This week Ukraine marks 25 years of independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and American news channel CNN was only too willing to lend an audacious rewriting of history to sanitize current conflict in that country.
A TV newscast on Wednesday, featuring CNN anchorwoman Rosemary Church, ran the following headline: «Ukraine still fighting for independence from Moscow».
The channel then cut to a report by its correspondent Phil Black from eastern Ukraine purporting to show Kiev-controlled armed forces coming under heavy gun and artillery fire from «Russian-backed separatists». Viewers were told that the separatists launched their attacks against Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) two years ago in August 2014.
Between whistling bullets, the intrepid CNN reporter also informed viewers, without verification, that the Russian army was amassing troops on its side of the border with Ukraine.
This absurd reduction of history provides a much-needed makeover for the illegal Kiev regime that seized power in February 2014. It also sanitizes the involvement of Washington and the European Union in fomenting the coup against Ukraine’s then elected government. And, recklessly, this kind of US media distortion serves to embolden the Kiev regime to continue its criminal aggression against the people of eastern Ukraine, and to ignore its commitments to the February 2015 Minsk peace deal, as well as reportedly conduct acts of terrorism against Crimea.
In other words, this is a case study in how ostensibly independent Western media dutifully perform a propaganda function and are in effect complicit in war crimes.
Moreover, in the bigger perspective, the gross caricature of Russia as a villain with regard to Ukraine also augments the warmongering narrative of Moscow allegedly posing a threat to European security. This week saw US Vice President Joe Biden traveling through the NATO-member Baltic states promising them that American forces would leap to their defense if they were attacked by Russia. Biden’s inflammatory, defamatory rhetoric is fuel for the anti-Russian Baltic regimes to escalate their unhinged accusations of hostility from Russia.
This wholly deranged dynamic is largely permitted because major Western news channels such as CNN engage in outrageous falsification of past and present events. Or, as Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly said recently, such Western media indulge in «telling their audiences that white is black and black is white».
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, while running up the national flag this week marking 25 years of independence, vowed that the Kiev regime would one day retake Crimea.
Due to CNN’s corny coverage, the narrative that the Western public assimilates is that the «evil Soviet empire» [that is, its successor Russian Federation] has not forgiven Ukraine for declaring independence a quarter of a century ago, along with several other former Soviet Republics.
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is thus cosmetically and pleasingly presented as a continuation of «liberation» from «Moscow’s tyranny», in which the «freedom-loving» Ukrainians are heroically still battling for independence and for the desire to join the American-led «free world».
Nowhere in the schmaltzy CNN reportage was there mention of relevant historical background, such as how US planners like Zbigniew Brzezinski from the outset saw the newly established Ukraine in 1991 as a strategic spearhead with which to destabilize Russia. That is, Washington’s policy was far from detente. It was immediately hostile and expansionist with regard to Ukraine’s historic ties with Russia.
CNN did not mention either that the US State Department funneled $5 billion into Ukraine for the purpose of undermining fledgling governments there. We know of this clandestine subversion courtesy of bragging by State Department official Victoria Nuland.
The culmination of Washington’s «pro-democracy» operations was the violent overthrow of elected President Victor Yanukovych in February 2014, involving a mass sniper-shooting of police and protesters, conveniently used to blacken the Yanukovych government, again by dutiful Western media who never checked facts or followed up on later disclosure of a false flag atrocity, as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton let slip.
The US State Department, CIA and EU governments pulled off the coup with the instrumental deployment of fascist Ukrainian paramilitaries. The political regime that then seized power and later installed the oligarch Poroshenko as president owes its existence to fascist goon squads orchestrated by the CIA.
That the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join with their historic Russian motherland rather than being subjected to the caprice of Nazi-adulating fascists was their moral and legal prerogative. Crimea did so promptly in a referendum within weeks of the illegal seizure of power in Kiev, and yet, fantastically, Western governments and media invert reality by accusing Russia of «seizing» Crimea.
A similar revolt occurred in eastern Ukraine among the mainly ethnic Russian population there. They were simply unwilling to be ruled over by an illegally constituted west-Ukrainian cabal who extol their ancestors’ collaboration in Nazi extermination of millions of compatriots during the Second World War.
In CNN’s grotesque reduction of history this week, we are told that separatists from east Ukraine launched a war against Kiev-controlled forces. This is flagrant falsification by a supposedly reputable news channel. The verifiable record shows that CIA director John Brennan visited the new Kiev regime weeks before it launched the so-called «Anti-Terror Operation» in eastern Ukraine in August 2014.
Two years later, the Western-backed Kiev ATO proceeds unabated, albeit on a lower-intensity scale. Some 10,000 people have been killed and up to one million refugees displaced, many of them fleeing across the border into Russia.
Despite the Minsk ceasefire that was proclaimed in February 2015, the Kiev forces have not withdrawn heavy weaponry from the contact lines with separatist-declared Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics. Towns and villages within these areas continue to be shelled by the UAF and its associated neo-Nazi militias. And all with NATO training and equipment.
Of course, the Kiev regime claims that the separatists are the ones in breach of the ceasefire. The CNN report cited above tends to substantiate that claim, and that’s exactly why CNN shows itself to be a propagandist service, rather than a public information service.
Meanwhile, the supposedly neutral Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) sits ineffectually on its hands and mealy-mouths claims that «both sides» are violating the ceasefire. The fact is that civilian homes are being bombarded by Kiev’s forces in acts of criminal aggression. There is no excuse for such war crimes. If separatists fire back at the UAF it is with the reasonable aim to push back what are offensive forces targeting civilians.
Besides, a touchstone for which party is to blame for the ongoing conflict is this: why hasn’t the Kiev regime implemented commitments it signed up to in Minsk for political devolution in the separatist Donbass region? The Kiev regime has not moved one iota towards affording the people of Donbass any autonomy, as it is obligated to do under the terms of Minsk.
This is the same regime that is covertly engaging in «special operations» to sabotage civilian infrastructure in eastern Ukraine as it reportedly did again earlier this month on the Crimean Peninsula.
Russia’s President Putin is reportedly prepared to meet with German and French leaders, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China next week. Putin has indicated that Kiev’s Poroshenko is no longer welcome to the discussions owing to his regime’s evident disinterest in finding a political solution to end the conflict in Ukraine.
Merkel and Hollande, as with the whole of the EU, need to come to an unequivocal and realistic determination about the source of instability in Ukraine – and that is the regime that they indulged to install in the first place. The EU’s ludicrous sanctions against Russia over trumped-up claims only compounds the problem and panders to the Kiev regime’s reckless belligerence.
The Europeans need to form an independent and accurate assessment on Ukraine that repudiates the historically falsified nonsense peddled by Washington. Europe also needs to repudiate its own past complicity.
The lionizing of the Kiev regime as exemplified by CNN this week is not just a travesty of history that offends common intelligence. It is an incendiary incentive to the Kiev regime to escalate its rogue conduct. And it also plays into the wider nefarious narrative Washington is pushing for an all-out war with Russia. A war that would mean Europe’s third conflagration in a century. Are European leaders really that gullible to be led by illiterate Americanized history? Do they have the moral and intellectual fiber to renounce?