US Victim of Own Propaganda in Ukraine War

The U.S. embassy in Prague furthered the suppression of the historical context of the Ukraine conflict, which has dangerously trapped Americans in ignorance about the war, reports Joe Lauria. 

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The whitewashing of the historical context for the war in Ukraine has resulted in a profoundly embarrassing episode for the United States embassy in Prague.  

An Aug. 21 Tweet from the embassy with a message roughly translated from Czech to mean “Aggression always comes from the Kremlin,” showed two photographs: the first displayed Soviet tanks in the streets of Prague in 1968.  The second showed fire burning in front of a building and was marked “Odesa 2023.”  

Twitter users were quick to point out the embassy’s error. “The bottom photo is from 2014 Odessa Clashes where pro federalism (mostly pro Russian) got burned alive in clash with Ukrainian nationalist(s) while police and fireman stood watching. To this day no one was jailed,” wrote one commenter.  

Someone else wrote: “You vile people, twisting the history to whitewash the crimes of the Ukrainian far-right against peaceful Ukrainians, and in fact using their crimes with the diametrically opposite meaning!”

The embassy got the message. “Thanks for the heads up and apologies for the incorrect use of the graphic. We wanted to illustrate the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and we chose the wrong photo,”  it wrote.

That prompted another Twitter user to sarcastically respond: “You wanted to illustrate the Ukrainian aggression against the Russian people and you chose the right photo.”

The embassy then deleted the Tweet.  It never acknowledged the event depicted in the bottom photo. That signifies either ignorance of the event or intentional suppression of it. The massacre in Odessa is a key point in understanding the cause of the war and has been buried by the West, creating a propagandized narrative about Russia’s intervention.

May 2, 2014

Demonstrators in Odessa on May 2, 2014 were protesting the violent overthrow two and a half months earlier on Feb. 21, 2014 of the democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych. U.S. involvement in the coup is revealed in a leaked telephone conversation between Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine at the time. 

On May 2, football hooligans and far-right groups deliberately set fire to a labor union building in Odessa where protestors against the coup had taken refuge.  As many as 48 people were killed. Police did not intervene. Video footage shows at least one police officer and others firing their guns into the building. The crowd is cheering as many of the people trapped inside jumped to their deaths.

Pleas at the time from the United Nations and the European Union for Ukraine to investigate were ignored. Three Ukrainian local government probes were stymied by the withholding of secret documents.

Click on photo for video showing atack against pro-Russian protestors on May 2, 2014, including policeman firing on them.

A report on the incident from the European Council (EC) at the time makes clear it did not conduct its own investigation but relied on local probes, especially by the Verkhovna Rada’s Temporary Investigation Commission.

The EC complains in its reports that it too was barred from viewing classified information. The EC said the Ukrainian government probes “failed to comply with the requirements of the European Human Rights Convention.”

Relying only on the flawed local inquiries, the EC reports that pro-Russian, or pro-federalist, protestors attacked a pro-unity march in the afternoon, prompting street battles. Then:

“At around 6.50 p.m. pro-federalists broke down the door [of the trade union building] and brought inside various materials, including boxes containing Molotov cocktails and the products needed to make them. Using wooden pallets which had supported tents in the square, they blocked the entrances to the building from the inside and erected barricades. When they arrived at the square at around 7.20 p.m., the pro-unity protesters destroyed and set fire to the tents of the Anti-Maidan camp. The remaining pro-federalism protesters entered the Trade Union Building, from where they exchanged shots and Molotov cocktails with their opponents outside. …

At about 7.45 p.m. a fire broke out in the Trade Union Building. Forensic examinations subsequently indicated that the fire had started in five places, namely the lobby, on the staircases to the left and right of the building between the ground and first floors, in a room on the first floor and on the landing between the second and third floors.

Other than the fire in the lobby, the fires could only have been started by the acts of those inside the building. The forensic reports did not find any evidence to suggest that the fire had been preplanned. The closed doors and the chimney effect caused by the stairwell resulted in the fire’s rapid spread to the upper floors and a fast and extreme rise in the temperature inside the building.”

The local investigation thus blamed the anti-Maidan protestors for starting the fire throughout the building. But this video, which shows events on that day leading to the fire, depicts the main blaze in the lobby. It shows Right Sector extremists lobbing Molotov cocktails into the building and a policeman firing his gun at it.

It does not show any cocktails thrown from the building. It doesn’t show clashes earlier in the day, though one pro-unity protestor says they were attacked at Cathedral Square and they’ve come to burn the anti-Maidan protestors in the building for revenge.  

The Fallout

Eight days after the Odessa massacre, coup resisters in the far eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, bordering on Russia, voted in a referendum to become independent from Ukraine. 

