Streetwise Professor

May 1, 2014

Zero Hedge Reveals Its True Colors. Again.

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 7:50 pm

Every sentient being not in the tank for Russia recognizes that the Television Channel Formerly Known as Russia Today (i.e.,  RT) is spewing Kremlin agitprop 24/7. Heck, even the borderline sentient, like our Secretary of State, recognize this.

There is another widely followed outlet, this one online, that is vying with RT for the dubious honor of flacking most shamelessly for Putin: Zero Hedge. There are numerous posts daily that flog the Russian view, but few are more egregious than this one. The part comparing Crimea to the Falklands was rather amusing. As was the statement about Chevron being part of the Rockefeller empire. Yeah. Back in 1910. When it was Standard Oil of California. There was a lot of venting about the Rothschilds, and Jews generally. And WTF about the Yellowstone caldera?

You might say: “but that post is from another source.” But as I pointed out two-and-a-half years ago, this is a classic Soviet influence operation technique.

In that post I also noted the close affinity between RT and Zero Hedge. Some things don’t change.

To say I am not surprised is an understatement. Recall that Zero Hedge is run by Daniel Ivandjiiski, the son of an obvious Soviet bloc (Bulgarian, specifically) intelligence operative.

I’ve thought for years that ZH is a Kremlin influence operation. It is doing nothing now to disabuse me of that notion. To the contrary. It is cementing it.


Print Friendly


  1. You have a very biased view on Ukraine. It is a deeply dived state (if one can call it a state) with the current government established as a coup d’etat. It is surprising that we do not have a real debate in the US on the policy – just a lot of warmongering (recent decision to send troops to Poland) and empty chest beating (Republican Senate bill). ZH offers views from both sides unlike yours.

    Comment by Stan Ho — May 1, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

  2. Yes, I have been following ZH on a regular basis recently and no doubt they make it very clear they are Pro Putin. ZH has perhaps the most bearish view on most major economies, with the exception of Russia. I started going there to read more on the Chinese shadow banks and related Chinese stories, which most of the time are good. It is curious that they praise Russia and flog China at the same time…. Clearly Putin doesn’t love China that much, although he needs them more these days.

    Comment by Surya — May 1, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

  3. >> It is a deeply dived state

    It is indeed, and Putler’s Zusammenbruch seems a distant future, just like Hitler’s was in 1938.

    Comment by Ivan — May 2, 2014 @ 3:41 am

  4. Boy, that Henry Kissinger fell right in line with the Putin propaganda machine. Just look at his Washington Post Op. Ed. of March 5, 2014, “How The Ukraine Crisis Ends”. He’s been subverted
    just like the PAST 3 German Chancellors, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schroeder. You should read the PROPAGANDA they put out. Thank God for your unbelievable wisdom on this subject!!

    Comment by Woland — May 2, 2014 @ 8:06 am

  5. I’ve stopped reading ZH almost entirely. There are occasionally interesting posts, but most of the content is worthless, IMO.

    I’m Russian, btw. I have lived int he U.S. for nearly 4 decades. My family in Moscow has access primarily to Putin’s propaganda, but there’s enough propaganda everywhere that it’s hard to establish the truth. I appreciate your point of view.

    I apologize if you have mentioned this before, but I’ve only started reading your blog rather recently. If answering this doesn’t tax you too much, what is the reason for your interest in Russia?

    Comment by Methinks — May 2, 2014 @ 10:34 am

  6. Obama’s “costs” tabulated:

    According to a government official who did not want to be identified, Obama has recently ordered MiB to get him one of those flashy memory-wiping thingies. He did not specify why he needed the device, saying only “I need a model that also works via TV”.

    Comment by Ivan — May 2, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

  7. @Methinks-thanks for your bio background/prospective.

    Re my interest in Russia. The Cliffs’ Notes version is this. I am interested in energy. I am interested in institutional economics, including especially the issue of how government institutions (rule of law, property rights, etc.) affect economic performance. I am also a classical liberal/libertarian. So Russia always struck me as a classical liberal/libertarian dystopian story illustrating how resource rents have a deeply corrosive effect on political institutions, property rights, the rule of law, etc., and hence on economic performance, civil society, and personal liberty. That’s what attracted my interest initially, but then things took a life of their own. And VVP gives me material daily.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 2, 2014 @ 5:09 pm

  8. Thanks @Woland. Not surprised re Kissinger. Unfortunately, I do read the propaganda. Very depressing. That’s why I try to fight back. Glad to know that there are some, like you, that are similarly outraged and appreciate my small efforts in this battle.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 2, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

  9. @Stan. I have never had illusions about Ukraine. I have often pointed out that it is just another Sovok entity. Corrupt to the core, and dysfunctional.

    There was not a coup d’etat. There was a revolution. There is a difference.

    I have little optimism that a truly independent Ukraine will be able to break free from its debilitating historical legacy. But I want to give it the chance to do so, and under Putin’s thumb it will never do so. And I view Putin as a threat far beyond Ukraine, and want to stop him sooner rather than later, preferably through the use of economic pressure rather than military force.

    That’s not warmongering. Quite the opposite. Caving to Putin now increases the odds of conflict later.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 2, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

  10. The Sovok period is the high point of Ukraine’s history. The last 23 years demonstrated Ukraine’s intrinsic worth.

    For the putsch to be considered a revolution, the social order must have changed. It didn’t. One group of oligarchs usurped another. They’ve consumed the sovok corpse, now they are eating each other.

    Comment by So? — May 2, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

  11. I must say that the comparison to the Falklands is revealing. Certainly Russia looks like a former imperialist power that’s taking advantage of a weak former colony to whip up patriotic fervor at home. All on the backdrop of a leader whose economic policies are bringing dismal results. The difference of course is that the British economy was about to take off, whereas Russia’s is sinking.

    Comment by aaa — May 2, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

  12. >> The last 23 years demonstrated Ukraine’s intrinsic worth

    You are right. Despite all Muscovite efforts, Ukraine’s intrinsic worth proved to be so compelling that even in Crimea and at Russian gunpoint less than 1/3 of voters have supported annexation by Russia, according to an official Russian source: . Things would have been dramatically different 23 years ago. The sovok corpse is still stinking mightily, but it will disintegrate and freedom will grow through it.

    >> the social order must have changed. It didn’t.

    It was not a revolution in by your definition, and it was not a coup either. It was a failed coup stopped by Ukrainian patriots. Instigated/ordered by Putin, Yanukovych’s gang tried a coup to install a Putin-style dictatorship, and it was stopped.

