Staunton, April 19 – – As it has taken to doing, Kyiv’s Delovaya Stolitsa newspaper publishes today a list of “the top five propagandistic myths, fakes and stupidities of the Kremlin” for the past week. Obviously, given the barrage of Moscow’s lies about Ukraine, these lists are highly selective, but they are also extremely instructive.
This week’s “TOP-5” list, compiled by Dmitry Bukovsky, contains the following items:
1. Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the Moscow-installed leader of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR), repeated his claim that his “’forces’” are about to attack the Ukrainian city of Mariupol and said they would take it “without serious resistance.” The DNR head has made this threat before, and his “’forces’” have found it hard to advance anywhere. They would certainly face resistance in Mariupol. The only reason this is a matter of concern is that it was reported by a Western news agency in an uncritical way.
2. The Moscow newspaper Gazeta reported that Greece’s defense minister had told journalists that “the Greek population in Crimea had been subject to attacks by the fascist government of Ukraine, and the presence of Russian forces became a defense for Greek families”. The Greek embassy in Kyiv says the minister never said that and that in any case there were no such problems. What is disturbing is that this made-up statement was carried by a ordinarily much-respected Moscow paper and may be taken on faith by its readers in Russia and elsewhere.
3. Igor Martynov, who heads the Russian occupation office in Donetsk, says that he plans to restore that “’capital of ‘the DNR’ to is former status as ‘the city of a million roses,’” something that he almost certainly cannot afford to do and a step that could only be taken if the regime shifted funds away from the people for this stunt. “The separatists have money,” Bukovsky says, “but not for the support of the poor.”
4. Despite claims by DNR officials, there have been no pitched battles between units of the Armed forces of Ukraine and Ukrainian “’volunteer’ punitive battalions,” a claim pro-Moscow groups have put out in the past in the hopes of provoking them or leading Kyiv to disarm and disband these units.
5. And in a theme that Soviet and now Russian propagandists have not been able to resist, the ‘Russian Force” website has claimed that “’four American soldiers raped two [Ukrainian] underage girls.” The Russian site despite a complete lack of evidence reported that local people had protested and forced Ukrainian officials to investigate. The latter concluded, the Russian site says, that the Americans were guilty but could do nothing because of the soldiers’ supposed “full diplomatic immunity.”