Putin waging information war in Ukraine worthy of George Orwell

November 14, 2014

A chicken walks near a residential block and a car damaged by recent shelling in Donetsk

It was a familiar scenario this week. First the government in Kiev said that Russia was sending convoys of men and weapons to support pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. Then U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s top commander in Europe, confirmed those claims, saying “there is no question anymore about Russia’s direct military involvement in Ukraine.” His remarks were summarily denied by the Russian Defense Ministry, which said it had stopped paying attention to his “unfounded proclamations.”

The volleys of accusations and counter-accusations over Ukraine started in February, when protesters in Kiev chased President Viktor Yanukovich from office and Russia grabbed Crimea in the ensuing power vacuum. A casual outside observer could be excused for concluding that amid such diametrically opposed positions, the truth must be somewhere in the middle. And that is exactly the impression the Kremlin wants to leave behind.

“It seems that the less the European public believes Breedlove, the more alarmist his anti-Russian pronouncements become,” Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, told journalists on Wednesday. Konashenkov’s understanding of cause and effect are revealing, because it hints at the perceived effectiveness of the Kremlin’s latest weapon: disinformation on a mass scale and in multiple languages.

President Vladimir Putin sees his country in an “information war” with the West. The underlying assumption is that Western media organizations are linked in a vast conspiracy to defame and undermine Russia, so the Kremlin has no choice but to reply in kind. Since the beginning of the month, Russia’s state media holding Rossiya Segodnya has launched an international news agency, called Sputnik, as well as RT Deutsch, a German-language version of broadcaster Russia Today.

U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe attends official welcoming ceremony in SofiaThe purpose of the media offensive isn’t so much to present an alternative point of view as to create a parallel reality where crackpots become experts and conspiracy theories offer explanations for the injustices of the world. The target audience is Western citizens skeptical of their own system of government. The goal is obfuscation.

Lying – blatantly and repeatedly – is considered a legitimate weapon in the arsenal of hybrid warfare that Putin has unleashed in the struggle for Ukraine. Words may seem harmless in comparison to bullets and bombs, but their effect has been no less deadly. Channel One, Russia’s flagship state TV channel, casually refers to “genocide” committed by the Kiev government against citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, evoking associations with Nazi Germany’s rampage across Ukraine during World War II. By branding the Maidan protest in Kiev as “fascist” because radical fringe groups took part, Channel One went a long way in laying the groundwork for the armed insurrection that followed in eastern Ukraine.

Only hours after I first arrived in Donetsk in March, I was informed that I too was a combatant in the “information war.” At the time, the regional capital was the site of protests by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of angry people waving Russian flags and demanding autonomy. Nobody had ever heard of the publications I write for, but protesters were convinced I was there to slander them. The fact I was marching beside them and trying to find out their grievances only made me more insidious. In my 20 years as a journalist, I had never experienced such hostility – especially from a group that was supposedly facing persecution.

“Why would I be here if I already knew what I was going to write?” I asked the protesters. I got no answer. Besides a few stock phrases about a “referendum” and “the illegitimate Kiev junta,” I also got no answers as to their motivations. It was like trying to have a conversation with a TV – Russian state TV.

There is no ideology behind the Kremlin media campaign. Instead it is founded on a nihilistic view of the world where everybody lies and the ends always justify the means. Just days before Crimea was absorbed into Russia, Putin discounted the possibility of its annexation and disavowed the participation of Russian troops in the peninsula’s takeover – contrary to what my colleagues and I had witnessed with our own eyes. Only later did Putin admit in a televised call-in show that Russian servicemen had participated in the invasion, after all.

Putin’s cavalier attitude toward the truth in the past makes it hard to believe the Kremlin’s denials today that Russian soldiers are backing up the separatists in eastern Ukraine. Not only NATO, but journalists and observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have observed the movement of unmarked vehicles and armed men without insignia.

The conflicting narratives cause confusion. Of course the truth is not in the middle: either there are or there aren’t Russian troops moving around in large numbers in the rebel regions. Yet the ambiguity about who is doing what where is part of the Russian strategy of keeping all options open and the rest of the world guessing what comes next. Putin’s decision to “respect” rather than “recognize” farcical elections held in separatist-controlled areas on Nov. 2 is part of that double game.

The danger that all-out fighting will break out again is keeping Kiev on edge. President Petro Poroshenko agreed to a cease-fire in September after a phantom Russian army stepped in to save the rebels from a Ukrainian offensive. The evidence of that intervention came in the form of Russian soldiers taken prisoner on Ukrainian soil and caskets of the dead arriving at army bases across Russia.

