Mocking the Media

There’s a truck outside the Desmarais Building at the University of Ottawa, where I work, which has the words ‘Main Stream Media’ painted on its side, with a big red cross through them. The truck’s part of the so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ that has been occupying much of our downtown for about three weeks now. I can’t say that I support it, and like most people I know I think it’s high time that the truckers drove off back to wherever it is they came from. But the truck I mentioned raises an important question – why the distrust of the ‘mainstream media’? If you want to know the answer, you have only to look at this week’s coverage of all things Russo-Ukrainian.

Take, for instance, this picture I took yesterday of the website of The Sun newspaper – not exactly highbrow, I know, but popular and thus influential. First off is a decidedly precise prediction of when Russia would invade Ukraine – 3am Ukrainian time this Wednesday – a prediction that has proven to be false. The fact that it was supposedly based off “HIGHLY placed sources” in US intelligence makes you wonder about their competence – either US intelligence is useless, or the Sun is lying, or perhaps both.

The fake prediction – echoed by similar incorrect prognoses by many other media outlets, highbrow as well as low – was not the only egregious article in this particular edition of the Sun. Along with claims that Russia “will invade Baltic States in Hitler-style grab,” and blood curdling stories about Ukraine’s mighty military, The Sun also gave us a piece entitled “Bad Vlad” by British MP Tom Tugendhat, who apparently has a neural link into Russian president Vladimir Putin’s brain, as he professes an intimate knowledge of what the Russian leader thinks. And what Putin thinks is not good, but pure evil.

In short, this isn’t news, it’s tub-thumping, hatred-inducing propaganda of the worst sort.

And it’s not just The Sun. It’s all around us. Tom Tugendhat isn’t the only one claiming to know the intimate secrets of Putin’s brain, and keen to tell us all how awful they are. Fellow British Conservative, and one time party leader, William Hague has a similar piece in the more up-market newspaper The Times, while here in Canada, we have our own equivalents for The National Post and the CBC.

In today’s National Post, Joseph Brean tells us with enormous confidence, “One thing is certain. He [Putin] wants Ukraine back.” (How does Brean know? Does he have a tap into Tugendhat’s neural link?) Brean then continues:

“He [Putin] has a tendency toward mystical views of history, and is known to be influenced by the 19th poet Vladimir Solovyov’s vision of Russia as a third way between East and West, and by the modern philosopher Aleksandr Dugin’s theory that Russia has a divine mission to rally the Eurasian “land” civilizations, especially America and Britain, which expand their empires by exploiting other nations.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop right there, Joseph old boy, before you go any further wrong. I guess you can call Solovyov a poet, as he did write poems, but he’s more famous as a philosopher. But anyway, he wasn’t a Eurasianist viewing Russia as being “between” East and West, but as far I read him, saw Russia as uniting the Catholic/Protestant West and Orthodox East in the “all-unity” (vseedinstvo). In any case, Putin as a disciple of Solovyov? Unlikely. He’s never cited him, or even shown any knowledge of him. As for Dugin as “Putin’s brain” –  phooey, phooey, phooey. Surely nobody’s still peddling that nonsense? Apparently, they are. But nonsense it is, as even Dugin has admitted (“I have no influence,” he told me when I met him).

In short, this article is total BS. So let’s look at the article on today’s CBC website. Is that any better? A little maybe, but alas not much.

Once again, the piece seeks to tell us “What Putin Wants” (If I had a dollar for every article claiming to answer that, I’d be a rich man.) And the answer is much what the National Post told us – Putin wants Ukraine. To prove the point, author Murray Brewster cites former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson who tells us authoritatively:

“And I think, before he [Putin] leaves, he’s determined to restore as much of that [the USSR] as he can. He’s in his late 60s now and I think he’s determined to do it before he leaves – bring Ukraine back into Russia by force, if necessary, preferably by bluff.”

