My refusal to believe ongoing Western media reports of “Russian aggression” makes me a “Kremlin troll”. My punishment for not towing the “party line” – simple, effective “shunning” by Western media – has not, however, diminished my ongoing commitment to seeing the other side.
Having previously investigated the Crimean reunification with Russia, this May I turned my attention to the birth of two new government formations in Eastern Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR). Americans only hear either what Kiev “reports”, or the US propaganda machine puts out – these are puppet regimes born of “Russian aggression” and forcibly kept in place by “occupation”. Not being a brave “war correspondent”, I admittedly undertook my journey with some trepidation – not from fear of “Russian aggression”, but the Kiev regime’s ongoing shelling of civilian targets.
I am eternally grateful to my newfound colleague Konstantin Dolgov for showing me the sad “Alley of Angels” – a deeply touching memorial to children killed to date by Kiev-regime forces. Further, my virtual contact with Patrick Lancaster, an American journalist who now resides there, and Alexander Sladkov, a Russian correspondent who largely lives there, but, more importantly, “run toward the sound of gunfire” have allowed me to counteract the information-war blockade by Western media.
As I approached the larger city of Donetsk (previously over 1 million residents, now much smaller due to the initial flood of refugees to Russia (the paradox of people fleeing into the arms of the “aggressor”), I feared I would see a city center damaged by Kiev shelling, and people cowed and deprived of the most basic needs. Contrary to Ukrainian “patriots” on Russian TV, I was relieved to find an active, bustling city, with a very charming downtown, and thrilled to see a populace that, far from being cowed, harbors a firm belief in a better future, one outside the Ukraine.
Despite Kiev’s total blockade, the city of Donetsk proper seems to have a reasonable assortment of goods and foodstuffs. Much of this seems to come from ever growing trade and cooperation with Russia, a bordering neighbor and largest trade partner of the “former”, pre-war Ukraine. In fact, while I was there, a conference on enhancing this cooperation took place, and due to Kiev’s economic blockade, the ruble has displaced the Ukrainian grivna. Western media will no doubt hold this up as further proof of “Russian aggression”.
My most important “resource” during my all too brief stay was Ekaterina Pavlenko, a young, local deputy in the DNR parliament. Ekaterina herself is certainly no “Russian aggressor” or “occupying force”. Quite the contrary, she is very typical of local residents whose largely Russian-heritage ancestors have lived on these lands for generations. Ekaterina, having previously engaged in “social” issues is not even a “typical politician”. As I became more acquainted with her, her eyes explained it all – they showed the unique combination of a burning desire to further the life of the new, independent republic and an underlying kindness and loving regard for those around her. Ekaterina most eloquently summed up the belief of the new republic – these are the ancestral lands of the actual residents, not some bargaining chip in a larger geopolitical conflict, or “subject” for Kiev domination. This is admittedly hard for the average American to understand given our very transient nature.
I quite accidentally ended up in Donetsk for their “Republic Day” – their 4th of July. As Ekaterina’s guest, I was invited, without any control or oversight whatsoever, to watch, film, and ultimately join in a massive, celebratory parade of literally tens of thousands representing all aspects of life and all regions of the DNR. Western media will be disappointed to learn there were no machine gun-toting, heavily- armed Russian occupation forces forcing people to participate. In fact, beyond the day of the parade, contrary to Kiev’s “little boy who cried wolf” shrieks of massive Russian invasions, there were no signs of any regular army Russian presence to be seen anywhere.
For my gullible fellow Americans who might say “they simply hid them from you”, I would simply ask how hides – according to Kiev – 10s of thousands of troops, vast support infrastructure, and heavy weaponry from prying satellite “eyes”, not to mention smart phones in an area the size of Connecticut. The only conclusions one can draw are either there is in fact no Russian dominance (the simplest and most accurate assessment), the Russians have invented startling new “stealth” technology for tanks and troops, or, assuming some Russian presence, the locals are truly grateful for the support and defense it provides. None of which are good for the West…
As I studied local maps, walked and rode public transport (3 rubles…about $.05), street names and numerous monuments spoke further not only of the majority Russian-heritage population whose ancestors lived here for centuries (in 1922, the fledgling Ukrainian Republic grew by 25% in size after Lenin “ceded” it the larger Russian “Novorossiya” – including all of the Donbass, Kharkov, and Odessa), but one which still honors and reveres those who gave their lives to defeat fascism. As is happening throughout the rest of the Ukraine, were Kiev able to somehow regain control, Russian-oriented names of streets would certainly be changed, and any and all monuments would be toppled – especially those relating to the Soviet victory over Hitler. In other words, Kiev’s so-called “decommunization” is clearly “derussification – a sad, largely unreported 21st century ethnic cleansing.