The cease-fire, even though it has been hardly respected, was a welcome reprieve for Poroshenko, who was intent on carrying out early parliamentary elections to solidify his mandate for reform. The rebels, too, were keen to legitimize their shadowy leaders with a vote, no matter how flawed.

Now neither side feels particularly compelled to abide by even a semblance of a cease-fire. Kiev cannot tolerate the defiance of the rebel election, and the separatists are interested in seizing strategic assets that will make their territory more economically viable, including the Donetsk airport, the port of Mariupol, and a power plant outside Luhansk. Many Ukrainians fear a massing of Russian forces could forebode a push for a land bridge connecting the separatist regions to the Crimean peninsula.

Putin may be able to create enough uncertainty to make the Ukrainians tear themselves apart. Tensions are rising between Poroshenko and his hawkish prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whose party surprisingly inched ahead of the president’s in the elections. Rivalries between volunteer units and the regular army are simmering. Many Ukrainians who protested for change last winter are disillusioned.

Putin is in a position to wait and see. NATO can protest all it wants, the Kremlin denials are forthcoming. They’re standard operating procedure.



PHOTO TOP: A chicken walks near a residential block and a car damaged by recent shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Nov. 6, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev 

PHOTO INSET 1: U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe attends official welcoming ceremony in Sofia, Bulgaria, Nov. 12, 2014. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov 


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This is reminiscent of when the US deceived The World with false claims declaring that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Bold faced lies.

The New World Order is Truth.

God Bless Russia.

Peace be with you All.


Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive

Eastward expansion has taken place the past decade or so by NATO (the USA) with the constant encroachment on Russian borders even after guarantees from American Presidents that this would not happen. NATO has always justified these moves with the statement that “WE MEAN NO ONE ANY HARM” directed at Russia.
These flights by Russia are nothing more than a statement from Putin saying….

How do you like me patrolling your borders even if there is no malicious intent??

IMO…The EU, NATO and the USA need to respect Russia’s spheres of influence and economic interests as well. Does not NATO start conflicts in other countries with the same excuse that their Interests are in danger? NATO should be banned by the United Nations from meddling in world affairs well outside the North Atlantic for the purpose of their own Economic gains at the cost to the rest of the world.

Posted by demiboone | Report as abusive

Poroshenko is finally smartening up by withdrawing all government support and money from these rebel controlled areas. Let them get a real taste of Russian rule. He can always come back to that situation. That would make it much harder for Putin to justify any further incursions into Ukraine.
Poroshenko must immediately focus on reinforcing troops further south to deny Putin a land link between Donbas and Crimea and up through Odessa.

Posted by zazzy | Report as abusive

The reason why russians believe is not because they blindly trust Kremlins propaganda. Its because there are numerous evidences of Kievs war crimes and lies on youtube captured by common people.

If more western people had access to them, they would have drastically diferent opinion about Kiev and its government.

Posted by mind81 | Report as abusive

Insanely russophobic article. I’m actually embarrassed for Reuters.

Posted by Alexforever | Report as abusive

Putin learnt from his western colleagues Tony Blair and George Bush. Ups, you forgot who those cowboys were? Let me remind you, Tony was prime minister of Great Britain or the UK, and George Bush was Iraq’s president. They both have Russian background, that is why they lied and lied and lied to the world.

Posted by Govornik | Report as abusive

Thank you for blocking my “other side” comments Reuters, you are nothing better than world order liars. Shake hand to BBC and CNN – lying info factories or, maybe, just hide the truth you dislike to tell – comes the same as lying.

Posted by Govornik | Report as abusive

Glory to Russia and Vladimir The Righteous!!!

Posted by Macedonian | Report as abusive

Putin isn’t doing anything different than the American media, he just hasn’t done it quite as effectively. Fox and G. Beck hack sites like The Blaze have distorted our countries situation very effectively, any observer must be amazed that anyone could believe such obvious propaganda that passes for news in the USA.

Watch the news, encourage voter suppression and government working only for big business. You as an individual no longer matter and your corner store is nothing more than a talking point for a politician of any ilk. I will still be on the side of those politicos that at least pretend to care, though they are also corrupted in a system broken by the almighty dollar. Putin models his media after ours while we try to model our government like Russia’s…

Posted by ebones101 | Report as abusive

Lying – blatantly and repeatedly – is considered a legitimate weapon in the arsenal of hybrid warfare that Putin has unleashed in the struggle for Ukraine.
I find it pretty funny. Our western media/politicians lie non-stop. Was it William Shakespeare who lied about bacteriological weapons of Saddam Hussein in UN and shaking a tube with washing powder? No, sorry, my mistake! It was William Shakespeare who accused Putin in killing children on that MH17 without even shred of evidence in carefully synchronized attack. We still have not got any! Only some sound record made 24 hr before the event by ukies, and a video of something big moving somewhere on the planet Earth in some unknown point in time! Very conclusive “evidences”! Thanks, guys, for the “truth”!

