Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. media continues to sell the American people a one-sided storyline on the Ukraine crisis as the Kiev regime celebrates a key military victory at Slovyansk, an eastern city at the center of ethnic Russian resistance to last February’s violent coup that ousted elected President Yanukovych, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
As you read or watch the mainstream U.S. media’s accounts of the Ukrainian government’s military offensive against ethnic Russians in East Ukraine, it’s worth remembering that these MSM outlets have been feeding Americans a highly biased narrative of the crisis non-stop from the beginning.
For instance, New York Times correspondent David M. Herszenhorn included in a largely celebratory account of the Ukrainian blitzkrieg that overwhelmed ethnic Russian positions in the town of Slovyansk on Saturday this summary of the conflict’s background:
“The separatist rebellion is the latest, bloodiest chapter in a crisis that began in November after Viktor F. Yanukovych, then Ukraine’s president, rejected a trade accord he had promised to sign with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. Protesters took to the streets of Kiev, eventually driving Mr. Yanukovych from office. Within a week, Russia invaded Crimea, then annexed the peninsula.”
Herszenhorn, like nearly all his MSM colleagues, simply can’t find it within himself to display the journalistic integrity needed to present an evenhanded and unbiased explication of how this crisis unfolded. Instead, it’s all about blaming Ukraine’s elected President Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin for everything.
Always absent is the fact that the EU’s trade accord came with a draconian International Monetary Fund austerity plan attached, a prescription to inflict even more pain on the people of Ukraine who have suffered under a post-Soviet economic system dominated by a handful of corrupt oligarchs. The IMF plan would have simply hit the average Ukrainian even harder — with elimination of heating subsidies and devaluation of their currency while the Ukrainian oligarchs and their Western financial backers would have escaped the pain, as usual. In rejecting the IMF scheme, Yanukovych opted for a more generous $15 billion loan deal from Moscow.
Blind to the Neo-Nazis
Herszenhorn’s narrative also excludes the key role of neo-Nazi militias that were organized in 100-man units to serve as the tip of the spear in the Feb. 22 coup that drove Yanukovych and his government from power. In recognition of their key role in the coup, the neo-Nazis were awarded several ministries in the new government, including the office of national security.
Then, there is the cherished MSM tale of the Russian “invasion” of Crimea, which unlike every other “invasion” in history did not involve military forces crossing an international border. Russian troops were already stationed in Crimea under an agreement with Ukraine’s government. And, the impetus for Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and rejoining Russia came from the local government and the Crimean people, not from Russian military force. But repetition of the words “invasion” and “annexation” is needed to elicit the desired revulsion from the American people.
It’s also never noted that after the Feb. 22 coup, the new regime dutifully approved the harsh IMF austerity plan that even Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk the new leader hand-picked by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland acknowledged was “very unpopular, very difficult, very tough.”
All in all, the Ukraine case has been a curious example of U.S.backed “democracy promotion” overthrowing a democratically elected leader so a coup regime could impose a “very unpopular” austerity plan on an already suffering population. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukrainians Get IMF’s Bitter Medicine.”]
Among the Worst
The Times’ Herszenhorn has been among the most biased of a long list of biased MSM correspondents who have enforced the false narrative about Ukraine. Indeed, the oppressive “group think” blending State Department propaganda with its amen chorus of the MSM has made formulating any rational policy toward Russia and Ukraine politically impossible in Official Washington.
It seems that the safe career play is always to go for the most extreme examples of Russian perfidy. For instance, in mid-April, the Times published a front-page story by Herszenhorn excoriating Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev for engaging in clumsy propaganda.
In the article entitled “Russia Is Quick To Bend Truth About Ukraine,” Herszenhorn mocked Medvedev for making a Facebook posting that “was bleak and full of dread,” including noting that “blood has been spilled in Ukraine again” and adding that “the threat of civil war looms.”
The Times article continued, “He [Medvedev] pleaded with Ukrainians to decide their own future ‘without usurpers, nationalists and bandits, without tanks or armored vehicles and without secret visits by the C.I.A. director.’ And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.”
This argumentative “news” story spilled from the front page to the top half of an inside page, but Herszenhorn never managed to mention that there was nothing false in what Medvedev wrote. Indeed, as the bloodshed has grown worse and a civil war has become obvious, you might say Medvedev was tragically prescient.
It was also the much-maligned Russian press that first reported the secret visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev. Though the White House later confirmed that report, Herszenhorn cited Medvedev’s reference to it in the context of “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories.” Nowhere in the long article did the Times inform its readers that, yes, the CIA director did make a secret visit to Ukraine.
Now, as the Kiev regime celebrates its bloody conquest of the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, it might be advisable for Americans who don’t want to continue being deceived by U.S. government/media propaganda to recognize and reject these one-sided and false narratives. [For more details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine, Though the US ‘Looking Glass’” or The Nation’s “The Silence of America’s Hawks About Kiev’s Atrocities.”]