The U.S.-backed coup government had launched a military attack two weeks earlier, on April 15, 2014 against ethnic Russians in Donbass protesting against the coup, including seizing government buildings, in defense of a democratic election. This phase of the war continued for nearly eight years, killing thousands of people before prompting Russian intervention in the civil war on Feb. 24, 2022.

Russia says it had proof that the Ukrainian military, which had amassed 60,000 of its troops at the line of contact, was on the verge of an offensive to retake the Donbass provinces. OSCE maps showed a dramatic increase of shelling from the government side into the rebel areas in February last year.

Russia invaded Ukraine with the stated purpose of “de-Nazifying” and “de-militarizing” Ukraine to protect Russian-speakers and the people of Donbass. The events in Odessa on May 2, 2014 played a role. In a televised address three days before the invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: 

“One shudders at the memories of the terrible tragedy in Odessa, where peaceful protesters were brutally murdered, burned alive in the House of Trade Unions. The criminals who committed that atrocity have never been punished, and no one is even looking for them. But we know their names and we will do everything to punish them, find them and bring them to justice.”

Western Media Coverage

Entrance to The New York Times. (Niall Kennedy, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

The New York Times buried the first news of the massacre in a May 2, 2014 story, saying “dozens of people died in a fire related to clashes that broke out between protesters holding a march for Ukrainian unity and pro-Russian activists.”

The Times then published a video report that said dozens were killed in a fire, “and others were shot dead when fighting between pro- and anti-Russian groups broke out on the streets of Odessa.” The video narrator says “crowds did their best to save lives.” It quotes Ukrainian police saying a “pro-Kiev march was ambushed … petrol bombs were thrown” and gun battles erupted on the streets. 

The late Robert Parry, who founded Consortium News, reported on Aug. 10, 2014:

The brutality of these neo-Nazis surfaced again on May 2 when right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails. As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten, while those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons.

‘Burn, Colorado, burn’ went the chant.

As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading ‘Galician SS,’ a reference to the Ukrainian nationalist army that fought alongside the German Nazi SS in World War II, killing Russians on the eastern front.”

Consequences of Suppressing Information

Though they were reported at the time, the events of May 2, 2014 have virtually vanished from Western media. It was one of the seminal events that led to Russia’s eventual intervention in the Ukrainian civil war.  

Similarly the role Ukrainian neo-Nazis played in the 2014 coup and the 8-year war on Donbass — which had been widely reported on at the time in Western mainstream media — disappeared, erasing the context of Russia’s invasion. The December 2021 Russian offer of treaties with the U.S. and NATO to avoid war was forgotten too. After Russian intervention, a campaign was launched by so-called disinformation monitors to try to suppress alternative media from reporting on these facts.  

The consequences of these efforts is clear. The aggression of Kiev’s coup regime against ethnic Russians in Ukraine, which led to Russia’s intervention, has been airbrushed from history.  

What’s left is a cartoon version that says the conflict began, not in 2014, but in February 2022 when Putin woke up one morning and decided to invade Ukraine. There was no other cause, according to this version, other than unprovoked, Russian aggression against an innocent country.

Thus the U.S. Embassy in Prague either deceptively used that photo, or more likely, had no idea what happened in Odessa in 2014, as it has hardly been reported on since, thinking that a prime example of Ukrainian aggression against ethnic Russians was instead a photo showing Russian aggression against Ukrainians.  

This is what happens when you believe your own propaganda. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette, the London Daily Mail and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He is the author of two books, A Political Odyssey, with Sen. Mike Gravel, foreword by Daniel Ellsberg; and How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, foreword by Julian Assange. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe

51 comments for “US Victim of Own Propaganda in Ukraine War

  1. Tina Willis
    August 31, 2023 at 13:10

    Also conveniently missing from the U$/UK/We$t fake$tream NOISE:
    Born and raised an ethnic-Russian Jew near Ukraine’s Donbas. U$ Gov Puppet VLADIMIR Zelenskyy (later Volodomyr) had to LEARN Ukrainian in 2018. While for years his own Azov Nazis were mass killing ethnic Russians including Jews in Ukraine’s Donbas! Until 2022, when patient liberator Putin simply said, “De-Nazify Ukraine!”

  2. Observer
    August 31, 2023 at 08:57

    “I see a pattern here.”

    So do I, Lieutenant. We’re waist-deep, and the Big Fool says to push on…

  3. Onlooker
    August 31, 2023 at 08:53

    Every point you make is true! An ending this war (except by a complete Russian victory) can only be done against, and not by, Congress and the rest of the government.

  4. Onlooker
    August 31, 2023 at 08:43

    Left-of-center (sometimes critical) supporters of the Democratic Party are not “the left”. Almost all real leftists in the USA support the anti-war movement (as do a number of rightists). It is not their fault that the anti-war movement has been unable to mobilize mass demonstrations (one reason being that Democrat fellow-travelers have sabotaged their efforts).