Posted by xela232 | Report as abusive

Mark_Steadman you are out of Order.

Truth be known.

Peace be with you All.


Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive

“Lying – blatantly and repeatedly – is considered a legitimate weapon in the arsenal of hybrid warfare that Putin has unleashed in the struggle for Ukraine.”

You must be joking. Putin didn’t invent the big lie, or the repeated lie. It’s standard operating procedure among the U.S. and the other senior democracies.

Remember US and British definitive reports of WMD in Iraq? That was a big lie, amplified and carried by most of the Western press. How about Mossad’s denials of multiple murders of Iranian civilian scientists, or US denials that the visit by head of CIA John Brennan to Kiev in April was about wiping out pro-Russian rebel resistance in eastern Ukraine (the head of the CIA almost never appears in public, and certainly doesn’t make casual visits to countries embroiled in civil wars).

Or how about the Western democracies lying to Russia and China in the UN Security Council about their true intentions in imposing a no-fly zone (“to protect civilians”) in Libya? They infuriated Putin after he approved it by immediately using it as a fig leaf for an all-out air assault on Libyan government ground forces.

All governments lie when it suits them; at least Putin isn’t a hypocrite.

Posted by Nickcw | Report as abusive

Redford no more lies.

Peace be with you All.


Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive

Thousands of people dead including a planeload full of Dutch and Australian children, cities in ruins, and one million refugees. Well done Mr. Putin. What country are you planning to “liberate” next?

Posted by pbgd | Report as abusive

Pure Western party line, from a “respected” journalist.

Posted by CoFunkin | Report as abusive

Omega… Seek professional help.

Posted by Redford | Report as abusive

Putin continues to sound and act like a Stalin wannabe — run roughshod over asia and Eastern Europe. Good ole days.

Posted by Fessig47 | Report as abusive

And Iraq WMD were not a bold face lie. And The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11 and yet we clobbered the hell out Afghanistan. And Building 7 collapse of 9/11 was in everybody’s imagination. A plane falls from 30.000 feet in the Ukraine and we can find the landing gear and engines BUT nothing of the largest pieces of a crashed plane were found by the pentagon.

It is getting to the point you don’t trust ANY government anywhere and it looks that most of the news media is in lock step in lies and is bought by the governments.

Hitler’s publicity manager Joseph Goebbels was right, make the lies big enough and tell them often enough and the sheep will eventually believe it

Posted by cynical175 | Report as abusive

Is it a wonder why I scour the Internet across the world for different news sources. Somehow somewhere I should be able to get a little sprinkle of the truth and find out what is going on. I find that the western news media cannot even agree with each other’s lies.

Posted by cynical175 | Report as abusive

Because of the current Russian leadership, the ruble is worth less than any other developed nation’s currency on Earth. Here a conversion chart
1 ruble = 0.021 USD
1 ruble = 0.014 GBP
1 ruble = 0.017 EURO
1 ruble = 0.024 AUSD
1 ruble = 0.047 TRY
1 ruble = 0.16 HKD
1 ruble = 0.13 CNY
The ruble is worthless due to totally incompetent leadership based on military threats and lack of coherence.

Posted by PaulSchmitt | Report as abusive

Lucian Kim

Why not admit it that every newspaper/editor/reporter/government is skewing the news to there own advantage. Could go from a little lie to a blatant lie. All of them including America, Israel, Europe, Russia, China, Japan, etc. etc. are all guilty of it and it seems to getting worse and more blatant. I.E I don’t trust any of them.

Posted by cynical175 | Report as abusive

The effect of the political psycho-babble is wearing off – to the chagrin of the “West.”

The War Crime nature of the “coalition” Iraq invasion was well-known in advance. At a minimum, prior to the invasion, the UN inspectors announced that they were successfully certifying Hussein’s compliance with the ‘key’ UN Mandates – until the UN teams were told to get out of the way. The consequent (no WMD) proof and ‘occupation’ War Crimes were always a continuation of the invasion’s corruption.

Now, Putin essentially has a ‘license’ borrowed from the USA – to do whatever he wants. Add that the White House generated this Ukraine crisis, in the first place.

Whether the issues of ‘International Law,’ ‘politics’ or ‘morality;’ the “West” has no viable position available to condemn Putin.

