Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Ukraine Unspun

RT Claims 'Substantiated' In Four Tweets And A Video

A screen grab from Russia's RT TV station
A screen grab from Russia's RT TV station
The Russian government-run RT TV channel claims on its website that it "provides an alternative perspective on major global events, and acquaints international audience (sic) with the Russian viewpoint."

But the "Russian viewpoint" it provides has been harshly criticized by Western journalists -- and yesterday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry -- as nothing short of Russian propaganda.

Using language seemingly derived directly from Moscow, the channel refers to officials in Kyiv as "coup-appointed" and armed activists who have taken journalists as hostages in eastern and southern Ukraine as peaceful "pro-federalization" protesters.

After Kerry's comments calling the channel a "propaganda bullhorn," Buzzfeed reported that Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor in chief, promised to seek "an official response from the U.S. Department of State substantiating Mr. Kerry's claims."

A quick look at some posts on Twitter over the past week from RT-linked accounts might make such a substantiation effort rather easy. 

Here are just a few: 

"Ukraine, R.I.P," Simonyan tweeted on April 24. 

The photo below was originally taken by the channel's British contract freelancer Graham Phillips, who claimed the picture showed two snipers. He calls the government in Kyiv a "junta," but in his tweets he has said Ukrainian soldiers he has encountered are "polite" and "nice." RT, reposting his photo, used a different tone. "The Ukrainian army uses snipers against residents of the country's southeast," the channel tweeted.

After an interview with Sergei Lavrov, in which the Russian foreign minister hinted that Moscow would consider invading Ukraine, TV host Sophie Shevardnadze posted this photo:

Check out the caption used during the interview:

Here's what is said to be a spontaneous encounter during one of Phillips' stand-ups. The man on the left has also appeared recently on the Russian language LifeNews channel (at the 45-second mark), which is widely reported to have ties to Russia's security services.
The BBC's Daniel Sandford, who is also reporting from Slovyansk, questioned the veracity of the video, saying it "looks fake." Phillips said the comment was "deeply hurtful." We cannot verify either claim.

-- Glenn Kates
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Jack from: US
April 25, 2014 17:03
and RFERL is not a propaganda tool of US regime, it is not, heh?
and all major US media channels are not singing to the tune of US government, readily disseminating government propaganda while shutting out any alternative opinions, don't they?
In Response

by: JLNancy
April 29, 2014 02:23
@ Jack

Q & A

1. Yes -

And Thank God!! Their Hoax-Busting lexicon is invaluable.

2. Not true -

Alternative opinions are democratically valued, but, slander and libel, based on, subsequent, malicious intent, is not only morally reprehensible, but, fortunately, is still illegal.

(Unlike Russian-media’s deliberately-twisted, sensational lies which only morphs on the premise and agenda, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”)

Jack, go back-in-the-box.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 25, 2014 18:09
RT is not a propaganda Kremlin TV channel. It is an independent source of information in an increasingly brainwashed news atmosphere in the West. What is propaganda is CNN, BBC and this very website - fooling the masses into despising Russia when what they really need to resist is their own government, driving them to debt, tyranny and international misadventures.
In Response

by: JLNancy
April 29, 2014 02:39
Eugenio - Nice *marketing ploy*; but, obviously a copy/paste lie.

RT is a Moscow-based, Kremlin funded and sponsored. It is a VENEER of media legitimacy run by Russian revisionists, who want to restore a Russian or Soviet Empire; Russian nationalists; Russian Neo-Nazis, as well as anti-gay, anti-Western and anti-liberal reactionaries.

Putin does NOT believe in *independent media*.

One independent media channel (Dozhd) was attacked as being a “liberal outpost of Jews, homosexuals and insects”: and other Russian independent media news outlets are viewed as leaders of a fifth-column and branded as national traitors.

“…fooling the masses into despising Russia…”???

Russia does that very well on its own, thankyouverymuch. lol

RT is an anti-West collaboration of hoaxsters that depends, not so much on the guile of its hoaxes, but, on the gullibility of those hoaxed!!!!

“A sucker is born every minute.”

