The Ukrainian Crisis: Analysing Propaganda in the Mainstream Media

Posted: August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

This entry is a back-up copy of my Facebook post that I originally made on 28.06.2015. For better user experience, please read, like and/or comment the original post on FB.

Okay, people, this is going to be one of the longest and most important FB posts I’ve ever written.

I feel the need to talk about an ongoing event that is among the most misrepresented topics in the Western political and media discourse – the Ukrainian Crisis. This topic is of high importance, as its escalation may lead to WW3 and then straight to a Nuclear Apocalypse, which, obviously, isn’t going to benefit the majority of people on planet Earth. I believe that people generally should be well-informed and have balanced views on such issues, as the political decisions usually rest on public support. It’s within your responsibility too to prevent bad, misguided political decisions from being made.

Now, regarding the Crisis itself, the coverage of those events by the Western mainstream media to date has been done in a near-Orwellian style, with, so called, political pundits having discussions on-air, during which they struggle to come to consensus on whether Putin is an irrational maniac or a cunning evil genius with world domination ambitions. The general discourse is focused on condemning “Russian aggression” and “Russian behaviour in Ukraine”, accusing it of military invasion, destabilising the region, among other thing. Anyone who dares to disagree is labeled a “Putin’s apologist”. The official Russian viewpoint is labeled “Russian propaganda”, and everyone who considers it (or merely disagrees with the Western mainstream media narrative) becomes “brainwashed by Putin’s lies”.

It’s particularly disturbing that this narrative isn’t debated against within the mainstream media in any Western country (with the exception of Germany, perhaps). It saddens me deeply. I will try my best to explain my understanding of the Crisis. I will support my statements with links to materials that will include relevant articles, raw video-footage, as well as some official documentation.

First, let’s take a look back, just to refresh the memory, and see how it all began.

As many of you remember, the US-backed “Euromaidan” coup occurred in Kiev in late February 2014. The democratically elected president Yankovich was violently ousted and had to flee the country. People with the support from the West-Ukrainian establishment came to power. With many of them holding strong nationalist and blatantly anti-Russian views, they initiated a couple of controversial legislations, including the infamous abolition of the law that allowed Russian as an official language (a decent priority for a government that just came to power; way more important than the state of national economy and other boring things):

It wasn’t only that, of course. Many of those who came to power in Kiev were just russophobic in general, with some of them being openly neo-nazi (I will return to this point a bit later).

Evidently, such rhetoric didn’t impress people in the South-Eastern parts of Ukraine, the dominant majority of which are ethnically, linguistically and culturally Russian (especially given that it was an unconstitutional, undemocratic and violent co op; people in the South-East were opposing it from the start). A number of anti-Kiev/pro-Russia protests were carried across the region, with people demanding federalisation (predominantly, they demanded some autonomy through decentralisation from the Kiev government). Here is the footage of protests that occurred in Donetsk, Lugansk and Odessa (the Western mainstream media was very reluctant to report on these):

There were also a couple of reported incidents when protesters were taking over local administrative building by force. In order to be fair, it has to be pointed out that they were using the exact same methods employed by the pro-Euromaindan groups a few months earlier (when they were occupying city administrations in Western provinces and, later, storming administrative buildings in Kiev, with weapons, wearing masks, and everything).

What was suppose to happen in such situation? Well, ideally, the new Kiev government should have set a dialog with the people in the South Eastern provinces, to discuss possible solutions, try to find ways to reach a compromise, all that stuff that governments that call themselves democratic do. What did Kiev do? Well, they sent in tanks, helicopters and armed vehicles to repress the people:

Initially, the military campaign (labeled as “Anti-Terrorist Operation” by Kiev authorities) suffered a massive fail, due to soldiers arriving on the sites and seeing just ordinary people, whom they couldn’t shoot, so they didn’t know what to do. It was later, when battalions formed from ultra-nationalist got involved, that’s when the blood got spilled. For instance, here is video-footage of Dnepr battalion repressing a referendum in the town of Krasnoarmeysk, killing at least one civilian in the process:

Here is another instance of Kiev military shooting at the crowd and killing civilians (filmed in Mariupol on the 2014 Victory Day):

That’s when sh*t hit the fan, forcing people to take weapons and stand up for themselves. Note, those were Kiev soldiers repressing locals’ political will by force (that’s a crime that calls for a tribunal by itself), not “pro-Russian rebels” or “Putin’s thugs” advancing towards Kiev and killing Ukrainians on the way, let along mythical “Russian army invading Ukraine”, as mainstream media often tries to portray the situation.