  5. Greg Grant
    August 30, 2023 at 22:22

    It reminds me of when the Iranians took over the U.S. Embassy and the media across the board told us it was because they hate freedom and they hate democracy and never once mentioned that maybe they hate us because we overthrew their democracy and put them under a puppet death squad dictatorship for 25 years while the U.S. siphoned off all their most valuable resources. With that information some Americans may have been able to understand why they hate us. But I rarely ever meet any Americans that are aware of these uncontroversial facts. So it’s no wonder everybody conclude it can’t be anything but envy. It’s sad that that makes such perfect sense to so many people.

    • August 31, 2023 at 12:32

      “[FSO Joseph P.] O’Neill had a very peculiar background, he had his own problems with the inspection corps, according to an interview with Georgetown University’s Oral Diplomatic History Project, he said that he had gotten his job in Khartoum, in the Sudan as Deputy Chief of Mission, Deputy Ambassador, though Frank Wisner of the famous CIA family and I thought this was peculiar. And I learned later on, that O’Neill had been Deputy Chief of Mission when the blind Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman got his visa to come to the United States through one of the CIA officials working undercover in the consular section.


      He had also been assigned to Teheran, when the Iranian students took over the embassy the first time, and while he was there, according to the interview with Georgetown, he worked to help the Israeli embassy evacuate their staff, but he opposed evacuating the American embassy and in fact fought with the Political Section, who wanted to contact Washington and say, we really need to evacuate the embassy, or we are going to have some real political problems with Iran.”

      Lars Schall, “Is the Whole ‘War on Terror’ a Fraud?” (Interview with FSO J. Michael Springmann), Foreign Policy Journal, April 15, 2015

      “[W]e had probably the most incompetent consul general in the world, Lou Goelz, as the consul general in Teheran. He was issuing visas as fast as we could stamp visas without regard to who we were letting in. We were bringing in Pan Am planes to take out Americans and we found out that everybody on the Pan Am plane were Iranians. They weren’t Americans. We were bringing in extra planes to take out third country nationals and Americans and found out the Iranians were leaving. We had a rough time taking out the Israeli embassy. [Zbigniew] Brzezinski personally called Sullivan to make sure that the Israeli embassy was taken out, on a priority basis, regardless.”

      Joseph P. O’Neill, Interviewed by Thomas Dunnigan, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training / Library of Congress, May 19, 1998, p. 32

    • August 31, 2023 at 12:44

      The story is deprived of its true complexity by viewing Iran under Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist as a constant adversary of US policy, for the present situation in Iran is also arguably a direct product of US action in the region. This is not only because of the oft-cited US (and British) role in the 1953 Iranian coup d’état fostering discontent, but also the US attempting to co-opt this discontent when it manifested revolution in 1979, as the US was presented with options to a) retain the Shah of Iran, b) support a secular military coup d’état, or c) support Islamist elements of the revolutionaries in the advancement of creating an “arc of Islam” against the Soviet Union, as in Afghanistan. Evidence would suggest that some US policymakers under the Jimmy Carter administration such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and perhaps simultaneously even members of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign actively attempted to take the third option, as did influential proponents in the United Kingdom – for example, the BBC played an interesting role in supporting the Iranian revolution, as did other Western media, which initially portrayed Ayatollah Khomeini as a “Gandhi-like” figure.

      Even when things publicly went south with post-revolutionary Iran following the Iran hostage crisis (and note FSO Joseph P. O’Neill’s ostensible role in that), the US attempted to court Iran as a Cold War ally (with Brzezinski remarking that “[Iran’s] independence, irrespective of current Iranian hostility toward the United States, acts as a barrier to any long-term Russian threat to American interests in the Persian Gulf region” in his book “The Grand Chessboard”), while the USSR simultaneously attempted to do so. Notably, both competed for influence by supplying weapons to Iran during the Iran–Iraq War (even as both countries gave more extensive aid to Iraq). Though both were rhetorically rebuffed and excoriated, Iran showed a willingness to carry on a covert relationship with the US and the USSR, but if anything, the US probably had more clout. For instance, this dynamic was demonstrated in 1983, when the Central Intelligence Agency (once again in collaboration with MI6) supplied Ayatollah Khomeini’s government with a list of suspected leftists for persecution, eliminating much of the pro-Soviet infrastructure in Iran.

      Lest one forget, to name just a few examples, Brzezinski’s early overtures to Mehdi Bazargan, the Iran–Contra affair (exposed as early as 1981 by the Armenian mid-air collision), the Gulf War and subsequent coordinated efforts to destabilize Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s administration, the Croatian arms pipeline in Bosnia, attempted rapprochement with Ayatollah Rafsanjani and Mohammed Khatami, Operation Merlin and other efforts of nuclear proliferation, the War in Afghanistan against the Taliban, the Iraq War to depose Saddam in favor of the Iraqi National Congress government-in-exile, and the negotiations with Hassan Rouhani’s government, all of these were efforts of US policy that seized upon cooperating with Iran and/or geostrategically bolstering Iran.

