Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Ukraine Unspun

A Choice Between Nazism And Russia In Crimea?

Crimeans preparing to cast ballots in the disputed March 16 referendum vote are likely to have recently seen a billboard like the one above.

"On March 16 We Choose," it says. The choice, according to the signage, is between a Crimean republic overrun by Nazism or one that is under the Russian umbrella.

This is a false choice. As we have noted, while there are worrisome nationalist elements tied to Kyiv's new government, there has been no evidence of a serious fascist movement and no reported attacks on Russians in Crimea.

But it is a good example of the propaganda war that is being waged in the autonomous republic since former President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kyiv three weeks ago.

Many Crimeans, nearly 60 percent of whom are ethnic Russians, watch Russian state news broadcasts, where they frequently hear of the alleged neo-Nazi threat to the ethnic Russian population of Crimea. Signs, at pro-Russian marches and on the streets, warn of impending doom if the local population chooses to stay within Ukraine.

This sign depicting a radical flamethrower is apparently sponsored by the "Stop Maidan" group. It says, "Crimea is for stability. [Say] 'no' to extremism."
Here a sign, apparently sponsored by the same organization, appears in a TV report by Russia's state-run Channel One. "I want to live without fascism," it says.

Many pro-Russian protesters interviewed by journalists in recent days appear to have been genuinely convinced of an ominous fascist threat from Ukraine's capital. In this report by Simon Ostrovsky, of Vice News, a Cossack member of the local "self-defense" forces freely refers to the new government as "fascist."

-- Glenn Kates
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
March 12, 2014 14:56
Translation of the above posters:
On 16 Match, occupied by bandit "masks" elect:
Swastika labeled over Russian "Morda" on the left,
Or Demo labeled over Russian "Morda" on the right.
Any way choose, Ukraine and you loosing your rights.
Stop (peaceful) Maidan escaping sniper bullets of Russia!
Crimea for stability, occupied by Russian masked armies!
<<NO>> - extremism of Ukraine escapes slavery parasha!
<<NO>> - white Ukraine grab behind of mask-SS dammy!
I want live without Fashists - but I am one and I got a mask!
Stop Maidan - Ukrainians try run away from my Pomesh'iks!

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
March 12, 2014 19:25
Talking about the "Ukrainian nazism" is, of course, smart, as long as it helps to mobilize the pro-Russian electorate in the run-up to the referendum.
But again, this is not the major issue. The major issue here is that the Crimean people NEVER wanted to be a part of Ukraine: not in 1991, not in 2000, and even less now in 2014 when just some kind of guys from the street who have never been elected by anyone try to take over the government in this poor country.
I mean, any normal person would want to run away from this "democratic paradize". And the fact that stable Russia is right next door and the Russian Army is stationed on the Peninsula (ever since 1783, by the way) are the factors that simply facilitate the flight for the entire population of the Crimean Republic.
If the Ukrainian govt wants people to really want being a part of Ukraine, then they should try a little harder to make people interested. And instead they abolish the law on minority languages, stop transmitting Russian TV channels and introduce austerity measures similar to the ones that the people of Greece have been subjected to ever since 2009. What other reaction did you expect? Of course, the Crimean people will vote for moving to Russia.
In Response

by: Markusha1 from: South Carolina
March 18, 2014 23:47
Several things that need to be corrected here. First is the fact that the referendum was held under extreme duress, with Russian armed guards, threats against those who would vote against secession, etc. Just look at the Russian election record and the cases with this vote of pre-filled ballots, and you know the vote was anything but democratic. Second, Ukraine did not pass any law against Russian - the bill that would have demoted Russian from its status as a national language alongside Ukrainian was vetoed. Third, less than 60 percent of the population of Crimea is Russian. Many Crimean people wanted to stay in Ukraine - just look at polling data before this ever happened. And you just state that the false propaganda about Ukrainian "fascism" is "smart since it mobilizes the pro-Russian segment? You (Evgenij) really need to get away from the disinformation you're exposed to. It was Yanukovich's police who enacted an unconstitutional law that criminalized protests and then he ordered that the protesters be fired on, creating the original provocation, a fact that has been twisted with propaganda to start this whole mess. Very sad.

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
March 13, 2014 01:10
We must have a heart for the Crimean people, Tartars, Russians, everyone. They are being dragged back and forth by the Russians, EU, US, and everyone else that wants to get involved.
They need to be number ONE. They need stability, pay the bills, raise their families, just like everyone else. That's not too much to ask.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
March 13, 2014 17:49
And also, Bill, they want to speak their native language - Russian - in their native country. And certainly, they have NEVER had any reason to be interested in being a part of what is a foreign country to them - Ukraine. At any rate, Obama and Merkel can do nothing to prevent the Crimean people from chosing their destiny - becoming a part of Russia again.
In Response

by: Houston Ron from: Houston, Texas
March 14, 2014 07:43
Yes but I seriously worry about a series of concessions to Russia much like the UK did with regard to Hitler's demands prior to WWII. First parts of Georgia, now a part of Ukraine and next...
the Balkans or all of the Ukraine? With suffocating censure or closings of Russian independent media together with brash military grabs, Russian leadership appears intent on restoring the old Soviet empire. God help us if Western leaders allow this to happen.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
March 14, 2014 10:47
An instructive VIDEO on how the young people of DONETSK (Eastern Ukraine) welcome guests from Western Ukraine who came to the city in order to promote the unity of Ukraine :-)):

by: helen from: new jersey usa
March 17, 2014 02:43
Where did the sign "STOP" as shown in the pictures come from. Its neither Ukranian or Russian?


About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

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