Moscow dreams of the collapse of Kyiv authorities
“Support by the United States and European Union of anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine has led to a deep split in the Ukrainian society and emergence of an armed conflict. Strengthening the far right nationalistic ideology, purposeful formation of Russia’s image of an enemy among the Ukrainian population, undisguised stake at military solution of internal contradictions, deep social and economic crisis turn Ukraine into a long-term source of instability in Europe and close to the Russian borders.” (from the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation, approved by the Decree dated 31.12.2015).
In late November, Russian leaders found themselves in the wrong boat. On the one hand, they lost faint hopes at the beginning of economic recovery. But that did not shake the existing system of legalized corruption extortion. As a result, for the first time since 2012 the country faced mass organized protests among those who had not supported the ‘Bolotnaya movement’ before. The outburst of discontent of truckers became an unpleasant surprise to the Kremlin.
On the other hand, the authorities were caught unawares by the external events: cease of power supply from Ukraine to the Crimea and destruction by the Turkish Air Force of the combat aircraft of Russian Federation in Syria. In the sense that in a crisis situation the Kremlin did not take steps aimed either at the elimination of the threat or minimization of the damage.
On the contrary, the main efforts were reduced to strengthening the information blockade around the mentioned problems. Most likely, it was the reason why the ‘Donbas’ events kept in the shade for months.
In December, mainly peripheral TV channels (TVC, Ren-TV, Lifenews and especially Zvezda) continued reporting about provocations and shelling by the Ukrainian military of villages and towns in ‘DNR/LNR’.
Most of their attention was attracted not by clash between ‘militia’ and ‘punishers’, but by a mysterious story of death of “Pavel Dremov, a leader of the Cossacks of the self-proclaimed LNR” (total 21 reports and reference in the broadcast on December 12-13).
Even two central TV channels — NTV and Russia — supported this ‘important and urgent topic’. Two messages dominated: murder attempt in the style of international terrorists committed by Ukrainian saboteurs; at the same time the death of a ‘chieftain’ should not give rise to rumors. However, Zvezda, channel of the Russian Ministry of Defense, decided to puzzle their audience by information from an ‘authoritative source’ — ‘Chief of Cossack National Guard Nikolay Kozitsyn’, which did not mention the Ukrainian track.
“LNR authorities: Dremov, a Cossack leader, was killed by Ukrainian security services.
Ukrainian security services are involved in the murder of Pavel Dremov, commander of the Sixth Cossack Regiment. Such statement was made by Igor Yashchenko, deputy chief of staff of People’s Militia of LNR. According to him, the terrorist activities of the Ukrainian security services on the territory of LNR has become more active.
After Dremov’s murder, LNR authorities tightened security, as told by Leonid Pasechnik, State Security Minister of the Republic. He explained that they developed a complex of measures, drew up plans to observe the curfew. Pasechnik also noted that there was intensification of the enemy’s raiding parties on the territory of LNR, associated with blasting.
According to Minister, the other day the TV tower in Rovenky was blown, and before, a Ukrainian raiding and reconnaissance party blasted railway tracks. “In its actions Ukraine moves to the category where methods of international terrorism are used”, he said. The Minister is sure that Dremov’s murder is a very serious blow.”
“Cossack commander Dremov knew that he was a target of a murder attempt
Pavel Dremov, commander of the Sixth Separate Motorized Cossack Regiment of the People’s Militia of LNR, knew of the impending attempt on his life. Nikolay Kozitsyn, chief of the Cossack National Guard, warned the commander about the possible attack several days prior to the tragedy. In interview to ARTV channel, the Cossack chief informed that he had personally talked to Dremov about the impending attempt, but the latter did not take the warning properly.
“Just a week ago I met him in St. Petersburg, I was at his wedding. I talked to him, and I warned him because I had got the information. I was informed that he had to be killed in four-five days”, said the chief of Cossack National Guard Nikolay Kozitsyn.
He also told that the car, where mine had been laid, had been presented to Dremov shortly before the tragedy.
“Enemies are going to all lengths, even cowardly murder. As I am told, this car was presented to him, and the mine had already been laid in the car. So, I think that we will thank all for these things”, said Kozitsyn.