Also, many people argue (and I tend to agree with them) that the Odessa Massacre that occurred on 02.05.2014, during which neo-nazi burned nearly 50 people alive, served as the point of non-return:

And here is the footage that shows pro-Maidan activists making Molotov cocktails that were used to set the building on fire:

Either way, it’s a civil war, ignited by the US-backed Kiev’s aggression towards its (former?) Eastern provinces.

Interestingly, the U. S. officials knew that the situation may develop into a civil war way back in 2008, as revealed by now leaked documents. A confidential memo sent to the Joint Chief of Staff by William J. Burns (he used to be a U. S. ambassador to Russia) said the following (published by Wikileaks; dated 01.02.2008):
Ukraine and Georgia’s NATO aspirations not only touch a raw nerve in Russia, they engender serious concerns about the consequences for stability in the region [!]. Not only does Russia perceive encirclement, and efforts to undermine Russia’s influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests. Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence [!!!] or at worst, civil war. In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face.

Here is the link to the leaked memo:

Again, I want to stress your attention at this particular moment. The U. S. actually knew that if “pro-Western” course is enforced by/on Kiev, that may lead to INTERNAL regional destabilisation and, at worst, a civil war (that’s essentially what we’ve been observing happening there for over a year now). They knew about such possibility, yet they purposefully supported (both politically and financially) the Euromaidan movement (and all the neo-nazi radicals who stuck to it) that, consequently, overthrew the democratically elected president and then waged repressive military campaign against people who had a different opinion. What the hell does Russia (or Putin) have to do with it?

As for the “Russian invasion of Ukraine” accusations, it’s been more than a year since those claims began to appear, and still there is no proper evidence in support of this. No satellite data (it would have been abundant if the accusations were true; NATO and U. S. have been registering all the slightest moves made by the Russian military formations within the Russian territory, yet, no proper data of them crossing the border), no official video documentation, no verifiable video-footage made by journalists and/or locals (everyone has cell phones with cameras nowadays, and the Internet access is widespread in those regions). Also, don’t forget all the international journalists and observers (e. g. OSCE) who are being there constantly.

I mean, just think about it. Remember when Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen a couple of months ago? Remember the amount of data it generated? Remember the Israeli forces moving into Gaza last year on 17.07.2014, and the uproar it caused instantly? A better example, if you actually want to know what Russian military intervention looks like, go back to 2008 and examine the Georgian conflict, when president Saakachvili attacked Tskhinvali and the Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, so Russia had to retaliate (by the way, that conflict is of special significance because it wasn’t covered univocally in the Western mainstream media back then; the American media was forcing the usuall “Russian aggression” narrative, while media outlets like BBC were more neutral in their coverage; that’s because the conflict was solely within the interests of the Republicans in the U. S., as they wanted to use it for John McCain’s presidential campaign; it didn’t go as planned, because they didn’t expect Russia to retaliate properly). By the way, here’s a famous example of how Fox News failed live while discussing the 2008 conflict:

The only things that have actually been properly documented moving from Russia to the region are the numerous humanitarian aid convoys (they are being checked by the OSCE):

Also, if the tale of Russian invasion of Ukraine is true, then why doesn’t Kiev also fight it in Crimea? Well, I hope the answer is obvious: that’s because they know that if they go to Crimea, they will actually encounter the Russian troops…

And, let’s be serious here, if Russian troops were really to intervene in Eastern Ukraine/Novorossia, they would have done it fast, as with the Georgian conflict, with many tanks, armoured and support vehicles moving through (with combined personnel of multiple thousands, all crossing the border at once), they would have used air support, with jets and helicopters flying over the region. That would be impossible to hide. And there would be no need to. The Crisis would be over in a couple of days time, in such case (don’t want to put anyone down here, but the Russian military forces objectively have more troops, they are better equipped and have a couple of newer thing in the arsenal).