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.
Most of the U.S. media show the real situation in Ukraine. It is not one-sided storyline, it is the truth.
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Thanks for the truth.
Thank you for your article. But the situation is not too bad about NYT. This parer is not popular, not influencing. It’s just not good for mental health. In the 21-st century Americans prefer internet and Foreign media. What good about modern technologies is – internet does not allow you to LIE.
Primakov’s political line of the Russian Federation in the Ukrainian crisis.
Before attacking the United States and Britain on Iraq in December 2002 by the former (?) Head SVR Russia Yevgeny Primakov visited Baghdad. He met with the President of Iraq and want to give him advice, but according to eyewitnesses, Saddam Hussein Primakov patting on the shoulder, led him to the door and said, “Primakov not to trust ..” But the fact is that on the advice of the same Primakov, who was already chief of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of the Soviet Union, during the Gulf War – “desert Storm” in 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev gave the people of Iraq, and unilaterally terminated the contract on “Friendship and mutual assistance between the Soviet Union and Iraq. ”
Here and now the Kremlin has put forward a plan advanced by Primakov on the Crimea and the Ukrainian crisis as a whole: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd0zwdz4V3c.
We obtain from Ukraine new Iraq on the advice of the “big orientalist” Russia, we learn very soon. We have already addressed the possible ways out of the crisis Ukrainian – http://knowpc.ru/razgovory-obo-vsem/krizis-v-ukraine-puti-vyhoda-iz-krizisa/. And now we neodhodimo shortly to assess the situation in eastern Ukraine, where stalknulis geopolitical interests of the U.S. and Russia. And there is a real war … In the current situation, in the right-conservative environment and its mouthpieces like Dugin, Kolmogorov and other Imperials, statists, nationalists – growing frustration of the line in which they were written deputy head of presidential administration V. Volodin in 2012-2013, and that in February and March 2014, and experienced its zenith – http://ruskline.ru/special_opinion/za_osvobozhdenie_kryma_vladimiru_putinu_nado_prisvoit_zvanie_geroya_rossii/.
At the same time, Americans have their pros as in the case of Russian troops, and in the case of a complete “plum” of Moscow. They despite the loss of the Crimea, when you play the situation with the Donbas, in any case will benefit, either because Putin collapses its consolidated stability renting Donbass, or will be forced to engage in a war on the left-bank Ukraine, and its partition, not peace, but war by that the United States is quite satisfied, in terms of the notation of “the enemy”, under which you can knock out the budgets for the Pentagon and intelligence agencies.
Russia is acting on the circumstances, depending on the changing situation. As weaker than the U.S. imperialist state, Russia naturally tends evade direct confrontation with the hegemon, as it makes more economically strong China – http://www.narodsobor.ru/events/geopolitics/20629-araik-sargsyan-qgeopoliticheskaya-vojna-za-ukrainu-kitajskij-sledq#.U7kG9XJ_vdo. Donbass in this matter becomes a hostage of this “policy reasons” when makeup is that the resistance is not over, but this makeup is quite insufficient for the implementation of the March Kremlin’s plans.
Ultimately, the Kremlin will have to choose where the consequences will be less than in terms of self-survival of Putin’s regime, both options for all its disadvantages approximately equal basis and solutions – to merge or not to merge Novorossia, it will issue consequences. All this is part of some evil intent associated with Putin’s reluctance to take part in the Donbass Russia (he would be glad to accept it, but there are a number of foreign policy challenges). All this is the impact of previous policy of Russia in the Ukrainian question. Paying for it now dying as militias and Putin himself, forced to make decisions in situations where unambiguously positive for Russia steps anymore. So it did not surprise me if in the foreseeable future, Putin did introduce troops, although as will be no surprise if Moscow will “express concern” ordinary crimes of the Nazis.
Slovyansk, of course, became a symbol of “Russian Spring”, in fact – he made history. Forever. But the problems in the city were different. Slovyansk pulled over all capable forces Ukroarmii gave effect mobilization militia in Lugansk and Donetsk. Slovyansk allowed to organize around the region almost a dozen fortified centers of resistance. Finally, Slovyansk gave time to create political power centers in the Southeast, has allowed them to legitimize and, of course, “covered with fire” referendum. And last – through the trenches Sloviansk, with minimal losses, passed thousands of neobstrelyannyh militia and volunteers.