In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
May 01, 2014 01:28
It is how stealing bitch Russian ruling Varyaga-Prussaka is,
Yanukovich alone, only before he left, stole 100 Billions
from Ukraine for Nazi Russia to indebt Ukrainians
that Russia is in debt to itself for trillions, in USSR
times alone!
Lying that Ukraine itself is in debt to Russians,
Russia scream "Na nas napali Maidantcy i NATO!"
and invade Ukraine, starting with Russian influx of Mob
in Donetsk, demands from Ukraine several billions dollars.
West threatened by Russia perpetual invasion and plunder
all over the World and trying to save already plundered and
suffering nations, find stolen trillions and new energy supply.
Russia, "Shakalki suki" and Eugenio are very angered by it:
"West despising Russia, instead of helping masses to resist
government driving them into debt, tyranny and international
How about expanding Russian armies of death to invade
foreign country, conquer and plunder, murder undesirables
and governments as "economic and political interest of
It is lie by the opposite - Russia always doing it!
(Look videos on last events on Ukrainian section of RFE.)
About 80% of Russians support Russian invasion in any
country, in Heaven and on Earth!
What masses?
If there are any, like labor in Kemerovo, veterans and elderly
turned into bumps, refugees-slaves from invaded by Russia
nations, intimidated minorities and intelligencia - they taken
care of by special forces, GRU, KGB and their evil devices,
(Armored tracks and cases, they use on me to, in USA)
Telepaths, snipers and other assassins, and all other
armies of death, used from Afghanistan through Ukraine.

by: Ian Hague from: New York
April 25, 2014 18:43
Seregi Lavrov is fast becoming the Tariq Aziz of international diplomacy.
In Response

by: Bill
April 28, 2014 20:15
John Kerry more resembles a charletan than Lavrov.

by: Ray Finch from: Lawrence, KS
April 25, 2014 21:21
Alas, most Russians believe that journalism is not the second or third oldest profession, but rather the first, and that there is no such thing as objective reporting. Having been lied to so often, many Russians doubt the reality that there is such a thing as ‘truth.’ RT was created upon this propaganda principle and serves as a well-funded Kremlin mouthpiece. It’s not as rapid as ORT or NTV, and it achieves its objectives my mixing truth with lies and rumor. The Russians have a good saying: “he who pays for the music, orders the song.” There’s no question as to who is paying for RT, and these faux-journalists will help lead Russia toward ruin.
In Response

by: Bill
April 28, 2014 20:17

You give a good description of RFE/RL, Al Jazeera, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

RT serves as a good offset.

by: johnjo from: Dublin
April 26, 2014 02:53
Dear Radio Free,

I am banned from RT because I was putting my views of Putin across their pages by the day for about 5/6 weeks. Everything they'd report I would say they weren't reporting news as truth but as Putin "Speake". There were so many lies & false reports during my time as unwelcome guest on their board, I cringed & thought to myself why so many people from Europe & the West believe this crap...this was before any invasion of Ukraine, but during the slaughter & torture of so many innocent lives in Syria, of which Putin/Lavrov & ilk are complicit to.

I went back to & fro, after the invasion of Crimea for a week or so & thought maybe journalists/presenters there would say enough is enough after Russian troops invaded, only 2 did Wahl & Martin, & they were brave in doing so, but they were foreign not Russian, so it didn't count for much, the senior editor of RT came out on March 7 giving out that the West & many visitors to the site (me included) don't believe in their journalists & as I said, say they do real journalists a disservice with their Putonic drivel. Maybe the Russian staff on that site are so under the spell of Putin's gaze that they see more than his soul. Maybe there's a 666 within as well.

Anyway, I said they shamed the journalist profession worldwide...Radio Russia & RIA Novosti, tried to tell the two sides of things for a couple of days but they were purged & then Dmitry Kiselyov was brought in to flaunt his hatred views full on. It's sad how Russia has gone backwards so much under Putin & now is near a clone of North Korea. I think also, he's far more dangerous than any dictator on Earth today, that he has learned a lot of his evil tricks while supporting Assad in Syria, like the kidnappings, the terrorizing by the pro Russian separatists, (terrorists I'd call them) the over the top propaganda, the attacks on journalists & on OSCE, the fear mongering, the lies, the threats to Ukraine & the world (both war & gas stoppages) the oppression of his own people who dare to voice an opinion other than his & the vast movement of his little green men who now number thousands on the borders of Ukraine.