Murder of the commander of Cossack regiment happened on Saturday, December 12. The car with Dremov and his driver was blown on the road Pervomaysk — Stakhanov, near the village of Irmino”.
In our opinion, the coverage of Dremov’s death is an example of how a keen struggle for the audience sympathizing the ideology of ‘Russian spring’ occurs within the Putin’s grouping. They use such techniques as ‘disclosure’ of supposedly ‘exclusive information’ and references to ‘authoritative sources’.
However, when it comes to fundamental things, such as discredit of Ukrainian Armed Forces, all channels smoothly implement the Kremlin’s temniki (guidelines).
For example, on December 27-28, Russian television reported about shelling from the Ukrainian side of OSCE mission, representative of ‘DNR’ Basurin and journalists of VGTRK in ‘neutral’ village of Kominternovo in order to disrupt the work of international observers on collection of facts of recent mortar attack on the village.
On December 27, Ren-TV informed that “a Ukrainian sniper wanted to shoot Basurin”, referring on Basurin himself.
Lifenews, citing the VGTRK special correspondent Andrey Rudenko, states that VGTRK camera crew found themselves under the fire of the Right Sector fighters, since “the territory of the village is under control of Right Sector fighters”.
According to Basurin, TV Centre says that cortege suffered aimed fire from machine guns and sniper rifles from the positions held by the soldiers of the Ukrainian Battalion Aydar.
Russia uses technique of ‘the witness’ to make accusations believable. In the report the same VGTRK special correspondent Andrey Rudenko tells how the “bullet released from the side of Azov Battalion” flew between the camera of the crew and Eduard Basurin, deputy chief of staff of militia of self-proclaimed ‘DNR’, who was nearby… The journalist explained that Kominternovo is situated in the close vicinity of Shyrokine and Vodiane which are under control of ‘radical’ units Right Sector and Azov.
On December 28, TV Centre shows a comment of Konstantin Dolgov, an authorized representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry on human rights, who names the fire upon OSCE observers and VGTRK reporters in the Donbas “a provocation caused by the unwillingness of Kyiv to investigate the killings of Russian journalists in the east of Ukraine”.
With the help of such stories they form the impression of the audience that only nationalists fight against ‘militia’ in the Donbas. This creates a favorable information background for the statements of senior management of the country (on December 20, Putin in the film ‘World order’ at Russia-1) that Russia has nothing left but to save the Donbas population from being ‘eaten’ and ‘eliminated’ by nationalists.
Also during the month there were stories — ‘witnessed’ by defectors from Ukrainian power structures.
So, on December 3, Ren-TV, Zvezda and NTV showed major-general of the SSU, former deputy governor of Donetsk Oblast Oleksandr Tretiak who defected to the ‘Donbas militia’.
On December 19, Ren-TV and Zvezda told about the “resident of Kharkiv Artem Mogut” who was mobilized for service in the border commandant office of rapid response in Kharkiv Oblast, but decided to defect to ‘LNR militia’ because of the “bestial attitude to military personnel from the state and command”.
Manipulation by RTR about the ‘true’ story of the liberation of ‘cyborg’ Rakhman — major of the UAF Andriy Hrechanov — deserves separate mentioning. On December 1, The Ekho Moskvy informed that Rakhman was exchanged for the other Russian officer Vladimir Starkov who had been detained in the Donbas in July. Russia channel decided to overcover information resonance from this message with its story on December 7. Its ‘highlight’ was the ‘confession’ of Hrechanov to the Russian correspondent that “we must give up warfare. We are cheated. We wage war not against the soldiers of the Russian Federation but against civilians”. Moreover, in the story ‘Head of DNR’ Zakharchenko boasts that he has got a lot of such ‘records’, and all future liberations of captives will be accompanied by such information strikes at Kyiv. We would like to add only that the use of ‘queen of evidence’ as an argument in favor of the ‘crimes of junta’ has been in vogue since the summer of 2014. Another thing is that the separatists and Russian TV do not conceal the fact that exchange of captives will take place only after their additional humiliation.
