Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Putin's Ukraine Unreality Show

The crucifixion of a 3-year old, the U.S. helped Kiev shoot down Flight 17, and other tales the Kremlin media tell

By Arkady Ostrovsky, WSJ
July 28, 2014 7:33 p.m. ET

On July 12 Russia's main state television channel, Channel One, interviewed a Ukrainian woman with a heart-wrenching story. The woman said she had witnessed the public execution of a 3-year-old boy, who was crucified in the crowded main square of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine. The town had been a rebel stronghold but was retaken by the Ukrainian army a week earlier—and that's when the execution took place, the woman said. Viewers of the prime-time news program were told that the Ukrainian "animals"—descendants of the fascist collaborators during World War II—cut the little boy's flesh and made him suffer for an hour before he died. The woman added that the boy's mother was then tied to a tank and dragged until she too was dead.

The Russian correspondent shook her head compassionately. "Are you not afraid to tell us this story?" she asked the woman three times, without trying to verify the facts.

Just as well—there weren't any facts. The story was fake. As fake as the stories reported in Russia about the Ukrainian fascists who staged a coup in Kiev in February and then attacked the Russian-speaking southeastern Ukraine. As fake as some of the supposedly indigenous separatist leaders. The rebels' self-styled defense chief, Igor Girkin (aka Strelkov, or "shooter"), for instance, is a former or maybe even current Russian security-services officer with a passion for theatrical re-enactments of battles in the post-1917 civil war.

The narrative of the civil war in Ukraine was scripted in Moscow and executed by state television channels that have substituted reality with fiction. The consequence of this fiction is the spilling of real blood and death, including the deaths of the 298 people on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

(More here.)

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