The Latest Chapter in Russian Lies

Commentary Here is what Russians, who get their news from the Kremlin’s so-called information technologists (read: propagandists), are being told about the war with Ukraine by the Russian News Service, TASS. The first lie shows the war depicted as a morality play between good and evil. The “good” combatants are from the self-anointed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. They are depicted bravely fighting neo-Nazi “formations” backed by Kyiv (not the Ukrainian army). These small republics have had to seek the help of Russian peacekeepers (notably lacking blue helmets) to stave off crazed Ukrainian nationalists intent on murdering them. Winning this War of the Donbas is vital. If these Ukrainian formations were to win, they would attack Mother Russia itself, despite facing impossible odds. There is no absence of news about this righteous war. Readers are given hour-by-hour accounts of the retreat of the Ukrainian Nazis, defeated by the forces of good. The second lie TASS spreads is one of omission. There is scant mention that Russian forces are attacking Ukraine from three directions after a buildup of almost 200,000 troops encircling Ukraine. The battle that counts is the “good war” discussed above. The onslaught on the whole of Ukraine is mentioned only in passing. Curious TASS readers will therefore be confused by news reports of Russian soldiers taking Chernobyl, troops landing in Odessa, or Russian troops destroying 83 military facilities. They had been led to think that the war was that one in Donbas. The third way TASS misleads its readers is by reporting that the professional Russian army is conducting Ukrainian operations via pinpoint surgical strikes on military sites. There are absolutely no attacks on civilian targets, according to TASS, although Russian propaganda claims that Ukrainians themselves might kill their own citizens in a false flag operation to blame the Russian military. Indeed, TASS warns that the Ukrainian Security Service plans to stage videos filmed in various Ukrainian cities showing alleged “mass civilian deaths.” But no one in Ukraine needs to fear Russia. According to TASS, Russian troops do not bomb cities and don’t kill civilians. With its fourth lie, TASS instructs its readers that the invasion of Ukraine is not really a battle of Slav Russians versus Slav Ukrainians. The perfidious United States and NATO have recruited professional mercenaries to carry the battle to the Russians. Russians kindly disposed towards Ukrainian friends and relatives need not worry, according to TASS. Russians are killing mercenaries, not their Slavic brothers. The fifth lie is that Russian military action is by no means aimed at the Ukrainian people. Rather, it is designed to emancipate them from an illegitimate Ukrainian government comprised of ultra-nationalists and Neo-Nazis. The Ukrainian people have been under this yoke since the ouster of Russian puppet Victor Yanukovych. As TASS tells its readers, Russia is in this “to liberate Ukrainians from the neo-Nazis.” The Kremlin propagandists’ sixth lie is to label the Ukraine administration fascist and genocidal. According to TASS, the International Criminal Court has announced that it is monitoring military activities in Ukraine for crimes against the population. Noteworthy, TASS does not tell its readers that Russia withdrew from the ICC after that organization investigated Russian genocide in occupied Crimea. Finally, TASS readers are being told that Ukraine’s military is collapsing. That its soldiers are surrendering, and being treated well when they do. There are no Ukrainian military successes. TASS informs its readers that a Russian jet that crashed did so due to pilot error, not Ukrainian missiles. For its small Ukrainian audience, the message is clear: The battle is hopeless. Lay down your arms and go home. Kremlin propaganda accuses adversaries of Russia’s own behaviors. It is the Kremlin that has a convenient working relationship with the ultra-nationalists in parliament. Neo-Nazi organizations are welcomed in Russia’s politics and in its military. False-flag use of bodies to blame opponents is a classic Russian trick. Placing military targets in residential areas was a standard feature of the 2014 war. Calling the Russian troops that are directing military operations “peacekeepers” is a ruse tried back in 2014 at the Minsk peace talks. Public opinion surveys show that a majority of ordinary Russians believe the garbage of lies described above. As long as this is true, Vladimir Putin has a free hand. We must give serious thought to how to turn this around. From RealClearWire Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Follow Paul Roderick Gregory, Ph.D., is a Cullen professor of economics emeritus at the University of Houston, Texas, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and a research fellow at

The Latest Chapter in Russian Lies

Commentary

Here is what Russians, who get their news from the Kremlin’s so-called information technologists (read: propagandists), are being told about the war with Ukraine by the Russian News Service, TASS.