From the point of view of the recent events around Sloviansk preparation retreat to Donetsk, quite sober step from the standpoint of the interests of continuing the struggle-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhR7FOiID-Q. The fate of the population in case of abandonment Sloviansk unenviable city – the city will sweep rigid filtering, many people risk their lives for a mere contact with the militia. You can expect more repression and death. In case of a successful retreat to Donetsk, there will be organized a tight defense that can get something through the channels on the territory of the LC, including vehicles, as well as fuel and ammunition supply. In terms of dimensions, Donetsk is more convenient for the defense (extensive urban development), and leaves more room for maneuver – the work of artillery and aircraft in Donetsk is unlikely to be so very effective militarily.
Kutuzov also departed, and this was the plan. A Russian general depart just before the decisive battle victorious ….
Ara Sarkissian, academician, president of the Academy of Geopolitics, Honorary Consul of Macedonia to Armenia. http://knowpc.ru/razgovory-obo-vsem/primakov-o-politicheskoj-linii-rf-v-ukrainskom-krizise/
Thanks journalist for an unbiased opinion on the situation in Ukraine. Sorry that did not write about the refugees from the Ukraine, and they’re about a million.
The photos and video and accounts from Ukraine over the past 7 months or so have all been consistent. Thank you to Consortiumnews for fearlessly reporting the truth.
I feel sick in the stomach for the Russian speaking and ethnic Russian Ukrainian citizens in the Donbass who are experiencing this horrific genocidal ethnic cleansing.
I feel scared and ashamed as a Westerner for the complicity of our governments and the loss of free speech in our mainstream media. The only conclusion is “The West” has transformed further into a fascist system that supports brutal Nazis in Ukraine.
People just don’t understand. Bread, circuses, apathy and perhaps subconscious fear. But if we can get the word out, then there is hope. The Ukraine is the canary in our own coal mine.
Now THAT is weird – Ellin wrote a comment, it would not get through the password, then that did. Here is the original comment:
Jay don’t be too quick to dismiss what Ron Beal is saying – even if the part about US troops with official insignia is a bit hard to swallow, the fact remains that American militia, and American military supplies, are aiding the Kiev govt. in what can only be described as a genocide against any Ukrainian who does not support the Kiev govt.
I would suggest that no self-respecting person who puts any value on democracy would support that gang of criminals that took over the govt. of Ukraine.
And, nice article Robert Parry – besides the propaganda at home in America, this article touches on what is really going on in the Ukraine – I have read your articles etc. about this sort of thing going on in South America in the 1980s and so I know that you are well qualified to write about the covert activity by the USA govt and it’s agencies.
* but there is a password given to retype… and it keeps saying I do it wrong…. cut and paste or full typed it wont work.
Why doesn’t that password thing work for me?
I know – it works for Kevin, but not Ellin – same computer, same person….
You offer a different version of the truth than NYT but I do not think you are writing accurately either. It is clear that you are writing from your bias. I have read a number of sources in clouding Moscow times, RT and English versions os several news sources and do not find the basic facts differ all that much. To be sure all have their own interpretation of the fact and at times one or other is at variance with others, but that is true of you as well. I find it interesting that publications like yours that criticize mainstream media of bias, to at least AS biased.
This is also a bias?
Thank you for doing your part keeping the truth alive. I agree with everything in your article, but I would add two things which only strengthen you argument: first, Wikileaks already published the Clinton diplomatic acbles, in which you will find that Poroshenko is, in 2007, repeatedly referred to as ‘our man’ in UKraine by US diplomats. It also reveals that they believe Poroshenko will be prepared to allow US presence in Crimea. Interesting, given that this man is now President. Interesting also as background for Russia’s speedy action on Crimea.
Second, Catherine Ashton, EU foreign secretary, wrote to the Ukrainian authorieties in March that her office was concerned that the continued presence of militants in front of the parliamentary building in Kiev endangers free democratic procedures. So they know. Why they don’t want us to know I cannot say. West European MSM is exactly as bad on this issue as NYT.
Both of the documents I mentioned are freely available on the internet, the Poroshenko business on Wikileaks, and the Ashton letter on EU’s official sites.
For an illuminating perspective on why “Lady” Ashton hasn’t been more forthcoming or insistent in representing the interests of the Ukrainian civilians currently being bombed and burned into submission, please see “Tony Gosling: The Nazis were never defeated – Truthjuice Bristol” on Youtube. She has never held an elected office, and prior to being the EU Foreign Affairs Minister, she was a domestic spy for MI5. She has held no prior public office and has no legitimate credentials – other than money – for her current post. As is true of most of the EU leadership, they are political appointments chosen from the ultra wealthy. They are almost universally failed politicians who could not get elected, failed politicians who lost reelection, or appointed members of the wealthy elite who have never held public office. When viewed from the standpoint of mutual self interest, their support for neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine becomes perfectly understandable. In fact, the whole Ukraine fiasco may have been an attempt by the European banking sector/IMF to camouflage another massive banking failure.
