17.03.2014 Author: Tony Cartalucci

Media War: The Battle for Crimea

543The Western press has been deceiving readers, listeners, and viewers since the beginning of the so-called “Euromaidan” protests – from covering up the ultra-right wing ideology and literal Neo-Nazi flag wavers leading the mobs, to the role the West has played in organizing, funding, and equipping the protesters in the first place.  

With their proxies now entrenched in Kiev after violently overthrowing the elected government of  Viktor Yanukovych, the truth has begun to trickle out, and with it, Russia has gained ground against the West in its defense of the Ukrainian people from what is essentially and quite obviously a right-wing Nazi regime backed by foreign interests from the West once again occupying Ukrainian territory just as they had in World War II. And just like in WW II, the Crimea peninsula has become a pivotal battleground.

While there are Russia troops, permanently stationed in Crimea under a long-standing treaty, and the West has begun to posture militarily – the battle is currently being fought across the media. 

Laying Out the Battleground in Crimea: Russia’s Case 

Russia has defended Ukraine from fascism for decades, spending the blood of millions pushing the Nazis out of the region in the 1940’s and now again against literal Neo-Nazis occupying Kiev after yet another Western-backed coup has overthrown Ukraine’s elected government – the first being the US-engineered 2004 “Orange Revolution” (as covered in the Guardian’s article, “US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev“). 

Russia insists that once again, fascism threatens the lives and freedoms of the Ukrainian people with whom Russia shares a collective history, long-standing socioeconomic and even linguistic and cultural ties. This is based not on “Russian propaganda,” but on demonstrated actions already carried out by the new Western-backed regime in Kiev.

Immediately after seizing power, the assault on Russian-Ukrainians began. The International Business Times in its article, “Watch Your Tongue: Language Controversy One Of Fundamental Conflicts In Ukraine,” pointed out that:

Immediately after the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych from power on Feb. 22, the Ukrainian Parliament repealed a controversial law passed in 2012 that allowed the use of “regional languages” – including Russian, Hungarian, Romanian and Tatar — in courts and certain government functions in areas of the country where such speakers constituted at least 10 percent of the population. (In 1991, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the newly independent state of Ukraine established Ukrainian as its sole official language.)

The West’s Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) would also find it necessary to condemn moves by the regime in Kiev to censor Russian media in Ukraine. A post appearing on OSCE’s official website titled, “OSCE media freedom representative concerned about new steps to restrict media plurality in Ukraine,” stated:

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed concern about demands that cable operators in Ukraine stop transmitting certain Russian television channels. 

“I repeat my call to the authorities not to initiate these repressive measures,” Mijatović said. “Banning programming without a legal basis is a form of censorship; national security concerns should not be used at the expense of media freedom.” 

On 11 March the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine demanded that all cable operators stop broadcasts of the Russian television channels Rossiya 24, ORT, RTR Planeta and NTV-Mir.

It is clear that the West’s newly created regime in Kiev is pursing a dangerous and oppressive policy that amounts to fascism. With parties such as “Right Sector,” Svoboda, and the “Fatherland Party” forming its leadership and openly espousing hatred toward Jews, Russians, homosexuals and other minorities, it is no surprise that Ukraine’s predominantly Russia regions in the east seek to disassociate and remove themselves from the current regime in Kiev. Nor is it a surprise that Russia is mobilizing resources to defend against a historically familiar threat that once again lies directly along their border.

The West’s Front in Crimea 

lgf01a201403091500Across the Western media, there have even been admissions that the “uprising” in Kiev was led by outright Nazis. The BBC’s short video report, “Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine,” exposes this otherwise intentionally ignored aspect of “Euromaidan.” Attempts to cover up the fascist nature of the regime in Kiev by the West is intentional – and to further misled the public, they have begun fabricating narratives portraying Russia as the “Hitler-style” aggressor. 

