin the ending.

RT journalist films how Russians bait Ukrainian army into returning fire on residential areas

Filming from an ‘secret location,’ an RT journalist lent a hand in documenting further how Russian forces intentionally fire from residential areas in order to provoke Ukrainian forces with the intent of drawing return fire on the area.

In the segment, the correspondent tells viewers that they are preparing to fire Grad rockets at nearby Ukrainian soldiers, which a Russian soldier, described as an “anti-government fighter,” says always hits its targets. In the video, a house is seen in the background of what appears to be a village.

The fire
RT journalist notices the fire they have started

The camera then pans to show that they have started a large fire on the property of a small home adjacent to their set-up.

Camerman zooms in on the handiwork before fleeing

They then, realizing the damage they have caused and knowing this may warrant return-fire from the nearby Ukrainian forces, promptly flee the area.

We’re going to get out of here because now it is dangerous […]  there is the fear that missiles will start coming in, so let’s get out of here.

The practice of firing from residential areas by Russians has been long documented in the war and has utility both in providing human shields, or in aiding the propaganda that Ukraine is intentionally firing on civilians for no particular reason. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also made public threats that Russian forces would use women and children as human shields.

‘Grad’ rocket launchers, which translates literally to “hail,” are a weapon which relies on scorching a given area rather than hitting specific targets. Ruling on quantity of strikes over quality, the volley of unguided rockets from a Grad have been described as a “definite psychological weapon.”

Watch This: Shocking Russian national broadcast invokes Nazism, terrorism, and the restoration of the Soviet Union

Today in Russia something scary happened. On live television, broadcast nationally, shot in occupied Crimea in the city of Sevastopol, a musical Olympic-esque ceremony and rock concert was performed at a motorcycle expo attempting to depict Ukraine and its revolution in ways only worst described by Russian state propaganda to date. Last year’s show depicted a lavished reenactment of the battle of Stalingrad, but this year was all about the battle for Ukraine. The performance, broadcast on the Rossiya-2 network, was the most egregious example to date of Russia’s attempts to instill fear in the population, glorify terrorists operating in the east, and ring in a new era of Soviet restoration. Russian media described it as “patriotic,” but many should recognize this as classic agitprop – agitation propaganda.

What exactly happened and is this an exaggeration? Let’s take a look.

(The full video can be seen here)

The piece begins with a number of masked drummers marching in torch wielding performers dressed in black. The drummers, who stand beside an ominous US dollar symbol, have various bloody special effects; what the performers do is much more shocking. As they begin to goose-step in formation, they jointly form a human swastika as if putting on a production of Springtime for Hitler from the musical The Producers. This is meant to represent Ukrainians in general and more specifically Right Sector, a far-right political party which garnered less than 1% of the national vote in the previous presidential elections and played a minor but visible role in the Euromaidan revolution. In Russia, Right Sector is regularly portrayed as an enormous menace that brought European “fascism” to Ukraine; this portrayal, of course, is entirely fictional.

Masked drummers play beside US dollar sign
Masked drummers play beside US dollar sign
Performers dressed in black form a human swastika
Performers dressed in black form a human swastika
Performers dressed in black form a human swastika
Performers dressed in black form a human swastika

As the thunder of the music dies down, the ‘Nazis’ form a rigid line in salute of a now risen banner bearing the Right Sector emblem, beneath a pyramid emblazoned with the US dollar mark ($) and what can presumably be the Eye of Providence, seen on the US one-dollar bill and Great Seal.

"Nazis" stand in salute of the Right Sector banner and US dollar
“Nazis” stand in salute of the Right Sector banner and US dollar

Giant, skeletal, mechanized hands then descend center stage as the ‘marionettes’ beneath begin to fight amongst themselves. The hands have a ring bearing a striped eagle surrounded by stars, meant obviously to represent the United States’ engineering of the revolution. A globe featuring a map of Ukraine is defaced with explosions and blood as it lifts to the sky.

Ring on hands bearing a US eagle
Ring on hands bearing a US eagle
"Ukraine"
“Ukraine”

As they fight, shield carrying riot police wearing blue-camouflage, meant to represent the notorious ‘Berkut‘ special forces, former president Yanukovych’s personal stormtroopers, are rushed in who are promptly attacked on sight. In Kyiv, the Berkut made headlines for mercilessly attacking innocent civilians and journalists with impunity, and later for firing on unarmed crowds, killing protesters – in Russia, they are often heroized as martyrs.

A frightened child looks on
A frightened child looks on

The Berkut troops are then set on fire and a rock band beings to play as lynchings begin to happen.

Burning Berkut troops
Burning Berkut troops
A lynching
A lynching
Band playing the song "Maidan"
Band playing the song “Maidan”

Following the musical number, the sound of bomb dropping fills the air as Armored Personnel Carriers with red-and-black flags are rolled in.

