In war, truth is the first casualty.
Yesterday anyone watching Euronews on one screen and Russian state television on another would have been perplexed by the totally contradictory coverage of both with respect to the fate of the armed detachment of Ukrainian border guards on one island in the southeast of Ukraine. Euronews carried the address of President Zelensky awarding posthumous designation as Heroes of Ukraine to the entire detachment, which reportedly resisted the attacking Russian forces and were slaughtered. Meanwhile Russian news showed those same border guards seated at tables and signing sworn statements that they voluntarily lay down their arms and awaited repatriation to their homes and families.
Earlier today I took this screenshot from the New York Times website.
Reading the collection of items under the above New York Times headline I fail to find any news of a bombardment of Kiev or of Russian military involvement in street fighting within the city.
The only item in there that is relevant with regards to Kiev is a Russian missile strike on the fuel depot of a military airport on the southern periphery of the city. The large fire and smoke could be seen from Kiev.
As Russia does not announce the progress of its campaign the ‘western’ news is projecting that it is losing the war. I see no evidence that this is the case and believe that it is far from reality. The lack of reliable reporting just makes it impossible to map out the current frontline.
Here are three more pieces I can also recommend. They relate to serious strategic aspects of the war and lack the otherwise overwhelming propaganda slant.
Russia is locked in an existential struggle to avoid the fate of Yugoslavia. Period.
A NATO intervention will be tantamount to US-Russia war — that is, a world war with nuclear weapons. On Thursday, Putin explicitly warned Biden to back off. But Biden has since indicated that the NATO will continue to pump weapons into Ukraine.
I’m surprised both of the size of the operation and the type of operation. While I did expect standoff destruction of the nazi units and considered the possibility of standoff destruction of Ukrainian military assets I did not expect to see troops on the ground other than a few Spetsnaz. The operation is much, much more than I expected. Putin & Co surprised me too.
Had I been at home I would have read Putin’s speech earlier and understood sooner. What he is talking about is what the Soviet Union tried to do from 1933 onwards: namely to stop Hitler before he got started. This time Russia is able to do it by itself. In other words, Putin feels that he is making a pre-emptive attack to stop June 1941. This is very serious indeed and indicates that the Russians are going to keep going until they feel that they can safely stop.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had been subjected to a series of sophomoric psychological profiles that trivialized Russian national concerns as little more than the psychotic whim of a troubled individual.
The caricatures that emerged of the Russian state and its leadership colored the analysis of Russia’s oft-stated concerns over what it viewed as its legitimate national security
This blinded the West to the reality of what was transpiring. Because no one took Russia seriously, no one could imagine a large-scale ground war in Europe. So everyone was taken by surprise when such a conflict broke out.