In my opinion, he may move into the East of Ukraine/all of Ukraine over the weekend as he seems to do a lot of his dirty work at weekends, so as to surprise. He won't hold back for much longer & he thinks US & Europe will look on aghast & just let Ukraine roll over when it comes to shove. But either way he'll be a loser, because Obama just might stand up to him &/or his own people may get the courage to march countrywide to overthrow this evil person who could bring them to the brink of a major war for the fact he doesn't really care about them as human beings but like in Syria regards the population there as just a commodity to be used & abused. They will see him for what he really is, not someone who wants to protect them, but someone who's willing to sacrifice them for his ambition of regaining the pre 1989 Soviet Union that Russia lost. His ambition may well be the opposite his "Death Knell".
In Response

by: Bill
April 28, 2014 20:21

RT made a mistake by hiring Wahl. Martin made an air headed comment about Crimea.

Wolf Blitzer, Rachel Maddow, Bill O'Reilly, among others in Western mass media, have their own hack like qualities.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 26, 2014 12:02
First of all this is stupid, Graham Phillips!
The activists that ran away from block-post,
Which Ukrainian army just cleaned and they lost,
Telling about Ukraine's army (watch Phillips lying lips).

They say Ukrainians stole from block post all their food.
Was it Molotov Cocktail? And medication. Was it drugs?
Like in Beslan, where Russian GRU "oboroten's" doods
Were killing children? Is it possible Ukraine army racked
By Russian Yanukovich are so pure they picked a heck?

My point, thought - Phillips face is pail, like need a shot,
As ran away "activists" bitter about stolen "medications",
So is Phillips, trying hide lying impression - faking gloat:
"There no activist here! Why army smashed our stocks!"
Russia immediately founds propaganda implementation.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 26, 2014 13:23
To Kerry:
USA can help - put pressure on Germans and Austrians to put pressure on Russians, so they do not to put pressure on Germans and Austrians to participate in tearing Ukraine apart, even in appearance, that allow Russia invade Ukraine, according to pact of 1954-56 and lured into it by Russia Germany, Austria and Britain to resurrect their old colonial empires and to divide Europe, including Ukraine.

To Lavrov:
Russia can help - get out of evil Varyaga-Prussaka expanding abomination - go into best of USSR times and best of true independence of our times for non-Russian nations be Free and Prosper!
Repent, Russia, pay for your crimes before merciful and just court of Human Civilization and return land and property and everything also you stole and stealing!

by: Cristian SCL from: Santiago, Chile
May 01, 2014 19:15
In fact, what we have is a Russian minority inside Ukraine that is taking advantage of administrative borders of three Eastern Ukrainian Oblasts, in order to claim those borders as "LEGITIMATE ETHNIC BORDERS". This is ILLEGAL, because the only place in Ukraine where "ethnic regions" were recognized during USSR, is CRIMEA. Borders of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk were never ethnic-Russian lands, but mere administrative ones. We only have a Russian minority believing that they have "self-determination rights" in Eastern Ukraine, something that is FALSE and a LIE. That's why only 10 countries recognize Crimea as a legal independence and NO ONE in the World will recognize any FALSE independence in Eastern Ukraine, because that would be an ILLEGAL and false creation and Russian-making of FALSE nations. In fact, if we never saw "ethnic regions" being created inside Mainland Ukraine is because the mayority of Russian-speaking population in Eastern Ukraine were settled there under Soviet rule, and after Holodomor in 1933. So, when USSR delimited "national ethnic lands" across Soviet Empire, Ukraine were UKRAINIAN land, with very few Russian population remnant of Tsarist Russia. The reality is that we are in presence of a Russian-sponsored THEFT of Ukrainian provinces by Russian-speaking terrorist, murderers and settlers. In the other hand, we have that great parts of North Caucasus and Siberia are NON-RUSSIAN native Asian people lands. I think the West must respond smart to Russian theft of Ukrainian lands, by creating and supporting separatism in Siberia and North Caucasus NON RUSSIAN native regions as Russian did in Georgia and Ukraine.
Long Live to Ukraine. Stop Russian illegal existence.

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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