    Comment by Ivan — May 3, 2014 @ 12:16 am

  13. Illarionov is on another planet. He lost touch with reality years ago.

    Comment by So? — May 3, 2014 @ 1:21 am

  14. > It is indeed, and Putler’s Zusammenbruch seems a distant future, just like Hitler’s was in 1938.

    Ivan, are you related to Elmer? Maybe his father and mother’s son but not his brother? :-)

    Comment by vladislav — May 3, 2014 @ 1:28 am

  15. The evil genius behind Maidan and junta – Kolomoysky – is now offering $100 million (out of the $billions that he stole from the people) to murder Putin. I wonder how much he paid to the Maidan snipers…

    Comment by vladislav — May 3, 2014 @ 1:31 am

  16. > Illarionov is on another planet. He lost touch with reality years ago.

    Illarionov is an vicious mnoron and a liar. 6 months after the recession hit the US and Russia, he, not understanding that the recession was here, wrote an insulting attack on Gaidar, who had predicted this recession 1 year earlier, made fun of him and claimed that there was no recession in sight. Now that Gaidar is dead and cannot defend himself, Illarionov is taking revenge on Gaidar for this embarrassment by touring the world with lectures as to how stupid Gaidar was and how he committed every imaginable economic crime.

    Comment by vladislav — May 3, 2014 @ 1:39 am

  17. > I am also a classical liberal/libertarian.

    Of course you are! That’s why you want to crucify Snowden, Appelbaum and all other civil libertarians, you espouse all other domestic anti-libetarian views, and take the opposite position from the libertarians on all foreign policy issues. LOL. :-)

    Comment by vladislav — May 3, 2014 @ 1:45 am

  18. For those who can read Russian, here is an old Russian story about your “libertarianism”:

    Феликс Кривин

    Слух о мустангах обошел весь мир и дошел до Шакала, который, помимо всего, питался также и слухами.

    Мустанг… Красивое, стройное животное. Одна голова, одно туловище, четыре ноги…

    Шакал посмотрелся в лужу. Ну конечно, не может быть никакого сомнения!

    — Кого ты там увидел? — полюбопытствовала Гиена.

    — Мустанга, кого ж еще!

    Гиена посмотрела на свое отражение.

    — Четыре ноги, одно туловище, одна голова, — объяснил Шакал. — Красивое, стройное животное.

    — Все правильно, — сказала Гиена. — Но почему ты смотришь в лужу? Разве ты не можешь просто смотреть на меня?

    Вот это да! Значит, и она тоже…

    — И ты тоже? — спросил Шакал.

    — Почему тоже? А кто еще?

    Два мустанга стояли над лужей и выясняли свою принадлежность к этому благородному племени.

    — Мы очень быстро бегаем, — сообщил Шакал. — Иногда обгоняем курьерский поезд.

    — А чем мы питаемся? — коснулась Гиена главного вопроса.

    — Мы питаемся травкой, — сказал Шакал. — Ну и вообще… растительностью.

    — Ах, как хочется растительности! — вздохнула Гиена.

    И они стали щипать траву.

    Трава была как трава — совершенно невкусная. Шакал мусолил ее и смотрел на Гиену. У Гиены была голова, четыре ноги и большое мясистое туловище.

    — Не понимаю, что со мной, — сказал Шакал. — Когда я смотрю на тебя, у меня появляется аппетит, а когда смотрю на траву, он сразу куда-то пропадает.

    Гиена смотрела на Шакала. У Шакала была голова, туловище и целых четыре ноги.

    — А скажи, пожалуйста, — сказала Гиена, — мустанги, они не питаются мустангами?

    > I am interested in energy.

    Now I understand why for the past year you have devoted all your energy to fighting Snowden and Appelbaum.

    Comment by vladislav — May 3, 2014 @ 1:50 am

  19. > I am also a classical liberal/libertarian.

    Is that why you oppose democracy, Constitution and the rule of law in Ukraine?

    Comment by vladislav — May 3, 2014 @ 1:52 am

  20. SWP,
    Keep on rockin’ in the free world!

    Here’s a good article about Eurasianism & Dugin
    by a State Dept public diplomacy hand.

    Comment by mudakych — May 3, 2014 @ 2:01 am

  21. And I view Putin as a threat far beyond Ukraine, and want to stop him sooner rather than later, preferably through the use of economic pressure rather than military force.
    That’s not warmongering. Quite the opposite. Caving to Putin now increases the odds of conflict later.

    Putin is as good a Russian leader as the West is gonna get. Everyone ought to pray that nothing happens to him. Anyone else would be 10 times worse. Think Saakashvili… in charge of Russia. Tanks would have been in Galicia two months ago.

    Really, what has Putin done that is so egregious? I can think of nothing but a long list of concessions.

    Comment by So? — May 3, 2014 @ 3:18 am

  22. @Professor,

    Ah! That’s interesting. As a libertarian who now finds herself increasingly leaning in favour of anarchy for reasons I’m sure you can sympathize with, my country of origin (one that we escaped during the Soviet era) never ceases to be a source of annoyance. I also have an energy background as I was an energy analyst before moving to trading, so I completely understand about the corrosive effects of source rents. Of course, my people have a long and dark history which shapes our current culture as well. You are likely familiar with Richard Pipes’s work. For what it’s worth, I consider him one of the best Russian historians in part because he refuses to sugar-coat communism and, unlike the socialists who comprise the bulk of the academy, understands the crucial difference between the “mir” voluntary collectives and the forced collectivization of the “kolhoz”.

    I’m glad you’re blogging and I look forward to reading more.

    Comment by Methinks — May 3, 2014 @ 5:20 am

  23. Afghanistan and Somalia are libertarian paradises. Plenty of guns and no taxes.

    Comment by So? — May 3, 2014 @ 5:44 am


    It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war

    The attempt to lever Kiev into the western camp by ousting an elected leader made conflict certain. It could be a threat to us all

    The threat of war in Ukraine is growing. As the unelected government in Kiev declares itself unable to control the rebellion in the country’s east, John Kerry brands Russia a rogue state. The US and the European Union step up sanctions against the Kremlin, accusing it of destabilising Ukraine. The White House is reported to be set on a new cold war policy with the aim of turning Russia into a “pariah state”.

    That might be more explicable if what is going on in eastern Ukraine now were not the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago. Then, it was armed protesters in Maidan Square seizing government buildings and demanding a change of government and constitution. US and European leaders championed the “masked militants” and denounced the elected government for its crackdown, just as they now back the unelected government’s use of force against rebels occupying police stations and town halls in cities such as Slavyansk and Donetsk.

