Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ukraine Unspun

'Traitors' Slur Goes Mainstream In Russia

TV anchor and news agency Rossiya Segodnya boss Dmitry Kiselyov (seen receiving a state award) said "we know the names" of those within the "fifth column."
TV anchor and news agency Rossiya Segodnya boss Dmitry Kiselyov (seen receiving a state award) said "we know the names" of those within the "fifth column."
In the background of a glossy new website, a grinning family, apparently in Crimea, looks on with pride at two Russian soldiers. In the foreground is a list -- a who's who of Russian journalists, activists and entertainers who are said to threaten the family's implied bliss following Russia's annexation of the peninsula. 

The website, called "Traitors," is the most recent incarnation of an effort by hard-line Kremlin supporters to out the so-called fifth column of "national traitors" referred to by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a national address on March 18.

In Putin's 14 years in power, the Kremlin has used its heft to target opposition members and independent media before. But the president's rhetoric appears to be a signal that an enhanced crackdown is on the way, and it has spurred a mainstream intimidation campaign.

Soon after the United States and Europe imposed sanctions targeting individuals from Putin's inner circle, a special broadcast on Russian state TV said those lists were fed by the very "fifth column" that Putin had mentioned days earlier.

"The lists, in my opinion, are being created in Moscow, among the capital's intelligentsia -- the people who Putin just this Tuesday called a 'fifth column,'" said Dmitry Kiselyov, the head of Russia's newly reorganized information agency, Rossiya Segodnya. "In fact, Putin legalized that term [for use] in the political language of Russia. We know their names. We know how they wrote our names and sent them to these Western embassies."

Kiselyov himself named names, too, singling out opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and journalist Sergei Parkhomenko as fifth-column "heroes."

The call has been spreading on social media.

Sergei Markov, an analyst with close ties to the Kremlin, used Facebook to share a list of 41 names and organizations, including the Russian Service of RFE/RL, that were said to support the Kyiv protesters. 

"Traitors to Russia!" he wrote.

The rhetoric seems to be accelerating a recent crackdown on Russian opposition and independent media.Cable operators have removed Dozhd TV, a popular liberal-leaning channel, and the station has been ordered to vacate its building by June. The chief editor of a widely respected news website,, was fired in early March and replaced by someone who had recently led a pro-Kremlin website. 

Rights activists fear that worse may be on the way.

In 2012, Russia's state Duma expanded the definition of treason, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, to include "consultative or other assistance to a foreign state...against the security of the Russian Federation." In March, Yevgeny Fyodorov, a Duma deputy from the ruling United Russia party, proposed legislation that would punish Russian media executives for spreading "false anti-Russian information. 

"We are deeply concerned that authorities throughout Russia's regions could read Putin's comments to mean that anyone who criticizes government policies, including policies regarding Ukraine, could be a traitor," said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

On the "Traitors" website, which was apparently created by a pro-Putin youth group, that is the very logic given in the site's preamble. 

"We believe that Russian citizens who insult our soldiers and who cast doubt on the need to fight neo-Nazis are traitors," it says.

-- Glenn Kates
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
March 26, 2014 16:19
"""including the Russian Service of RFE/RL, that were said to support the Kyiv protesters"""

No , RFE/Rl was so impartial ......

when I went to look at the pages of "RFE Ukraina"
seemed to read
the press office of the movement EuroMaIdAN
In Response

by: Eric from: Los Angeles
March 26, 2014 17:01
The point is this - being a "Maidan" supporter does not = "Traitor"
Dissent defines a healthy democracy and a healthy state.
In Response

by: Christopher Hobe Morrison from: Lake Katrine, NY, USA
March 26, 2014 20:15
If I wrote something like that I'd want to be anonymous, too.

by: jojnjo from: Dublin
March 26, 2014 18:39

Kiselyov is a "Yob". Period!

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
March 26, 2014 19:01
Everything that Russia does, since Stalin under house arrest,
1947-49, follows history of emerging Nazi Germany or worse,
Increasingly invade and blockade neighbors - East and West,
They arrogantly call protesters traitors - unlashing Nazi horse.
Since when Ukrainians are Nazis - saving in 1941 the World?

I don't know much about all names, but why Shwarzenegger?
His real father, as they used to say in Russia, was a Russian,
Who fathered him at the end of WW2. He was a quite eager
Austria-Russia slanderer in movie about deserter-Georgian.
20% of Georgians fought in combat, where 7% were killed.

Kantaria (flagt on Reighstag), elected Abkhazian president,
Russia invaded, called Georgia Nazis, unleashed genocide!
Now they went for Ukraine, lie like Varaga-Prussaka meant.
There were few that fought on "wrong side", Carpathia side.
Stalin amnesty, few by KGB broken, dress as "Jupel-kent".