Has Putin ever said that that’s his intention? No. But let’s not let such little details fool us. Mr Robertson also has access to the neural link and knows better. So too, apparently, does Brewster’s next rent-a-quote, University of New Haven Assistant Professor Matthew Schmidt, who like Brean believes Putin to be a paid up member of the Eurasianist party. According to Schmidt:

“Putin is a subscriber to an early 20th century philosophical and political movement called Eurasianism – a creed that rejects Russia’s integration with Europe. Eurasianism died out during communist rule but rebounded in the early 21st century – and Putin has written about it.”

No, he hasn’t. If you’re in doubt, check the Kremlin website, which contains just about everything Putin has said or written in his 20 or so years as president. What will you find? Nada, that’s what. Besides which, Putin has never rejected Russia’s integration with Europe, but calls for a pan-European security architecture – i.e. a Europe (from Lisbon to Vladivostok, as they like to say) that includes Russia. And, just to be picky about facts, you can hardly say that “Eurasianism died out during communist rule,” when it didn’t even exist till the publication of Exodus to the East in Prague in 1921 and arose not in the Soviet Union, but in exile!!

Once again, I call BS. These people can’t even get very basic facts right.

And so it goes on. This is just a tiny sample of what’s been in the British and Canadian press over the past two days. Just two days. Multiple it many times over and you get a sense of the torrent of nonsense spewing out of what our Ottawa trucker calls ‘the mainstream media.’ And then you wonder why he doesn’t like it.

In another article today, this time in The Guardian, Andrew Roth notes that Russia journalists have been relentlessly mocking their Western counterparts for all the false stories about the “Russian invasion of Ukraine.” My response is pretty simple. If you don’t like it, do your job a bit better. Then nobody will be able to mock you. But if you don’t, expect the mockery to continue. It’s well deserved.

46 thoughts on “Mocking the Media”

  1. I think all these people would be surprised … and then accordingly hit the roof and start having seizures if they learned Putin is more influenced by Solzhenitsyn and indeed echoes Solzhenitsyn a lot more than he does Dugin – who he only met once – whereas he met Solzhenitsyn at least twice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “if they learned Putin is more influenced by Solzhenitsyn”

      …and now imagine what would happen to them, these fine gents, especially to the Western rightards who espouse their “admiration” to SoLZHEnitsyn, when they finally read his “200 years together”

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      1. But have claimed that “Putin is more influenced by Solzhenitsyn”(c). Are you calling him an anti-Semite? What part of SoLZHEnitsyn’s “ideology” (if he had one) does Putin share – according to you?

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      2. “200 years together – among many other reasons – is precisely why I do not particularly like, indeed I would go so far as to say I dislike, Solzhenitsyn.”

        *****

        To each his own. I admire Solzh, while not agreeing with his book on WW I.

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  2. Incompetence and lies, which are often revealed to be such, it all spreads quickly on the internet. If you think about it, this anti MSM stance has only arisen over the last 10 years as more and more people have high speed access to the internet. Govts and their pets in the media, have been used to hiding things behind closed doors, deep in the corridors of power. With the Western leak culture this is all now game for open season and we have seen the imperialist west exposed as the worst of the worst in terms of war crimes, genocide and human rights abuses in its long and tawdry history.

    At some point the media stopped being the ‘checks and balances’ and just became the stenographers, through self interest mainly, money, jobs all the boring, dull humdrum stuff that most real journalists never cared about. It has been a sad and sorry decline. Of course the whole ‘sound bite’ culture from politicians has caused absolute carnage in the information space and much encouraged by social media, in particular twitter. I have zero sympathy for the media, they brought it on themselves and we all know that anyone worth their salt simply will not write or be employed by the MSM. It has become a weapon fully infiltrated by the industrial intelligence networks, papers like the Guardians, once excellent reputation now lies in utter tatters, their links to the integrity initiative, institute for statecraft and bellingcat exposed for all to see. I have found the last couple of weeks of Russophobic ranting by the British press particularly amusing but also quite disturbing, they seem tone deaf to their own stupidity and the humiliation that Russia piles upon them. Truss, Johnson a parade of idiots going for a PR spin in Moscow just showing to the Russian people how shockingly idiotic the power brokers in the UK now are. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that the Americans and the British have been working off dud intelligence, probably fed to them by the Russians and, well, here we are. The west looks stupider by the hour.