    “America is with you,” Senator John McCain told demonstrators then, standing shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the far-right Svoboda party as the US ambassador haggled with the state department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government.

    When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia’s most neuralgic and politically divided neighbour.

    Putin bit back, taking a leaf out of the US street-protest playbook – even though, as in Kiev, the protests that spread from Crimea to eastern Ukraine evidently have mass support. But what had been a glorious cry for freedom in Kiev became infiltration and insatiable aggression in Sevastopol and Luhansk.

    After Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, the bulk of the western media abandoned any hint of even-handed coverage. So Putin is now routinely compared to Hitler, while the role of the fascistic right on the streets and in the new Ukrainian regime has been airbrushed out of most reporting as Putinist propaganda.

    So you don’t hear much about the Ukrainian government’s veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government’s ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.

    The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west’s attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.

    No Russian government could have acquiesced in such a threat from territory that was at the heart of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Putin’s absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive, and the red line now drawn: the east of Ukraine, at least, is not going to be swallowed up by Nato or the EU.

    But the dangers are also multiplying. Ukraine has shown itself to be barely a functioning state: the former government was unable to clear Maidan, and the western-backed regime is “helpless” against the protests in the Soviet-nostalgic industrial east. For all the talk about the paramilitary “green men” (who turn out to be overwhelmingly Ukrainian), the rebellion also has strong social and democratic demands: who would argue against a referendum on autonomy and elected governors?

    Meanwhile, the US and its European allies impose sanctions and dictate terms to Russia and its proteges in Kiev, encouraging the military crackdown on protesters after visits from Joe Biden and the CIA director, John Brennan. But by what right is the US involved at all, incorporating under its strategic umbrella a state that has never been a member of Nato, and whose last elected government came to power on a platform of explicit neutrality? It has none, of course – which is why the Ukraine crisis is seen in such a different light across most of the world. There may be few global takers for Putin’s oligarchic conservatism and nationalism, but Russia’s counterweight to US imperial expansion is welcomed, from China to Brazil.

    In fact, one outcome of the crisis is likely to be a closer alliance between China and Russia, as the US continues its anti-Chinese “pivot” to Asia. And despite growing violence, the cost in lives of Russia’s arms-length involvement in Ukraine has so far been minimal compared with any significant western intervention you care to think of for decades.

    The risk of civil war is nevertheless growing, and with it the chances of outside powers being drawn into the conflict. Barack Obama has already sent token forces to eastern Europe and is under pressure, both from Republicans and Nato hawks such as Poland, to send many more. Both US and British troops are due to take part in Nato military exercises in Ukraine this summer.

    The US and EU have already overplayed their hand in Ukraine. Neither Russia nor the western powers may want to intervene directly, and the Ukrainian prime minister’s conjuring up of a third world war presumably isn’t authorised by his Washington sponsors. But a century after 1914, the risk of unintended consequences should be obvious enough – as the threat of a return of big-power conflict grows. Pressure for a negotiated end to the crisis is essential.

    Comment by vladislav — May 3, 2014 @ 7:00 am


    The clash in Crimea is the fruit of western expansion
    The external struggle to dominate Ukraine has put fascists in power and brought the country to the brink of conflict

    Diplomatic pronouncements are renowned for hypocrisy and double standards. But western denunciations of Russian intervention in Crimea have reached new depths of self parody. The so far bloodless incursion is an “incredible act of aggression”, US secretary of state John Kerry declared. In the 21st century you just don’t invade countries on a “completely trumped-up pretext”, he insisted, as US allies agreed that it had been an unacceptable breach of international law, for which there will be “costs”.

    That the states which launched the greatest act of unprovoked aggression in modern history on a trumped-up pretext – against Iraq, in an illegal war now estimated to have killed 500,000, along with the invasion of Afghanistan, bloody regime change in Libya, and the killing of thousands in drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, all without UN authorisation – should make such claims is beyond absurdity.

    It’s not just that western aggression and lawless killing is on another scale entirely from anything Russia appears to have contemplated, let alone carried out – removing any credible basis for the US and its allies to rail against Russian transgressions. But the western powers have also played a central role in creating the Ukraine crisis in the first place.

    The US and European powers openly sponsored the protests to oust the corrupt but elected Viktor Yanukovych government, which were triggered by controversy over an all-or-nothing EU agreement which would have excluded economic association with Russia.

    In her notorious “fuck the EU” phone call leaked last month, the US official Victoria Nuland can be heard laying down the shape of a post-Yanukovych government – much of which was then turned into reality when he was overthrown after the escalation of violence a couple of weeks later.

    The president had by then lost political authority, but his overnight impeachment was certainly constitutionally dubious. In his place a government of oligarchs, neoliberal Orange Revolution retreads and neofascists has been installed, one of whose first acts was to try and remove the official status of Russian, spoken by a majority in parts of the south and east, as moves were made to ban the Communist party, which won 13% of the vote at the last election.

    It has been claimed that the role of fascists in the demonstrations has been exaggerated by Russian propaganda to justify Vladimir Putin’s manoeuvres in Crimea. The reality is alarming enough to need no exaggeration. Activists report that the far right made up around a third of the protesters, but they were decisive in armed confrontations with the police.

    Fascist gangs now patrol the streets. But they are also in Kiev’s corridors of power. The far right Svoboda party, whose leader has denounced the “criminal activities” of “organised Jewry” and which was condemned by the European parliament for its “racist and antisemitic views”, has five ministerial posts in the new government, including deputy prime minister and prosecutor general. The leader of the even more extreme Right Sector, at the heart of the street violence, is now Ukraine’s deputy national security chief.

    Neo-Nazis in office is a first in post-war Europe. But this is the unelected government now backed by the US and EU. And in a contemptuous rebuff to the ordinary Ukrainians who protested against corruption and hoped for real change, the new administration has appointed two billionaire oligarchs – one who runs his business from Switzerland – to be the new governors of the eastern cities of Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk. Meanwhile, the IMF is preparing an eye-watering austerity plan for the tanking Ukrainian economy which can only swell poverty and unemployment.

    From a longer-term perspective, the crisis in Ukraine is a product of the disastrous Versailles-style break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. As in Yugoslavia, people who were content to be a national minority in an internal administrative unit of a multinational state – Russians in Soviet Ukraine, South Ossetians in Soviet Georgia – felt very differently when those units became states for which they felt little loyalty.

