Monday, April 6, 2015

Five Moscow Lies Suggest What Putin is Likely to Do Next in Ukraine

Paul Goble


            Staunton, April 6 – Lies are not only a moral failing but ultimately a political one as well because they typically are unmasked and the liar held responsible and because, however cleverly designed, they quite often provide an indication directly or indirectly of where the liar plans to move because even those who lie cannot by their lies fail to reveal some deeper truths.


            Such has been the case with the Kremlin’s lies about Ukraine since the very beginning; such is the case with its lies about Ukraine now, as is shown by Dmitry Bukovsky in his new article “The Top 5 Propaganda Myths, Fakes and Stupidities of the Kremlin for the Week” (


            The five he points to are:


  1. Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov reaffirmed what is “not a new but the chief myth of the past week” by asserting that “Russian soldiers are not participating in the war in the Donbas,” even though there is ever more evidence for and agreement by leaders around the world that Russian troops are there.  The apparent reason for this repetition appears then not to cover an old lie but to muddy the waters again now that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that the World Cup matches should not be held in Russia in 2018 “as long as Russian forces are in Ukraine.”
  2. Citing a hitherto unknown Polish newspaper "Dumę i ambicję," the Russian Federal News Agency put out another “new-old ‘song’ of Kremlin propaganda,” the notion that Ukraine will soon be divided among Poland, Hungary and Romania.” Such a claim is doubly untrue: On the one hand, it points to something that the governments of those three countries have all said they do not plan on. And on the other, it distracts attention from the one country – Russia – that is engaged in operations to “divide up” Ukraine.
  3. The most significant innovation in Russian lies and mythologies last week, Bukovsky says, is the statement by Aleksandr Zakharchenko of  the so-called “Donetsk Peoples Republic” that from now on “all residents of the DNR will be considered as participants of military operations.”  That, of course, not only violates international law on war but also suggests that Moscow is preparing to engage in even more violent actions there and wants to set the stage or more precisely muddy the waters in advance of that.
  4. Former FSB officer Andrey Manoylo declared on Lifenews that “many Ukrainians are dissatisfied with the Kyiv authorities and are ready to take part in another Maidan.” He pointed to protests in Odessa as an indication of this because Poroshenko was hung in effigy by the demonstrators.  But does this mean that if demonstrators in Sochi did the same thing, Bukovsky asks, that would be “a clear sign that soon the Russian people would stage an uprising and come out on Red Square?”  Clearly, it doesn’t. But Manoylo’s remarks suggest that Moscow’s agents are going to try to provoke more such demonstrations in Ukrainian cities to try to give some support to their misrepresentations of the situation.
  5. Russian media have had a field day with reportage about the supposed booing of Ukrainian soldiers who had returned to Mykolayev from the front lines. Moscow outlets suggested this showed that Ukrainians opposed fighting pro-Russian units. But that is not what it showed at all: Instead, a review of the video of this incident shows that those doing the booing were elderly activists of the pro-Russian and soon to be banned Communist Party of Ukraine.  What this incident does suggest is that Moscow plans to use such cadres for its own purposes once again.

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