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  3. Tsk. Isn’t it what they call ‘postmodernism’? Facts don’t matter, there is no objective reality, it’s all feelings.

    It’s a nice … eh … let’s call it ‘state of mind’, but it’s not very good for survival of the human species, I imagine…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. well, i am glad to see you can appreciate some, if not all, of what the truckers are addressing…. thanks for the insightful overview on the msm here.. i’m supportive of the truckers and the idea of protest. however, i don’t live in ottawa…

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    1. I heard Trudeau pulled a Poroshenko and threatened to freeze the bank accounts, jobs and even threaten the children of the protesters. All that was left out was: “Our children will go to school and live happy lives while their children will starve while huddling in basements against rocket barrages.”

      Maybe next week.

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  5. Western mass media has been especially horrific on the matter of Kamila Valieva. How much did Alice Park get for writing this pile of poop?

    https://time.com/6148004/kamila-valieva-doping-decision-olympians-reactions/

    Excerpt –

    “’Dirty cheaters, and we are accommodating them,’ says Adam Rippon, who helped the U.S. win a team figure skating bronze at the 2018 Games. ‘I don’t know how the Olympics recovers from this’.”

    ****

    My reply –

    They’re all dirty cheaters because he says so without proof, while not yet knowing for sure all of the specifics regarding Valieva, which are under investigation.

    If anything, the Olympic movement is tainted by overly presumptuous blowhards, ruling out the benefit of doubt, before the conclusion of an investigation – in addition to collectively caricaturing a whole group. Do that to some others and it’s called bigotry.

    Excerpt –

    “In Beijing, Russian athletes are competing as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and not under their country’s flag, because the country is serving a multi-year ban for a state sponsored doping system that was exposed following the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.”

    My reply –

    Quite the contrary, as evidenced by the numerous Russians who’ve competed since 2014, in conjunction with undergoing extensive testing. The bias Russia has faced has been discussed in detail in my most recent article.

    Excerpt –

    “’They shouldn’t be here at the Olympic Games,’ Rippon says of the Russian team’s repeated doping violations. ‘They’re clowns.’

    My reply –

    Again, all or most of them have been proven cheaters? Put mildly, several choice words describe Rippon.

    Excerpt –

    “Because Valieva is a minor, anti-doping authorities consider her a ‘protected person,’ meaning that punishments are generally lighter and an investigation into the violation will be focused more on the adults surrounding her on the assumption that she may not have been aware of the banned substance. ‘What this says is that the team around her are child abusers,’ says Rippon, who now coaches American skater Mariah Bell. ‘The only thing they care about is performance, and not the health and well being of their athletes. They are a factory that pumps out children who can compete, up to a certain point. It doesn’t feel like the coaches involved in the ladies’ program are coaches at all, but dog trainers; they’re running a circus’.”

    My reply –

    Comes across like he might be jealous of not having as successful a record.

    Excerpt –

    “Rippon agrees, and points out the stark contrast with how RUSADA handled Valieva’s violation, by initially suspending her from competing in Beijing but then lifting that suspension, to the way the US Anti-Doping Agency managed the case of star sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson before the Tokyo Olympics last summer. Richardson tested positive for marijuana just before the Games began, and was banned from competing. ‘It really shows how Americans deal with it, and how and how RUSADA deals with it — they don’t,’ he says. ‘They pretend it doesn’t happen, and pretend that people are picking on them.’ Richardson herself reacted to the news that Valieva will continue to compete, raising yet another issue affecting social tensions, by noting ‘the only difference I see is I’m a black young lady. It’s all in the skin’.”

    My reply –

    As I observed in an SCF article: “An earnest American red, white and blue patriotism shouldn’t be confused with a rah, rah, red, white and bull skullduggery.”