    In the case of Crimea, which was only transferred to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s, that is clearly true for the Russian majority. And contrary to undertakings given at the time, the US and its allies have since relentlessly expanded Nato up to Russia’s borders, incorporating nine former Warsaw Pact states and three former Soviet republics into what is effectively an anti-Russian military alliance in Europe. The European association agreement which provoked the Ukrainian crisis also included clauses to integrate Ukraine into the EU defence structure.

    That western military expansion was first brought to a halt in 2008 when the US client state of Georgia attacked Russian forces in the contested territory of South Ossetia and was driven out. The short but bloody conflict signalled the end of George Bush’s unipolar world in which the US empire would enforce its will without challenge on every continent.

    Given that background, it is hardly surprising that Russia has acted to stop the more strategically sensitive and neuralgic Ukraine falling decisively into the western camp, especially given that Russia’s only major warm-water naval base is in Crimea.

    Clearly, Putin’s justifications for intervention – “humanitarian” protection for Russians and an appeal by the deposed president – are legally and politically flaky, even if nothing like on the scale of “weapons of mass destruction”. Nor does Putin’s conservative nationalism or oligarchic regime have much wider international appeal.

    But Russia’s role as a limited counterweight to unilateral western power certainly does. And in a world where the US, Britain, France and their allies have turned international lawlessness with a moral veneer into a permanent routine, others are bound to try the same game.

    Fortunately, the only shots fired by Russian forces at this point have been into the air. But the dangers of escalating foreign intervention are obvious. What is needed instead is a negotiated settlement for Ukraine, including a broad-based government in Kiev shorn of fascists; a federal constitution that guarantees regional autonomy; economic support that doesn’t pauperise the majority; and a chance for people in Crimea to choose their own future. Anything else risks spreading the conflict.

    Comment by vladislav — May 3, 2014 @ 7:04 am

  26. Vlad Dracul Putler’s handiwork in Crimea – empty tourist areas

    The May holidays usually kick off Crimea’s tourist season, but the web cameras on the Russian-seized peninsula show empty beaches and streets. None of the expected millions of tourists are in sight yet as Ukraine and Russia both take holidays on May 1-2 for Labor Day and on May 9 for Victory Day.

    Comment by elmer — May 3, 2014 @ 8:15 am

  27. I agree that “Anything else” appears to be the best option. Thank you for identifying that so clearly.

    Comment by pahoben — May 3, 2014 @ 9:26 am

  28. So many false equivalencies in the guardian articles.

    “That might be more explicable if what is going on in eastern Ukraine now were not the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago.

    Is what was happening in Berlin 1945 the “mirror image” of what happened in Stalingrad in 1942? Mere presence of weapons and fighting makes something a mirror image of something else?

    In Kiev there was a popular revolution supported by more of the country than opposed to it, linked to parties that won the popular vote in the last election, and led by politicians who were leading in the presidential polls, bravely taking on a government that had tried to monopolize power undemocratically.

    In Donbas you have marginals linked to parties with low support, actions unpopular by the majority of Ukraine’s citizens, taking advantage of a chaotic post-revolutionary situation with little government control, in opposition to a government that (gasp!) wants elections to happen soon.

    If you want a real “mirror image” you’ll have to get hypothetical. If, in 2010, with Yanukovich leading the polls, armed Svoboda activists had seized a bunch of buildings in Galicia to stop the elections from happening, and begged NATO to invade, this would have been a “mirror image.” But not events in Kiev in late 2013/early 2014.

    “But the dangers are also multiplying. Ukraine has shown itself to be barely a functioning state: the former government was unable to clear Maidan, and the western-backed regime is “helpless” against the protests in the Soviet-nostalgic industrial east.

    Former government had lost the support of the people who rebelled against it. As for the current “helplessness” – if the government does nothing, it is helpless. If it scatters the criminals it is brutal and evil. It can’t win in the eyes of Ukrainophobes.

    Comment by AP — May 3, 2014 @ 9:50 am

  29. “…a federal constitution that guarantees…”

    An ignorant sovok presuming to draw up a constitution for a foreign a country he knows precisely nothing about: priceless. For everything else, there is MasterCard (not necassarily in Russia).

    Comment by Ivan — May 3, 2014 @ 11:56 am

  30. Being carpet-bombed again, ain’t we?

    Comment by LL — May 3, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

  31. @LL – our own personal little Kremlinoid Krappola troll has been working overtime

    re: The Guardian and “Russian forces firing into the air”

    yep – with surface to air missiles at Ukrainian helicopters – you know, because Kremlinoids are so “peaceful” and “peace-loving”

    They are so “peace-loving” that they, the Kremlinoid Rashan, grab hostages – in another country.

    All so the psychotic little Vlad Dracul Putler, who swaggers when he walks like he has a stick up his ass, can protect his palaces and wealth.

    Comment by elmer — May 3, 2014 @ 2:34 pm

  32. I was wondering about them putinoid trolls – nowhere else they’d be given valuable R.E. SWP, you’re way too tolerant (I’d have banned them long time ago).
    Just wanted to point to another Kremlin propaganda source, this time -in Europe.
    Euronews, Russian edition, is precisely what you describe in this post. They are based in France, but controlled (17%) by Putin’s TV.

    I have been trying to find more info on Odessa’s events; when one googles in English, all you can see is page after page of dirty Kremlin propaganda posted and reposted from these two sources – zerohedge and rt. And smidgen of others by euronews.

    It’s as if blogosphere suddenly died and between official msm like Reuters, CNN and BBC and Kremlin propaganda outlets there exist nothing else.

    Comment by ETat — May 3, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

  33. Methinks, your moniker sounds familiar – haven’t I seen you years ago @Neoneo?

    Comment by ETat — May 3, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

  34. @ETat-welcome to SWP.

    I have toyed with the idea of blocking. For now, I’ve decided that he serves an educational purpose, especially since several people do a good job of pushing back.

    Thanks for the pointer.

    I wonder if ZH & RT use SEO/manipulation to hijack the search results. I would say it’s more likely than not. But why doesn’t Google counteract that?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 3, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

  35. @mudakych-I will. With a kinder, gentler machine gun hand.

    Thanks for the article. I’ve long been fascinated by Eurasianism, in both its old and new incarnations. Dugin is a piece of work. But again, I’m just a thalassocrat.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 3, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

  36. In Kiev there was a popular revolution supported by more of the country than opposed to it, linked to parties that won the popular vote in the last election, and led by politicians who were leading in the presidential polls, bravely taking on a government that had tried to monopolize power undemocratically.