The Ekho Moskvy, News, 01.12.2015
“President of Ukraine has pardoned the Russian serviceman Vladimir Starkov
In autumn, he was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property. He was found guilty of waging aggressive war against Ukraine. Starkov was exchanged for the Ukrainian serviceman who had defended Donetsk airport. Petro Poroshenko met Andriy Hrechanov this night.
Andriy Hrechanov was a chief of an intelligence unit. With regard to Russia’s Vladimir Starkov, he was arrested in July at the checkpoint. He was in a truck with ammunition. Later Starkov gave an interview to Euronews TV channel. He told how he was sent to war in the east of Ukraine.
Exchange of Starkov and Hrechanov is obviously a new stage in the relations of Russia and Ukraine, — says Ilya Novikov, lawyer of Nadiya Savchenko.
According to Novikov, exchange is not the only way of return of Ukrainians and Russians home”.
RTR-Vesti, Vesti, 07.12.2015, 21:00
“PR and deception: how the captive Rakhman returned to Ukraine
Author: Grigoriy Vdovin
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tries to save its rapidly declining confidence rating at all costs. According to the last surveys, near 26 percents of Ukrainians are ready to vote for Poroshenko. For comparison, in the last election where he was victorious, he was supported by 55 percents. And here is the last desperate step of the Ukrainian President: he tried to assign himself the release from captivity of the major of the UAF Andriy Hrechanov who was called ‘cyborg number one’. How was he really released and what part was really played by President Poroshenko?
“This is a real feast”, so describes the meeting of the hero from captivity the commander in chief of Ukraine’s military. As Poroshenko says, he has done a tremendous job to liberate major of the UAF Andriy Hrechanov with a call name Rakhman.
Major Hrechanov himself, who is deemed to be a ‘cyborg number one’ in Ukraine, is sitting in silence. He knows exactly what preceded the moment the President of Ukraine imagined to be a minute of his triumph.
“The exchange, which is to happen in the nearest hours, perhaps 24 hours maximum, was organized and held thanks to one your friend — Alexey Mochanov, — says Head of DNR Aleksandr Zakharchenko. — Neither the President of Ukraine, nor other negotiators participated in the exchange of this man as well as in the exchange of our major”.
“None of the senior officials from that side addressed to me before Mochanov’s call”, — confirms Minister of Defense of DNR Vladimir Kononov.
But the President of Ukraine cannot be stopped: he cannot stop talking about his tireless international activity — it already involves key persons even from the Middle East. And if in Paris Obama greeted Poroshenko, he should probably become a hero of his stories about this exchange. Numerous viewers may assume that, perhaps, Poroshenko was just drunk after his exhausting tour of Paris.
The President himself almost cries while talking with the hero’s mother. Meanwhile, Rakhman himself, being in captivity for so long, managed to tell a lot, because he is one of the so-called ‘cyborgs’ having lodged in the airport and being glorified in Ukraine. Correspondent Dmitriy Petrov had a talk with the detained about the shelling of Donetsk.
“I repent of my government, — said major of the UAF Andriy Hrechanov in the interview. — I want to say that we must give up warfare. We are cheated. We wage war not against the soldiers of the Russian Federation but against civilians. There are no Russian soldiers here, I guessed about it before. And now I confirm it when I am here. I was shown the destruction in Donetsk. I could only imagine the scope of victims after our artillery strikes at the territory of Donetsk”.
The corridors of the former SSU Department in Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian servicemen are held captive in the former archive room now. “Believe me, when you are in captivity, neither Poroshenko, nor other negotiators do not care for your life”, — tells them Aleksandr Zakharchenko.
Meanwhile, Alexey Mochanov, a Ukrainian journalist and ATO volunteer, who contributed greatly to the exchange, so describes the incident on his Facebook page: “Rakhman was held captive not in Russia as Savchenko is. And not in Germany, not in France. Our own negotiation capabilities were quite enough. But it was important to everybody who would benefit from this exchange. PR. Credits. Electorate. What do you want, frills or functionality? It seems that frills.”
‘Frills’, launched in the Ukrainian information field, have worked. Poroshenko swallowed the bait. And so as no one expected. “I did not expect such reaction in Ukraine, — says Head of DNR. — This is an information war in which we dipped our toes in the water. Such things, as we just did, we must pay attention to. And, fortunately, by this moment we have got other video works, and I think that nobody will make PR on all future exchanges.”
