Nothing galls me more than reading in the New York Times the following language: “The decree comes at a time when Russia has become increasingly assertive on the world stage, most recently in the tug of war with the European Union over political and economic relations with Ukraine, a country with deep historical and cultural links that Mr. Putin and others here believe bind it to Russia, not the West.”
The decree referred to is Putin’s unilateral shutting down of a state-run news service, RIA Novosti, that has been in existence since right after WWII and combining it with another service more subservient to him. Putin continues to consolidate his dictatorial powers. A prominent television personality explained it by saying: “The nest of anti-Russian media forces has been destroyed.” Only in an uprising dictatorship could a state-run news service – you know – one that is supposed to be spouting the line of the Kremlin – be called anti-Russian. Sounds like what was happening during Stalin’s purge trials.
The bottom line is anyone doubting Putin’s power or the fast slide of Russia into a Stalinist state should reflect on his eradicating a news agency with the stroke of a pen. And, the happening during the humiliation of Russia by a million or more Ukrainians cannot be a coincidence. Further, like it did in the old days for Stalin, the NY Times is in Putin’s corner rationalizing his actions.
We know that during the Holodomor, or Great Famine, the NY Times through its British born correspondent Walter Duranty told us the story of millions of Ukrainians being starved to death was false. We were given a picture of the Soviet Union as a place of earthly bliss. The truth of Stalin’s terror was falsified and covered-up despite it being told by others.
Now we see it again. Saying the Ukraine has “deep historical and cultural links” or as Russian apologist Nicolai Petro said in the NY Times last week that it shared “close cultural, religious and economic ties with Russia” is plainly false. It is like saying that the Irish had deep historical and cultural links with Britain, as I’m sure some may have said during the Penal Law days, or suggesting the Slavic people of Poland would like to return to Russia’s control, or telling us of the close cultural, economic and religious ties between a slave and his master down South in the pre-Civil War days in the United States, .
Ukraine has been ruled by Russia or the Soviet Union against the will of the people since the 17th Century. Like the Irish, the Ukrainian people have never accepted these forced cultural links. Like the Irish, the Ukrainians want Russia out of its life.
How is it that the NY Times can perpetuate this propaganda after having so falsely done the same thing in the past when millions of Ukrainians perished from a man-made famine created by Stalin. The Ukrainian people stood in the way of his Russification of the Soviet Union? Stalin developed such hatred for the Ukrainians that Khrushchev was led to say in his “secret speech” of 1956 that Stalin would have liquidated the Ukrainians entirely if there had not been so many. This one does when there are deep historical and cultural links?
Stalin acted because the Ukrainians for centuries have been trying to get out from under Russia’s yoke. I’d have thought that the NY Times would be more accurate in its portrayal of what is happening in the Ukraine after having deceived the American people once about what was occurring there. It’s time for it to stop being a propaganda arm of Russia.
One wonder if that is why Putin shut down RIA Novosti. He didn’t need it anymore. He has the NY Times shilling for him.
None of this is good news for the million Ukrainians who poured out on the streets asking for help in not being swept back into servitude for Russia. I’d guess the NY Times would say these Ukrainians don’t appreciate their deep historical and cultural links. I’d suggest it is the NY Times that is leading the false propaganda about these people who have a deep desire for freedom and liberty.
By the way I see Vice President Joe Biden dialed another wrong number. Obama was too busy to call on behalf of a nation of 46 million people aspiring for liberty. You may recall Biden called the wrong Marty Walsh after the Boston election. Well this time he called called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. I hate to tell him but the guy he wanted to talk to was Vladimir Putin. Talking to Yanukovych is like talking to Obama’s Portuguese Water Dog Bo when seeking to talk to the top guy.
Even assuming he reached the right guy it is reported he “underscored the need to immediately de-escalate the situation and begin a dialogue with opposition leaders on developing a consensus way forward for Ukraine. He noted that violence has no place in a democratic society and is incompatible with our strategic relationship.” That type of statement was sure to produce a good round of laughter in the Kremlin. Right after it the Ukraine government started its crackdown (see the video of the tearing down of Lenin’s statute demonstrating the close cultural ties)
Before closing I should mention according to the NY Times article the new director of Russian media is Mr. Kiselyov who is “known for sharp commentaries in defense of Mr. Putin’s Russia that often reflect his belief that there are foreign conspiracies aimed at weakening the nation. He has described the current protests in Ukraine as a provocation by a coalition of Sweden, Poland and Lithuania . . . “
Those who were around in 1956 might dispute my suggestion that this is like Tiananmen Square and suggest it is more like Hungary. There too the Soviets found a provocation. As for the US response, Eisenhower “had also determined, and internal studies backed him up, that there was little the United States could do short of risking global war to help the rebels. And he was not prepared to go that far, nor even, for that matter, to jeopardize the atmosphere of improving relations with Moscow that had characterized the previous period.”
I wonder if the NY Times will soon be explaining how the movement of tanks into Ukraine by the Russians is just a cultural handshake.