All that, because the American public, in particular didn’t have the wherewithal to speak up, when they could have. But, yes, “…. they knew.”

It won’t be long before another generation of American combat veterans catch up with the truth and horrors which were set up for them – once again for the corporate profits of war; no different from the Viet Nam War.

“International Law” only applies to those who are helpless to resist the powers who wield that law; in total hypocrisy.

As the song says: “That’s Life.”

Or, more accurately: That’s the New World Order” – or: “… Globalism;” if one prefers.

Anybody catching on, yet?

If Hollywood picks it up, the movie title will be: “Big Brother meets Adolf.”

Posted by SKYDRIFTER | Report as abusive

Love the censors of this website. Talk about filtering the news and comments. Then again isn’t all news now biased?

Posted by cynical175 | Report as abusive

I am an Australian living in Croatia. I watch CNN, BBC, FOX, RT and also Australian news. I’m sorry and ashamed to say that, even though I believe there are mercenaries in Ukraine that are paid by Russia, I don’t trust Western reporting anymore. If you think RT is onesided, try reading The Herald Sun or watching CNN. The real questions are ignored! Who paid for and organised Maidan that started the unrest? Why did the west promise to stay out of Ukraine then proceed to do the opposite? Are there Blackwater ( Western backed ) mercenaries in Ukuraine? What message did Victoria Nuland and John McCain give by ging to Kiev and backing Western “Interests”. What happened to the black box recordings of MH317 and why have the western ivestigators not shown any evidnce that rebels downed the plane? On the contrary we have seen what appear to be bullet holes in the fuselage? Why do you call their experts “Crackpots” when I’ve seen that many are not? The public has accepted Westrn news in the past because we trusted reporters. No more! We the people may have been naive in the past but now we can fact check and te facts you present dont’t add up. I want a balanced view but I know I won’t get that from reading onesided articles such as yours. So now we have to cross reference news just to get a semblance of “truth”. Did you drink the cool aid or are you deliberately onesided in your article?

Posted by SickenTired | Report as abusive

I’ve found, through extensive reading of various sources including my NYT subscription, that our media is completely biased against Russia, committed to creating a bad image of Putin, and dismissive of any criticism of itself.

The hypocrisy of a US attacking the wrong country in response to 911, then sanctioning Russia over it supporting separatist neighbors, while ignoring Israeli land theft and destruction of Gaza, is fairly embarrassing. The people here are sheep, and loath to self criticism about all things.

Posted by Bookfan | Report as abusive

Notice how Omega is attacked in a personal manner but no one can argue with the substance – basically the US aggression to Iraq is far greater and has killed far more people – ho hum…

Posted by mgunn | Report as abusive

You guys just blocked my fair and balanced comment. Why? Not to your script?

Posted by SickenTired | Report as abusive

NATO should use the same undercover approach with Syria and leave the economy free of sanctions, “an eye for an eye”

Posted by Introrious | Report as abusive

Why do you block my comments? Do you believe your opium, oops I mean opinion, is fair and balanced? My opinion: your article is a one sided attempt to demonise Putin. You neglect to mention that is that the Eastern Ukrainians love this guy. He is more popular worldwide than Obama and more trusted. But you cannot or will not report in a balanced way. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Putin! But better the devil you know than the devil who pretends to be a lamb. i.e. Obama.

Posted by SickenTired | Report as abusive

It is a tragedy for pace in Europe and trade that the Americans , concious of their declining superpower bais, are now reviving their Cold War tactics.

In WWII the West made allies with the USSR against Hitler. It was only after victory that Churchill and the hawks returned to their negative rejection by starting the Cold War.

Nothing ever changes. Athens and Sparta–the old clothing of the West and Russia– were constantly at war. Neither benefited.

It is time to seek compromise and take a ‘let live’ approach for the benefit of all inhabitants of this planet, Earth.

Posted by expat75 | Report as abusive

Dr. Redford.

Liars mentally abuse, isolate, punish, seek to ruin like the US are attempting to do with The Russian Federation.
Do you concur?

US tactics “the world over” include building a pyramid of lies, punish with sanctions, and ruin by war nations who they then rape and pollute for the natural resources such as oil, gas, minerals, agriculture for GM foods …
The US Government and their al lies have ambushed many nations left to shambles for their “national interest”.

God is Truth; The US and their al lies are waring with The Universal Order of Truth, you follow?

God Bless Russia.

Peace be with you All.


Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive

I know realities on the ground in both US and Russia. Believe me expat75, when US (with many of its faults)can be compared to both adversaries- Athens and Sparta, Russia in this context was, is and long time yet will be black hole of the world, significant only as world gas distributor with treacherous, double dealing management. It’s disgrace to describe Russia as contemporary proud Sparta or sophisticated Athens.