    No mention made of RUSADA finding drug offenders in other instances. RUSADA noted Valieva’s positive test result. In turn, Valieva and her entourage challenged it. The result was sent to Sweden as required. No coverup whatsoever. Rippon is being quite unfair and should be appropriately called out.

    As I previously noted with specifics, comparing Richardson’s situation to Valieva’s is a false equivalency whataboutism. On the matter of comparisons, one is hard pressed to find outrage over the discriminatory anti-Russian policies in Richardson’s sport which I’ve detailed. On that point, I’ll add that some prior non-Russian track and field drug offenders were allowed to compete at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, unlike the clean Russian athletes in that sport, including Yelena Isinbayeva and Sergey Subchenkov.

    Excerpt –

    “In order to be allowed to take a banned substance to treat a health condition, athletes have to file a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and have the medication approved. So far, RUSADA has made no mention of a TUE filed by Valieva, and the fact that the agency initially issued a suspension strongly suggests that her use of the drug was a doping violation. Plus, argues Rippon, ‘If you are a 15 year old with angina, you probably should be at home resting and not trying to compete at the Olympic Games’.”

    My reply –

    A good number of non-Russians have received that exemption for reasons which have been second guessed, on the claim of inconsistent standards concerning who does and doesn’t get approval. I’m interested in a good objective overview on this particular.

    Once again regarding Valieva, much remains unclear, with an investigative follow-up underway. In terms of ethics, Park and Rippon leave something to be desired. Ditto NBC’s Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski.

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      1. You seem to be doing OK, making the rounds far better than previous years anyway. I admire your tenacity. For most of us, it’s just an after work compulsion, that is until the war crime tribunals begin over Ukraine’s Guernica. I’m quitting my job and getting a front row seat for that day.

        Never forgive, never forget – and never let them forget.

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      2. Whatever you mention that has been done should go further. The to date instances have been achieved without playing suck up and taking a traditional approach to journalism’s ideals

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  6. It would be interesting to quantify how bad, exactly, Russia analysis has been.

    Suppose a bunch of well-respected academics put together a list of reasonably high-profile Western MSM publications and calculated the average per article of

    a) factual errors
    b) outright speculations presented as analysis
    c) failed confident predictions

    and made a few graphs, showing how bad some authors/newspapers/magazines have been.

    That could make a splash, provided the academics/their institutions sound impressive enough. Not quite like that Princeton study on lack of correlation between public opinion and policies becoming law, but… possibly make some headlines.

    A longitudinal study would be pretty straightforward – we’d probably see a big slide in expertise from SU/early post-SU times. A comparative study would be more challenging, but more informative: US/UK publications on EU and and EU publications on US/UK are likely far better quality.

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  7. PS What I personally still find rather shocking is how pretty much anyone – ANYONE – disagreeing with “the narrative” needs to establish their credibility by insulting Russia. “Dingy polity” is the gem I unearthed today. Brilliant isn’t it?

    And so many are openly bloodthirsty. So eager to see all those weapons put to use! Grandmothers and schoolchildren with guns! The body bags! Slavs killing slavs, oh what fun!

    Well if the Ukranians are as good as their reputation, they’ll just sell all those weapons in no time, ask for more and sell the next batch too. You go brothers, you show’em. I have faith in you! 🧡

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    1. Lola…….PS What I personally still find rather shocking is how pretty much anyone – ANYONE – disagreeing with “the narrative” needs to establish their credibility by insulting Russia. “Dingy polity” is the gem I unearthed today. Brilliant isn’t it?

      No, it’s thoroughly sick and an intellectual and moral perversion highly indicative of a collapsing society and is causing me to seriously begin planning for as reasonably comfortable an exit as possible from said madhouse under the circumstances.

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      1. Thanks Exile.

        I should’ve added, kudos to people like Paul and Aaron Mate and a handful of others who are brave enough to say what they think without resorting to symbolic hate speech.

