Russian "fairy tales" seek to defame Ukraine

19:20, 31 December 2018
Politics
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REUTERS

21st-century Russian writing characterized by a lack of imagination, disregard for factual information, manipulation of fear and blatant lies, James Wilson wrote for International Policy Digest.

Today, lies and false news are so pervasive in Russian news that it is impossible to differentiate fact from fiction. The only safe presumption one can make about news from Russia is that any stated facts cannot be relied on and that further research is necessary to check the motives behind the published statements in order to understand what is the impact that the media controlled by security services are trying to achieve.

With Presidential elections only 3 months away in Ukraine, Russian propaganda efforts targeting Ukraine now appear to be moving into warp drive.

A standard by-the-book KGB tactic has always been to seek to blacken the Ukrainian military, with false accusations of war crimes. Lately, it has taken the form of strangely recurrent warnings that the Ukrainian Army is preparing to use chemical weapons in the war in Eastern Ukraine, although bizarrely Ukraine does not actually possess any chemical weapons.

Nonetheless, the allegations being made are very detailed, and the descriptions are both professional and superficially plausible. But then, Russia knows exactly what it is talking about. The latest evidence of chemical warfare involved the actions of the Russian military in Syria. The evidence was so strong that Russia sent special agents to the Netherlands to try to hack the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague in order to seek to compromise their investigation.

The Kremlin is very insistent on predicting that “very soon the Ukrainian military will use chemical weapons in Donbas,” which raises suspicions about Russia’s reputation for the use of chemical weapons. Russia’s top specialists in chemical warfare, who were most likely responsible for the chemical attacks in Syria, have recently been relocated to Donbas, where they have been spotted, and their presence has been reported in the media. Chemical suits have been distributed among Ukrainian separatists in Eastern Ukraine and the rumors are grim.

"Could it be possible that they are considering to initiate such an attack themselves?" the author writes.

Read alsoRussian media aim to destabilize Ukraine ahead of elections

In reality, it is unlikely that Donbas militants are seriously anticipating any chemical attack from the Ukrainian military; they have no reason to suspect that. By gaining war experience in the Donbas conflict, the Ukrainian military and law enforcement officers are known to learn to use force precisely and discriminately, without giving the insurgents a chance to portray military activities as brutal. Therefore the only explanation for the Kremlin’s repeated predictions that the Ukrainian military is preparing to use chemical warfare, is that this is just an example of one of the Kremlin’s false flag operations.

The situation today looks as though seasoned KGB agents have been left to themselves to lead their nation, without any political agenda or strategic government goals other than the self-preservation of their own institution. Increasingly the Kremlin is playing with global processes using unsophisticated means and manuals without any clear end. By its actions, Russia is testing national governments’ authority and human values across the globe.

"One can only wish that Russia would devote more state funds to the patronage of the arts and literature, and leave the routine business of delivering factual news to trusted professional journalists," the author wrote. "A resurgence of artistic and literary excellence in Russia would quickly deliver the international respect and admiration that the current leadership seems to crave, and certainly more effectively than any propaganda strategy that tries to control global information through clumsy brain-washing."

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