  6. Handsome Johnny
    August 30, 2023 at 20:38

    The Dem primaries are a rigged fake. The Establishment knows Biden (and Kamala) are deeply unpopular even among their own voters. The Establishment has to find a way to try to keep these voters within a pro-Wall Street, pro-War party that opposes everything their voters support. They have again chosen to use the tried and true ‘sheepdog’ method.

    Thus, the fake primaries with the sheepdog who will, like all the sheepdogs before him, end up telling you that you have to go vote Democrat in the General Election. We’ve seen this before. And the details have even been leaked. We know exactly the game that is played within the Democratic Party. Don’t forget about the 800 Super-Delegates either. The Establishment candidate is guaranteed to to win the Democratic nomination. There can be no other outcome. Those are the Rules of the Rules Based Order and the Democratic Party.

  7. Lt. Big Muddy
    August 30, 2023 at 20:29

    America lost the war because Americans didn’t know anything about ….

    1965 – Vietnam
    2001 – Afghanistan
    2014 – Ukraine.

    I sense a pattern here.

  8. RWilson
    August 30, 2023 at 19:41

    Like the pickpocket who misdirects his mark’s attention, our “oligarchy of unbridled greed” (says Jimmy Carter) is looting the American public of billions and trillions of dollars in various scams. The corporate media and politicians get their cut.

    Printing the excess dollars to fund these scams further hits Americans through the resulting inflation in prices for daily living. Europeans are having it even worse. Germany, for example, is officially in a recession and its industries are collapsing.

    Great article. It’s extremely important to keep the facts on the record. More and more people are finding that independent news is the only way to know what’s happening.

  9. vinnieoh
    August 30, 2023 at 17:51

    If the US did not fund this war, train its proxies, and supply the weapons and ammunition, there would be no war in Ukraine.

    Forgive me if I somewhat mangle this re-telling, but I’m going off of memory here.

    Did not Zelensky, when he was first elected, campaign on the platform of peaceful relations with Russia? Democracy is so easily manipulated; that was his appeal because that was where the majority of Ukrainians were. Just after his election did he not travel to the Donbas area to reiterate that message? And then he was told by the Ukrainian Nazis to shut up and leave, or he’d end up dead.

    Now, properly chastised and warned he does what he’s told, and plays the role that has been created for him.

    This will not end anytime soon, and in fact looks to get much worse and much more dangerous. If the reports that keep showing up in my news feed are true, the fight is being taken to Russian soil. Who here believes that Ukraine could carry out those attacks without logistical help from Big Brother? (Remember US assistance to Sadam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.) As has been the case during all of my 50-some years of political awareness, US domestic politics are symbiotically entangled with US foreign “endeavors.” The Biden administration has limited time left to pull the rabbit out of the hat and burnish his aura to an all-too-jaded electorate.

    The smallish contingent of opposition party members in Congress who are questioning the war almost to a person though agree that China is an existential threat that we must prepare to deal with militarily don’t you know. This, so that their dissent won’t paint them as “weak” or un-American – can’t have that. I suspect their opposition and reservations are as shallow as their knowledge of US history and would not exist if the WH occupant didn’t have a D behind his name, and the smallish contingent on ‘the right’ would be the smallish contingent on ‘the left.’

    If there should be “a changing of the guard” do NOT expect this tragedy to end.

    • Robert
      August 31, 2023 at 15:24

      Your memory is excellent. I don’t know if the early days visit of the newly elected President Zelensky to the Donbass is still on YouTube, but it was a classic. Zelensky told the Azov commander to stop shelling the Russian speaking citizens and the Nazi told Zelensky he didn’t care if he was President the shelling was going to continue and that Zelensky, for his own good, should head straight back to Kiev.

      And Zelensky headed back to Kiev with tail between his legs.

  10. dirk stone
    August 30, 2023 at 16:42

    Excellent reporting and the entire footage should be watched, very damning. Thank you for keeping investigative journalism alive and putting the disgusting conduct of the NY times on display yet again!

  11. eric siverson
    August 30, 2023 at 16:05

    So Russia was forced to go into Ukraine to protect Russian speaking people We best be aware that Russia has had a seaport on the Black sea in Crimea for over 200 y ears . Russia will not give up this sea port no matter who they have to fight and no matter what kind of weapons they have to use .

