The twisted 'truth' on Ukraine
I couldn't believe my eyes when I read in AT the recent article by Dan Truitt on the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Almost word by word, it repeated the Russian propaganda that is being fed by the "Ministry of Truth" in Moscow. Mr. Truitt claims that "virtually no one in the U.S. has got this right, including conservative outlets and pundits." What arrogance! By these words, he claims a possession of the ultimate knowledge of the roots and causes of the current events. Really?
Why do I have hard time to believe these bragging words? Here is a brief rebuttal of some distorted "facts" of that publication.
- On Putin: "[H]e's an excellent politician and a strong leader[.] ... He is a cold, calculating, strategic thinker who has disciplined his mind and body for decades. He's a Russia first guy[.] ... Trump's right: Putin is a genius[.]"
Only with a great stretch of imagination can a leader of a country be described by these words, considering that such a leader in his country destroyed every single industry, except production of military equipment and pumping out fossil fuel for selling it abroad for hard currency to line the pockets of his cronies. Would a "calculating leader" destroy the Academy of Science and cause the most talented people to emigrate? Would a "Russia first guy" invade a neighboring country with devastating results for his own people, causing immeasurable misery and suffering? The final result of his "strategic thinking" will be the end of Russia as a country, disintegrating in the not so distant future into a slew of small states. All that — because of his "genius."
- On Putin's plans: "Putin has no intention of 'reconstituting the Soviet Union.' That's a big fat lie. This war is the West's fault, not Putin's[.]"
In 2005, Putin called disintegration of the USSR "a geopolitical catastrophe" and aimed his efforts at restoring his country in the Soviet borders of 1945. That's why from his ascent to power in 2000 he ran the second Chechen war and established there a puppet government, existing solely on the Russian money. Then, in 2008, he invaded the Republic of Georgia, seizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In 2014, he staged a coup in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and held there a fake referendum to break it away from Ukraine and join Russia. Then he pulled the two eastern regions away from Ukraine and declared them "independent republics," under his own control, naturally. And finally, on February 24, 2022, under the pretext of preventing NATO and Ukraine from attacking Russia, he started a full-scale war. Do we need more examples?
- On NATO: "Russia (rightly, in my view) feels threatened by NATO expansion[.]"
Has there ever been a time when any NATO country has threatened Russia or encroached on its territory? Since the first day of its founding in 1949, this organization has served solely the purpose of defense, never the invasion of foreign territory. So what was Putin afraid of? Was it that NATO would interfere with his own invasion plans? He surely would have conquered Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia a long time ago if they had not been members of NATO, just as he did with the Georgian and Ukrainian territories. Just few days ago, Putin sent a message to Finland and Sweden to stay away from NATO, or else... The last war between Sweden and Russia was in 1702, when Peter the Great and his allies attacked Swedish Livonia and Swedish Ingria. Has Sweden or Finland ever threatened Russia? In 1939, it was just the opposite — the Soviet Union attacked Finland, causing 53,500 Russian deaths and 25,904 deaths of Finnish soldiers.
- On revolt in Ukraine: "The U.S. triggered a coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014, overthrowing the democratically elected president who was Russia-friendly and installing a pro-Western, pro-NATO leader[.]"
It's a big stretch of the imagination to claim that the U.S. was the cause of the coup d'état. The known facts are these: several democratically elected Ukrainian presidents were unable to improve the country's well-being; they tried to model business structures on the corrupt Russian style. The economy was stagnant, popular discontent was growing, and many saw a way out of the looming economic disaster by distancing themselves from Russia and moving closer to Western Europe. On November 13, 2013, President Yanukovych, a man close to Putin, rejected rapprochement with the West, leading to an explosion of popular indignation in Maidan Square of Kyiv. What was really going on there is still rather murky, and many were trampled in Maidan Square — there were visible traces of the Federal Security Service of Russia then. After the coup and subsequent rotation of several presidents, the current president, Zelensky, was elected. That greatly irritated Putin due to Zelensky's refusal to embrace Russia and his inclination toward the European community.
- On Ukrainian resistance: "[T]he Ukrainians are not making a heroic stand against the Russkies. They're getting their asses kicked. They're hiding in population centers, and Russia, trying to get to them, is killing a lot of civilians as collateral damage[.]"
It appears that the author either works for the Russian propaganda machine or is not watching a TV or reading the news. We see in Ukraine a true patriotic war, when all able men are sending their wives and children to hide in Poland and other countries and go themselves to the bloody fight to drive the invaders from their soil. It is a true heroic resistance now going on in Ukraine. Is bombardment of residential buildings, hospitals, schools, and maternity wards, and shooting at clearly marked press vehicles, just collateral damage? For such "collateral" damage, many war criminals were hanged at Nuremberg in 1946.
YouTube screen grab.
I could continue on and on, but every thinking and unbiased reader can effortlessly separate lies from the truth.
Jacob Fraden's website is www.fraden.com.