    Maidan was supported in the West and not in the East.

    Comment by So? — May 3, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

  37. @Etat,

    Doesn’t sound familiar. Over the years I’ve mostly hung out out on Cafe Hayek with occasional appearances on Econlog and Marginal Revolution.

    Comment by Methinks — May 3, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

  38. “Maidan was supported in the West and not in the East.

    True. But, throughout the country as a whole Maidan enjoyed more support than did the government. This cannot be said of the separatists in Donetsk. Which is why a comparison between the two phenomena is simply wrong.

    @ SWP,

    I agree with you. The guys with contrary views are useful and inspire interesting rebuttals and discussions.

    Comment by AP — May 3, 2014 @ 9:55 pm

  39. Many times when I read these claimed Libertarian/US is bad/Russia is good posts I am reminded of one of Pauli’s great quotes-

    What you say is so confused one couldn’t determine if it is nonsense or not.

    My opinion is this type of argument arose as a way of slightly distinguishing oneself in a generally Progressive social environment. I can imagine these arguments find support in conversation when speaking with ideological progressive friends but otherwise confused nonsense. Ironic that many of these arguments appeal to some absolute sense of right and wrong but are made by shape shifters who in other situations disavow absolute standards.

    Jeez-one day you are proud to be in the vanguard of support for Obamacare and the next day you are a Libertarian-just Ideological progressive shape shifters and nothing more.

    Comment by pahoben — May 4, 2014 @ 8:33 am

  40. @ETaT

    a couple of sources in Ukraine in English for you

    BBC, Reuters, Radio Free Europe, along with others, have excellent coverage.

    Comment by elmer — May 4, 2014 @ 9:29 am

  41. SWP: thanks; this is not my first time @your threads – it’s just I signed with my blog name. I commented before as Tatyana – because I came via Tim Newman and he knows me thus for years.[does that makes sense?]. Your blog is on my blogroll since 2011.

    Thank you – two useful sites; how could I forget about Radio Liberty? BBC and Reuters are biased, i’d advise to use them only as starting point.

    Methinks: yes, I figured as much – especially since I now recall that commenter @neoneocon was a woman.

    Comment by ETat — May 4, 2014 @ 2:11 pm

  42. @ETat-thanks for the info. I figured out you’d been here before when I clicked on your blog link. Made the connection. Glad you are here, whatever the ID you use. (And yes it all made sense.)

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 4, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

  43. AP,

    > But, throughout the country as a whole Maidan enjoyed more support than did the government.

    1. What are the numbers?

    2. If it were true that “Maidan enjoyed more support than did the government”, that means that in the next February’s Presidential elections, the Maidan side would have won. Thus, there would have been no reason for violence/revolution/coup less than 1 year before the constitutional elections.

    Comment by vladislav — May 5, 2014 @ 1:45 am

  44. Ivan:

    >> The clash in Crimea is the fruit of western expansion
    >> By Seumas Milne
    >> The Guardian, Wednesday 5 March 2014
    >> a federal constitution that guarantees regional autonomy; economic support that doesn’t pauperise the majority; and a chance for people in Crimea to choose their own future. Anything else risks spreading the conflict.

    >An ignorant sovok presuming to draw up a constitution for a foreign a country he knows precisely nothing about: priceless.

    Why would you call Seumas Milne a “sovok”? And why do you claim that Seumas Milne knows nothing about Russia and Ukraine? What do you know about him? Here is what The Guardian says about him:

    Seumas Milne is a Guardian columnist and associate editor. He has reported for the Guardian from the Middle East, eastern Europe, Russia, south Asia and Latin America. He previously worked for the Economist and is the author of “The Enemy Within and The Revenge of History” and co-author of “Beyond the Casino Economy”.

    He appears to know more about Russia/Ukraine than 99% of Western journalists “opining” on the current situation in Ukraine.

    Comment by vladislav — May 5, 2014 @ 2:07 am

  45. > I have been trying to find more info on Odessa’s events; when one googles in English, all you can see is page after page of dirty Kremlin propaganda

    Well, since all the eyewitnesses in Odessa were Russian-speakers (except for the paramilitaries from Western Ukraine), almost all the accounts as to how exactly the Maidan forces slaughtered and burned alive almost 40 anti-Maidan people will seem like “Kremlin propaganda”, especially since the brutality of the Miadan forces is beyond what even the Kremlin propagandists expected. I will search for some English-language accounts of the Odessa slaughter, but here is a good visual expo with English subtitles of what the Maidan forces stand for:

    Comment by vladislav — May 5, 2014 @ 2:28 am

  46. This is in English:

    39 Die in Odessa as Pro-regime Rioters Set Trade Union Building Ablaze

    Comment by vladislav — May 5, 2014 @ 2:56 am

  47. > BBC, Reuters, Radio Free Europe, along with others, have excellent coverage.

    Oh yes. Radio Free Europe/Liberty – CIA’s answer to Pravda/Izvestia that has been fighting the Cold War without any interruptions and that suspends its journalists like the famous and heroic Andrei Babitsky, who had served it for 25 years, for any opinion that differs from the CIA’s propaganda aims:

    Журналиста Андрея Бабицкого отстранили от работы на «Радио Свобода» на месяц за согласие с политикой российских властей в отношении Украины. Об этом в четверг, 17 апреля, сообщает «Новая Газета».

    Пост про Крым Бабицкий разместил в блоге на сайте «Эхо Кавказа», главным редактором которого он является. «Эхо Кавказа» является частью американского «Радио Свобода», которое в свою очередь подчиняется американскому Федеральному агентству Совет управляющих вещанием (BBG).

    «Я не про Крым — в этом вопросе я полностью согласен с основными тезисами Владимира Путина, что у России было абсолютное право взять население полуострова под защиту», — написал Бабицкий. В то же время он добавил, что, «когда 90 процентов “за” в условиях крайнего внешнего и внутреннего антагонизма, правитель должен понимать, что 10 процентов, которые “против”, — это такие же граждане, которые именно в контексте этого противостояния первые нуждаются в защите их права на выражение своего, пусть и отвергаемого подавляющим большинством мнения» (авторская пунктуация сохранена — «Дождь).

    По данным «Новой газеты», решение об отстранении Бабицкого, который работает на радиостанции 25 лет, без сохранения содержания и с «последующим обсуждением возможности восстановления на работе» приняла пражская штаб-квартира «Радио Свобода».