        Takes integrity&takes guts. Both in short supply nowadays

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    2. I do believe they are already selling their new toys back to Brits and other foreigners of ideological bent, which is why I believe the Brits have begun questioning anyone of particular profile boarding flights to Ukraine their purpose of travel.

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  8. Russia is getting fingered for involvement in the FreeDumb Convoy… In a piece titled _Canada Is Giving a Master Class in Eroding Democracy_ by Andrew Nikiforuk. He links to an article by Marcus Kolga on the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s website titled _Confusion, Destabilization and Chaos: Russia’s Hybrid Warfare against Canada and its Allies_ which hits all the anti Russian talking points a western pro-military think tank has ever raised.

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  9. I am in the United Kingdom and all this over the top media is designed to get people to “care” and “invest” emotionally in a possible war.

    Ukraine the good guys
    Russia bad

    But there is just no real enthusiasm for any of it after Afghanistan Syria Iraq all failures and people know deep down a war in Europe is not desirable.

    The English speaking media in UK and USA and Canada have been irresponsible and full of lies including the BBC. Which did PR for the Azov battalion.

    What I am curious about is the media in Europe, who live close to any possible war – are they saying the same thing as the English speaking media ?

    Like

  10. I am in the United Kingdom and all this over the top media is designed to get people to “care” and “invest” emotionally in a possible war.

    Ukraine the good guys
    Russia bad

    But there is just no real enthusiasm for any of it after Afghanistan Syria Iraq all failures and people know deep down a war in Europe is not desirable.

    The English speaking media in UK and USA and Canada have been irresponsible and full of lies including the BBC. Which did PR for the Azov battalion.

    What I am curious about is the media in Europe, who live close to any possible war – are they saying the same thing as the English speaking media ?

    Like

    1. I think right thinking people in Britain are more worried about BOJO’s lack of honesty and competence as well as the cost of living, permanent crisis in the heath system (NHS) and the lingering effects of Covid. As well as her majesty having to bail out her son who has settled a child abuse claim

      The vocal media is out of touch with people’s real concerns but the establishment need a distraction

      on a lighter note British comedian Jan Ravens – https://twitter.com/thatjanravens/status/1493569065310380042

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  11. Yesterday, a Spanish television channel delighted us with an interview with an Spanish retiree who is “supporting” Ukrainian volunteers since 2014. All upbeat and inspiring. “We are all united agaist those evil, evil Russians”, and all that bullshit. They showed photos of the guy with the “Ukrainian volunteers”…, and some Pravy Sektor flags. I was in astonishment. To inform (?) us about Ukraine and Russia they go and interview a fucking hooligan. That’s Spanish media for you.

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  12. Check out DW (Deutsche Wichser Welle),the German state-funded news outlet.

    In DW “top stories” now:

    How Russian media outlets are preparing an attack on Ukraine
    If Russia attacked Ukraine, many Russians would not be surprised. For years, their state-run media have been paving the way, branding Ukrainians as “Nazis” and portraying the country as an enemy nation.

    An important part of many talk shows in Russia are Ukrainian “experts,” who get berated and labelled as “idiots.” The core narrative has been the same for years: Ukraine was a weak, failed state in which Ukrainian “Nazis” set the agenda; it was a puppet of the West and an enemy of Russia.

    See — so-called Nazis.

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      1. Yes but Trudeau, whose government subsidises and trains several brigades modelled on SS formations in Ukraine makes an enormous fuss about a swastika and a Confederate flag in Ottawa.

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  13. “It’s already been in The Simpsons” ©, this kind of Anglo-Saxon“phonic” perfidy. Low brow literature (aka “belleslettrestique”) passing as “warning” and analysis. Remember that “War in 2017” book by another Anglo? Pale shade and (un)deserving descendant to the trash-heap of the Invasion fiction.

    P.S. “Free press as the most solid column in the edifice of Democracy” (c). Yeaaaaaah, suuuuuure…

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  14. Logical next step. Freakin’ psychos, they won’t rest till they see some real blood.