In Crimea in particular, the West has attempted to portray the ethnic minority Tartars as facing impending doom as a result of closer ties with Russia. In the New York Times article, “Mindful of Past, Many Tatars Fear a Russian Future,” it claims: 

As Crimea prepares to vote on Sunday on whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, the prospect of a renewed Russian presence in Crimea evokes for Tatars raw memories of Communist-era depredations. 

A Turkic Muslim minority with deep roots on the Black Sea peninsula, the Crimean Tatars see themselves as a native population, though they have had to struggle to maintain their place in their homeland. Under the Soviets, the Tatars lived through collectivization, Stalin’s purges, World War II and, in 1944, a brutal ethnic cleansing that sent nearly 200,000 into exile in the Gulag and Central Asia, unfairly accused of collaboration with the Nazis. Nearly half are believed to have died.

The West is attempting to manufacturing an impending crisis by citing baseless anecdotes and deportations that occurred decades ago under Joseph Stalin and his political system that has long since ended. Buried deep within the New York Times piece is an admission that:

The Kremlin and the new Crimean government led by Sergei Aksyonov have expressed strong sympathy for the Tatars’ concerns. Russian leaders invited a former Soviet dissident and current member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Mustafa Dzhemilev, to Moscow, where he met with representatives of Russian Tatarstan and spoke for 30 minutes on Wednesday by phone with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the Crimean Parliament passed a resolution providing for protections of Tatar rights, including proportional representation in the new government and official status for the Crimean Tatar language.

So unlike the Western-backed regime in Kiev that has moved to oppress ethnic minorities across Ukraine, the Russian and Crimean leadership have taken steps to protect ethnic minorities in regions set to peel away from Kiev. And while the West attempts to spin, defend, or simply ignore the bigotry and oppression of their new regime in Kiev, they attempt to sow doubt and fear across the public in regards to Crimea’s closer ties with Russia. 

While the vast majority of Crimea’s Tartars will continue living in peace with their neighbors, the West appears to be preparing to use a violent minority tied to the fascist regime now occupying Kiev to create a conflict they hope to exploit as they battle for Crimea. The New York Times, which cited Chechnya, appears to be laying the groundwork for a very unpleasant, armed destabilization orchestrated by the West.

Already, in the Christian Science Monitor’s article “Most Americans support Obama on Ukraine – tentatively,” calls for a wider (and armed) confrontation with Russia via Ukraine were signaled. The article reported:

“We may wish to believe, as President Obama has said, that we are not ‘in competition with Russia,’” Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona wrote in a New York Times op-ed column Friday. “But Mr. Putin believes Russia is in competition with us, and pretending otherwise is an unrealistic basis for a great nation’s foreign policy.” 

McCain urges sending arms and military trainers to Ukraine as soon as possible.

US Senator John McCain had taken to the stage in Kiev, side-by-side with the Neo-Nazis and bigots of Svoboda, and had previously been directly involved in the arming, funding, and political support of Al Qaeda in both Libya and Syria. His intentions to “arm” and “advise” fascist militants in Ukraine, only further vindicate Russia’s security concerns for Russian-Ukrainians within Crimea, and for security within its own borders.

 Responsibility to Protect (R2P) 

While the West has taken the “responsibility to protect,” and abused it through a series of wars fought under fabricated pretenses, in Kiev verified Nazis are stripping the rights and liberties of Ukrainians and promoting an ideology that has already killed millions. For Russia, this is not a case of sending troops thousands of miles beyond its borders to “protect civilians,” it is a matter of maintaining peace and stability directly on its borders, within a nation its troops are already stationed in under treaty, and involving people who share the same language, culture, and history as the people of Russia.

The West has knowingly and intentionally placed Nazis into power – literal Nazis who are now oppressing the population both with legislation and roving bands of armed militants in the streets. Their intention is to erase Russian-Ukrainians and other “undesirables” from their culture, just as the Nazis did during World War II.

If ever there was a time to invoke the responsibility to protect, it would in Ukraine, and the time would be now.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”


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