Exactly how many captives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are now in Donetsk? This figure must not be disclosed, the information is secret, but as showed the recent story of exchange of Ukrainian major Rakhman, Kyiv authorities are much more interested not in people’s lives but in political points that can be earned. But as they hope here, the long-awaited exchange of all for all still has to be held”.
However, we must emphasize that it all happened on the Russian TV periphery. The main information attack after the ‘Syrian lull’ and ‘Turkish pause’ was aimed at the Ukrainian state. After the summer surge in activity regarding the confrontation between Kyiv and Right Sector in Transcarpathia, the messages and forecasts about the forthcoming collapse of Kyiv authorities have returned.
In December, we can distinguish three directions of the Kremlin’s propaganda efforts:
- Ukraine will face default and bankruptcy due to the end of privileges and preferences in the trade with Russia and non-payment of 3 billion US Dollars debt received in December 2013;
- the growing controversies, scandals and conflicts between President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatseniuk will lead to new shocks and collapse of government;
- Ukraine does not implement Minsk Agreement and, being externally managed by the United States, is preparing to the new aggression in the Donbas.
However, one could observe disparity on TV channels in the coverage of the Ukrainian topic, which probably became a result of confusion of the senior officials. Since the beginning of the month, propagandists had tried hard to show that Ukraine was not in the area of special attention of the first person.
For example, on December 3 NTV and Russia used the method of ‘substitution of concepts’ and references to ‘authoritative sources’ to show how Ukraine is concerned about the lack of attention from the Russian President. It is remarkable that the part of ‘Ukraine’ and ‘Ukrainian media’ was played by pro-Russian Vesti, 112 Channel, and Internet site Comments.
One more message: Putin has supposedly overcome the international isolation, and the ‘Ukrainian question’ no longer defines the attitude of the West to Russia. In particular, in the story dated December 4, Dmitriy Kiselev used the technique of humiliation by calling the President of Ukraine an ‘invisible man’ people from a polite society try to keep away from:
RTR-Vesti, Vesti, 04.12.2015
“Author: Dmitriy Kiselev
The Russian President does not like losing time at mass events. It was proved in Paris. He came there on business. He delivered his speech, said about Russia’s success in the reduction of industrial emissions since 1990 despite the fact that our GDP has almost doubled, said that we continue protecting ecology of the planet, and met with those he wanted to meet. He avoided ritual moments. For example, he did not come to mutual photo session — this is when everybody comes in line, someone is pulling someone by the sleeve and is whispering something, looking for a place to stand by and smiling broadly before the cheese command. It is not in Putin’s line. Although somebody comes to such summits nearly for this alone.
For example, Petro Poroshenko. As if he has nothing left to do but worry about climate. But he arrived. And here it is, the high point — mutual photo session. He has taken a position. He is waiting for Obama. There already was something similar at the UN General Assembly in September. Nevertheless, then Poroshenko caught Obama. And there was handshake somewhere on the run.
But this time the ambush fails. Obama figures out the catcher’s plan and literally slips by the President of Ukraine. He does not notice him at all. It seems that Poroshenko stood as an invisible man. Obama is shaking hands with every leader of each country but only not with Poroshenko who literally blocked his way. He is like an empty suit for Obama!
You begin to understand the remark of Mr.Marvel from Herbert Wells’ ‘Invisible Man’: “It is amazing! I can see a rabbit in half a mile from here through you. And I cannot see you at all”.
However, let’s put the jokes aside. If Poroshenko is really an invisible man, then what the secret is? And it’s simple: deceit and cowardice. You take this mix and become as an invisible man. Everybody passes by you without noticing”.
Then consequences of power cut in the Crimea and IMF’s decision that Ukraine may not return the debt to Russia without risking by default made Putin, and Medvedev, and Lavrov say about Ukraine more often than about Turkey and Syria. And the ‘Ukrainian topic’ finally returned to top positions exactly thanks to the tandem of Putin-Medvedev, who did not seem to “notice it at all”.