Military vehicles bearing the black and red flag of the WW2 Ukrainian Insurgent Army
Military vehicles bearing the black and red flag of the WW2 Ukrainian Insurgent Army

But fear not, as AK-47 wielding terrorists (“freedom fighters”?) storm in to the sound of a triumphant musical score as they plant flags of the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics in victory. These scenes here are eerily similar to Russian fantasy novels which have been released recently depicting the Russian destruction of Ukraine.

Terrorist firing a Kalashnikov
Terrorist firing a Kalashnikov
Terrorists flying "Donetsk Republic" terrorist group flag
Soldier flying “Donetsk Republic” terrorist group flag
Soldier flying "Lugansk Republic" terrorist group flag
Soldier flying “Lugansk Republic” terrorist group flag

 

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Long live the creation of the will of the people, the united, mighty Soviet Union![/quote]

This, magnificently, culminates with an orchestral and glorifying rendition of the Soviet national anthem. Many may confuse it for that of the Russian Federation, which uses an identical musical score, but the lyrics are the Soviet rendition: “Long live the creation of the will of the people, the united, mighty Soviet Union!” The camera then pans to a slightly altered Soviet coat of arms as a salvo of fireworks explode overhead – however –  gone are the iconic hammer and sickle of the Communist regime, and in its place is the imperial eagle of the Russian Empire (now used by Russia). This iconic fusing of the USSR and modern Russian Federation only lead credence to the longstanding belief that that Russian president Vladimir Putin is intent on rewinding the clock and restoring the Soviet Union.

The new coat of arms of Russia?
The new coat of arms of Russia?
Fireworks compliment the Soviet anthem
Fireworks compliment the Soviet anthem
A triumphant finale
A triumphant finale

Imagine if a mass performance in Germany performed the national anthem of the Third Reich. Imagine if this took place in any other country depicting another like this. Period. Scary, isn’t it?

Of course, following this display of Cirque du Jingoism, President Putin’s name was announced to thunderous applause by Alexander “the Surgeon” Zaldostanov, leader of Russia’s equivalent of the Hell’s Angels – a passing of the torch both fitting and bizarre. 

What do you think of this performance? Leave a comment below.

The warped world of anti-Ukrainian Russian fantasy novels

The past year has yielded considerable rhetoric and propaganda from Russia towards Ukraine, particularly in politics. While the two nations have generally being amiable if not friendly in their post-Soviet history, Ukrainophobia has risen to the level of bloodlust, with recent polls suggesting three quarters of Russian citizens would favor going on an offensive war against Ukraine.

A byproduct of this hatred is the novel series Battlefield Ukraine by Gleb Bobrov which can only be described as Ukrainophobic smut. Set in a dystopian future very much foreshadowing the very fantasy depicted on Russian propaganda networks today, Bobrov’s books, which appear to be Russia’s answer to The Turner Diaries, both predate the current crisis (the first written in 2008) and have flourished under it (with new releases being hammered out). The first book in the series of paperbacks (“Ukraine in Flames”), which are typically between 300–500 pages each, portrays a guerrilla civil war that breaks out when NATO attempts to pacify a separatist eastern Ukraine resisting the ‘Russophobic policies’ of the central government.

Other entries in the series include:

  • Ukraine in Blood: Bandera Genocide
  • On the Ruins of Ukraine: 2017
  • Battleground Sevastopol – Hero City vs. NATO
  • Ukrainian Hell: This is Our War!
  • Battleground Ukraine – Broken Trident
  • Ukrainian Front: Red Star over the Maidan

‘Bandera Genocide’ is about the “Kiev Junta” who “on the orders of their American masters, unleash a genocide against the Russian people.” With the ‘Nazi punishers’ unable to defeat what he calls ‘the militias’ (presumably, Russian backed terrorists), they call in the U.S. and NATO to intervene – and, naturally, ‘only Russia alone can stop the Bandera genocide.’

Gleb Bobrov

The artwork on the series is of particular note, with some showing terrorists killing Ukrainian soldiers (illustrated with traditional Ukrainian scalp-lock, khokhol, which is also a pejorative ethnically-charged slur used by Russians towards Ukrainians). Others show Russian soldiers executing protesters on Kyiv’s Maidan, or Donetsk Republic tanks crushing cars with Ukrainian guerrilla forces inside, seen with neo-Nazi armbands.

Other titles deal with Europe provoking riots in Russia to burn down Moscow, which is incidentally invaded by Ukrainians (described as a plague of “possessed rednecks”). Additionally, the U.S. also attacks Crimea, “Little Russia” is returned to Russia from ‘Russophobes’, and ‘Banderas’ wipe out entire cities.

A sequel to the bestselling Ukrainian Front, the Kiev junta is banned! A futuristic thriller about the civil war in Ukraine. The southeast has risen in a bloody struggle against the Bandera punitive operation and NATO occupation – but Russians do not surrender!

veritable Tom Clancy, Bobrov’s books are described by the publisher as “more than just a fantasy” that only a ‘veteran who has known war firsthand’ could write, “so powerfully and reliably” that you will be ‘completely immersed in the bloody nightmare to come.”

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.

7

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.

1

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.

5

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.