Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy

Roman Tsymbaliuk
22:00, 04 October 2016
268 0
Opinion

Russian propaganda aims to make its citizens have an unconditioned reflex: The Kremlin is right, it brings truth to its people, while all who stand against the Kremlin are liars and enemies.

To achieve this goal, the terms "freedom of speech" and "different perspectives" are being widely used, to turn into zombies not only the Russians but also the citizens of the Western states. Many countries, including Ukraine, were forced to resort to restrictive measures and cut the broadcast of Russian TV channels. This caused outrage among Russian officials who claimed that their journalists were deprived of the right to show the "alternative angle." Who cares if these journalists arrived along with the convoy of the occupation army? This is "the second point of view", right? – to rebrand with an honest look Russian soldiers into "polite people", be filmed with MANPADS outside the Ukrainian airfields, or fabricate bogeyman stories of "little boys crucified by Nazi Ukrainians” or "a Russian girl Lisa, raped by Syrian migrants in Germany". The emphasis has always been placed on the fact that a journalist is someone who does a specific kind of job, so his "objective" presentation of information cannot be pleasing to everyone.

However, on October 30, Russia decided to step over its own mind-settings. On this day, Roman Suchshenko, a reporter from Ukrinform [Ukraine’s state-owned news agency] was detained and subsequently arrested in Moscow. For many years, the man has been working for the agency in Paris and only flew to Moscow on a personal trip. After a few hours that Roman spent on Russian soil, it turned out that he "collected classified information on Russian army and the National Guard." The Russian FSB [Federal Security Service] charged him with espionage, which means Sushchenko is facing ten to twenty years in prison.

Obviously, the “great” country, which again and again tries to rise from its knees, needs to constantly rob, bomb, or arrest someone to feel as a "full" member of the international community

The Kremlin labeled the arrest a "special services routine", while the Russian Foreign Ministry did not recognize him as a journalist as “he did not have local accreditation papers." Nobody cares about the fact that Roman Sushchenko has been in journalism for many years. The flywheel has been launched. If the Russian security forces are tasked with presenting a person as a criminal, there is no doubt that they will do their dirty job. This bad dream factory has never failed yet. It is no coincidence that Roman has not been allowed any visitors since his arrest, including the Ukrainian Consul. Only the lawyer was allowed visit on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia is not the first country accusing journalists of spying. Usually, this is typical for dictatorial regimes of the Third World. The case is easy to present, as reporters often use a set of "spy gear": digital recorders and cameras. And they also ask questions. What if they want to dig down to the military secrets?!

The arrest of the Ukrainian journalist continues a general trend of Russia’s deteriorating relations with the West and its "satellite" Ukraine

Well, if someone is a spy, why let them enter the Russian territory? They could have just sent him back to the “rotten Europe”, or whatever they call the EU, to go on hating Russia from afar. However, Moscow has made it the opposite way. The process has been launched to gradually mold his image as that of a criminal because the Kremlin realizes: the hype will only increase, and various international organizations will be expressing more and more "concern". The experience of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia shows though that this helps very few, while most of them get to serve long sentences. Not all of them were swapped.

Obviously, a “great” country, which again and again tries to rise from its knees, needs to constantly rob, bomb, or arrest someone to feel as a "full" member of the international community.

The arrest of the Ukrainian journalist continues a general trend of Russia’s deteriorating relations with the West and its "satellite" Ukraine. “Let them all see what it means to delay the introduction of a special status for Donbas at Moscow’s conditions and tell us not to bomb eastern Aleppo,” the Kremlin thinks. The Sushchenko case is another evidence of the fact that absolutely every citizen of Ukraine may be prosecuted in the Russian Federation. There is more than enough articles of the criminal code to choose from. Besides espionage, there is terrorism, extremism, insulting the feelings of religious believers, and others.

It seems the Kremlin has captured yet another hostage.

#FreeSushchenko 

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