At the beginning, on December 9, Dmitriy Medvedev stated (Russia 1, Russia 24 — Talking with Dmitriy Medvedev) that he did not wait for good news from Ukraine: its government were “thieves” who would not return the debt of 3 billion US Dollars. In addition, “Whatever Ukrainian rulers may say, we cannot call what happened to the light otherwise than genocide. This position is quite rude, absolutely ‘thuggish’ as they say”. At the same time Medvedev showed that he was concerned about the Ukrainian people: “I do not think that today the Ukrainian people care about these three billion US Dollars. Now Ukrainian people think how to live through this winter whose consequences for the whole Ukraine are still unknown”.
However, on the same day Putin approves the supply of coal to Ukraine — to the same ‘thieves’ and ‘thugs’ whom he correctly calls ‘partners’. He does it from the TV screens of the First Channel:
The First Channel, News, 09.12.2015, 21:00
“Vladimir Putin: First, we should resume the supply of coal to Ukraine. They turned on one power line at least, but turned on. We should resume the supply of coal. This is the first. Second, it is not admitted that we had continuing contracts for supply of power from Ukraine to the Crimea. You understand, right? We should take a glance more carefully not to put anybody in the difficult situation. And warn everybody in advance that from a certain time we will not need power anymore. In principle, we do not need it now by and large. But Ukrainian partners resumed — very well. If they resumed, so we will take what they resumed”.
Then, during the month, central channels told the viewers how effective the protection measures of the Russian market from the Ukrainian and European goods would be after the cancellation of a free trade zone between Russia and Ukraine. They mentioned a figure of 3.5 billion US Dollars of possible losses for Russian manufacturers.
To illustrate how the Russian politics undermine Kyiv government, they launch stories built on information, fragmented and torn out of context, and kaleidoscopic selection of unrelated facts.
RTR-Vesti, Vesti, 29.12.2015
“President of Ukraine Poroshenko allowed the government to impose sanctions on Russia. This step is purely symbolic — any restrictions will harm Ukraine itself…
Against this background, the wave of social protests is covering over Ukraine. Farmers blocked roads and confidently state: we’ve come! Further is only the agony of the industry. The main demand is to cancel amendments to the Tax Code, otherwise there will be collapse — farms become unprofitable. Instead of this, as they say on the roads, the government is creating preferences for the European agricultural products. As a result, there are many-kilometers traffic jams. It is clear for farmers — there are no prospects.
Khmelnytskyi, Vinnytsia, Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Poltava, Cherkasy, Chernihiv oblasts erupted one by one. The most important roads are blocked. Drivers are nervous. Enraged farmers agreed to pass only ambulances and buses with children. There are no exceptions for the others. Conflicts between drivers and protest participants are flaring up.
Some farmers, completely desperate, went even further in protest — they burn machinery. The protest is also taking place in Zaporizhzhya — on the city central square. There are bags of grain, which soon Ukraine may lack, under the windows of the Oblast administration. According to the new laws, many subsidies and compensations, which existed before, are in the past. Financial press on farms increases sharply. But those were the requirements of the IMF in exchange of loans.
Protesters appeal directly to Poroshenko, and the tone of the appeal makes it clear how much angry people are. “If he has not cope with the situation by December 10, we will block the roads completely and stand day and night”, — promises Ihor Braginets, Chairman of the Agrarian Union in Kherson Oblast.
Everything that is happening is the best explanation why Poroshenko’s rating fell from 47 to 17 percents (it is less than once Yanukovych had). Against the backdrop of mass protests, Kyiv authorities are thinking of the introduction (impossible!) of cards for bread. The thing is that the products going on sale at reduced prices — for socially vulnerable citizens — are bought in bulk by wholesalers. Pensioners are left with nothing. Perhaps, now the sale of cheap bread to one person will be limited”.
Some national experts help Russian manipulators as well. For example, Mykhailo Pohrebynskyi, Viktor Medvedchuk’s close advisor, in the comment to the First Channel, suggests the ‘right’ recipe for saving the country:
The First Channel, News, 07.12.2015, 21:00
“Political analyst Mykhailo Pohrebynskyi: “If now we are convulsively getting or shall get the next tranche of the IMF, then the following will be much harder to get. And I do not see other ways to stop this movement into the abyss, but to return to the track of normal, at least economic, relations with Russia””.
