The Fascist practice of Censorship of Russian sources has backfired. Readers and viewers are flocking to hear the context of the story
Story? More like a tragedy. Members of my family were the victims of Fascism during the Second World War and the scenes of Fascists wearing Swastikas parading through the streets of Ukraine and videos of Fascists wearing Swastikas torturing Russian-speaking kids bring up those images again flashing before our eyes of young Jewish, gypsy, black boys or boys from the families of Communists entering a concentration camp healthy and three months later looking wasted, sullen and defeated.Those of us who have visited concentration camps remember that look which should never show in any child’s eyes anywhere. We see that look among Ukrainian children saying goodbye to Daddy. We see the same images of children in Donbass with the same look. Is one more important than the other? Or more mediatic than the other because someone decided to take sides?
These Donbass images are not shown on western media sources, neither is RT or Sputnik broadcasting in the European Union which has adopted a fascist policy of censorship of Russian sources while Facebook and other social media outlets are doing a frantic job of suppressing pages and while Google does a frantic job of cleaning material from the Internet.
And the result of this? The Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Melnyk, who has made it clear in public that he supports the Azov Battalion and supported Bandera, a criminal pedophile torturer and murderer who collaborated with the Nazis and whose gangs hacked little children to pieces. Anyone saying that they support Bandera should be locked away in a psychiatric prison and the same goes for the Azov Battalion. An Ambassador saying that means that the worship of Fascists and Fascism is much more than skin deep. How much of a growing problem is this?
And if it is a growing problem, we want to know. So what does the European Union do? It censors out Russian sources, while websites and webpages are closed or blocked or become victims of cyber terrorist attacks, journalists are assailed with death threats and material is removed from the Net. This is the latest Fascist fetish: remove videos and photographic evidence then when presented with the fact, the reply is “Prove it!”
I can answer this question with the mails I receive from my readers and I am not going to mention anyone by name but I can speak about percentages. 70 per cent of the mails I receive in response to my articles are from balanced individuals who say “Thank you for presenting a balanced approach taking into consideration the context, which we simply do not hear in th west”. No they don’t of course because it is censored out. But that does not mean things do not happen – just because you cannot see something doesn’t mean it does not exist. And these readers understand that presenting a context is not justifying or complaining about anything. It is, in three words, presenting a context.
The other thirty per cent are divided into messages which are critical, affirmative and assertive yet polite and respectful, open to dialogue (29 per cent) and one per cent which are insults and death threats from persons who are incapable of discourse and dialogue and discussion, the fundamentals of the democracy which they claim to adore. What does a journalist do in these cases?
Many do not even answer their mails, or else do not put their contact under the article. Others coward out by not expressing an opinion but what are you supposed to do in an opinion piece, and who the hell is anyone to tell me I do not have the right to express my opinion? I have worked with the Soviet and Russian press for decades since 1972 and never once have I had any restriction or directive placed over me, never has anyone told me what to say or write or what not to say or write. I respond to the 70% mails thanking the writer, to the other 29 per cent I discuss openly and with respect, and sometimes I have to explain that I am not glorifying violence or invasions, I am simply stating that there is a context. Many then understand my position, a few continue to think that the attack is totally unjustified and believe that Russia invaded just because suddenly they decided to invade with no reason. I would argue that such a position is the fruit of an impaired intellectual capacity.
The one per cent, I just block the sender and do not reply. The death threats? Well if that is par for the course, and the result of expressing my opinion, so be it if that is what happens in 2022. It is a crime, punishable with a prison sentence. I could I suppose pass the messages over to a friend of mine who is adept at gleaning IP numbers and real-life addresses or just forward to a friend of mine who is a high-ranking police officer but I am not that type of person. I am not going to screw up a person's life just because they got angry and sent a mail.
To the conclusion that people want to hear the truth, they want to see the videos. To the conclusion that people still take photos and make videos. These days everyone is a potential amateur photo journalist so everyone with a mobile has access to facts, to record, distribute and receive. To the conclusion that you can try to censor out the other side but that only makes people more curious and makes people disbelieve the one-sidedness of reporting, the hate-mongering, the russophobia. This used to work fifty years ago, you could convince people that NATO were the good guys and the Soviets were a bunch of creeps by saying so. That was then. This is now. There are interviews with NATO generals circulating, talking about this event and factoring both sides into the argument, not taking sides but providing a balanced approach as many military personnel are wont to do. Seeing the other side does not mean saying the special operation is cool, it does not mean that anyone likes to be invaded and it does not glorify violence. It does respect both sides by taking a mature and balanced approach, avoiding hate mongering, which blocks reconciliation. I do not hate Ukrainians. Well I do not like the Fascists, but who does? A Fascist. Neither do I hate Russian-speaking Ukrainians or Russians.
It has led us to the conclusion that those who are not involved should not get involved, but rather to foster mechanisms which provide for peace and reconciliation after the conflict has ended, and let us hope it is soon. It has led ius to the conclusion that not all Ukrainians are Fascists but Fascists exist, in the armed frorces of Ukraine, the official armed forces of Ukraine, complete with swastikas and Ukrainian military personnel have been shelling Russian-speaking civilians for eight years. These are facts.
It has led us to the conclusion that Mister Diplomacy died in 2022. Dead and buried, six feet under, forgotten, in a coffin. Inert, cold. Dead. Russia tried, the west refused to listen in a display of shit-headed arrogance.
It has led us to the conclusion that Humankind is in dire need of a mechanism which swings into action when conflict of any kind starts and escalates. In this case we can draw the time line at 2014 with the Fascist Putsch and the chants of “Death to Russians and Jews” on the streets. Now some of us take issue with that because some of us had families tortured in Fascist concentration camps. One Fascist is one too many. It matters not that the Azov Battalion is 3,000 in an armed force of 200,000. Three thousand fascists supporting neo-Nazi insignia in an official armed unit is an insult to the memories of Europeans and only in Ukraine do we see this phenomenon. One fascist is one too many.
So we see that censorship does not work. People circulate photos and videos through other media, we get RT and Sputnik anyway using other means and if people do not know how they can ask someone who does or else receive the reports by those who have access. The ones with egg on their faces are those who practised censorship.
Let us reiterate that presenting a context does not mean taking sides. Let us reiterate that hate mongering blocks reconciliation. You will not find a single video of a massacre by the Azov Battalion in my articles or any photos of children being tortured in Donbass. I received one yesterday. They say the camera does not lie. Hostilities is ugly, kids crying is ugly, families torn apart is ugly, whoever they are, whether they are Ukrainian-speaking Ukrainians or Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Let us reiterate that not all Ukrainians are Fascists yet there are many caught up in this in a country that has banned the Communist Party. This is an act of Fascism.
Let us reiterate that tears taste of salt, period, Let us reiterate that all of us want peace as soon as possible. All Zelenskiy has to do is implement the terms of Minsk which Ukraine signed. Or is the paper that Ukraine signs not fit for the bathroom floor?
Censorship in the European Union in the year 2022. Wow.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey can be contacted at [email protected]