Putin Equals Voldemort Is a Bad Take
Park the hashtags and pro-bono propaganda - this is the same old psy op
The misrepresentation of the Ukraine-Russia conflict is a prime example of the failure of contemporary journalism. The public has been conditioned to respond to any news involving Russia with the same prejudice as Andy from Parks and Recreation:
While completely whitewashing the crimes of the West’s Champions of Humanitarian Intervention:
Nobody wants to bother with the history; the objective, material conditions of the conflicted regions; the integrity, background, motives and actions of the parties involved; the dire geopolitical and economic consequences; the welfare of the people they are not told to care about; and the aggression and violence expertly hidden from view. The media have actually convinced people that they are Nazis if they don't support literal Nazis.
Switch off CNN (Chump News Network)
Instead, here are two excellent, fact-based videos, if you are sincerely interested in truth and international solidarity.
1 - Anti-war advocate Abby Martin on Empire Files.
2 - Stainslav explaining what you don’t know about the war in Ukraine, from inside Russia, in 5 minutes.
And two more articles with information conveniently overlooked by the #WeStandWithUkraine crowd:
Veteran journalist, Joe Lauria over at Consortium reporting on Putin’s recognition of Donbass independence
Former Australian ambassador, Tony Kevin over at John Menadue’s Public Policy Journal - Ukraine shrinks again
Likewise, follow reputable journalists such as John Pilger, Pepe Escobar, Ben Norton and Vanessa Beeley for accurate reporting and commentary.
The Level of Hypocrisy is Vomit Emoji
This leads to two questions for the defenders of “Ukrainian sovereignty”:
1 - As Maria Zakharova, press representative for Russia, asked a Sky News reporter, “What gives you the right to start counting lives from today?”
Donbas has endured war for 8 years already.
2 - What is the difference between this situation and the wailing for independence of Hong Kong from China?
Witness the double standard. People are saying, “Oh no, Ukraine needs to maintain national sovereignty,” implying that LNR and DNR are illegitimate countries. Yet they have openly struggled for independence from Ukraine to achieve self-rule and end the violence.
While China didn't bomb Hong Kong for 8 years. China didn't arm ideologically-driven paramilitary groups against their own people. China wasn't backed by foreign interests enacting a coup against a democratically-elected government.
Poking the Bear
Why the interest in Ukraine?
Ukraine has pre-existing regional conflicts which were exploited by foreign interests. Ukraine shares a 2000 kilometre border with Russia, the alleged enemy of “Freedom” (*eagle sound*) slash threat to global US-NATO hegemony. If Ukraine joins NATO, then NATO, openly hostile to Russia, would have a military presence close enough to permanently antagonize the Russians. The Americans knew that any NATO involvement in Ukraine would trigger war which appears to be their goal. Prior to this, Russia formally requested assurances from the US that they would not expand eastward, which they rightfully consider an act of aggression; this was not given. Note that NATO expansion east is a violation of international law.
Russia was invited to enter the conflict by DNR and LNR, and waited patiently for diplomacy to have its chance via Minsk 2 before deciding that loss of Russian lives in their neighbourhood warrants intervention. By the way, the Ukrainian government did not respect Minsk 2; their forces and allies repeatedly broke the ceasefire.
Meanwhile, “brave” Ukrainian president Zelenskyy is called a hero as he goads a nuclear superpower, hands weapons to civilians, encourages use of Molotov cocktails, begs every country for arms and demands every corporation punish Russians.
The sanctions are petty and outrage laughable: denying Russians movies, revoking Putin’s martial arts titles, walking out on Russian representatives at the UN, banning Russian media, posting celebrity condemnations on Instagram, etc. Of course, measures like payment platforms pulling out, and other forms of economic warfare, are actually hurting Russian civilians, but we are not allowed to feel for anyone the media does not tell us to.
Ukraine was not in a good state even prior to this conflict. Ever since its founding, it has been the victim of neoliberalism, IMF policies, that captured its markets and resources for extraction. Corruption runs rampant and demagogues, like Zelenskyy, claim power. Ukraine suffers a roughly 40% poverty rate and has only seen one deficit-free year (2000) in its history. Industry lies in ruin while the government has been manipulated into poor relations with their closest neighbour, Russia, which, unsurprisingly, hurts the standard of living.
And Ukrainians tried to address their dire circumstances by exercising their vote and electing Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Since Yanukovych put Ukrainians first, not the commercial or political interests of the West, and sought peaceful relations with Russia, he was ousted in the violent Maidan Massacre.
Today, Zelenskyy refuses to meet Putin’s terms, which appear reasonable, primarily: stop the assault on Donbas, say no to US-NATO weapons and guarantee independence for DNR and LNR - as legalized by Minsk 2. Instead, he enjoys celebrity status while doing the bidding of his handlers; like a typical coup puppet sacrificing civilians to serve imperial interests.
Ukraine also connects Russia to the European market. With killing projects like Nord Stream 2, the US maintains energy market dominance (leading to high prices and energy shortages in Europe). Ukraine also features enviable access to the Black Sea and natural resources such as coal. Of course, the Empire wants in.
In stark contrast to the propaganda (1, 2), Russian forces are taking a clinical approach (1, 2) in Ukraine.
Very unlike the carpet bombing tactics of NATO. Never forget the crimes of the paranoid world police: NATO - Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, to name a few.
Former UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter says that NATO stands no chance in a ground war with Russia. NATO troops are more in-the-zone killing farmers than soldiers.
From a Russian perspective, you see hostile troops and swastikas on your border; you see your brethren shelled and bombed. Naturally, the Bear, demonized by the ubiquitous propaganda machine, intimately familiar with the cost of war and armed to the teeth, growls back.
War is a Racket
Smedley Butler’s words remain relevant. As does Orwell’s, who said, “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.” More motives now become clear. Being “tough” with Putin opens up the wallet of neocon donors, raising hope for Biden’s plunging approval. War means a bigger Pentagon budget next year. A sanctioned Russia means more US oil and gas sales to Europe. Ukrainian “independence” means the country’s resources and markets remain vulnerable to exploitation. Most of all, this conflict prolongs the perpetual global war economy, constantly transforming public funds into private profits. Like countless times before, people die to power the profit megamachine.