  12. John V. Walsh
    August 30, 2023 at 15:28

    The question must be asked whether the mainstream/liberal/“progressive” peace movement responded early and firmly to challenge the simple minded idea that the war is all due to Evil Putin?
    Most often I heard loud and clear that Putin was to be condemned “for his horrific, brutal and ultimately unjustifiable aggression” against Ukraine, with some afterthoughts about the role of the US in goading Putin which “did not justify” his responding. He always had “other options.” Not mentioned was that he also has responsibilities to his people and the world. Not mentioned was the fact that the “first shots,” the initiation of the armed conflict, came in 2014 from the new govt installed by the US. Russia did not initiate. It responded.
    I also too often heard the extremist pacifist line that both sides were equally to blame, the two sides not being the US and Russia, but Ukraine and Russia, thus denying the central causal role of the US in overthrowing the Ukraine govt and ginning up the war.
    That Russia bashing narrative got so deeply embedded that it is now very difficult to dislodge.
    But the populist movements in the US have awakened to the Big Lie, for example in the person of RFKJr or RageAgainstWar or a segment of Congressional Republicans.

    • floyd gardner
      August 30, 2023 at 16:37

      Right on, John! Go Bobby!

    • Handsome Johnny
      August 30, 2023 at 20:58

      There is no ‘progressive’ peace movement. Its a dead parrot nailed to its perch, with the Democrats pretending that it still talks.

      Even the anti-war movement that opposed the Iraq War was really only an anti-Bush/Cheney movement. As soon as Nancy Pelosi got the gavel in the House, and Obama was in the White House, then poof, the anti-war movement was gone. Some of us dead-enders were still around, but the money behind the movement and energy got pulled as soon as these became Democrat Wars with Obama holding the kill meetings in the White House basement. That balloon obviously deflated when it was no longer of any use to the Democrat Bosses.

      By 2012 I was a delegate to a Republican convention because the only anti-war candidate in the primaries was Ron Paul. The Democrats had united as 100% pro-war, with no opposition to Obama’s wars. Since then, the Millionaire Bernie movement studiously avoided any anti-war or anti-military thoughts. When asked how he would pay for his programs, Bernie never pointed to the bloated Pentagon budget. Bernie is very pro-war today.

      If anyone wants to stop the war, a good place to begin is to understand that there is no ‘left’ peace movement. The left is now 100% pro-war. This hot stage of World War III has been going on for a year and a half, how many big leftwing peace rallies have been held? It helps a lot to see the world as it really is. Imagining a dead dodo that hasn’t really been seen alive in this millennium is not a path to success.

      The ‘left’ in America is now pro-war. Just like the ‘left’ is also pro-Wall Street, as long as there is ‘diversity’ in the handful of top jobs. The ‘left’ is now pro-police, with Democrats running almost every major city and thus running the major police forces. The ‘left’ is now pro-prison. With no Democrat governors ever scaling back the massive prison-industrial-complex constantly being filled by the Democrat police forces and the Democrat prosecutors and Democrat judges. Notice how quickly Biden dropped any reform rhetoric after the election.

      The ‘left’ might pretend to be against some of these things. But notice that they never, ever manage to do anything effective. The modern ‘left’ is a lot of talk and hot air covering the ‘left flank’ of a very pro-war, pro-Wall Street, pro-police party that is driving the American people into World War III at a fast rate. That the ‘left’ always loses is a part of the theater, and the ‘left’ is happy to play this role in the theater as long as they get to live in mansions.

      • J Anthony
        August 31, 2023 at 06:18

        So you mean the fake-left, because anyone who is genuinely left absolutely does not support any war whatsoever.

      • Xpat Paula
        August 31, 2023 at 08:15

        Beautifully put, Handsome. So clearly & concisely expounded. Thank you.

  13. Randal Marlin
    August 30, 2023 at 15:11

    The U.S. Embassy gaffe is breathtaking for its unintended helpfulness in exposing propaganda (it’s own)!

    Did anyone recognize the tune associated with the murderous march on Odesa’s Trade Union Building? It was “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Can someone tell me that this was an age-old Ukrainian ditty, and disabuse me of the idea that it was a carefully crafted chant by U.S. propagandists for “Yats,” the U.S.-placed puppet in Kiev.

    The movie that Joe Lauria has directed us to is extraordinarily compelling in linking the chanting mob to the murderous events. I wonder if Joe Biden has seen this movie. If not, he should. Along with Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt and others connected with the coup.

    Also people who see it should be all journalists and political people who use the word “unprovoked,” in relation to Putin’s 2022 invasion, without giving the context of the first invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

    Joe, in the history of propaganda, you’ve hit upon a most amazing, egregious, and informative example of a propaganda own-goal. Kudos to you. I see it as an Ariade’s thread leading to and through a maze of modern propaganda.

    A final point about Wikipedia: (who submitted this?) It says “The bottom photo is from Odessa Clashes (sic) where pro federalism (sic)(mostly pro Russian) got burned alive in building in clash with Ukrainian nationalist (sic) while police and firemen stood watching. To this day no one was jailed.”

    I see two falsehoods. There may be more.
    1.People were jailed, namely the anti-coup people who survived the assault on the Trade Union building.
    2. There is reference to people burned alive, but omission of reference to people killed by mob bludgeoning and other methods.