The first lie shows the war depicted as a morality play between good and evil. The “good” combatants are from the self-anointed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. They are depicted bravely fighting neo-Nazi “formations” backed by Kyiv (not the Ukrainian army). These small republics have had to seek the help of Russian peacekeepers (notably lacking blue helmets) to stave off crazed Ukrainian nationalists intent on murdering them. Winning this War of the Donbas is vital. If these Ukrainian formations were to win, they would attack Mother Russia itself, despite facing impossible odds. There is no absence of news about this righteous war. Readers are given hour-by-hour accounts of the retreat of the Ukrainian Nazis, defeated by the forces of good.

The second lie TASS spreads is one of omission. There is scant mention that Russian forces are attacking Ukraine from three directions after a buildup of almost 200,000 troops encircling Ukraine. The battle that counts is the “good war” discussed above. The onslaught on the whole of Ukraine is mentioned only in passing. Curious TASS readers will therefore be confused by news reports of Russian soldiers taking Chernobyl, troops landing in Odessa, or Russian troops destroying 83 military facilities. They had been led to think that the war was that one in Donbas.

The third way TASS misleads its readers is by reporting that the professional Russian army is conducting Ukrainian operations via pinpoint surgical strikes on military sites. There are absolutely no attacks on civilian targets, according to TASS, although Russian propaganda claims that Ukrainians themselves might kill their own citizens in a false flag operation to blame the Russian military. Indeed, TASS warns that the Ukrainian Security Service plans to stage videos filmed in various Ukrainian cities showing alleged “mass civilian deaths.” But no one in Ukraine needs to fear Russia. According to TASS, Russian troops do not bomb cities and don’t kill civilians.

With its fourth lie, TASS instructs its readers that the invasion of Ukraine is not really a battle of Slav Russians versus Slav Ukrainians. The perfidious United States and NATO have recruited professional mercenaries to carry the battle to the Russians. Russians kindly disposed towards Ukrainian friends and relatives need not worry, according to TASS. Russians are killing mercenaries, not their Slavic brothers.

The fifth lie is that Russian military action is by no means aimed at the Ukrainian people. Rather, it is designed to emancipate them from an illegitimate Ukrainian government comprised of ultra-nationalists and Neo-Nazis. The Ukrainian people have been under this yoke since the ouster of Russian puppet Victor Yanukovych. As TASS tells its readers, Russia is in this “to liberate Ukrainians from the neo-Nazis.”

The Kremlin propagandists’ sixth lie is to label the Ukraine administration fascist and genocidal. According to TASS, the International Criminal Court has announced that it is monitoring military activities in Ukraine for crimes against the population. Noteworthy, TASS does not tell its readers that Russia withdrew from the ICC after that organization investigated Russian genocide in occupied Crimea.

Finally, TASS readers are being told that Ukraine’s military is collapsing. That its soldiers are surrendering, and being treated well when they do. There are no Ukrainian military successes. TASS informs its readers that a Russian jet that crashed did so due to pilot error, not Ukrainian missiles. For its small Ukrainian audience, the message is clear: The battle is hopeless. Lay down your arms and go home.

Kremlin propaganda accuses adversaries of Russia’s own behaviors. It is the Kremlin that has a convenient working relationship with the ultra-nationalists in parliament. Neo-Nazi organizations are welcomed in Russia’s politics and in its military. False-flag use of bodies to blame opponents is a classic Russian trick. Placing military targets in residential areas was a standard feature of the 2014 war. Calling the Russian troops that are directing military operations “peacekeepers” is a ruse tried back in 2014 at the Minsk peace talks.

Public opinion surveys show that a majority of ordinary Russians believe the garbage of lies described above. As long as this is true, Vladimir Putin has a free hand. We must give serious thought to how to turn this around.

From RealClearWire

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Paul Roderick Gregory

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Paul Roderick Gregory, Ph.D., is a Cullen professor of economics emeritus at the University of Houston, Texas, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and a research fellow at the German Institute for Economic Research Berlin. He writes on Russia, Ukraine, and comparative economics. He is the author of "Women of the Gulag," among other books.