Since I was “self-funded”, I had to choose a more “thrifty” hotel than the superior “Donetsk Palace”. When I happened upon the hotel and went in, I found not simply a palace, but Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observer living quarters. Hard to blame these brave folks for preferring staying put in their rooms vs. doing their job of exposing the ongoing Kiev shelling of civilian targets.
While avoiding front-lines, I nonetheless hopped on a streetcar out to the main rail station shut down by Kiev shelling early on in the war – quite close to areas currently being shelled. As the car slowly but surely wound its way to the station, I looked around with apprehension, expecting riders to get off well before. Instead, I found folks of my own (mature) age traveling to the very end. After wandering around the now abandoned station and nearby modern shopping complex – still showing signs of shelling— I headed over to what initially appeared to be several smaller kiosks. I was shocked, however, to find these were simply the “front lines” of a huge market with all manner of goods and quite appetizing-looking locally grown produce. When I asked various vendors if they were not afraid to be this close to the front, the very typical Russian stoic nature emerged – “life goes on”, with a wistful, sad sigh of “of course, we wish they (Kiev) would leave us to live in peace and quiet.”
In summary, were the West to send unbiased, knowledgeable correspondents to the DNR, they would indeed find not Russian “occupation” and “aggression”, but Russian-heritage people determined to move ahead to a future based not on hatred and rejection of their Ukrainian “Slavic brothers”, but on positive, life-affirming values such as liberty, justice, and self-determination. Given that the US started off this way centuries ago, it is tragically ironic that today it supports Kiev-regimes efforts to rid itself of “undesirable” Russians.
Stephen Ebert is the American political analyst writing for Russian media.
Source: Oriental Review
One of the West’s top points in condemning Vladimir Putin’s “regime” since 2007 has been his alleged suppression of democratic institutions, including an assault on media freedom and imposition of government-directed propaganda. This week, the accusation was repeated in a resolution of the European Parliament calling for stronger counter-measures in defense of European values against “information warfare” from Moscow.
The charges — that Russian media are only an instrument of state propaganda directed at the domestic population to keep Russian citizens in line and at foreign audiences to sow dissent among Russia’s neighbors and within the European Union — are taken ...
The German occupation forces were those who have been the first to create and recognise a short-lived state’s independence of Ukraine in January 1918 during the time of their-own inspired and supported anti-Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917−1921. As reoccupied by the Bolshevik Red Army, the eastern and southern parts of the present-day territory of (a Greater) Ukraine joined in 1922 the USSR as a separate Soviet Socialist Republic (without Crimea). According to 1926 Soviet census of Crimea, the majority of its population were the Russians (382.645). The second largest ethnic group were the Tartars (179.094). Therefore, a Jew V. I. ...
More than 6,400 civilians have been killed and nearly 16,000 injured as result of criminal actions of Kiev regime during the conflict in Donbass, Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin said on Thursday. Also, more than 10,000 residential infrastructure facilities have been fully or partially destroyed and burnt. Since last April, more than 1 million Russian-speaking residents of Lugansk and Donetsk regions had to flee their homes, and more than 110,000 people having a refugee status have applied for the Russian citizenship. The war has been continuing.
Ukrainian capital being wrapped in smoke due to a spate of regional ...
Professor Vladislav B. Sotirović, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer of: “Middle East Studies” at the Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania; “Mediterranean Studies;” “Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Globalisation;” “Balkan Nationalism and Ethnic Conflicts”and “Europeanisation: Process and Results.”
Prof. Dr. Sotirović is a distinguished expert on the History of the Early Byzantine Empire, 330–846”, Comparative History of Central and South Eastern Europe and Ottoman History, History of Lithuania and Ukraine. He is well known abroad for his influential books and popular lectures about Lithuania, Russian Federation, the Balkans and Baltic Nations and the Multiculturalism.
Professor Sotirović has studied at the Central European Summer University, Budapest, ...