Here is a good article that elaborates the inadequacy of the “Russia invaded Ukraine” BS/narrative well:

Now, put yourself in the shoes of a chief editor that works for some big mainstream media outlet. How would you go about keeping the narrative in the absence of any proper evidence for months? Well, the BBC made an attempt by coming up with an article that explains the invisibility of Russian army by a military doctrine the BBC editorial named “Maskirovka”:
“Maskirovka” is an actual Russian word for disguise, but I’ve never heard of such military doctrine, there is no article on it in the Russian language Wikipedia; there is one, however, in the English Wikipedia, but, if you go to the edits history, you’ll see that the majority of it was written in January-February 2015, when the BBC article was published; the BBC article itself is absurd; it’s like the author took a couple of names and dates from the history and began juggling them wildly, making bizarre extrapolations that have no correspondence to reality whatsoever.
The CNN weren’t that sophisticated, apparently, so they decided to just report that there are mobile crematoriums in Eastern Ukraine that Russians use to burn their dead soldiers to hide the evidence:
This story was picked up by numerous other newspapers and media outlets (such as the Business Insider, which has turned into an info-dump, publishing the most bizarre junk “journalists” come up with about the Ukrainian Crisis and Russia). I feel sorry for these “journalists” who have to resort to coming up with these nonsense and then reporting it. I wonder if they have to take any recreational drugs to boost their creativity in the process. Seems like it.

As for the reports of spotting Russian military equipment in the region – those are among the most facile arguments you can come up with. Ukraine is a former Soviet state, and it uses the same weaponry systems as Russians do (with the exception that Russians have been able to implement a couple of new improvements since 1991; and a couple of new models too, such the Armata tank). There are stockpiles of Soviet military gear all over the Ukrainian territory, because, back in the late-1980s and the early 1990s, following the Warsaw Pact dissolution, when all the Soviet military bases were drawn back home from East Germany and East-European countries, a huge amount of weaponry systems condensed at the periphery of the USSR (and then it just stayed there, because Russian politicians were too busy privatising state property during the 1990s and, thus, didn’t have time to attend to this issue). I mean, it’s such a facile argument that appeals to pure ignorance. “Aaahhh!!! A Russian T-80 tank is spotted in rebellious provinces! That proves that Russia supplies them with lethal aid! RUSSIAN AGGRESSION!!!1111”. Following that logic, Putin must also supply Kiev, because 95% of everything they use is of Soviet design too.

Now, to the issue of Russian citizens fighting among rebel forces in the region. Yes, there are Russian citizens who are fighting there. Nobody is denying that. But to use it as a proof of Russia destabilising Ukraine and fuelling the conflict is, again, facile. Yes, there are people from Russian participating in the conflict, but so are the mercenaries and volunteers from Poland, Germany, Serbia, Spain, Belarus, and the US, and they can be seen fighting on both sides:,Polish-volunteer-dies-fighting-rebels-in-Ukraine
… and so on.

So, does it mean that all these countries, whose citizens fight in Eastern Ukraine/Novorossia, both with and against the rebels, have invaded Ukraine or otherwise destabilise the region? Unlikely.

The fact that there are more Russian citizens than citizens of any other country among the fighters is easily explained by the deep cultural ties between Ukraine (particularly its Eastern parts) and Russia. Hell, it used to be one country some mere 24 years ago, with no borders and people were moving back and forth easily. Half of all Russian families have relatives living in Ukraine, so, on social levels, Russians are deeply concerned about the Crisis, with the majority seeing the current Kiev government as an enemy, and many individuals are driven enough to help the rebels, with some even travelling there and joining their ranks.

I do believe that Russia might have sent in some covert operatives into the region, although I have no proof (it’s just that it would be strange if the Russian government wouldn’t try to somehow regulate the conflict that is happening right at its borders), but would that make Putin/Russia bad? Hardly so, given that it wasn’t Putin who initiated the Crisis (I think I’ve already covered this point extensively in this post).