Posted by bagart | Report as abusive

Disinformation campaigns are part of KGB/RSS (Russian State Security) arsenal; Putin’s only significant job before going into politics was as an officer in KGB/RSS. It is not surprising to observe Putin and his lieutenants dismissing credible evidence-based reports of Russian military equipment and soldiers streaming across the border into Ukraine, including satellite photos of military columns. He and his lieutenants were making the same sort of dismissals of reports of the “green men” soldiers without insignia in Crimea before eventually admitting that they were Russian soldiers once Crimea’s seizure seemed to be a fait accompli.

Posted by commentator1 | Report as abusive

commentator1 so it is justifiable to you that the US lead a false flag protest that instigated violence, with John McCain leading center stage, that killed many people in the Ukraine (and still is) to overtake a democratically elected government with rumours and lies is acceptable?
Then to have an election that was heavily monitored by the US and their Al lies?

Please do not help build this pyramid of lies that have been perpetrated on many well intended sovereign nations and global individuals, corporations, institutions,… In this point and case The Russian Federation.

Truth my Friends.

Peace be with you All.


Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive

“ten commandments of propaganda”:[4]

1. We do not want war.

2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.

3. The enemy is the face of the devil.

4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.

5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.

6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.

7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.

8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.

9. Our cause is sacred. “The ages-old ‘God bless America’ is playing once more.”

10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.[5][6]

Posted by DeweyOxberger | Report as abusive

There’s no question that Putin has been waging information war in Ukraine for months. The BIG QUESTION is why there is STILL NO UNITED FORCES to fight this information war with Putin?..

Posted by UauS | Report as abusive

Putin is counting on an old adage, “the first casualty of war is truth”. Nothing new here. A grave novelty for the world, Russia first and foremost included, is that today’s Russia is being led by a Don Corleone with KGB schooling and a nuclear bomb in his pocket. And the longer the world is afraid to scream this out loud and often, the more dangerous place it will be. The lie is afraid of sunlight…

Posted by UauS | Report as abusive

I wonder whether author has actually read Orwell – that is, beyond the high-school-curriculum-required “1984”. From what I read in this “opinion” piece – I doubt. I would strongly recommend that author reads – perhaps to refresh in memory – the biographical “Homage to Catalonia”, or, a nice essay on nationalism circa 1945:

Obsession. As nearly as possible, no nationalist ever thinks, talks, or writes about anything except the superiority of his own power unit. It is difficult if not impossible for any nationalist to conceal his allegiance. The smallest slur upon his own unit, or any implied praise of a rival organization, fills him with uneasiness…

Rings a bell?

Posted by BraveNewWrld | Report as abusive

One more quote from the great Orwell:

By “nationalism” I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled “good” or “bad.” But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests.

May be, this rings a bell, Mr/Ms Kim, and other “Western citizens” – that is, those identifying themselves with this “unit, placing it beyond good and evil”, and so on and so forth?

Posted by BraveNewWrld | Report as abusive

I’ve seen some of the weirdest comments on places like Youtube and 4Chan, but I would’ve never guessed that the psychopaths were in the Reuters comments. You people are crazy.

Posted by xXMLGProGamerXx | Report as abusive

Dear RIDF,

These two Euromaidanpr – https://www.facebook.com/euromaidanpr
and http://euromaidanpress.com/news/ have proved to be very accurate time after time.
No Russian media source has ever shown itself to be honest.

I can only assume the Russian RIDF posters here are either victims of their own propaganda, or lack personal integrity and are paid to do it.

For what it’s worth, I don’t like Western propaganda either.

Posted by Castor8 | Report as abusive

Putin is isolating Russia.

Putin is escalating disinformation to Russians.

Soon, Putin will be asking brave Russians to go to war.

This is all for Putin’s ego.

Putin the Great.

Think, Russians!

Posted by Castor8 | Report as abusive

“This is reminiscent of when the US deceived The World with false claims declaring that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Bold faced lies. The New World Order is Truth. God Bless Russia. Peace be with you All.”

Spoken like a true FSB funded Putler bot.

An untruth is not a lie, when you believe it is true. U.S. intelligence actually believed Saddam had WMD. And, it was in his interest to maintain the fiction. So he did. Calling it a “Bold faced lie…” is just that.

Now Putin and friends? Just taking a page from Goebbels’ playbook. “Tell a lie often enough and it becomes truth.”

Putin lies so often that I begin to think he no longer knows he’s doing it.

