Staunton, May 25 — Dmitry Bukovsky of Kyiv’s “Delovaya stolitsa” continues his series, “The Top 5 Propaganda Myths, Fakes and Stupidities of the Kremlin for the Week.” And this week, Russia has really outdone itself with the very top item being a claim that Vladimir Putin was either Prince Vladimir who baptized Kievan Rus or the Apostle Paul in a past life.
The five Bukovsky has selected out of the Kremlin’s news feed this week include the following:
1. How Many Past Lives has Putin Had? Russians have a long history of portraying their current leaders as wonder-working icons. In recent months, some have portrayed Stalin as a saint in this way. But now, a certain Mother Fotinya, the head of a sectarian group in Nizhny Novgorod, has taken the next step: She says that in “one of his past lives, Putin was Prince Vladimir and baptized Russia” and that he has returned to “baptize anew our pagan land.” Earlier she declared that Putin in another past life had been the Apostle Paul.
2. Soviet Pioneer Movement Reborn in Occupied Territories. On May 19, the occupation authorities in Makeyevka solemnly revived the Pioneers, the Soviet youth movement, with Soviet, Russian and Donetsk Peoples Republic flags flying, a monument to Putin standing by, and with speakers proclaiming that these children “unlike in Ukraine are not fighting their own history”.
3. Not a Week without a Crucifixion. Devotees of Moscow propaganda would undoubtedly be disappointed if their media sources did not report on yet more horrific killings by “Ukrainian punitive detachments.” This week for their delectation, Moscow offered a picture of the supposed killing of a militant and his “’pregnant wife.’” But even Russian commentators recognized that the whole thing had been staged and had never occurred.
4. Everyone Can Speak with Russian POWs in Ukraine — Except Of Course Moscow. The same day Moscow complained Ukrainian officials had failed to give Russian diplomats access to Russian soldiers held by Kyiv, one of these soldiers, Yevgeny Yerofeyev told Russian journalists that everyone has come to see him: representatives of the UN, the Red Cross, and the OSCE. “All have asked whether I am alive and well and whether I’m being given treatment. All have come,” he said, “except the embassy of Russia” .
5. There Must Be American Soldiers in Ukraine. Although Moscow continues to deny that there are any Russian soldiers in Ukraine, its media have gone out of their way to point to what they say is evidence of an American military presence there. This week, Vladimir Putin’s favorite news source, Lifenews.ru, reported that a group of more than 40 Americans from a private security firm had arrived in Ukraine as the first wave of a veritable invasion. There was no truth to the story but that didn’t prevent Moscow from putting it out with imaginary details or from using this report to muddy the waters.