  14. Barbara Mullin
    August 30, 2023 at 15:04

    Real journalism does not exist in the New York Times, instead they have become part of the deep state.

    • Handsome Johnny
      August 30, 2023 at 21:11

      And a long, long time ago.

      They consistently covered up for Bush-Cheney in the Iraq War. The NYT would gladly sit on stories if Bush/Cheney said to do so. No real journalist would do that. But a deep-state loyal outlet would. And that was decades ago. .

      Finding a time when the NYT did not print all the news that the Deep State wants to print would require a journey deep into history. I’ve got gray hair, and I can’t remember such a time. I’d say the publication is only good for use as a fish-wrapper, but that’s cruelty to animals.

  15. Peter Loeb
    August 30, 2023 at 14:23

    Thanks as always to Joe Lauria for an excellent article.

    The report of the UN Commission on Human Rights on detentions of June 27, 2023 addresses many forms of
    torture by the Ukraine such as beating of reproductive organs, forced nudity, rape and so forth. While the report
    also addresses the crimes of Russians, everyone is eager to name them and totally ignore such things by
    Ukrainians. Recognizing that torture exists among many of the allies of the US as indeed in the US itself one
    can only conclude it was an the west’s portrayal of Ukraine as admirable heroes.

    We know that that is a completely false picture. For our knowledge we owe great thanks to Mr. Lauria and many other
    writers for Consortiumnews.

    • Suzy Q
      August 30, 2023 at 21:13

      “such as beating of reproductive organs, forced nudity, rape and so forth. ”

      Sounds exactly like the description of the Americans at Abu Gharaib in Iraq.

  16. Robert Crosman
    August 30, 2023 at 11:41

    Sad footage of wives and children of fallen Ukrainian soldiers on network TV this morning drives home the message of the waste of life in this unnecessary conflict. But missing in the coverage is the equally sad sight of grieving Russian families over THEIR fallen warriors. There is no right and wrong in this bloody conflict – except the lying that each side does to justify its own part in causing and continuing the conflict. If we were honestly to shoulder our share of the blame, morale would plummet, and we’d be unable to keep on fighting – which would be a good thing! Consortium News is trying to restore the balance of coverage, but it’s never enough.

    • Dienne
      August 30, 2023 at 12:41

      What do you blame Russia for in this conflict? They have patiently endured 30 years of betrayals, encroachments and outright threats. They have repeatedly tried diplomacy. But NATO marched steadily eastward to their very borders and the kiev regime had been slaughtering ethnic Russians for 8 years and were preparing to escalate such attacks dramatically. What would you have had them do? That they didn’t, in fact, try to do? Should they have allowed their brethren to be slaughtered en masse? Should they have allowed nukes within minutes of Moscow? Do you think the U.S. would have been remotely as patient?

      • RWilson
        August 30, 2023 at 19:26

        Thank you.

  17. Vera Gottlieb
    August 30, 2023 at 11:06

    Since when can America be embarrassed??? Just keep denying whatever for so long until the MSM gets bored with it or/and it is forgotten.

    • Robert Crosman
      August 31, 2023 at 11:50

      So long as we continue to think that one side is right in a war, while the other side is wrong, wars will continue to be fought. Every combatant in a war thinks he is right. Even Hitler, in dressing German troops in Polish army uniforms in order to create the phony Polish attack on Germany with which WWII commenced, thought he was in the right to do so. In his view, he was avenging the unjust treatment of Germany in the Versailles Treaty that ended WWI. Russians hate the fact that their sons are being killed, but they see it as a necessary sacrifice to a just cause. So do Ukrainian parents. I remember the man in the street telling me the Vietnam War was just and necessary: “Where do you want to fight the Commies,” he said. “At 92nd Street?” End of argument.

      • Randal Marlin
        September 1, 2023 at 08:14

        Well said.

  18. August 30, 2023 at 10:54

    The “dumbification” of the US electorate through censorship on all levels and the elimination of news in favor of propaganda is essential for the maintenance of the perpetual war economy that benefits only the privileged few, unless of course, legitimate elections can be turned into anachronisms. Perhaps that’s already the case but perhaps its best to keep the electorate uninformed and docile anyway.

  19. Vera Gottlieb
    August 30, 2023 at 10:37

    And then the US has the utter gall – and healthy portion of chutzpah, to go and preach ‘freedom’ to the rest of the world. The ‘freedom’ we get is only the ‘freedom’ that suits the US.