It’s nearly impossible to get ANY truth from the U.S. mainstream media on ANY global story. Now Google.uk is going to start ” scrubbing” story links. The west has become China…
“The west has become Chinaâ€¦”
The US and the neoconservative foreign policy of spreading world com….democracy makes America/west the new Soviet Union (with a twist). Now, with a rising US police state even the part of repressing its own population is becoming reality.
I wish the Ukraine story were reported correctly, because I’m tired of being the only one in the room who knows who ‘Victoria Nuland’ is. Yes, it is amazing how poorly our news is reported. It is actually scary.
CONGRADULATIONS!!!! This is the first, and only article where “truth” has been presented. My wife is Russian and we have children, G-children, friends and relatives in Ukraine and Russia. I have traveled the counties extensively including Crimea and Sochi.
I emailed and sent snail-mail to over 15 Republican Senators and several ‘supposedly’ conservative talking (dick) heads explaining the lies coming out of Kiev and the US. Not a single acknowledgement was received. This entire scenario was initiated by the Obama White House (OWH) when the president turned from the IMF and the EU and opted to deal with Russia for the billion dollar loan. The OWH provided a state of the art military for Ukraine, a government that or will not pay for the gas needed to prevent the population from freezing to death in the winter. The inventory included (but not limited to) tanks, automatic weapons, NATO 7.62 ammo, exploding ammo, HumVees, vans, trucks, 150 advisors hidden in Kiev, snipers, Greystone fka Blackwater Mercenaries (500 initially) rocket launchers, gas, chemical and phosphorus, C130 delivery systems, and most recently 25 jets. ALL for a war against the civilians of Ukraine, both Russian and Ukrainian, but all unarmed civilian.
PLUS American soldiers, in uniform with rank and insignia, on the ground across the country. (I have seen videos of American soldiers, with all of the above identification shooting civilians on streets that I have personally walked and talked with friends.)
American soldiers have physically attached civilians on the streets, killed young men and raped their female friends. Rockets have been launched against day-care centers,
(children’s-gardens) killing as many as 48 in one instance, including a 9-month boy.
Civilians have fled Ukraine with some estimates at 50,000, going into surrounding countries, but primary going into Russia who is providing houses, apartments, blankets, food and medical. The Russian people are welcoming the refugees into their homes, regardless of the size of the home (apartment) or the number of refugees. (90 metric tons of medical supplies and food sent by Russia was denied entrance into Ukraine by the government, who will not provide insulin and medical needs across the county. ) Pensions have been cut off to all citizens in Ukraine; food has increased by over 100%; US snipers, riding in tanks at night kill civilians walking the streets and fire at apartment windows that have lights. Gangs of masked men tear into homes and apartments, killing, raping and stealing anything they can move.
Joe Biden and John McCain are the front men for Obama and are acting as official advisors for the current president. Joe Biden’s first advice to the president was, “The soldiers need to be across the country killing people!” not sitting around Kiev. When the Ukrainian soldiers refused to shoot their own people, the Ukraine prisons were opened and prisoners were released into the Ukrainian Army, those now killing any and every one, regardless of political side or nationality. Two Russian journalist have been killed to date. The word on the street is that Obama wants Ukraine to be another Syria. All of this, in addition to cleaning Ukraine of all people, i.e., genocide, is to force Russia, Putin into defending Ukraine providing the OWH with a flag for starting WW III and destroying Russia.
What’s the sourcing for US soldiers operating in Ukraine. And where can I view it.
Those are extraordinary accusations–and easy enough to fake evidence of.
Also why if the US has US troops in Ukraine identify those troops?
So there could be some third party doing what you claim in US uniforms.
Nor am I saying you’re absolutely wrong, but there would be other mercenary forces the US could use–and avoid all sorts of obvious problems with using US troops.
Also “Blackwater” uses a different new name. The new new name, since 2011, is “Academi”. Errors like this suggest some problems.
A forth new name for Blackwater is Constellis Holdings, so also not Greystone.
$5b in US tax-payer dollars in the past 3 years, 500+ Blackwater/Xe war criminal mercenaries, and the CIA’s NED/USAID ‘spooks’ working with Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi’s/Oligarch’s is proof enuff that the UNITED SNAKES (US/NATO) will, ‘pay any price – bear any burden’ to get US/NATO ABM/ICBM sites and military bases on Ukrainian soil.
The current carnage being visited on Russian civilians in South Eastern Ukraine (including the use of ‘illegal’ White phosphorus and cluster bombs), shows the desperation of the ‘Candyman’ – Ukraines pseudo-president.
Putin has tried to be patient – but, how patient can you be as innocent Russian civilians are being slaughterd and as the UNITED SNAKES continue to threaten Putin for keeping his weapons ‘lock & loaded.’
Unfortunately you’re right.