by Finian Cunningham, Strategic Culture:
The Western media narrative has no competitor. The media foghorns can blare all they want without hardly a dissenting voice tolerated, let alone heard.
The apparent mass murder of civilians in Bucha and other locations in Ukraine has enraged Western public opinion against Russia.
Russia is facing mounting accusations of genocide and its president Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials are condemned as war criminals to be prosecuted in international tribunals similar to the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders.
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Western media are blaring like foghorns while Russian media and other independent outlets are banned or stifled by the toxic anti-Russia political climate. In this grossly imbalanced situation, propaganda is amplified manyfold. There is a sense that the wholesale shutdown of media prior to the latest alleged massacres in Ukraine is all part of the orchestration.
When the Kiev regime and Western media warn of more massacres to follow in Ukraine that is a sinister prediction.
There are now unprecedented calls for Russia to be denied its seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a seat it has occupied along with having veto powers since the end of the Second World War (prior to 1991 as the Soviet Union). Russia’s veto power, along with China’s, has been a constant bane of the United States and its Western allies who have complained of Moscow’s obstructionism to their foreign wars and other intrigues.
Sanctions are being wielded with unprecedented hostility. The United States and European Union are ratcheting up economic and diplomatic sanctions against Moscow in an unbridled attempt to destroy its economy. The blockade of Russia’s economy would normally be seen as an act of war by the West.
U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered more anti-tank Javelin missiles and other weapons to be sent to Ukraine.
Peace talks underway between Ukraine and Russia are coming under intense pressure to collapse amid the heightened vilification of Russia for “war crimes”. Thus, the war in Ukraine is likely to be prolonged. Notably, the Bucha massacre and other alleged atrocities emerged just when Ukrainian and Russian negotiators appeared to be making progress last week on agreeing to a peace settlement that would involve Ukraine declaring neutrality and renouncing future NATO membership.
What’s more, any attempt by Russia to contest the allegations is dismissed with a torrent of derision and contempt. Normal diplomatic relations have been blocked. A request by its UN envoy Vasily Nebenzia to convene an emergency meeting by the Security Council to discuss the killing of civilians in Ukraine was rejected out of hand by Britain which currently holds the presidency of the council.
Russian diplomats are being expelled pell-mell from Western countries en masse. This week, several European states have banned dozens more Russian envoys.
Russian media outlets have been banned outright across social media channels and the internet across the European Union and Britain. One has to use arcane proxy servers to access such media. Journalists, analysts and academics who question Western media claims are scorned as being “apologists” for a “criminal regime”.
The information war has evolved over many years. Previously, the outpouring of condemnations against Russia in Western media could at least be countervailed with critical, alternative media. When Western media tried to incriminate Russia over the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine in July 2014, there were plenty of critical sources to convincingly challenge those allegations and direct attention to the Western-backed Kiev regime as being culpable.
When Western media cried foul over the alleged Novichok poisoning assassination bids on the Skripals in England in 2018 and again on CIA-provocateur Alexei Navalny in 2020, there was a healthy public skepticism borne out of critical alternative media outlets.
Now though the information war has been optimized by the near-complete shutdown of alternative media. The Western media narrative has no competitor. The media foghorns can blare all they want without hardly a dissenting voice tolerated, let alone heard.
It’s all the more vital to retain a skeptical mind in these times of untrammeled bias where Western news media and government departments openly quote the Nazi Azov Battalion as credible sources of information.
When Russian forces withdrew from Bucha and other locations near the capital Kiev on March 30 they did so as a concession to facilitate the peace negotiations. The mayor of Bucha Anatoly Fedoruk in a video on March 31 celebrated the departure of the Russian military but he did not mention anything about atrocities. Now he is telling Western media outlets about alleged widespread killings.
The images of corpses strewn on streets only emerged on and after April 2, two days after Russian forces withdrew. It was reported that Azov Battalion entered Bucha and locations quickly after Russian forces pulled out. The Azov fighters were openly vowing to carry out “cleansing operations” which can be taken as a grim reference to dealing with people deemed to have collaborated with the Russian military during their brief occupation.
Several analysts cited here have debunked the widely circulated video footage that was put out by the Kiev regime forces purportedly showing corpses of people executed by Russian troops. The videos have strange anomalies such as supposedly dead bodies moving, stage-managed scenes, and the use of attractive female models purporting to be anti-Russian fighters. Cadavers that are supposedly weeks old are actually seen to belong to people who were killed in recent days, quite possibly after the Russian forces withdrew. Furthermore, some of the corpses are shown to have white armbands indicating that they were pro-Russian supporters. That suggests that the real perpetrators of the mass killings were the Azov Battalion and other NATO-backed regiments.
Russia categorically denies the alleged violations, claiming that the videos are part of a false-flag provocation to criminalize Russia in the eyes of the world. Would Russia be so stupidly reckless to commit such crimes?
The same manufactured media methods have been used in the alleged bombing by Russia of the maternity hospital in Mariupol on March 9 and a public theater in the same city. Videos released by one side are broadcast unquestioningly by Western media along with ready-made condemnations by Western leaders. This is reminiscent of the media model used by the NATO-sponsored Jihadists and White Helmets in Syria.
The big difference now, however, is that Western propaganda has near-total dominance because all other critical, independent sources have been silenced or blackballed.