New terminal of the Simferopol international airport under construction, November 2016
Due to the international media’s continued claims about the «annexation of Crimea», it’s been difficult for the citizens of the US and Europe to make sense of the details of the peninsula’s recent history. Exactly three years ago, on March 16, 2014, the Crimeans were offered a choice: to rejoin Russia or to return to the constitution of 1992 that proclaimed Crimea a legal, democratic, secular state whose relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. That constitution was unilaterally abolished by Kiev on March 17, 1995, and here’s what’s surprising: no one ...
There was an interesting announcement recently that went almost entirely unnoticed in the Canadian media.
On June 17, Peter Szijjarto, foreign minister of Hungary’s centre-right government, made the startling declaration that his national security forces will erect a four-metre wall along the entire 175 kilometres of shared border with Serbia.
Szijjarto’s rationale for resorting to such a drastic measure results from a months-long flood of asylum seekers pouring into southern Hungary. While tens of thousands of these desperate illegal immigrants have been caught, detained and returned into Serbia, the vast majority have used the processing time for their asylum applications to simply ...
Former US President Jimmy Carter, in an interview with radio station “Voice of America”, said that the reunification of Russia and the Crimea was an inevitable event.
Carter also says he is pleased with Russia’s commitment to implement the Minsk agreement. He added that the Elders were also pleased with Russia’s allegiance to the Minsk agreement. “There’s not any doubt in our mind that the Russians genuinely want to see all the aspects of that concluded. I think that’s the only ballgame in town,” said Carter, “really as far as resolving the problems with Ukraine, is to get the Minsk agreement ...
Interview with historian Stephen Cohen, by Patrick L. Smith, published in Salon.com, April 17, 2015
Introduction by Patrick L. Smith: It is one thing to comment in a column as the Ukrainian crisis grinds on and Washington—senselessly, with no idea of what will come next—destroys relations with Moscow. It is quite another, as a long exchange with Stephen F. Cohen makes clear, to watch as an honorable career’s worth of scholarly truths are set aside in favor of unlawful subterfuge, a war fever not much short of Hearst’s and what Cohen ranks among the most extravagant expansion of a sphere of ...
Why the Gap In Military Superiority Is Closing?
China and Russia are still behind the U.S. militarily. But they are both showing surprising breakthroughs that – sometime down the road in the future – could threaten U.S. hegemony.
The Washington Times reported last month:
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday warned Russia and China are quickly closing the military technology gap with the U.S. as inconsistent military budgets and slower innovation threaten America’s lead in the military world.
“It’s evident that nations like Russia and China have been pursuing military modernization programs to close the technology gap with the United States,” he continued. “They’re ...
Exclusive: U.S. mainstream media sees itself as the definer of what’s true and what’s “propaganda,” but has gotten lost in a fog of self-delusion and is now the principal purveyor of “post-truth” news, writes Nicolas J S Davies.
For several months, Western officials and media outlets repeated thousands of times that there were between 250,000 and 300,000 civilians trapped under Syrian and Russian bombardment in East Aleppo. Western reports rarely mentioned the Syrian government’s estimate that there were only one-third that number of civilians in the rebel-controlled enclave – nor that its estimates were solidly based on what it had found in Homs and other ...
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.”
“When the CIA goes to church, it doesn’t go to pray.”
— South American aphorism
Let’s be clear. Syria is invading nobody. North Korea is attacking damn all. And Russia is threatening zilch. But on the eve of the apocalypse these nations are the ones being stoned. The sanctimonious are having a field day crucifying the leaders of these countries and stomping all over the humanity of their peoples.
In a godless universe the tormentors of Syria, Russia and North Korea are behaving as if ...
Abstract: This article investigates the Russian foreign politics at the region of the Balkan Peninsula after the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the time of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) World Order in relation to the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. The particular stresses are put on four main research topics: 1. The Pan-Slavism and Russia; 2. Relations between pro-Western and pro-Orthodox approaches of the Russian national interests on Russia’s domestic political scene; 3. Different attitudes towards the Balkans in Russia; and 4. Historical ties and future perspectives between Russia and the Serbs. A research ...
Syrian constitution is questionable
The Russian-proposed constitution for Syria is raising a storm in Media. Not only the opposition but the governmental circles are discussing it. Many forums are endlessly debating its 85-controversial articles. Some Syrians feel insulted by a charter authored by one outside power and approved by two others, Turkey and Iran.
The Islamists are furious, because the draft constitution scraps Article 3, which specifies Islam as the religion of the president of the republic. This is a long-standing article since 1920 which several Syrian leaders, including Hafez Al Assad, tried to change, with little luck. Arab nationalists are also ...