Posted by Erikkc | Report as abusive

A strong show of resolution by the west, coupled with immediate arms deliveries to Ukraine and the deployment of NATO air assets to both Ukraine and the Black Sea, would be enough to end this crisis. But unfortunately for Ukraine, we are cursed with the weakest, most spineless, most pathetic collection of “leaders” in post-WWII history.

John Kennedy went to Berlin in 1962 to let both the Soviets and the west German people know in no uncertain terms that if the Soviets moved against west Berlin, it would mean war.

Barack Obama can’t even be bothered to send the weapons to the Ukrainians that they need to be able to defend themselves against Russia’s naked and unprovoked aggression.

In the face of Putin’s pure evil, he elects to dither, debate, delay and in the end, do nothing of any real consequence. Anyone who believes that sanctions alone will cause Putin to change course is an idiot. He regards them as an inconvenience. Nothing more. But it holds true to Obama’s standard pattern of “crisis management”, which is to do just enough that he can’t be accused of doing nothing.

Only decisive military action will stop him, a fact that our resident jellyfish in the White House either cannot comprehend or is unwilling to admit.

Posted by Danram | Report as abusive

The problem with the writer’s premise is tha the US financed and cheered a takeover of a democratically elected government in Kiev. Imagine hoe we’d feel as Americans if China financed an overthrow of the Canadian government. Naturally, Russia was alarmed. Second, votes in previous elections (and in a referendum) show that this part of Ukraine has more in common ethnically with Russia. Finally, there is a strong fascist element in the current illegitimate Ukrainian government.

Posted by Strongertha | Report as abusive

Wow, Reuters, you’ve sunk to new lows, give the american people some credit, we know our government is corrupt, we know our media is playing to their tune.

Right now, if he ran, I’d vote for putin for president, maybe fix this mess right up.

Posted by eossipov | Report as abusive

So, instead of reporting on how the President of Ukraine is Suspending “Human Rights” in eastern ukraine, we get this article, obviously one sided with no resemblance to truth?

Yes, the man our Government is backing, the man whose top military unit is and is proud of being ‘nazi’ now, has decided to suspend Human Rights. The whole point to them being “Human Rights” is they are rights assessed to all humans upon birth, not because someone says so.

He’s cutting off everything from water, gas, oil, food, WATER since Kiev launched ballistic missiles into the area repeatedly, no one knows if the water is drinkable or not. Not to mention they have already starting their Fracking operation there.

Additionally Kiev ( President Poroshenko) has stated he’s closing all the banks and refusing to pay the pensioners their pensions. In a video taped speech last night, he stated (and I admittedly am paraphrasing) — This is how we will win the war, with their elderly and children in basements we will take their hearts from them. — Meaning, if they kill the elderly and children, then the separatist won’t have anyone to fight for anymore.

Yes, Victoria Nuland still has a job though, so does John Kerry, and God Bless Western Media and Us poor dumb Americans who need to translate video’s to find out what’s really going on in the world.

Don’t block my comments AGAIN. please.

Posted by eossipov | Report as abusive

“Spoken like a true FSB funded Putler bot”

FSB? Putler? Never heard of either. Your statement is untrue.

The New World Order is Truth.

Erikkc you are out of Order.

Peace be with you All.


Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive

Putin has taken a page from the Nazi Party and Joeseph Goebbels. The irony is fitting.

Posted by Subwavelength | Report as abusive

As Aldous Huxley pointed out: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” The ghost of Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Reich Minister of Propaganda, seems to be effectively serving the government of Vladimir Putin.

Fellow Nazi Herman Goering, during the Nuremberg Trials, said: “Naturally the common people don’t want war. but after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

The following quote is attributed to Adolph Hitler: “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.” Perhaps his ghost now resides in Vladimir Putin.

The greatest real and present danger today, virtually unmentioned, is that Putin’s ego is large enough to believe victory possible in a game of nuclear “chicken” with the western democracies. So long as Barack Obama remains military Commander in Chief of these United States, Putin might actually pull it off. We live in interesting times.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive


Better to take a page from history; then to have the whole book thrown at you.

The irony is that lies/ liars eventually defeat themselves.
The irony is fitting and in accordance with Universal Law and with no deviation.

Truth be known.

Peace be with you All


Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive

Speaking of propaganda – is that the reason comment boards were abolished by Reuters? That is, factual comments by thinking readers were biting into the efficiency of propagandist news presentations?

As for “Putin’s propaganda war” – I just saw video report by Graham Phillips of a civilian man tortured to death by Kiev government’s secret services. It’d better be propaganda, because if it is not – how would you sleep at night, Lucian Kim?