That isn't a point, since time of Katrin, the "Prussachka",
Dividing East Europe nations with Austria and Prussia,
Suffering and death was faith of Ukrainian by Russia.
It was a Just war against Germany, but , "lgunishka".

There were exclusion from the Global war, created
By 300 years of Varaga race war of "Salamandras"
that still expand the Russia - nations are truncated,
Russia breed in their land and houses and plunder.

Russia denied Stalin, Hungary chance for a peace,
Annex - breed Russians - hey fought back like hell
And killed a million Soviet soldiers - fought too well,
To be not forgotten. West Ukraine was also fleeced.

When Germans put pressure, some fought for them,
Some fought against them, or against new invaders,
Russians. Stalin offering Amnesty, but Russian dam
Put him in 1947 under arrest, turning new occupiers.

They fought for wrong case, Globally, but locally all
Who suffered from Russia had its own ,smaller war,
Specially guilty of war crimes - in 1947 they did fall
into category of excuse to breed-out Russian "Vors".

Russians broke many, creating pseudo Nazi-Zhupel,
To play on many such nations trick "Mandrena-Pupa"
As on one side Russians lie - "we are Stalinist dictat",
On another side Bandera-KGB lie - "we Nazi dupas",
While in the middle Russia breed-out as "good Brat".

Escape from each such extreme, Varagas invented,
Russia offers Ukraine be grabbed and repopulated
like last 300 years by Varaga-Prussaka - truncated.

by: American Tolerast
March 26, 2014 23:49
It's begun. Just as I've warned for years, the time has come to face reality and abandon our comfortable and beautiful fantasy that anything besides violence and barbarity could come from this wretched wasteland between Europe and China. The last pretense of civilization has been dropped, and the handful of Eurasians holding onto delusions of a democratic, civilized Russian future -- gays, liberals, indigenous minorities unwilling to apologize for the fact their ancestors neither died nor assimilated -- must escape now with your lives. An emigrant's life is never easy, but you will survive in the West. You will not survive in Putin's Reich. They are too weak and the objects of their boundless hatred and rage are too close to threaten anyone except their own neighboring ex-colonies (whose own societies, frankly, are little better), so the civilized world can safely cordon off the infected area and let the disease run its course. In a generation when the savages have cannibalized each other, perhaps your children can return to rebuild a gutted country into someplace worthy of them. But in the meantime your future lies elsewhere.
In Response

by: ronanreal from: USA
March 27, 2014 21:17
Excellent assessment. Don't get what so many posters see in this newest of a long line of despots. Dissent and you go to the modern gulag in Putinland. Free press? Not in Putinland. Putinganda is rampant and incendiary. The race card of Slav versus Anglo-Saxon has been played and Russians brutalized by Putin's former regime (USSR) are eating it up. This will not end well.

by: Mamuka
March 27, 2014 00:30
Arnold Schwarzenegger? Mila Jovovich? One of the girls from VIA GRA (but not the Georgian guy)? What a fifth column...

by: Hryshka
March 27, 2014 01:19
Mere disagreement does not make one a traitor. Disagreement is often motivated by love for someone or something when one sees either taking a wrong course or doing something wrong.

Protesting does not make one a traitor. Protest is often motivated by love for someone or something when one see either taking a wrong course or doing something wrong.

Suggesting that anyone or anything is beyond disagreement or protest is to make an idol out of it -- and idol worship is certainly not in accord with Orthodox Christianity.

Russia, "guard yourself against idols" (1 John 5:21).

Россия, "храни себя от идолов" (1-e Иоанна 5:21).

by: ronanreal from: USA
March 27, 2014 21:42
I can't imagine why the events unfolding around Putin's rise to power would surprise anyone. Putin was a skilled and determined warrior in the regime of terror that was the Soviet Union. But more than that Vlad has shown an icy pragmatism in his years of the collapse and resurgence. When communism failed he jumped smoothly to Glasnost and abandoned his comrades during the coup attempt in 1989. Yeltsin became his vehicle and a presidential pardon the buy-in for his first term as prez. He hates the West with a passion and any cooperation from him has proved to be nothing more than tactics in a strategy of dogged, corrupt power grabbing. He is a consummate liar, a ruthless egotist and dangerous opponent. If there is anything positive about the Crimean annexation it is that Putin has been forced into the open enough to warn the West to act now to contain his ambitions. It is not weakness to want to believe in a world free of violent aggression but it is foolhardy to ignore the warning so clearly sounded.

by: Jack from: US
March 27, 2014 23:44
stop reading US government propaganda spread by RFERL. Instead think about how to prevent discrimination of gays and lesbians in space

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.

Follow the hashtag #UkraineUnspun on Twitter and let us know what we should be covering -- or to weigh in on any of our stories. Or write us at

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