Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Finishing up August: More Good Intentions

Carrying the anti-Russian Narrative Forward (August 14)

 A half-page long article in the August 12 WSJ illustrates how the media is forced to distort every development in a given story in order to be consistent with the original narrative. Having claimed in 2014 that Russia had invaded Ukraine, and having repeated this ‘fact’ whenever any incident involving Ukraine and Russia takes place, the message must each time be massaged appropriately.  

English-language Russian on-line journals such as Russia Insider or The Durand report that Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has announced a campaign to retake the rebel eastern territories, now known as the Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, and also, that Russia foiled a terrorist attack on Crimea from Ukrainian territory, in which two of its soldiers died,  Meanwhile, RT reports that Russia's Black Sea Fleet command announced a three-day anti-sabotage drill to counter potential underwater attacks on naval installations in Crimea.

Dealing with these same issues, the WSJ headlines;  “Kiev Puts Military on Alert over Crimea”. claiming that: “Since annexing Crimea in 2014, Russia has fomented a pro-Russia rebellion in eastern Ukraine, aiming to keep the former Soviet republic off balance and stymie its overtures toward the West.” 

First of all the WSJ chronology is wrong: Novorossiya, as the two regions of Donetsk and Lugansk refer to themselves, was declared in April 2014, after the Crimean referendum had been held and recognized in March. The WSJ inversion not only fails to mention the referendum, it implies that Russia annexed Crimea by force, then encouraged a rebellion in the east, when in fact, the rebellion came first, led by local Russian-speaking inhabitants, and inspiring the referendum in Crimea.

Regarding the most recent news, supposedly the subject of the article, it doesn’t come until the next to last paragraph which reads: 

</blockquote>The head of the Ukraine’s National Police, Vadim Toyan, said his office has opened a criminal proceeding regarding the possible abduction of Yevhen Panov, a Ukrainian resident named by the FSB (Russian military intelligence) as the main perpetrator of one attempted attack (on Crimea).  Mr Panov was shown in handcuffs and with abrasions on his face on Russian television.

Pentagon officials said they have noticed Russia troop movements lately in the Crimea region, but it wasn’t clear as to whether they are reinforcements or units rotating in and out.</blockquote/> 

Note that the Ukrainian story implies that for some mysterious reason, one of its citizens was abducted by Russia, when in reality, the man was arrested for sabotage. 

By referring to troops rotating in and out, the WSJ implies that the Crimea had been newly occupied, when in fact, Russia’s continued possession of its Black Sea naval bases was part of the 1997 Partition Treaty between Russia and Ukraine that established two independent national fleets after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. At that time, Ukraine also agreed to lease major parts of its new bases in Sevastopol to the Russian Black Sea Fleet until 2017. 

Further according to Wikipedia: 

</blockquote>The Agreement between Ukraine and Russia on the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine, widely referred to as the Kharkiv Pact (Ukrainian: Харківський пакт)[1][2] or Kharkiv Accords (Russian: Харьковские соглашения),[3][4][5] was signed on 21 April 2010 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, whereby the Russian lease on naval facilities in Crimea was extended beyond 2017 until 2042, with an additional five-year renewal option in exchange for a multiyear discounted contract to provide Ukraine with Russian natural gas.[6] and ratified by the parliaments of the two countries on 27 April 2010. </blockquote/>

Following the February 2014 coup,  the Ukrainian government declared that the lease would not be extended and that the fleet would have to leave Sevastopol by 2017. Shortly after the March 2014 accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation,[7] Russia unilaterally terminated the treaty on 31 March 2014.[8][9] 

The WSJ devoted half a page to a simplified version of what is in fact a complicated history, continuing the narrative begun in 2014 of evil Russian machinations to prevent Ukraine, an independent country, from joining the European Union and eventually, NATO.  In the two and half years that have passed since the Ukraine coup, planned and financed by the US and headed State Department Assistant Secretary of Eastern Europe Victoria Nuland, NATO forces have moved into Poland and the Baltics, trying to provoke Russia after failing to get a rise over the Ukraine.  

</blockquote> WARSAW: NATO leaders agreed on Friday to deploy military forces to the Baltic states and eastern Poland for the first time and increase air and sea patrols to reassure allies who were once part of the Soviet bloc following Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.

The 28-nation Western defense alliance decided to move four battalions totaling 3,000 to 4,000 troops into northeastern Europe on a rotating basis to display its readiness to defend eastern members against any Russian aggression.</blockquote/>

Russia did not invade Ukraine anymore than it would think of invading the three Baltic States or Poland. Its focus is on Eurasia, where, along with China, it is building the real challenge to US global hegemony.

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