Posted by BraveNewWrld | Report as abusive

It is a correct assessment that Russia and Europe are in a type of “information war”. Public communications, however orchestrated, have an influence on public opinion. But the real problem is the Russian-speaking population within the Eastern Ukraine. Over the years, they have consistently voted for a pro-Russian orientation in Ukrainian policy, only to be frustrated by the recent revolution that ousted the former president. We can all hope that things will settle down after a few years, because this is a very poor part of the world, and the average person living there needs peace in order to get along.

My personal view is that the Eastern Ukraine should be separated and devolved into independent states. This hopefully would solve some of the problem. But they would need to understand that if they separated, they need to take their share of the Ukrainian debt with them. There is no need to attempt to govern people who don’t wish to be governed. Why bother? By separating off the Eastern territories, the western Ukraine would be free to pursue its dream of European integration without such disorder. Anyone who wishes to join to Russia should be allowed to, but it is not clear to me why they would wish to do so, since the economic prospects are so much worse. After all, when Poland was part of the Eastern bloc, its GDP/capita was about the same as Ukraine. Now, it is more than 5 times higher, and the same will happen to Western Ukraine if it throws off the Eastern area and pursues integration with Europe.

Posted by WestFlorida | Report as abusive

Its self evident by the anti Russian comments on here that the West are doing a better job then Russia with the propaganda war. Its amazing how time deletes the truth. Its only been a matter of months since the coup which brought down a democratically elected government as sanctioned by the OSCE I quote “as an honest and transparent election” This government had 48.95% of the popular vote. But the US could not wait another 10 years for democracy to work as they needed to be on Russia’s borders in the east prior to tackling the main threat to there financial hegemony which is China. So hence the coup backed and orchestrated by the West, and then the inclusion of the Vice Presidents son on the board of the largest energy company in Ukraine. Do we really need to go over the meeting in Yalta in November 2013 (well hidden by the western press) where all of this started from. The opportunity for this to be settled peacefully without Russia gaining any ground was there to be won. But again it was not the preferred policy of the American government.

Posted by Moties001 | Report as abusive

This sounds like the media war waged by the Left and the Muslims against Israel. Simply lie, lie big, and lie consistently and eventually people will regard your lies as truth.

Posted by Lestibournes | Report as abusive

This forum has been taken over by Putin’s “Troll Army” who just like their fuhrer deny, lie, deny, lie and accuse the West, especially the US, of what Kremlin is being accused of… disgusting!!

Posted by evilempirekgb | Report as abusive


Posted by evilempirekgb | Report as abusive

This essay sounds like it was written by the CIA. And it probably was — or at least the author is probably on the CIA payroll.

The mainstream media in the US, and in many other Western countries, is heavily influenced by the US intelligence community. Just a few months ago, Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of one of Germany’s main daily publications, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, described how he was bribed by the CIA. This sort of thing has been going on at least since Operation Mockingbird back in the 1950s (do a search).

If you have never heard of “Operation Northwoods,” the Pentagon’s “Office of Special Plans,” or the “Pentagon military analyst program,” you are definitely in the dark and need to do some homework. Wikipedia is a good place to start and find other references. Right now it will suffice to say that the US government is run by PROVEN LIARS and HYPOCRITES.

Posted by Heretic50 | Report as abusive

The article forgot to mention the armies of nashi volunteers disseminating propaganda and desinformation in Western internet forums. Like this forum. Like the guys commenting below me.

Posted by LeifLeifnephew | Report as abusive

Interesting, is not it, how many here, following the standard modern-day propaganda line, invoke Goebbels in the context of “Putin-propaganda-bashing”. That is, instead of referring to the real source – our own venerable Ed Bernays, right? The mentor of Goebbels, the engineer of the “Banana republic” coup in Guatemala, among other things, the “perfector” of propaganda:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928)

The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process, the freedom to persuade and suggest.
Edward Bernays, “The Engineering of Consent”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science No. 250 (March 1947)

Goebbels […] was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me.

Edward Bernays.

Posted by BraveNewWrld | Report as abusive

I see somebody mentioned great Aldous Huxley, although seems in a wrong context. Here are couple more quotes, more pertinent to the present situation in Ukraine:

All war propaganda consists, in the last resort, in subsituting diabolical abstractions for human beings. Similarly,those who defend war have invented a pleasant sounding vocabulary of abstractions in which to describe the process of mass murder.
Aldous Huxley, in “Pacifism and Philosophy” (1936)
The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
Aldous Huxley, The Olive Tree (1937).

When they kill, they’re terrorists. When we kill, we’re striking against terror.
Norman Solomon, “Orwellian Logic 101 — A Few Simple Lessons”

You know, how mass murder that is going on in Ukraine is called by Kiev government? – “Anti-Terrorist Operation”.