But are there any external forces that fuel the Crisis? Yes, there are. The U. S. and NATO are sending the military aid to the Kiev forces and are doing so officially:

They also train the Kiev soldiers (the Canadian government does so as well):

So, let’s get it clear, the Western powers are actually doing what they are accusing Russia of, i. e. providing military aid and training for one of the sides in the conflict. They are doing so officially, yet, they accuse Russia of destabilising the regional situation, using it as a pretext for economic sanctions. Doesn’t that concern people in the West? Or is it just that the majority of people have no time nor analytical skills to see the blatant double standards and the dichotomy employed by the West, both diplomatically and in the mainstream media?

Well, one might argue that the West has the right to do so, as it supports the official government, and not some rebels/separatists. To respond to this, I would like to remind you that the current Kiev government was established as a result of violent, UNCONSTITUTIONAL co op, which was financed and diplomatically supported by the U. S. Essentially, it’s a puppet government that was violently installed by the West:
Why should the Eastern regions comply to it?

“But wait!” you say, “Let’s ask what Ukrainians themselves think about the Crisis. It’s always essential to know what people who actually live in the country think of what is going on, right?”. Right. But before asking such questions, you should decide which Ukrainians to include in the survey. Western Ukrainians? Ukrainians from Kiev? Maybe people who live in the Eastern provinces?

Well, Crimea was once a part of Ukraine. The people there have already expressed their position at a referendum in March 2014. The resent surveys done by three independent Western organisations confirmed that way over 90% of Crimeans are happy living as a part of Russia and do not regret their choice:

The people of Donetsk and Lugansk regions are saying that they are being bombed and shelled by the Kiev army:

There are many videos of East-Ukranian/Novorossia residents saying what they think is happening. They are all over YouTube. I can post more in the comments if you want me to (it’s just that there are way too many links in this post already). Generally, I would recommend checking Graham Phillips’ YouTube channel. He is a British freelance journalist who has been working in the conflict zone since the very beginning. He has been attacked multiple times by his colleagues in the Western mainstream media, with allegations that he is a “Russian propagandist” being made. He is strongly pro-Russian, indeed. But the special value of his work is that he uploads raw footage online (just adding English subtitles to it). He also interviews random people on the streets, from time to time. So, definitely worth checking (lots of material there that the Western mainstream media won’t show you):

Now, what about the other Ukrainians? Well, yes, if you’re going to ask any Ukrainian who doesn’t live in Donbass, the chances are that they are going to blame Russia and Putin for all the horror that has been happening there. Why? Well, let’s talk about the Kiev controlled media…

He is one example of how the Ukrainian media lied (in an Orwellian style), and how these lies were picked up by European politicians and referenced at a UN assembly (I dare you to watch it):

Horrifying, isn’t it?
Well, there is more. Such lies and propaganda are being told by the Kiev media on the daily basis. Literally. The Western mainstream media likes to talk about Russian media faking stuff (yet, they always use that one example of the “crucified boy” story), yet they never mention daily fabrications done by the Ukrainian media.
There is a guy named Anatoly Sharij, he is a Ukrainian journalist in exile. He now lives in Europe and harshly criticises the current Kiev government, debunking their fakes. He uploads short videos to his YouTube channel regularly, showing where and how Kiev media outlets lie to their audience. 3-5 new uploads are made daily! Recently, he began putting English subtitles to some of his videos. So, check it out (it’s truly horrifying to see what Kiev media is doing to their people):
Here are some examples of his mini-investigations (don’t forget to turn the subs on):
A Ukrainian TV channel steals video footage uploaded by a Russian volunteer, video footage that shows the results of Kiev authorities, cuts and edits it and then presents it as a “proof” of the rebels committing those atrocities:

A Ukrainian TV channel steals a video report on “anti-war” meeting in Donetsk (filmed by Graham Phillips), edits it, cuts out the bits where citizens accuse Kiev forces of shelling, and then reports the event, making it look like the people are protesting against rebells’ actions:

A Ukrainian TV channel completely distorts information and fabricates negative stories about Russia:

Kiev news websites report a fake story about a rebel commander being killed:

A Ukrainian TV channel spills dirt on Crimean prosecutor by using photoshopped pictures:

Ukrainian news websites glorify Ukrainian airforce by stealing video of Russian jets:

The Ukrainian Security Service lied about the “Russian BUK system” involved in the MH17 tragedy, publishing its photos on their official web-site. The photos turned out to be of a BUK system used by the Kiev forces:

Again, these fake reports and propaganda are being fed to people daily, from all Kiev channels and online news services. It’s like an alternative reality that is being created by the Kiev media and their blogosphere. It’s important to note that a significant portion of such propaganda is aimed at the emotional level of perception, making people feel either sad or angry, to the point when a person’s analytical skills become switched off. I believe that such propaganda, if fed for months non-stop, can stress people to burnout, so there is a risk of becoming brainwashed down to psychosis.
And the scariest thing is that there is no alternative point of view in the Kiev media. All the Russian TV channels became banned straight after the co op (that was one of the first initiatives by the new government), journalists, writers and politicians who voice their criticism towards the government nowadays have bad things happening to them. In April, there were reports of at least 10 opposition figures dying in Ukraine this year alone (including two journalists, Kalashnikov and Buzyna, who were shot dead within a 24-hour period):
The numbers might have increased since then.
By the way, here is the translation of an official statement made by Buzyna about the Kiev media and on why he left his post as a chief-editor in a mainstream newspaper (his opinion cost him his life):

There have also been stories about newspapers and news agencies that didn’t support the Euromaidan movement being forcefully shut down right after the coup. I can’t remember the details off the top of my head now, but I might try to specify the info, if you want me to.
The Western mainstream media, of course, isn’t concerned about that. In fact, BBC and CNN often just rewrite the official Kiev press releases (yet, they treat all the information that comes out of Russia as propaganda).

But it’s not only the Kiev media that is guilty of such misinformation. The Western mainstream media has also been caught multiple times producing Orwellian style fakes. For example, here is MSNBC being caught editing video footage from the conflict zone, misinterpreting it by completely turning the meaning upside-down:

Or here is another example. The Daily Telegraph caught reporting the presence of the Russian army in Ukraine with a video that actually shows Kiev forces:
There are more examples like these out there. These fakes have been appearing in the media systematically since the very beginning of the Crisis.

And it’s not only the media outlets that do that. High ranking officials have been caught using fakes to “proof” Russian military presence in Ukraine too:

Apart from blatant fakes, there is also just a general tendency in the Western mainstream media to morbidly misinterpret the information. Sometimes it gets really, really low:

The lies and misinformation are spread quickly and systematically. Here is a simple demonstration of how media corporations use search engine indexing algorithms to spread and amplify certain stories on the Internet:

Ask yourself: if the evidence of Russian invasion of Ukraine is so abundant, as the media claims, then why the hell do they keep fabricating these stories and publishing fakes?

Another side of the Western mainstream media manipulation is omission of facts. The mainstream media never reports on Kiev forces shelling civilian areas (although there is abundance of video materials on this all over the Internet). You wouldn’t be able to find reports on atrocities committed by neo-nazi battalions in the mainstream media.
CNN, BBC, ABC, etc. will never show you this (just give this link to anyone who treats the info about nazis in Ukraine as “Putin’s propaganda”):

By the way, a quick point about neo-nazis. You can find certain marginalised ultra-nationalist groups in many places all around the globe. There are Hitler worshipers and sympathisers in Germany, the U. S., the UK, and in many other countries. It’s okay to allow a few imbeciles to get swastika tattoos and talk about white supremacy for the sake of freedom of speech, freedom of political expression, and such. But it becomes truly messed up when these imbeciles get to have their own military units (that don’t correspond to the Ministry of Defence), with their representatives holding high positions in the government, allowing their ideologies to spread and giving WWII nazi collaborators a national hero status.
Coupled with constant brainwashing by the media, it can lead to mass-psychosis:

There is an additional level to the mass hysteria that was purposefully brought upon the nation of Ukraine, and it concerns their collective identity. There is one interesting piece on the subject to which I will provide a link in the comment section (it’s a link to a FB post; FB links seem to affect posts’ shareability within the network, so I’ll just post it in the comments).