    Comment by vladislav — May 5, 2014 @ 3:12 am


    The readers’ editor on… pro-Russia trolling below the line on Ukraine stories
    Guardian moderators, who deal with 40,000 comments a day, believe there is an orchestrated pro-Kremlin campaign

    Comment by elmer — May 5, 2014 @ 7:24 am


    Lies of the Russian mass media

    Over the past few months, the bloopers and blunders of the Russian mass media have become real hits on social networking websites. Hundreds of Internet memes and posts have been created based on shocking slip-ups.

    Comment by elmer — May 5, 2014 @ 7:26 am

  50. @elmer. I presume you saw that Putin presented awards to 300 journalists for their “objective” coverage of Crimea. Paging Orwell, George Orwell pick up the white courtesy phone. It’s urgent.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 5, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  51. @elmer. What was their first clue?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 5, 2014 @ 8:55 am

  52. >> Putin presented awards to 300 journalists for their “objective” coverage of Crimea

    It gets better than that: he did so via a secret ukase, as KGB/FSB operatives are usually awarded. I wonder how many people were promoted to lieutenant colonel of “journalism”.

    Comment by Ivan — May 5, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

  53. In reference to more support for, vs. opposition to, Maidan in UKraine.

    1. What are the numbers?

    Across Ukraine, 40.1% of people supported the protesters, 23.3% supported Yanukovich’s government, 31.9% supported neither, and 4.7% were unsure.

    51% supported Maidan in the center – that includes Kiev – (vs. 10.7% opposed) and over 80% supported it in the West. The idea that unwilling Kiev was just taken over by nasty western Ukrainians is a Russian myth; many Russians just can’t believe that Kiev would turn its back on them.

    2. If it were true that “Maidan enjoyed more support than did the government”, that means that in the next February’s Presidential elections, the Maidan side would have won. Thus, there would have been no reason for violence/revolution/coup less than 1 year before the constitutional elections.

    Ukrainians are not so naive as to assume that the next elections would have been free and fair or that he would have voluntarily relinquished power, given the strong odds that the opposition would have legally gone after him. It was widely assumed that Yanukovich would have held onto power using other means. The parliament he controlled had already passed a law making the frontrunner who was beating him in the polls ineligible to run. There was already talk of changing the election to first-past-the-post, eliminating the second round (so, if Yanukovich got 30% of the vote, Klitschko 28%, Yarseniuk 20%, Tiahnybok 10% Yanukovich would be president). Or in case the opposition united behind one candidate, making the presidency ceremonial and declaring Yanukovich PM. Etc. With the scheduled election more than a year away, Yanukovich was really caught off guard by these protests. It was the best chance, and the opposition took it.

    Do you honestly believe that the opposition should have played by Yanukovich’s rules and hoped for the best, given what happened when he lost in 2004 (he cheated, and then the Orange revolution happened) and in the 2012 parliamentary elections (first=past-the-post was used to give parliament to Yanukovich’s party in spite of the opposition easily winning the popular vote).

    Comment by AP — May 5, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

  54. This is in Russian but google can translate it for you:

    It’s a mess. Started by Russian demonstrators who initiated the attack.

    In Donetsk, pro-Russian demonstrators brutally attacked pro-Ukrainian ones and scattered them while the police looked on and did nothing (Ukrainian police were Yanukovichized). No complaints from our friend Vladislav about that. Same thing was attempted in Odessa. However, Odessa is not Donetsk. It inherited a Yanukovich mayor (appointed, not elected) and police force, but the population is quite different – 62% ethnic Ukrainian vs. 47% ethnic Ukrainian in Donetsk. So Donetsk tactics – attack the pro-Ukrainians while the police look on or help the attackers – simply don’t work for Russians in Odessa.

    The pro-Ukrainians fought back, despite one of them being killed (yes, the pro-Russians drew first blood), the pro-Ukrainians chased the pro-Russians away and beat them. The fire appears to have been a tragic “accident.” Both sides were throwing Molotov cocktails at each other. Perhaps one of the ones that hit the building hit a cache of them inside, starting the massive fire. Looks like manslaughter rather than murder. Given that the Russians started it by attacking the Ukrainians first and killing one of them while doing so, it looks like this mess is basically analogous to one guy sucker-punching another guy and breaking his nose, and then getting his neck broken and himself killed by the enraged victim.

    BTW, the poll results I had posted earlier predicted that Russian violence would not work as effectively in Odessa as in Donetsk:

    Do you consider Yatseniuk’s government to be the legal authority?

    Odessa: 21.5% strongly yes, 19.3% weakly yes, 16% neutral/unsure, 21% weakly no, 18.5% strongly no
    Donetsk: 5.7% strongly yes, 10.9% weakly yes, 9.4% neutral/unsure, 18.6% weakly no, 53.5% strongly no

    Comment by AP — May 5, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

  55. Just add to my comment – the Russian side in Odessa are not, collectively, innocent martyrs in that tragic situation.

    Comment by AP — May 5, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

  56. Can we go back to bashing Zero Hedge please? I have to cut back on that site starting now.

    Comment by Tom — May 5, 2014 @ 5:18 pm

  57. @Tom-that’s a good idea. (Two good ideas, actually: bashing ZH and cutting back on ZH.) As part of my sacrifices for my readers, I have been keeping an eye on it. I can say that if anything, the pro-Russian agitprop has intensified since I wrote the post. Anyone who reads that site and tells me that it isn’t an influence operation is an idiot.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 5, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

  58. Vladislav, what do you make of the revelation by the Human Rights group created by Putin that the referendum in crimea was the usual Russian sham, only 15% of the population voted for joining RuSSia, and the turnout was only 30%.

    Comment by Andrew — May 5, 2014 @ 8:56 pm

  59. Here is a video of how a burn body of an anti-Maidan demonstrator falls out of the burning Trade Union building, and the “humane pro-Western” Maidan men viciously clubber his /her burnt body:

    Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the OUN/UPA heroes! Glory to the Western values! Kill those Odessan russkies! Sieg heil! :-(

    Comment by vladislav — May 6, 2014 @ 12:31 am

  60. > I have been trying to find more info on Odessa’s events; when one googles in English, all you can see is page after page of dirty Kremlin propaganda

    Are you surprised that there is almost no coverage of the Odessa massacre in the English-language press?! Expecting the Western mass media to cover the mass crimes of their puppets is like expecting the Soviet press in 1980 to cover its war in Afghanistan.

