Devoid of hype and hysteria, this piece is dedicated to respect all mothers who lose children and whose tears all taste of salt
After three weeks I am finally managing to understand the international reaction to the situation in Ukraine and the more I understand it, the more shocked I am at how utterly uninformed, or misinformed, people are. I am appalled at the shallowness of the media’s approach which in turns feeds gullible audiences and readerships and I am astonished at the biased, one-sidedness which demonises one side and exonerates the other.
It is almost as if every western baby was born with a Russophobic chip in their neck, easily activated by a single sound bite. It is like watching a video of a family kicking a dog to death because it bit the postman’s son (who had spent eight years torturing it and pulling its tail). The sheer childishness of reactions among seemingly educated and intelligent people is as amazing as it is sad.
The collective reaction borders on hysteria, with erudite people restricted to breathy, breathless monosyllables about “He”, about “Putin” who is “invading a sovereign nation” and “killing civilians” because “he wants to take over the world” and “he’s coming for us next”. What happened to common sense, logic and a balanced and informed approach? What happened to those who like to do a lot more reading and listening than speaking or writing?
I am one of those and I only write about something when I know what I am speaking about. I am not easily influenced by the media, which unfortunately has taught me to adopt the Hinchey Principle, which is to take a story, stand it on its head, turn it inside out, view it back to front, read the comments under the piece and get somewhere near to the truth.
What is even more depressing, in this current situation, is the Pavlovian reaction to draw the time line arbitrarily, devoid of any logic other than to pull the wool over people’s eyes. What the western media has managed to do, and it has worked, is to draw the time line at the beginning of 2022 when the first Russian missiles began destroying, in 48 hours, the billion-dollars-worth of military equipment which NATO had saddled the Ukrainian taxpayers with. After that, censorship of Russian media and social media sources, hundreds of Facebook pages deleted, RT silenced, Sputnik silenced and what happens then? Censorship negates any legitimacy of an information flow, who is to say that it is not just propaganda?
So let us have a balanced, sensible and educated discussion here devoid of hype, devoid of hysteria, devoid of collective imbecility.
First off, nobody likes war, nobody likes being invaded, nobody likes being shelled. Everybody’s tears taste of salt, the loss of a loved one is a tragedy, which the family has to bear forever. So let us not grandstage events using casualties as pawns in some stupid political tag game. The image of the Ukrainian boy pulls heartstrings today in the west. The image of the Russian-speaking Ukrainian boy in Donbass crying over the charred remains of his grandmother who was tortured and burnt to death after being doused in gasoline, then urinated on after the pigs from Azov Battalion stood around masturbating and giggling while she was screaming in agony never reached the west and if told, the reply is a callous “prove it”. OK go and speak to the grandson, he will love you I am sure.
Secondly, let us speak facts, not stupidity. Georgia (2008) is frequently mentioned in this discourse. Does anyone know the facts? Has anyone been told? Under the Third Soviet Constitution Georgia was obliged to settle nationality issues. It didn’t. It refused to. Then in 2008 its western-advised troops attacked the Russian peacekeeping force in South Ossetia, murdering some of the soldiers. These are facts. Russia’s response was a very limited punitive raid, after which the Georgian troops fled screaming, Vladimir Putin himself said the intention was not to humiliate Georgia, and hey presto, South Ossetia, Akhazia and their residents have lived in peace since.
Crimea is also referred to as an annexation. Get real, what annexation? Who told the western viewers and readers that lie? In 2014 there was a fascist coup d’état in Kiev, in which gangs of armed thugs took to the streets shouting “Death to Russians and Jews!” Fascist massacres took place. The Azov Battalion, sporting neo-Nazi insignia, massacred Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Odessa, in Donetsk, in Mariupol, in Slavyansk. The footage of three of these has been pulled from the Net, only Odessa remains and that is enough. (Western entities traditionally pull sensitive material from the Internet, so that they can deny the events happened then they say “prove it!”).
So in the absence of the democratically elected President, Yanukovich, the entity with power to enforce the law in Crimea was the Assembly, which duly organised a free and fair democratic referendum on whether to remain in Ukraine or rejoin Russia (Crimea was always Russian until Kruschev, a Ukrainian General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, drunkenly signed the republic to Ukraine when all parties were inside the Soviet Union). The election was not only free and fair, it was witnessed by dozens of countries.
So “Putin” did not ”invade” Georgia, Georgia invaded “Putin”. “Putin” did not annex Crimea, Crimea expressed its desire to join “Putin”.
Now for Donbass. It was Kiev that started the problem with the fascist massacres, then the edicts to impose Ukrainian as the official language from basic education upwards. The residents of Donbass simply wanted to practise their language, culture and religion, which were in Russian and not Ukrainian. The residents, being attacked, had to take up arms to defend themselves.
