Today I will begin by looking at how the Ukrainian conflict is covered in the international media thanks to this blog’s network of 55 correspondents and translators in the following regions: Europe, North America, South America, Middle-East, Russia/CIS, Indian Subcontinent, Far East Asia, Oceania and Africa. Below I am reproducing some reports I selected form those which our correspondents sent me. This is our first try at that, so we ask for your undersanding and patience with us.
B. reports from North Carolina: all news media is owned and operated by the usual mainstream conglomerates, occasionally offering independent regional reports, otherwise merely regurgitating official propaganda funneled through their corporate news feeds. The majority of people in this region are exceptionalistically (not a word but apropos) pro-U.S. first and foremost, pro-NATO/EU to some degree, although most do not concern themselves with international affairs, and, of course, anti-Russian, some of whom have retained remnants of fear from the Cold War era “Red Scare” propaganda campaigns, especially older Americans. Shortly after the putsch, I voiced my concern to the NBC/MSNBC newsroom that their frequent personal attacks and fear mongering against Putin and Russia could possibly create a backlash inciting fear, hate and perhaps violence towards Russians living in the U.S. among those so inclined.
J. reports from Canada: Many Canadians are very loyal to the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, a crown corporation, and accept its perspective without much question. (Perhaps similar to National Public Radio in the US.) Here are four selected excerpts this morning from CBC news. Notice that while each of the statements is factually true, it amounts to pro-west propaganda. My feeling is that most Canadians accept this kind of reporting without question:
There were no immediate signs of any outright intimidation by pro-Russian forces Sunday, and insurgents near the polls were not wearing their usual balaclavas. The insurgents in the east have seized government buildings and clashed with government troops and police over the past month. More than 30 people have been reported killed since Ukrainian forces began trying to retake some eastern cities from the insurgents. Over the past few weeks, the Ukrainian government and the West have accused Russia of trying to destabilize the country or create a pretext for another invasion. Russia — which annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula just days after voters there approved secession in a March referendum — has rejected the accusations. “The farce, which terrorists call the referendum, will have no legal consequences except the criminal responsibility for its organizers,” Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said in a statement Monday.
The Donetsk People’s Republic was declared Monday by Denis Pushilin, a 32-year-old businessman who is accused of having run a pyramid scheme before emerging last month as the political leader of a pro-Russian rebel movement whose gunmen seized control of government buildings around the Donetsk region. Almost immediately after declaring sovereignty, Mr. Pushilin appealed to Moscow to absorb Donetsk, which he said had “always been part of the Russian world.” Addressing a packed press conference inside a government building held by pro-Russian gunmen, Mr. Pushilin bemoaned the collapse of the Soviet Union as a “catastrophe.”
C. reports from Greece: Most of the mainstread print media give what appears to be a balanced report of the situation: in their majority they don’t offer their own opinion on the referendum and quote all relevant stakeholders. The gist they present is that most of the people in East Ukraine voted in a “controversial” referendum, amidst violence, which has been declared illegal by Kiev, the EU, the USA etc. The West, the media report, accuse Putin of trying to destabilize the region, something which Moscow denies. So, for the unsuspected reader, this is a more or less balanced story, easily digestible. However, the choice of titles for the articles and the language used throughout indicates a pro-American bias. An example is an article from the newspaper Ethnos, which is entitled The referendum in East Ukraine “a criminal farce with the support of the Kremlin”, using a quote that came out of Kiev (http://www.ethnos.gr/article.