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    1. No shelling took place, of course, glass windows intact, no shrapnel damage. False flag on 🇺🇦 controlled territory,
      just like Paul said.

      But the media’s already spinning it.

      Like

      1. I only know two things for certain:

        1) That if Ukraine were to initiate massive unprovoked strikes against the Donbass that it wouldl lie and declare that the Donbass initiated strikes first and that lie will be repeated unchallenged in western MSM, as it now does with gusto.

        2) That if the Donbass were to initiate massive unprovoked strikes against Ukraine it would lie and declare that Ukraine initiated strikes against the Donbass first and that western MSM will repeat it unchallenged.

        So, who should we believe to be the liar? The Donbass, who sits in a defensive position of its small territory and in no position to take additional territory or Ukraine, who has amassed significant forces at Donbass’ border, and has US/UK et. al. operatives coaching them in their sworn goals of retaking the Donbass by force.

        Really, how totally feebleminded do these MSM people take their reading public to be?

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    2. If Boris combed his hair for once and let some oxygen in, he might realize that the only way a school shelled outside the DLNR would qualify as a ‘false-flag’ would be if the Ukrainians did it and then it would qualify as a Ukrainian false-flag for pretext to invade the DLNR.

      Does BoJo know something we don’t?

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    3. Well, good luck trying to make that argument on The Guardian’s comment section. They’ll disappear you faster than Parubiy can disappear a sniper rifle during Maidan.

      You’ll need to go to Off-Guardian to be heard on that note.

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  15. Latest episode from BoJo’s Flying Circus:

    Allegations about Putin’s intentions in Ukraine may not be based on “secret intelligence reports,” John Sawers has said

    The former MI6 chief then went on to say that he thinks the Western intelligence briefings “are not gems from deeply sensitive agent reporting. What has been released, the idea that Putin might want to dislodge [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky and replace him with a puppet government, or that he’s going to contrive a pretext for Russian intervention in the east of Ukraine, these are based on a growing understanding, an analysis of Putin, rather than deep, secret intelligence reports.

    “And I think wrapping them up as intelligence and adding a few juicy names to the reporting just gives some good stories for the media, and helps push back against the narrative,” he continued. “It’s a skillful use of information and analysis to turn the tables on Putin and his own ability to dominate the airwaves.”

    So when has the Russian narrative been able to ‘dominate the airwaves’? I believe it’s ‘never’.

    These Brit officials are thoroughly mindboggling. They enjoy six degrees of daffyness throughout their media and yet still complain of being bested by their intended targets. These people need serious help. Three days a week on a psychiatrist’s couch for starters.

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    1. That’s the trouble with the British ‘ruling class’, as it were. They think themselves to be beyond clever, yet never fail to trip over their tongues and shoot themselves in the foot. Every once in a while they have a flash of cognition and trip over their feet while shooting themselves in the tongue, which to a growing number in the world – is considered a blessing.

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  16. Here’s a fine example of how Russia ‘controls the airwaves’:

    Fox News: Ukrainian military officer says soldiers are responding to artillery shelling in Eastern Ukraine

    Russia-Ukraine: Shelling of Ukraine village came from occupied Donbass: Kyiv: LIVE UPDATES

    Of course, of course: Ukraine would NEVER, EVER initiate shelling of Donbass villages. They only respond in kind and always, ALWAYS use pinpoint munitions to target only combatants and even then, if a single civilian is suspected to be within a single km, withdraw the order to fire.

    Now, pull the other leg, Foxxy.

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    1. Yes, indeed. Bandera himself was a great protector of the innocent and his followers to this day compare him to Mother Theresa or Gandhi and swear ever-lasting allegiance to his teachings.

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  17. BTW Mikhail, what was the name of that annoying Ukrainian woman who was a member of the Canadian-Ukrainian Congress and raised dogs in Alberta I think and posted for a while how handsome she thought Breivik was just after his massacre hit the headlines and how he made her heart twitter? You were on that thread as I remember, no?

    Like

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