  20. James White
    August 30, 2023 at 09:12

    Half a million Ukrainian and Russian dead souls (and counting) are the real-life victims of the deranged war-pig Nuland and her irrational, insatiable hatred of Russia. Our only hope now is that history will some day refer to this period of American dirty deeds around the world as a turning point in U.S. foreign policy. American voters need to wake up and hold these war criminals accountable for the evils they have unleashed on the world. The U.S. voter owns the responsibility for all of the damage being done worldwide by our imbecile dictator Biden. In turn, the Biden Regime’s State Department pipsqueaks who lord over sovereign countries while hiding behind the threat of U.S. and NATO military thuggery. A vote for any Democrat is a vote for this evil oligarchy and the unsustainable corruption of the U.S. military industrial complex. Any U.S. voter who has not figured this out is part of the problem and enables our irredeemably corrupt government. Many of the Republicans are no better but the corrupt must first be swept out of power. Start with the Executive branch but every one of these State Department war mongers must be dismissed. The U.S. needs to grow up and start behaving like a responsible adult in world affairs.

  21. peter mcloughlin
    August 30, 2023 at 09:00

    Nations do become victims of their own propaganda – war propaganda – because wars are primarily fought over power: but power is an illusion. So, everyone eventually gets the conflict they are trying to avoid. If we cannot accept this truth we can never change it.

  22. August 30, 2023 at 02:37

    The first official act of the coup government that appropriated power on Feb. 23, 2014, two days after U.S.-supported Banderist neo-Nazis violently drove Mr. Yanukovych out of Ukraine, was to repeal Ukraine’s 2012 Regional Languages Law, which granted official status to languages, similarly to French in Quebec or Spanish in California, spoken by 10% of the population of any particular oblast.

    The mother tongue of 30% of Ukrainians and 80% of Ukrainians living in the Donbas in 2014 was Russian. The repeal of this law, essentially revoking Russian-speaking Ukrainians’ linguistic minority rights, was the first attack by the coup government on what quickly escalated to a full-blown attempt to cleanse — violently — every facet of Russian language, culture, and religion from Ukraine.

    The Americans’ interest in orchestrating the coup was to rid Ukraine of Viktor Yanukovych because he was staunchly geopolitically neutral and had succeeded in having his “non-bloc” policy written into Ukrainian law in 2010. Banderists were ideal proxies for the U.S. to cultivate to carry out this coup because they are viciously Russophobic, violent, and sadistic.

  23. Lubica
    August 30, 2023 at 01:46

    Yes, 21 August 1968…….. a wrong analogy but prevalent with many…… sadly…..The conflation of the Soviet Union with Russia today is simply wrong. Thank you for your commentary.

  24. Mike
    August 30, 2023 at 01:06

    I recently watched Ukraine on Fire. I think it is a great complement to this discussion. Having spent time in Ukraine in 2015, I could never get straight answers on what was happening.

    The description of the US embassy’s behavior: “The embassy got the message. “Thanks for the heads up and apologies for the incorrect use of the graphic. We wanted to illustrate the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and we chose the wrong photo,” it wrote.”
    shows them to be really amazingly dense, but it’s not at all surprising. Once you have a BS narrative reinforced with your own propaganda, it’s probably hard to see straight.

    • J Anthony
      August 30, 2023 at 07:48

      No kidding, I bet someone is getting fired over there now.

  25. Sam F
    August 29, 2023 at 19:01

    Very well put, Joe Lauria. I conduct public discussions of issues in Florida, where more than half are outraged that any dare to mention non-MSM viewpoints, and spend their time demonizing alternatives to gain social standing. They reflect of H.L. Mencken’s observation that “The average man avoids truth as diligently as he avoids arson, regicide, and piracy on the high seas, and for the same reasons: it is dangerous, no good can come of it, and it doesn’t pay.”

    Certainly the people of the US must abandon the major political parties and the commercial mass media.
    One proposed reform is the CongressOfDebate dotcom, which will conduct balanced text debates and provide summaries commented by all sides. Its administration may be a model for an incorruptible democracy of the future.

  26. vinnieoh
    August 29, 2023 at 18:59

    Thanks for reporting on this telling dust-up Mr. Lauria.

    I have almost no-one I can discuss Ukraine with; even my more open-minded friends still see Russia as the villain and many buy into the evil Putin vilification. Though if I were in the same room as Putin I wouldn’t sit with my back to him, he is, on top of his history in Russian security, a politician. A politician that seems to have mastered the intricacies and finer points of the political environment of the nation which he leads; it is not the US, nor UK, nor the EU, but neither is it the USSR.

    I’m a rational (scientific) skeptic, and that has served me well for many decades sniffing out the bullshit that we are fed on a daily, yearly, and generational basis. So, with confidence, I’ll state this:

    Russia did not want this war, and in fact tried to avoid it. How has this benefitted Russia, and how COULD it benefit it, should it conclude in its favor? Witness all the loss of life of Russian soldiers, the loss of material that Russia can ill afford to lose and consider the condemnation from high places – the piling on – of the motives and means of Russia’s actions. Russian leaders, including Putin, were well aware of the probable detrimental consequences of following the course they chose, but a choice did have to be made. The US, under the ‘leadership’ of Joe Biden, made sure of that.