C. reports from Germany: The German media reported the results truthfully but did its best to discredit the referendum. Most articles quote one of the freaks in Kiev to provide the opposing opinion. Furthermore, the German media is emphasizing that nobody will recognize the referendum citing for example German FM Steinmeier (Steinmeier: Referendum ist nicht ernst zu nehmen). But it gets even worse. Bild sent a reporter into eastern Ukraine. He visited several polling stations with his friend “Vladimir” from Donetsk and “Vladimir” voted at least seven times to demonstrate how easy it was to manipulate the referendum (the article is behind a paywall but you can watch a short video about it here). Der Spiegel is following a similar approach. One Spiegel reporter, who was in Mariupol, stressed that there are no lists of registered voters and therefore everybody could vote multiple times. This was reemphasized in another Spiegel article today and has been highlighted by several German media outlets. Of course, nobody mentions the fact that Kiev had refused to hand out these lists. The Süddeutsche Zeitung published a summary of all the “evidence” refuting the validity of the referendum including this phony SBU recording:
“Was für eine Farce”
Mehrfachwähler, gefälschte Stimmzettel und Busladungen voller Separatisten, die aus anderen Landesteilen zur Abstimmung angekarrt wurden: Nach der Volksabstimmung über eine Abspaltung der Ostukraine werden Betrugsvorwürfe laut. Das ganze Referendum, so kommentieren viele, sei eine Farce.
Now the good news: The majority of the German population is fed up with the propaganda and understands the Russian point of view. Although most Germans do not necessarily support Russia in this conflict, they do not support the U.S. or the EU either. Two weeks ago, I wrote an article for Boiling Frogs Post about this issue, which deals with the struggle of the German people against the local oligarchy and AngloZionist influence:
Another noteworthy development is the recent work of a German satirical television program, which is aired on ZDF (one of Europe’s biggest public-service television broadcasters famous for its NATO propaganda): [русские субтитры] – Немецкое телевидение насмехается над Майданом – German TV laughed at Maidan
[русские субтитры] – Новый выпуск немецкого “Дурдома”! О России и Украине
C. reports from France: Articles in the French media about the referendum are without any surprise. They all say the same thing. But there is something really interesting. Since das Bild’s publication of the American mercenaries in Ukraine yesterday, the main-stream newspaper and radio have repercuted this information (le Monde, le Point, Le Figaro, Boursorama, radio Europe1, RTL,..)
“L’hebdomadaire allemand “Bild am Sonntag” révèle que des employés de la société américaine privée Blackwater combattent aux côtés de l’armée régulière ukrainienne.//Environ 400 mercenaires d’une //*entreprise militaire privée américaine, Blackwater, *//opèrent en Ukraine aux côtés des soldats et de la police ukrainienne dans des opérations contre les séparatistes pro-russes, affirme le journal allemand//Bild am Sonntag //ce dimanche 11 mai.”
The alternative anglo-french blog dedefensa.org gives an interesting analysis of the publication of the Bild http://www.dedefensa.org/article-les_myst_res_de_bild_12_05_2014.html the analysis seems true for the French press. Is it the beginning of the “sifflement du ballon qui se dégonfle” “wistle of the balloon that desinflates”? It should be noted that this information, that alternative media had already given sometimes ago, had never been given by the main stream media.
A. reports from Italy: our main newspapers are Corriere della Sera (the one read in foreing countries, it is like a whasington post), LaRepubblica (leftist, it is comparable with NYT and LeMonde) and Sole24ore (economic newspaper). Also there are IlGiornale and Libero (more rightist and, given they are aligned to Berlusconi, more free somehow) and LaStampa (Agnelli’s property).
Summary: as usual Italian media is totally aligned with propaganda. You can find more liberty in not very mainstream media (like the ones owned by Berlusconi – incredible but true). WHat i report below are the main articles dedicated today to Ucraine – which are basically all the same – and an interesting one (last one) by Il, Giornale special reporter with exclusive (but free) videos and audios contents. My personal understanding is that our media stress a lot any facts that can be used, also if ambiguous, against Russia; putting then aside any neutral news. Also, it is clear to me concertation of western medias but this is not a big finding. Italians do not trust anyone (neither each other) especially in this strange times with no values. With many doubts, they are basically aligned to US, in any case. Remember that Italy has a long story of getting into a war on the wrong side. Luckily (and quietly disappointing for other countries) we also have the costume to end wars on the right one. I hope this will also be the case.