    Google for almost any other topic on the current situation in Ukraine, and Google will return you tons of articles in the Western media, but on this topic the Western media is silent. That reminds me of 1998-99, when Madeleine Albright changed KLA’s designation from “the most dangerous terrorist group” to “ally of the USA”. Suddenly the articles about KLA activity disappeared from the Western press. I also recall the day when the Croatian army ethnically cleansed Croatia of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs and other Orthodox Christians in 1995 (Operation Storm), slaughtering hundreds (more than a thousand!) of innocent civilians in the process. The US media gave no coverage to this apocalyptic event. Instead the front pages of US newspapers that week read: “Humanitarian catastrophe! Two more Bosnians found dead from Serb atrocities!”

    Comment by vladislav — May 6, 2014 @ 1:48 am

  61. AP,

    A question for you: do you think the US government’s and media’s treatment of the current Ukrainian crisis is as cynical and abhorrent as their treatment of the Kosovo crisis?

    Let me quote some of what you wrote on that subject:

    “America is equally cynically supporting KLA terrorists/mafia to try to score points with the Muslim countries in order to cmpensate for the deaths of 600,000 Iraqis due to the inasion of their country, while turning a blind eye to Turkish atrocities against Kurds, etc. Actually America’s actions are even more cynical, because Russians do have a genuine regard for fellow Slavs and Orthodox. Most Americans have no clue who Albanians are and would probably be outraged if they actually found out that their government was trying to condemn 120,000
    Christians to live under the rule of Muslims, the same ones whose ancestors had persecuted those Christians for 500 years or so. How is it imperialism to want your own nation’s land? Are practiioners of Karelia nostalgia also wannabe imperialists in your opinion, or is this category only applicable to Slavs who are having their lands taken from them?”

    Tell me, AP, who do you think will in the long run defend the rights of Slavic people: Russia or America? How about the rights of Kurds, Armenians, Iraqis and Syrian Christians?

    Comment by vladislav — May 6, 2014 @ 2:07 am

  62. Yulia Tymoshenko seems to be unable to learn form mistakes. Several years ago, when she was Prime Minister, she was audiotaped in one of her weekly consultations with the US ambassador, in which he gave her detailed instructions how to run the Ukrainian government. Then a month ago she was audiotaped in her rivate conversation with a party comrade, expressing the desire to solve Ukraine’s problems by exterminating 8 million Ukrainians of Russian ethnicity:

    Timoshenko: It overcome all the boundaries, damn. We need to take arms and kill these damned katsaps [ethnic Russians] together with their leader… I hope I use all my contacts, I will raise the whole world as soon as I have a chance what even a burnt ground will not remain after Russia.
    Shufrich: But what to do with other 8 millions of ethnic Russians on Ukraine’s territory? They’re pariahs now…
    Timoshenko: Damn, they should be killed with nuclear weapons.

    But she remains to be outspoken in her crusade to commit genocide, oblivious to the chances that other people, shocked by her plans, will publish her plans. This time she (evidently unsatisfied with only 40 to 50 people that her side slaughtered and burned alive in Odessa a couple of days ago) was videotaped at the Odessa’s Governor’s office scheming to arrange yet another slaughter of Odessa people, this time the 90-year old Odessan WWII veterans:—KcdiWojsWJBGQ/

    На заседании в одесской областной администрации Юлия Тимошенко высказала ужасающее предложение – напасть на ветеранов 9 мая, чтобы взбудоражить город. Буквально фраза отчетливо слышна в видеозаписи: “…В рамках чемпионата Украины… чтобы взбудоражить Одессу, нужно, чтобы напали на ветеранов”.

    “As part of the football fan activities, we should arrange for an attack on the veterans (marching in the May 8-9 celebration of the victory over the Nazis) in order to shake up Odessa”.

    “Western values” at their best…

    Comment by vladislav — May 6, 2014 @ 2:50 am

  63. @ Vladislav,

    I think the numbers of Iraqi deaths is exaggerated, but this doesn’t change the substance of the situation. Generally speaking, Russia is more civilized and a positive force when it comes to Muslims, and less civilized and a destructive influence when it come to Europeans. So Russia has been good for middle eastern Christians, Armenians, Balkan peoples under Turkish rule, etc. Soviet Central Asia is more civilized than places such as Pakistan. However, Russia has been a very bad influence in Europe. And this is not only true of the Soviet nightmare – in Poland the parts that had been partitioned into the Russian empire remain poorer and less civilized than those that had experienced German and Austrian rule. When Russia gets involved in Europe, it just causes a lot of harm. And this is very true of Ukraine. Within Ukraine, due to heavy Soviet investment and the creation of factories that generate hard currency, many of the Russian-ruled areas are relatively wealthy per capita. But this is the only measure in which they do well. The more Russian-influenced regions remain in the toilet across social indicators such as crime rates, life expectancy, HIV and TB rates, etc.

    Here is a map of serious/violent crimes in Ukraine. I can post map of HIV rates, birth rates, assault rates, etc. etc. and it all looks very similar (HIV is worse in Odesa and Mykolayiv than Donetsk, but still worse in both than in Galicia). So this can stand for all the others:

    Notice the old 1939 Polish-Soviet border. The serious/violent crime rate almost doubles when you cross from Ternopil oblast (part of Poland until 1939) into Khmelytsky oblast (part of the USSR until 1939). While it is not a perfect correlation (Kharkiv is relatively safe, and Dnipropetrovsk is even worse than Donetsk), the further Eastern and more Russian you go, the higher the serious/violent crime rate. And the place in Ukraine with the worst such rate is also the most Russian one, Crimea.

    Also notice the 1918 border through western Ukraine. The two Volhynian oblasts in the extreme northwest, Volyn and Rivne, were part of the Russian Empire. The ones to the south had been part of Austria. When you go south into former Austrian territory the serious/violent crime rate drops. Despite the fact that Lviv has western Ukraine’s largest city by far, it has a lower crime rate than the former Russian Empire oblasts. So social problems are not exclusively a Soviet artifact, though the Soviet influence seems to have been clearly worse than the pre-Soviet Russian one.

    Comment by AP — May 6, 2014 @ 8:02 am

  64. @ vladislav

    As for Western media treatment of Ukraine: I have many friends and relatives in Kiev and am in regular contact. The Western reporting of events is far closer to what eyewitnesses I know saw, than the Russian account which is often bizarre. I do not know anyone in Odessa or Donetsk (though a relative was in Odessa two days before the tragic events: all calm) so I can’t directly judge, but based on Kiev reporting I would assume that the Russian media is BS-ing about those regions also.