While the US claims recent sanctions targeting Russia are based on alleged Russian interference in last year’s US elections, a careful examination of US policy post-Cold War reveals a systematic campaign aimed at undermining Moscow, encircling Russia and attempting to overturn the current, prevailing political order there in favor of one dominated by US interests.
At each step, various excuses are concocted, mainly to mesh with current political narratives embedded within public perception at any given time. Currently, playing left and right-leaning Americans against one another regarding the 2016 election and still-unproven allegations that Russia played a hand at tipping the ...
Both before and after Crimea left Ukraine and joined Russia in a public referendum on 16 March 2014, the Gallup Organization polled Crimeans on behalf of the U.S. Government, and found them to be extremely pro-Russian and anti-American, and also anti-Ukrainian. (Neither poll was subsequently publicized, because the results of each were the opposite of what the sponsor had wished.) Both polls were done on behalf of the U.S. Government, in order to find Crimeans’ attitudes toward the United States and toward Russia, and also toward Ukraine, not only before but also after the planned U.S. coup in Ukraine, which occurred ...
I am a Lithuanian, but I leave abroad and I am not going back. At least now, at least until the Government does not pay attention to its people. According to some authoritative research institutes, during 2017 Lithuania population is again projected to decrease (by 45 677 people!) and reach 2 758 290 in the beginning of 2018. (http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/lithuania-population/). As of 1 January 2017, the population of Lithuania was estimated to be 2 803 967 people. This is a decrease of 1.63 % (46 433 people) compared to population of 2 850 400 the year before. In other words, our ...
Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, a little more than a year ago, in July 2014 were the focus of attention in Europe and North America, accused, without a shred of forensic evidence, of shooting down an unarmed civilian Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine. The Russians were deemed out to restore the Soviet Union with their agreement to the popular referendum of Crimean citizens to annex into the Russian Federation and not Ukraine. Western sanctions were being thrown at Russia by both Washington and the EU. People spoke of a new Cold War. Today the picture is changing, and profoundly. ...
The same arguments used to justify a western ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Kosovo in 1999 could be used to support a Russian intervention in Ukraine.
This article originally appeared at Irrussianality
Yesterday, I gave a talk on ‘The Folly of Military Intervention’ at McGill University. Afterwards, one of the students asked me a question about parallels between the wars in Kosovo in 1999 and Ukraine in 2014/15. As I answered, I found myself thinking about the scale of the humanitarian crises in both cases and what this means for supporters of so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’.
In 1999, NATO aircraft bombed Yugoslavia for three months. The aim, ...
Chances are, if a story about Russia appears on the cover of a major Western magazine, it’s not good news. Most likely, there’s been an international scandal, a breakout of geopolitical tensions, the resumption of Cold War hostilities, or some nefarious Russian plot to bring the entire free world to its knees.
Russophobia — or the unnatural fear of Russia — generally leads magazine editors to choose the most over-the-top images to convey Russia as a backwards, clumsy, non-Western and aggressively malevolent power. Unfortunately, that’s led to a few rules of thumb for anyone trying to create a magazine cover featuring Russia. You can think ...
On Which Principle Ukraine’s Borders Are Formed?
The Criminal Actions Of The Kiev Regime In East Ukraine
Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirović About The Situation In Ukraine
Who annexed the Crimean Peninsula?
On target: Ukraine could learn from Kosovo’s troubles
Jimmy Carter: Return of the Crimea to Russia was Inevitable
Interview With Historian Stephen Cohen On Ukraine
The 6 Reasons China And Russia Are Catching Up To The U.S. Military
The ‘Post-Truth’ Mainstream Media
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea
Russian Military Interventions Throughout the World
Russia’s Balkan Politics: From the Politics of Pan-Slavic Reciprocity of the Tsarist Russia to the “Realpolitic” of the Republic of Gazprom Russia
Draft Constitution of the Syrian Republic
Russian Sanctions Latest Betrayal of Post-Cold War Agreements
Crimea: Was It Seized by Russia, or Did Russia Block Its Seizure by the U.S.?
Will Lithuanian emigrants return back to Lithuania?
Putin Is Defeating More Than ISIS In Syria
“Responsibility To Protect” Was Not Valid In Kosovo And Isn’t Valid In Ukraine
Russophobia And The Dark Art Of Anti-Russian Magazine Covers