However, on December 28, Arkadiy Dvorkovich directly stated that the trade between two countries suffered mainly because of the devaluation of the Ruble and ‘tensions’. And on December 30, on RTR, Aleksey Likhachev, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, admitted that, even before cancelling the free trade zone with Ukraine, the total trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine reduced by 80 percents in 2015.
“Exclusive interview of Arkadiy Dvorkovich, Vice Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, to Russia 24 channel, 28.12.2015
Arkadiy Dvorkovich: “The volume of trade between Russia and Ukraine has already significantly dropped due to the natural factors we could observe in the last months. First of all, because of the weak Ruble and the overall tense relations. Also the serious restrictions on the part of Rosselkhoznadzor, Rospotrebnadzor had already been in force, the supplies of separate types of products had already been low enough. Therefore, there will be no serious effect for Russia. Rather, it will be for Ukraine: she will lose even more, the economy will weaken even more””.
In our opinion, the hardest thing was to explain why Ukraine gets off with a whole skin, violating the vital interests of Russia. Not to let such thoughts come to mind to a viewer, he was offered a ‘soap opera’ about “Saakashvili quarrelling with Yatseniuk” and its sequel “Avakov quarrelling with Saakashvili”; ‘sensations’ about Americans having supplied a military secondhand to Ukraine, and Ukraine supplying the newest air defense to the Syrian rebels through Qatar; about the churches pogroms and even homosexuality of senior officials.
- On December 1, The First Channel and Lifenews, with reference to Washington Post, informed that American military equipment supplied to Ukraine “was, by and large, a waste decommissioned from service”.
- On December 7, Vesti, with reference to CyberBerkut, showed “new evidences of the fact that Ukraine is selling weapons from Soviet arsenals. Qatar, a ‘title sponsor’ of ISIS, acts as a purchaser”.
- On December 7, NTV showed “Yatseniuk and President of the European Commission exchanging kisses in Brussels”, and hinted that “that was not the first time when Yuncker kissed the Ukrainian Prime Minister before cameras”.
- On December 7–9, 13 and 23, there were 5 stories on Russia and NTV about the involvement of the SSU and nationalists to the “theft of the collection of 24 pictures from the Museum of the Dutch city Horn. The pictures value is about 10 million Euros”; “Tiahnybok and Nalyvaychenko are suspected in blackmailing the Dutch museum”; on December 13, Dmitriy Kiselev himself cited the hateful British media: “British English The Guardian cites Director of the Dutch Museum Ad Geerdink: “Our collection is in hands of corrupt officials, in the heart of the Ukrainian political elite. They refuse to return pictures and want only one thing: to illegally make money on our cultural heritage””. At last, on December 23, “it was revealed that Valentin Nalyvaychenko, being an officer of the Ukrainian Embassy in Helsinki in 1994, using his diplomatic status, established the work of art smuggling channel. Finnish police took the evidence of everything and documented, but could not open an occurrence. The USA asked not to give publicity to the story”.
- On December 9–10, The First Channel and NTV accused the Ukrainian authorities in their intention to “transfer Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra from the Moscow Patriarchate to the Kyiv one”. And on December 21, the same channels reported about ‘pravoseki’ (members of Right Sector) ‘taking hostages’ when making an assault on the church in Ptichye village in Rivne Oblast.
- On December 10, NTV gave floor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, who “pointed at rampant extremism and lawlessness in Ukraine, commenting on the regular report of the UN observer mission on the situation in this country”. At the same time they naturally did not mention about the crimes on the occupied territories of Donbas (tortures and disappearances).
- On December 11, The First Channel showed the fight in the Parliament and ‘take-away’ of the Prime Minister from the rostrum.
- From December 4 to 27, there was a soap opera about the confrontation of ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili against Prime Minister Yatseniuk and Minister of Internal Affairs Avakov. First, they spread Saakashvili’s words about corruption of Yatseniuk, Kolomoyskiy and Akhmetov. From December 14 to 27, there were not less than 23 stories about consequences of the fight and mutual accusations of Saakashvili and Avakov on central channels. Even Putin himself mentioned this scandal twice (on December 17, within the framework of the annual big press conference, he called the appointment of ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili as governor of Odesa Oblast “a spit in the face of the Ukrainian people”, and on December 20, in the film ‘World order’ broadcasted by Russia 1, he called conflicts in the Ukrainian government a ‘tragicomedy’).