Corriere della Sera: The news about Ukrains (may 12th, 11.40 am) are in the middle of the web page, not very visibile. The title is: Ucraina, il referendum chiuso con un plebiscito: 95% di sì Ucraina. First part of the article try to report facts, without biasing them it seems. Then follows the statement that for the west the referendum is illegal. The article add that major of Svatove refuses to organize referendum. Then it is finally written some considerations about the validity of the referendum. The news (like the civilian killed) are reported but not explained to a “normal reader”. Also, it is stated that population is knonw about the non validity of referendum but that they do not care, they want to send a signal.
La Stampa: La Stampa, as usual, it is aligned to Corriere and Repubblic in Foreign policy (that is the foreign policy of a country with 300 US bases in its territory, more or a less). It is interesting that the Ukraine news are above on the web site (LaStampa has more sophisticated readers, usually)
ILGiornale: More interesting ILGiornale, which is currently reporting situation FROM Ukraine having sent there journalist Fausto Biloslavo (by the means of crowfunding funded vy readers). This article try to provide a more impartial point of view, just telling what Biloslavo sees.
L. reports from Sweden: Unsurprisingly, there’s nothing in Swedish media (Svenska Dagbladet – svd.se and Aftonbladet – aftonbladet.se) on Blackwater mercs. They follow their old script and pretend the news doesn’t exist; in exceptional cases, such a news that was left out in Sweden but makes it ’round the world usually comes back to the local media a few days later as a twisted one-liner (like “German tabloids have reported that…”) with no significance. However, there are reports by Aftonbladet (they just translate a story by CNN) on shootings in Krasnoarmijsk with at least 2 dead. On the other hand, Balkan media has noticed and reported the “Academy” news, quoting both “Welt am Sontag” and “The Voice of Russia” (they even reminded their readers on last week’s news proliferated by German media about “dozens of US alphabet soup agencies’ agents counseling Yatz’s gubbermint). The referendum, as well as every other news coming out of Ukraine, is reported on with a pro-Banderastan tone in each and every one of Swedish media (both papers and TV/radio). Balkan media (I visit mostly Serbian and Macedonian) are attempting to be more objective and report on activities transmitted by both sides, though majority of editorials and guest analyses are pro-Russian (coming out of the pens of people that’ve seen enough of the Empire’s goodwill).
“But the votes needed not to be tallied to know the result. It was clear from the beginning and made even more apparent throughout the day, as Soviet-style tactics of ballot stuffing, manipulation and intimidation were observed at polling stations across the regions: the referendums in the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk would pass.
Lastly, who do the people support? That’s difficult. Throughout this whole tortured time, I’ve not seen a great outpouring of support for the junta here in Kiev. Nor have I seen the opposite. Sentiment in social media runs 90% for, but I don’t believe that’s representative of the population as a whole. There was a surprising strong turnout for Victory Day celebrations last week, although there was no official government support for it that I was aware of, beyond Yats bringing some flowers to the main celebration site. No doubt people are tired of the whole thing. And, preparations for the May 25 election is extremely subdued compared to past elections.
Their 24 hour continuous NEWS features regular 15 minute updates spinning the expected anti-Russia “invasion” “aggression” Putin bad. Like one of the correspondents mentioned, they report “facts” but the spin creates confusion and lack of clarity. The drum beat suggestion is stoic Western powers enduring the irrational, unpredictable and disruptive influences on the “rebels” “separatists” “gunmen” being “directed” “supported” etc by Russia, by Putin, ambitious and unpredictable Putin intent on expanding his power and sphere of influence.
News Ltd flagship newspaper is The Australian. News Ltd also runs some regional newspapers around Australia (Aug 7, 2013 – News Corp Australia titles account for 59% of the sales of all daily newspapers, with sales of 17.3 million papers a week, making it Australia’s …) I won’t report their take on anything. You know what they say. I don’t buy that POS (piece of shit) but checking their on-line version today there is NOTHING on anything going in Ukraine. Hard to believe. The Fairfax papers are the other major newspaper operation here. Their website relegates the Ukraine story to a place of little prominence today BUT their coverage is written by Paul McGeough, the Chief Foreign Corespondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age [Melbourne, Australia]. He has distinguished himself covering Iraq and is a man with clarity and accuracy in his reports that often runs counter to the accepted and promoted editorial stance. He has done a reasonable job here;