Ukraine: The need for accurate reporting

The basic deontology of journalism has been violated by practically every news outlet in the west. Taking sides and censorship is not responsible reporting

My own take on the special military operation in Ukraine was the same take as I have taken on the military campaigns in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria and anywhere else. This means reading and listening more than writing and speaking until I know what I am talking about.

Russophobic hope and hype

Compare this with the European Union and its former member state, the UK and its ex-colonial allies across the pond in the USA and Canada and Australia, epitomised by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s favouring the Fascist policy of censorship, blocking Russian news sources while western media outlets present a one-sided story based on conjecture, supposition, hope and hype. 

Let me give you some examples.

Every time the Ukrainian President is shown on TV he says that the crucial battle is for city X and if the Russians don’t get it, they will be defeated. The city falls. To the Russians. It is presented as a victory for Ukraine and a defeat for Russia. Like, WTF? Then they said that Russia failed because it did not manage to take Kiev. It said from the start that it wanted to avoid centres of civilian population. The same was said of Kharkov. Russia said from day one that they are targeting military equipment, not concentrations of civilians.

The focus has always been Donbass

Why then did Russia invade the north? Well it is hardly rocket science, is it? Since the focus of the campaign is Donbass (why Ukraine is fighting for an area it was shelling for eight years defies logic, unless it is desperate for more victims to torture and call “subhumans”), it is obvious that attacking from the north and south would have dislodged Ukrainian forces stationed in the centre.

The focus is, as Russia has always said, on Donbass. Why? Because the forces loyal to Kiev committed fascist massacres of Russian-speaking civilians there, murdering cleaning ladies with telephone wire and then spent eight years shelling Donetsk and Lugansk. Ah, they claimed, but it is part of Ukraine and we can do what we like. Yes, the reply comes, but that does not mean you have the right to slaughter people, massacre people and shell people.

Factor into this the fact that Ukraine has Fascist forces strutting around in neo-nazi uniforms with quasi-swastika insignia, and we ask the question where else do we see this?

Oh no, Zelenskiy says, I am Jewish so everything is OK, that means we can have Fascist battalions in our armed forces and nobody will complain. Again, like, WTF?

A very simple story

So after spending all this time watching and listening, what do I see? I see a perfectly simple story which has unfolded before our eyes.

1.      There was a Fascist coup in Kiev and the democratically-elected President was ousted (Yanukovich);

2.      Fascist massacres ensued in which Ukrainian Fascists massacred Russian-speaking Ukrainians;

3.      The residents of Donbass (Lugansk and Donetsk) took up arms to protect themselves;

4.      Kiev spent eight years shelling Donbass

5.      In 2015 Russia produced the Minsk Agreements to keep Donbass in Ukraine and guarantee the citizens’ cultural rights;

6.      Kiev refused to recognise these rights and said it would not implement the Minsk Agreements;

7.      Russia recognised the appeal for help by the residents of Donbass and launched a special military campaign to protect them against Fascists.

Does this mean all Ukrainians are Fascists? No, but the general idea is you are responsible for the government you have, and if you elect someone who allows Fascists to parade in neo-Nazi insignia worshipping Hitler and that child murdering pedophile, that Nazi lover and collaborator, the monster Stepan Bandera who is held as a national hero by many in Ukraine, they you get what you asked for. 

The whole thing is unfortunate and very disagreeable but then again ask Kiev why it refused to implement the Minsk Agreements, which it signed, unless Washington told it not to and is using Ukraine as a proxy in a war between NATO and Russia.

If someone attacked my family for eight years and murdered my parents, then if someone else worshipped those who were responsible, would I stand back and applaud? Would the USA applaud if millions of US citizens were attacked and massacred for eight years and called “sub-human” by thugs wearing Fascist insignia? Or would the citizens of the USA do something?

What was WWII all about, if not defeating Hitler, Nazism and Fascism? 1939 to 1945 was, it seems that 2000 to 2022 is about reviving them.

Food prices and responsibility

Finally, food prices. I know the Western media is risible, after all they have to date got everything wrong about thie entire campaign, but blaming Russia for the increase in world prices of food and everything else, once again, like WTF?

So, COVID did not exist? Stocks were not decimated by two years of disruption of supply lines? Consumer prices are not based on the wonderful casino economy today in force of speculation in procurement of stocks and their conditions of payment? The sanctions on Russia do not have consequences both ways? Is Ukraine the world’s leading supplier of wheat? No, it provides some ten per cent of the world’s grain in a good year. Does Ukraine anyway not have access to exportation westwards by rail?

In 2021/2022 Ukraine exported 33 million tonnes of wheat. Slightly more than Pakistan (27 million tonnes) and less than Australia (34m.). Far below the leading three producers, the European Union (138,9), PR China (136.9) and India (109.5), followed by Russia (75.5) and then still above Ukraine, are the USA (44,7m.)

To claim that Russia is responsible for the hike in food prices, ignoring everything else mentioned above, is as idiotic as saying Russia lost the war because it did not take cities it never intended to take or blaming Russia for destruction in Ukraine caused in part by Fascist forces themselves or by the use of civilian structures as shields by the Ukrainian military, a typical CIA tactic.

Sensible reporting would start with asking why Kiev never implemented the Minsk agreements, asking why Kiev had Fascist battalions in its official armed forces, asking Kiev why it was shelling Donbass for eight years, asking what Russia was supposed to do since it spent eight years explaining the situation but nobody listened, then asking what the real drivers of world inflation are.

We can then agree on one thing, namely that military conflict incurs losses of life and broken families, it involves tears, unhappiness and destroyed livelihoods, on all sides. For those trying to prolong this conflict by supplying more weaponry to Ukraine, to increase suffering, there is a special place in the bowels of hell reserved for you.

Sooner or later, Donbass will be fully liberated, or whatever people wish to call it, at what cost depends on those pumping Ukraine full of weaponry. It could have ended a long time ago if Russia had declared a full war on Ukraine and blitzed its cities as the USA and its friends did in Iraq, in Libya and elsewhere; the notion arises as to what the lawbook says about supplying weaponry to a state in conflict (it is illegal) and therefore how could such states claim any high moral ground in the event of a massive retaliatory attack with hypersonic missiles?

Luckily for them, Russia has always tried to play the role of the nice guy.

Once again, a special mention for the victims, all the victims, on all sides. This was avoidable, all Kiev had to do was implement the agreements it signed and to stop Fascists strutting around wearing swastikas in its official armed forces. Where else do you see this? And who supports this? The European Union? Ursula von der Leyen? Does she support Fascists parading in Neo-Nazi insignia? Does she think they are innocent, or something? Which part of cloud cuckoo land does she come from? Who to blame? Those who prevented Kiev from doing so. Don’t blame the victims.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey can be reached at [email protected]

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