Russian state TV is so ridiculous right now it looks like a farce
Anyone who exclusively watches Russian state television would never know that President Putin has massed his troops on the border with Ukraine, that Kremlin-controlled separatists have bombed a kindergarten full of children, and that the forces Russians are in position for an offensive against their beleaguered neighbor. On Kremlin-funded networks, the view of events is presented not just upside down, but upside down. Panicked pundits blame the US and Ukraine for the escalation, claim Russia doesn’t want war, and ponder theatrically: ‘Why won’t anyone stop Biden?’
Chairman of the International Committee of the State Duma of Russia, Leonid Slutsky alleged that the President of the United States painted “an absolutely reversed picture of the situation around Ukraine” and accused Joe Biden of distorting “the alleged desire of the Russian Federation to invade Ukraine”. Slutsky added that “the American president, speaking of ‘bad Russia’, this same Russia which today accepts and saves the civilian population of the LPR and the DPR, seems to be a real character of [Lewis Carroll’s topsy-turvy children’s book] ‘On the other side of the mirror.'”
And yet it was Russia that turned white into black and black into white. If there weren’t so many lives at stake, you’d describe today’s Russian state television as a darkly comic farce.
Events on the ground are unfolding exactly as the US President had warned, based on information provided by US intelligence agencies. US Ambassador to the OSCE Michael Carpenter said US assessments put Russia having placed somewhere between 169,000 and 190,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, up from 100,000 at the end of January.
After having massed its troops and its armaments on the Ukrainian border, Russia stands ready to invade Ukraine. On Friday, the leaders of the self-proclaimed “republics” of eastern Ukraine (LPR and RPD) controlled by the Kremlin began unprovoked evacuations of civilians to Russia, followed by suspicious explosions in the region. Russian state media immediately – and baselessly – blamed the Ukrainian military. State television channel Rossia-24 reported: “Let’s talk about the emergency event that happened a few minutes ago.” The correspondent at the scene said, “Everyone is trying to figure out what happened here.” The headline read: “Ukrainian army rammed Luhansk gas pipeline.
What makes this all the more bizarre is that the United States had publicly predicted these same tactics.
Just as the US administration had warned, Russian authorities now appear to be preparing for the re-invasion of Ukraine under false pretenses. One of the main pretexts aggressively promoted by the Kremlin and Russian state media is the unfounded allegation of “genocide” of Russian speakers by the Ukrainian military. In December 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin claims: “What is happening in the Donbass as we know and see it very well, it is very reminiscent of a genocide.” In February, state media and Russian officials pushed their accusations of “genocide” in Ukraine to the hilt.
According to a report by the wall street journalRussian officials circulated a document at the UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, accusing the Ukrainian government of “genocide of the Russian-speaking population of Donbass”.
Speaking ahead of this UN Security Council meeting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that according to information obtained by US intelligence agencies, Russia was planning to use a false flag attack in eastern Ukraine, followed by baseless accusations of “genocide” in the region. Blinken pointed out: “Russia can describe this event as ethnic cleansing or genocide, mocking a concept that we in this chamber do not take lightly, and I do not take lightly, on the basis of my family history”.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s rejection of Moscow’s claim of “genocide” in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine has angered Russian officials. On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry scolded Scholz and Germany as a whole: “It is not for the German leadership to mock genocide issues. This is unacceptable, given Germany’s historical experience of massacring people and spreading misanthropic ideology. Russian state television went even further, with the host of 60 minutes Olga Skabeeva cynically to assert“Germans have different ideas about the genocide. They’ll have to start burning people in ovens, and maybe they’ll concede, “Yes, it’s genocide.”
Russian state media are spreading allegations that Ukraine bombed the Donbas regions and on Saturday alleged that the Ukrainians bombed the Russian region of Rostov, located near the border with Ukraine. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Valery Zaluzhny, has denied all accusations by Russia, indicating in part: “It should be noted that the artillery units of the joint forces are located in withdrawal zones at a distance of more than 21 km from the line of contact, which exceeds the maximum firing range of rocket launchers multiple “Hail” and 122 mm guns in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”
Anticipating false accusations from the Kremlin, the Ukrainian authorities granted access to a number of local and international journalists. NBC’s Richard Engel Noted“The separatists claim that the Ukrainians are attacking and besieging them. I’ve been walking these trenches for the past few months. Saw no sign of ongoing or impending Ukrainian offensive. None.” Meanwhile, state media news feeds reports claim that Ukraine is aggressively bombing the Donbass, alleging “the most intensive shelling by the Ukrainian army in recent months”.
In the bizarre world of Russian state media, America – which has painstakingly tried to prevent an escalation – is the real aggressor. Appearing on 60 minutes on Friday, lawmaker Oleg Morozov lamented“I hope there are people next to Biden, next to Scholz, next to the British Prime Minister, who will look at the scenarios and say, ‘If the big war with Russian participation were to start, It will cost Europe dearly. Think about it! It is my last hope, that the fear of this unpredictable situation will stop these hotheads.
Igor Korochenko, member of the Public Council of the Russian Ministry of Defense and editor-in-chief of the magazine National Defense, exclaimed“The United States wants this war. Their main objective is to conquer the European energy market. Biden cares less about the victims and their suffering, about Europe’s losses. He realizes the plans of the American establishment. Summing up the grotesque new theme of the Kremlin’s war on truth, Korochenko theatrically pleaded with European leaders: “Stop Zelensky! Stop Biden!