  27. Martin
    August 29, 2023 at 17:50

    i was particularly struck by a video of western looking teenage girls sitting together, laughing, having a good time and fabricating molotov-cocktails (and some footage and eyewitness describing the lynching of people that jumped but survived – nazi breaks are let go when there are working class unions involved). there also was an incident in which right-wing goons attacked a convoy of buses with anti-maidan protesters going from kiev to crimea. there too several civilians were killed, iirc. and there’s that other leaked phone-call of some north-european diplomat expressing serious doubts about the killing of the ‘heavenly hundred’. i’m pretty sure the european ‘leaders’ of the time knew pretty well what was going on.

  28. IJ Scambling
    August 29, 2023 at 17:15

    Orwell would be nodding at this important example of lying, this brazen falsehood, and perverse masking of the truth. War with China, now being prepared for in terms of “flocks of drones” I was reading today, is being thrust onto the populace as though a real threat exists, instead of another pretence for power and control. Hitler would be nodding also. We are seeing increasingly brazen travesties of governance, starting from the 90’s forward, with for example Ukraine as utterly false tool and now with its treacherous charlatan Zelensky, and increasing interest in population control. As a CN colleague recently mentioned, look at what Trudeau did to contributors to the trucking protest in Canada last year, freezing their bank accounts. Let these stories emerge, as here with Joe Lauria. Let them continue to emerge.

  29. Lois Gagnon
    August 29, 2023 at 17:04

    When you have the CIA in control of pretty much everything people in the US and the rest of the West read see and hear, it’s not surprising they have no idea they need to be searching for an alternative to official information. Our intelligence agencies have perfected their propaganda skills while their target audience remains ever trusting of what they perceive to be a free press. Subjecting them at this point to non-official information only serves make them dig in their heels out of either embarrassment or confusion. Cognitive dissonance on steroids.

    • J Anthony
      August 30, 2023 at 07:53

      Indeed. When I remind people that there is no democracy in a private, for-profit company, and that most companies in the US are such, be it their place of employment or the corporate media, they don’t know how to respond.

      • Em
        August 30, 2023 at 09:54

        The US government itself is now a sellout, long ago taken over by a plutocratic board of corrupt directors. It functions as a private for-profit corporation. There is no democracy in hierarchical organization. The functionaries respond as instructed.

    • Garrett Connelly
      August 30, 2023 at 09:40

      You are clear as usual, Lois. Keep up the good work.

      • Lois Gagnon
        August 30, 2023 at 11:18

        Thanks Garrett!

  30. August 29, 2023 at 16:21

    For all of the ways in which Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) has waffled in the sincerity of its commitment to Greg Lukianoff/Charlan Nemeth-style “free speech absolutism” in the tradition of Mill’s Trident, those “readers added context…” statements recently appended to original Tweets (for lack of a better substitute term) are truly things of beauty, as demonstrated in the responses to, e.g., Antony Blinken’s Aug. 16, 2023 post on “Pakistani democracy” and now the US Embassy in Prague’s misleading post. It is nice to know that, in at least this minor way, “received wisdom” is not unidirectionally dispensed from the top-down.

  31. Janet Contursi
    August 29, 2023 at 15:59

    The erasure of history is a precondition for war. The US did it with Vietnam (can anyone explain why we fought the long war in that country other than reciting something about a “domino theory”?). We did it in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya. The Israelis do the same, claiming victimhood every time a rocket from Gaza lands on Israeli territory. But the other side of that coin is that, while the MSM happily colludes with the replacement of history with propaganda, the truth can still be found — it just takes a little longer to sift through the propaganda, read an actual book or two, and search for alternative sources. Unfortunately, the fact that war propaganda is so effective is because most people, having lost any intellectual curiosity ages ago, won’t bother to inform themselves. That’s when we get the government we deserve, wars and all.

    • Valerie
      August 29, 2023 at 16:41

      “having lost any intellectual curiosity ages ago, won’t bother to inform themselves.”

      Absolutely agree with that Janet. And:

      “Dumbing down is the deliberate oversimplification of intellectual content in education, literature, cinema, news, video games, and culture. Originated in 1933, the term “dumbing down” was movie-business slang, used by screenplay writers, meaning: “[to] revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence”.[1] Dumbing-down varies according to subject matter, and usually involves the diminishment of critical thought by undermining standard language and learning standards, thus trivializing academic standards, culture, and meaningful information, as in the case of popular culture.”

    • wildthange
      August 30, 2023 at 20:29

      I have an idea and it relates to a ruling elite comprised of the 10% converted over history to the religious control of one religious organization with considerable history of with hunts and a red scare hysteria in the US after WWII about godless communists who had committed no crimes.
      They have a history too with fascism and perhaps neo-nazi’s and the current US President and Supreme Court. Perhaps even Napoleon had encouragement against Russian Orthodoxy plus lack of remuneration for assistance to the US revolution played a part leading to the sale of Louisiana territory for funds instead.

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