    Comment by AP — May 6, 2014 @ 4:25 pm


    Afghanistan Supports Russia’s Crimean Takeover, Welcomes Moscow Back Into Country

    Comment by vladislav — May 7, 2014 @ 12:06 am

  66. AP,

    The difference in crime rates could be easily explained by the difference between industrialized regions (former Russian Empire) and somewhat medieval agricultural small-town regions of former Poland, which were purposefully kept such by the Polish oppressors. Just compare the amount of hatred that West Ukrainians had towards all “foreign” ethnicities (Poles, Jews, Magyars), with a much more relaxed views in the Russian Empire’s Ukraine. The amount of hatred in West Ukraine towards the “oppressors”, Poles was incredible. J-P Himka tells the story how West Ukrainians in the late 19th centuries had dreams of the Russian Czar coming and liberating them and killing all the Poles and Jews. On the other hand, in the Russian Empire’s Ukraine the attitude towards Russians was quite friendly. Amazing contrast!

    Crime rates also depend on the local law enforcement. For example, here in the USA we have, afaik, one of the highest incarceration and crime rate in the entire world. Not because Americans are more criminal than other nations, but because the prison-industrial complex in our country needs to be fed with millions of benign people-victims, whose crime is often that of inhaling some funky grass smoke into their lungs in the privacy of their own homes.

    Comment by vladislav — May 7, 2014 @ 12:19 am

  67. AP,

    As I recall, except for Ukraine, your and my views on international politics and US foreign policy are very similar. So are our views on the bigotry of the US mass media when it comes to foreign affairs. So, why would the US media all of a sudden abandon its bigotry and do an even-handed, truthful and unbiased reporting of the events in Ukraine? If they were so bigoted in their coverage of Kosovo, why would they be so objective about Ukraine?

    For example, how do you explain why the US networks always refer to pro-Maidan crowds in Kiev and other places as “pro-democracy demonstrators” and to anti-Maidan crowds in Crimea and Donetsk always as “mob” and “gang”? How is that different form these same networks referring to the KLA terrorists and drug gangsters in Kosovo and to the Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria, hell-bent on exterminating Kurds and Christians, as “freedom fighters”?

    Also, how do you explain why the Kiev junta, which is officially in a deadly war against the Right Sector, totally supported the Right Sector when it exterminated close to 40 people in Odessa?

    Comment by vladislav — May 7, 2014 @ 12:34 am

  68. Also, how do you explain why the US mass media has ignored the holocaust in Odessa and has never told the Americans who burnt whom in Odessa?

    Also about that infamous incident when the pro-Maidan people forged an anti-semitic letter from Donetsk rebels. Why did the US Secretary of State immediately publicize this letter, and why did the State Dept., when later asked why they had perpetuated this forgery, instead of apologizing, insisted that “it wasn’t important” whether this letter was true or a forgery and that it was the pro-Western forces that wrote it, but what was important was “its content”?

    Comment by vladislav — May 7, 2014 @ 12:52 am

  69. > have been trying to find more info on Odessa’s events; when one googles in English

    Here is a detailed photo montage of the holocaust in Odessa with English translations:

    Comment by vladislav — May 7, 2014 @ 2:55 am

  70. @ vladislav:

    “The difference in crime rates could be easily explained by the difference between industrialized regions (former Russian Empire) and somewhat medieval agricultural small-town regions of former Poland, which were purposefully kept such by the Polish oppressors.

    Nonsense. Lviv is as big of a city as Luhansk, yet has less than half of Luhansk’s violent crime rate (226 vs. 497/100,000). Rural regions of Ukraine that had been part of Russia for a long time, such as Sumy oblast (365/100,000), or Kherson oblast (373/100,000), have much higher violent crime rates than western Ukrainian regions (Ternopil, 189/100,000). The best predictor of crime rate in Ukraine is, how long a particular region was ruled from Moscow. This pattern repeats itself with life expectancy – the Galician oblasts have the highest in Ukraine other than the city of Kiev.

    Russia is simply a bad influence on its more civilized western neighbors.

    But – it is helpful when it comes to even less civilized places, such as central Asia (Stalin’s genocidal activities being of course a huge exception).


    I agree that the wording in the US demonstrates some clear bias – not mobs in Kiev, but mobs in Donetsk. Sure. But it’s nothing like the over-the-top image portrayed in the Russian media. The Americans aren’t referring to the Russian crowds as “Stalinist gangs” as the Russians refer to the Maidan as Nazi gangs. And the Americans aren’t spreading totally crazy stories such as the Russian one about Poles demanding autonomy in Zhytomir oblast and getting passports and support from the Polish government in their endeavors. You are comparing subtle twists to outright fabrications here.

    Given that I am much more personally familiar with Ukraine than I am with Kosovo or Iraq, in light of what I have seen of the Ukraine coverage (Western vs. anti-Western) I suspect I may have to re-evaluate my opinion about Western coverage of those other areas. Either:

    1. I was simply wrong. Or, more likely:

    2. The middle east is more dear and central to the USA than it is to Ukraine, so there is more motivation to spread propaganda about it. Conversely, Ukraine is more important to Russia than is Iraq, so it is more motivated to spread propaganda about Ukraine. Because Ukraine is more important to Russia than it is to the West, Russia lies about it much more. Thus, the discrepancy. It’s not a simply an issue of Russia always lies, or the West always lies.


    Comment by AP — May 7, 2014 @ 7:31 am

  71. Actually Vladislav, there has been quite a bit about the deaths in Odessa since they occurred.

    Including the pictures of pro Russian thugs firing on (at the time) unarmed pro Ukrainian protesters.

    Problem for your account is the video showing unarmed protesters lobbing petrol bombs from the roof of the building.

    As to persecution of Serbs in the latter stages of the war in Croatia, do you also condemn the massive crimes against humanity carried out by the Serbs in the early part of the war?

    Comment by Andrew — May 7, 2014 @ 11:00 am

  72. I would point out how everyone quickly forgets about the reporters murdered and dissidents jailed by Russia over the past decade, but then I remembered Michael Hastings.

    So, yes, it’s definitely difficult to figure out what is true and what is not. However, you have to be a mental cripple not to find rt’s reporting utterly comical in nature. I don’t blame them. Like AlJazeera, they are relatively new to this and will take a while to reach the sophistication of the US media…

    The US media, on the other hand, intentionally or not, follows more of a detract and omit strategy. Fox has its various hookers and bimbo’s spewing babble. CNN offers cat videos and local crime dramas. While MSNBC dazzles us with monotone dialogue.

    Comment by vance decker — July 25, 2014 @ 1:27 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress