And now, ladies and gentlemen, prize for wacko rag of the week goes to Newsweek Magazine, more specifically its edition of March 27, whose central pages are dedicated to the piece called "Crimea One year on". The six-page piece by one Marc Bennetts includes references from Putin's "little green men" to references to "missing persons".
Let us get the history straight. Last February an illegal Putsch orchestrated from Washington ousted the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, without any of the legal precepts for an impeachment being present. Therefore, under the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea, with the maximum legal entity removed (the President), the body with powers to enforce the law was its Legislative Assembly, or Parliament. It was this body which organized the election in which a huge majority of Crimeans voted to return to Russia.
The Newsweek article says nothing of this. It starts with the opening paragraph complaining that Putin's "little green men" annexed Crimea, then the piece begins as such: "Vladimir Putin, steel in his eyes, strides purposefully through a field of corn". The article follows with paragraph headings, colored red, such as "Missing Persons", then the two-liner in red capitals "There is an evil silence here. We are all in a prison camp. None of us is safe" and on the next page, also in red capitals, the ominous message "There is a double danger of Islamic extremism in Crimea".
I say ominous, because watch this space and see if someone somewhere in the dark corridors of Washington does not remember to do to Crimea what someone somewhere did to Chechnya: start a Wahhabist movement among the Tartars to create problems.
There is nothing in this piece about the anti-Russian slogans chanted on the streets of Kiev after last February's Putsch "Death to Russians and Jews" and no details about the Fascist massacres of Russian speakers which took place in several locations in Eastern Ukraine, which forced the people of Lugansk and Donetsk to take up arms to defend themselves.
There is nothing about the shelling of civilians by the Putsch forces loyal to Kiev or the battalions of Fascists sent to slaughter men, women and children, by Kiev.
There is also nothing in the Newsweek article about the real story behind the scenes: after failing to get its war in Syria to grab Russia's Mediterranean Sea base, NATO decided instead to go closer to home, install a NATO-friendly government on Russia's frontier and then take over Russia's Black Sea bases, which are located where? In Crimea.
So, Crimea is Russia and Russian, under the laws in existence when the West broke them. Instead of celebrating the enormous rise in pensions and the general standard of living of Crimeans since the Republic rejoined Russia, instead of concentrating on Russia's insistence that the Republic have three official languages and cultural protection programs for Tartars, Ukrainians and Russians, while Kiev was cutting Russian culture from its educational programs, Newsweek goes the same way as the rest of the bought or assimilated Press.
Instead of focusing on the huge amount of humanitarian support given by Russia and Russians to civilians being murdered and tortured by Fascist forces supported by the West. Instead of stating that it is Kiev which does not comply with paragraphs 8 and 11 of the Minsk Accords dated 5 September 2014, as well as paragraphs 7 and 8 of the full response to the Minsk Agreement of 12 February 2015, Newsweek tries to shift the blame onto Russia.
Instead of speaking to eye-witnesses on the ground in Ukraine, who deliver reports such as this: "Ukrainian army has shelled the settlements and positions of the DPR army 16 times over the last 24 hours...16 truce violations have been registered over the past day. The attacks of Ukrainian army were mounted on Shirokino, Spartak, Tavricheskoye, Nikolayevka, Grigorovka, Staromaryevka, Gorlovka, Zhabunki, the DPR positions in the area of Peski, the "Oktyabrskaya" coal mine and the Donetsk airport", where does Newsweek stand? I will tell you:
Another rag unfit to lie in a pile beside my toilet.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. He is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights.
The troops of the Southern and Western military districts will begin to return from Russia's southern borders to the points of their permanent deployment starting April 23