- On December 14, RTR dedicates prime time to “Andriy Portnov’s investigation, who is well known in Kyiv political circles”, of the fact that “President Poroshenko may be involved in the illegal withdrawal of capital from the country, money laundering and fraud in the offshore. Trade goes through Panama, Belize and Dominican Republic, where the tax paradise was established long ago”.
- On December 15, NTV stated that “a large retail chain ‘Auchan’ removed the cakes of Roshen confectionery company owned by President of the country Petro Poroshenko from its shelves” because of their high cost.
- On December 17, NTV broadcasted the statement of Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law, that Ukraine had turned into the “testing ground of neo-Nazism”. We must note that Dolgov made this statement for the European media: he drew their attention to the fact that “neo-Nazi organizations are actively developing in Ukraine, the EU members must understand who they associate with”. He made an example of Azov Battalion. It is remarkable that in a month, on January 19, they spread a video of Azov fighters threatening the Dutch for the wrong voting at the referendum in YouTube.
- On December 18, Ren-TV, referring to Russian Spring, informed that the investigation initiated by Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov “had fixed” the fact of selling military Humvee (a military option of a Hummer civilian truck) presented by Joe Biden, the USA Vice-President.
- On December 23, NTV and Russia cited words from Poroshenko’s speech in Knesset that “Ukraine was created by Jews” with anti-Semitic subtext.
- On December 25, NTV provided the viewers with “unique documents evidencing that during the year of 2015 Ukraine’s military and political officials had been actively negotiating with the USA on the purchase of weapons and ammunition”.
In their propaganda fervor, the TV people do not notice the errors of fact. For example, on December 16, on the First Channel they cited ‘expert’ Oleg Bondarenko who connected Odesa Port Plant with refinery of oil coming from Turkey and ISIS. The corrections were made on December 20, when Odesa Port Plant was called a plant producing ammonia, but it was assumed at once that it may be sold to the Americans for LPG processing.
The First Channel, News, 16.12.2015, 21:00
“The background of the dispute of the two ‘reformers’, as it turned out, is who will control Odesa Port Plant since it holds the main flows of export and import.
“Who works through Odesa Plant now (previously it was Kolomoyskiy) is a good question. There was information, for example, that Erdogan’s son traded ISIS’s oil, transporting it to Odesa Plant. To the same plant Avakov talked about. And that was this plant, from where in response they delivered weapons for ISIS from the territory of Ukraine, weapons from the area of antiterrorist operation of the punishers, the so-called antiterrorist operation”, — says political analyst Oleg Bondarenko”.
The First Channel, News, 20.12.2015, 21:00
“The thing is what the reason of conflict between Saakashvili and Avakov is. OPP — Odesa Port Plant. Along with Odesa Port, this is one of the few businesses in Ukraine making profit. Having become head of Odesa Oblast, the former President of Georgia had just taken it away from the people of oligarch Kolomoyskiy when suddenly powerful competitors reappeared.
“Saakashvili cannot buy this plant, he has not got such fortune, but he is lobbying Americans, he is no fool, he understands that the Americans are on his territory, and he can be a junior partner in this business. And Avakov today is held as a businessman, he has got serious assets”, — notes Vladimir Oleynik, member of the Committee of Rescue of Ukraine.
OPP is a valuable object. Actually, the whole export of the Ukrainian chemical industry goes through it. There are an ammonia pipeline from Russia and berths equipped with powerful pumps there. They say there are plans to reequip the plant for receipt of American LGP”.
Have Russian TV people eventually been able to cover the weakness of Putin in the Ukrainian issue and in the relations with the West in general? The TV set promised the viewers that Ukraine was punished and would pay even more for its behavior in the Donbas and Crimea. The only thing that remained was to give Putin a real reason to direct his citizens’ discontent at the defense of the population of the ‘south-east’ from Ukrainian ‘nationalists’. Meanwhile, the keepers of the source of instability in the vicinity of Russian borders will try to escalate military tension in the Donbas and information tension on the screens to the level of spring 2014.