And here, let us use an analogy to make it easier for some people to understand. Imagine your country was once part of a larger Union or Federation and imagine that with time the lines on maps were redrawn leaving millions of your compatriots on the other side of the frontier. Now factor in what happened in Ukraine. There was a coup in the other country where your citizens now find themselves, fascists took to the streets shouting Death to (your citizens) and Jews! Massacres took place in which marauding hordes of Neo-Nazis complete with swastikas murdered cleaning ladies, doused grandmothers with gasoline and stood around masturbating while the ladies were screaming, then urinated on the corpses, laughing? Do you think that is funny? And then they say No, these citizens cannot teach their kids in (English), everything has to be in (Spanish/French) and the shelling starts. How do you feel? What do you expect your government to do? Sit back like a coward? For eight years?
Russia, actually Vladimir Putin, drew up the Minsk Agreements in 2015, trying to find a solution. He did not immediately recognise the independence of Lugansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic, the Minsk agreements catered for them to remain inside Ukraine but with cultural autonomy. Reasonable? Yes, many would agree. Did Ukraine comply with these agreements, which it signed?
Never. The shelling, the attacks, the Fascist onslaught against men, women and children defenceless old folk, families, family pets continued from that side for 8 years, that is 96 months, that is 416 weeks that is 2,920 days. For eight years, or ninety-six months, or four hundred and sixteen weeks or two thousand, nine hundred and twenty days, Russia tried the negotiating table. Nobody listened, they never intended to. The idea was to use Ukraine as a pawn in a geopolitical game provoking Russia to snapping point and then doing everything possible to break her economy. Then what? Guess. A colour revolution, splitting Russia up into a myriad of republics and then syphon off her massive resources. It is called stealing, they do that with bank accounts.
What I am trying to do here is to find some balance. The public has not been informed by the west so let us try doing so from the east. Even educated people these days are brought up on a tidy media chortle of drums rolling, BANG CRASH WALLOP stories (violins) but hey we’re keeping you safe and look here’s a story about a dog who found its human companion after ten years AHHHHHHH (music stops). Such is the western “news”, called “shows” these days.
Meanwhile an energy deal is done with Ukraine making a billionaire a multi-billionaire behind the scenes. The public, brought up on reality shows, brays and stamps and screams and gesticulates and calls someone a bastard and attacks Russian children going to school and burns down a Russian Orthodox Church somewhere and calls Russians names. The hysteria has been whipped up, there is one good cowboy with the white hat and the baddie with the black hat. Hollywood has done its job. The wool has been pulled over the eyes. The context has been diluted out of the story, the time line has been drawn in early 2022, not 2014; the culprits are the victims now and the victims are the culprits. Nobody remembers NATO’s shock and awe tactics in Iraq, which if employed by Russia in Ukraine, would have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in three days and the entire thing would be over.
Russia in fact is avoiding civilian centers and is only attacking civilian buildings being used by Ukrainian elements or by mercenaries or by Fascists using civilians as human shields and yes, Azov Battalion has been trying to stage events to incriminate Russia for its own atrocities.
The Azov Battalion is a Neo-Nazi outfit which sports swastikas. I have seen many videos of these pieces of excrement in action. They are fascists and murderers. And they have been integrated in Ukraine’s Armed Forces at the nod of the Pentagon. Now where else in the world is that acceptable?
To conclude, this article is trying to find balance. Every coin has two sides and to respect both sides we have to examine both sides and find the context. This article is dedicated to finding a solution through understanding the causes and analysing where things went wrong, through facts. No hype, no hysteria. This article is not attempting to justify anything, nor to disrespect any deaths or casualties.
Tears taste of salt, be they Russian or Ukrainian. Or Russian-speaking Ukrainians. So let us find some balance, let us understand the context and only then can we unravel this complicated chain of events and find some space for reconciliation.
Hopefully my readers will at least have read and taken in my points because they sure aren’t getting them from the western media. Hopefully people can begin to behave as adults.
All Kiev had to do was implement the Minsk Agreements which it signed and stop the Azov Battalion murdering grandmothers. And urinating on the corpses. Soldiers? Don’t make me sick! And these are the ones making ordinary Ukrainians pay for this, these are the ones together with their US bedmasters, responsible for getting the average Ukrainian, not a Fascist, wanting to get on with their lives, get caught up in this storm. Maybe if Ukraine wants to be treated like a European country it should ask whether gangs of Fascists wearing Swastikas are integrated in the armed forces of any European country. Except of course Ukraine. It doesn't require a great degree of intelligence, does it?
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey can be contacted at [email protected]
Thirteen people — seven children and six adults — were killed as a result of the mass shooting at School No. 88 in Izhevsk