Kudos to Norman Solomon.

Posted by BraveNewWrld | Report as abusive

Putin is totally right – there are lies, lies everywhere. Lies by him, lies by the US, lies by China – lies by X.

Nothing new here.

As for Ukraine – they are divided between 10m Russians, 10m Bandera supporters and 20m+ undecided. The more this drags on the more the 20m+ are in the Russian camp. After all we all want to belong to the victorious strong side not the looser.

For a proof of above please see desertion statistics on Ukrainian official site. And these are deflated #s.

Posted by TomK2 | Report as abusive

Why did the chicken walk near a residential block and a car damaged by recent shelling in Donetsk? Well ok, to get to the other side I imagine.

But according to Russia Today, it only crossed the road because the fascist CIA Zionist 1% Bilderburg junta in Kiev threatening that unless it crossed that road, there was going to be one more ‘Chicken Kiev’.

Posted by evilhippo | Report as abusive

@TomK2: where are people, there are lies, and where are people, there’s corruption. Nothing new here. The devil is in detail.
A democratic society has to constantly fight with lies and corruption in order to survive as democratic society. And it has the tool to do that (never perfect of course); it is called the rule of law.
A totalitarian (or authoritarian) regime can not survive without* lies and corruption, because it comes from the very top of it… which the modern Russia perfectly exemplifies.

Posted by UauS | Report as abusive

It appears to me that Putin learned from U.S. media outlets like Fox News. Tell a lie long enough and people will believe it.

Posted by thekeegan | Report as abusive

Glory to Russia and Vladimir The Righteous!!!


Posted by changhana | Report as abusive

Vladimir Putin has the soul of a pig.

Posted by holterltd | Report as abusive

Who was the senior manager at Reuters that allowed this embarrassing piece of “journalism” to be published? Reuters shoots itself in the foot. Looking to follow CNN into the dumpster? This young “journalist” should google “CIA Operation Mockingbird”…I’d pay money to be able to see the cringe-worthy moment, and his education as a “journalist”, as he reads the entry.

Posted by sarkozyrocks | Report as abusive

QED, conspiracy theorists are giving aid and comfort to an adversary. That’s treason; execute them all.

But then who would AFOSI use to spread chemtrail conspiracy crap?

Posted by Vastra | Report as abusive

The saddest thing reading these comments is how many assume there’s a good guy or that because you’re bad that makes us good. Can anyone get their head around we are pure evil and they have learned how to go that one better even?

States are now ruled with a mafia mindset. Burlusconi was a prototype. (Ras) Putin and Obummer are just different kinds of gangs. Putin’s like the early five families members that dealt in drugs and Obummer’s like the dons that said, “Oh, we’re not like that”. They were all still murdering crooks.

There are no innocents in this. Personally I hope we not only get a new Cold War but that it turns hot. Enough of it all. A pox on all your houses and mine too! You judge a tree by its fruit. Look around the world. We suck, which has a lot to do with the fact that Putin sucks worse. Putin really should be kissing the neocons arses for lowering everyone to his level.

Posted by Vastra | Report as abusive

On one hand, you see the desire of European nations to escape the Russian sphere of influence and stand on their own, independent of autocracy and oppression. On the other hand, you see Russia’s government and its paid internet shills act as if its recent history in Crimea or eastern Europe simply did not happen. Orwell comes to mind. Kafka, too. But mostly, Stalin. Putin’s dream of Czarist glory is only a recurring Stalinist nightmare.

Posted by earplay | Report as abusive

The information war between Russia and the West has been abused as a platform for politicians to self-profile oneself from both sides. Firstly, the adjacent political visions have served as a platform to create a unity between Western nations by focusing on a common concept of an enemy. Secondly, as the showdown at the G20 summit in Brisbane has shown it is a fruitful opportunity to communicate political assertiveness. Especially, David Cameron used the summit to raise his political profile. By comparing Russia’s role in the conflict with Nazi Germany’s invasion he played his trump card hitting at Russia’s soft spot. This was a cheap populist shot, using the same analogies as Russia to increase popularity. Lastly, the war on information is also a war on values, differently from military wars that strike through their absence of rules, in this conflict values and a respectful handling of information will determine the winner of sympathies. Sympathy will however never build up on neither a nihilistic absence of values nor a populist branding of them.

Posted by greenbird | Report as abusive

The purpose of the media offensive isn’t so much to present an alternative point of view as to create a parallel reality where crackpots become experts and conspiracy theories offer explanations for the injustices of the world.


Posted by gamefriv | Report as abusive