Let’s do a short summary.
It was the West that sponsored the violent, unconstitutional coup in Ukraine’s capital in February 2014. It was the new, radicalised government that suppressed the dissent at home and then refused to talk with the people of Eastern Ukraine, trying to repress them with military force instead. It was Kiev that waged war against its own provinces for having a different opinion. The American officials knew that the crisis could lead to a bloodbath civil war, yet they kept pushing towards it by brining those radicals to power and then supporting their military campaign against East Ukraine/Novorossia, providing military aid and training their troops, while blaming Putin for everything by constructing political and media discourse that is based on facile arguments, misinformation and blatant lies, and then using it to impose economic sanctions on Russia (i. e. waging economic warfare).
Who is the aggressor?

You know what, let’s now do a quick thought experiment. Forget everything I’ve told you. Imagine that the Western mainstream media tells the truth, and that it is, indeed, Putin who has been destabilising the region from the very beginning, orchestrating the crisis and then fuelling the war in Eastern Ukraine. Would that make Russia/Putin bad? Perhaps… But not worse than the U. S., who have actually been doing this in Libya and Syria for years now.
You know what, it’s actually amazing how the mainstream media does its job. The U. S. has been accusing Russia (with no proof) of doing something it ACTUALLY does in Syria, a country that is located 9 000 km away from its borders. The U. S. does support radicals (who kill innocent civilians; some of them end up joining ISIS) there, officially supplying them with weapons, helping them financially, training their fighters, etc. Again, doesn’t that concern people? Or are people so bad at analytical thinking they can’t even spot the morbid double standards in this issue? I mean, the entire media and political discourse about Evil Putin’s/Russian aggression towards Ukraine is so deeply, fundamentally facile, on so many levels, it makes me so angry and frustrated that…. I can’t even finish this thought.

Either way, people, the mainstream media isn’t there to inform you. It’s merely a tool to shape public opinion. A propaganda machine. And the cause benefits no-one, but the military-industrial complex and a bunch of trans-national financial institutions.
That’s not just my personal opinion or some crazy conspiracy theory. It’s actually been studied academically for decades now:

Red pill, anyone?

So, given that the Western mainstream media spews nothing but propaganda, what could you do to form a balanced opinion on the issues? Well, the most obvious way is to consult alternative media (and, no, people, The Guardian isn’t really an alternative to NYT when it comes to Ukraine or Russia), trying to get the other side’s perspective.

Here is a couple of Russian state sponsored media outlets that run in English:
Russia Today –
Sputnik News –
(for those of you who don’t trust RT after the last year incident when a news anchor quit on-air because she “couldn’t keep whitewashing the Russian deeds in Ukraine”, well….. it was staged by the American neocons: )

There is also a web-resource called Russia Insider, which was founded by Western russophiles to target the Western mainstream media narratives about Russia –

As for non-Russian alternative media sources, I would recommend:
Consortium News –
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity –
StormCloudsGathering (these guys often dive into conspiracy theories, but, nevertheless, they are excellent at putting info together and giving food for thought) –

Here is an article that lists additional non-Russian alternative sources on the Ukrainian Crisis:


I think I’ve covered everything I had on my mind in relation to the Western mainstream media coverage of the Ukrainian Crisis. I know this post is long and it’s not something you would normally see on Facebook (I applaud you if you’ve been able to read it all), but it’s just all these points had to be made and explained. The post is really info heavy, so some of you may find it useful to save it and revisit it later, to examine the links more carefully.
Try to put it all together.

A few additional articles on the topic that are worth reading:

I think my job here is done for now.

Use your brain, always analyse and question everything you watch, hear and read. Especially when it comes to the mainstream media.
Don’t let them brainwash you into the WW3.

Much love, everyone.

P. S. It’s good to finally be on holidays ;)

The materials cited in the comments

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