Tag: kremlin propaganda
Kremlin Still Claims Kherson Even As Russian Troops Abandon Major Port City

Kremlin Still Claims Kherson Even As Russian Troops Abandon Major Port City

The Russian army pulled out of the region around the city of Kherson overnight on Thursday, leaving behind army uniforms, stockpiles of ammunition, and a local populace cheering the arrival of Ukrainian forces in the street. The New York Times reported from the front lines yesterday that the Russian military has left the small village of Blahodatne, located on the strategic M14 main highway leading to Mykolaiv, another port city on the Pivdennnyi Buh about 60 miles west of Kherson. Ukraine has held Mykolaiv for some time but has not held Blahodatne or any of the other villages to the west and north of Kherson.

The Russian defense ministry announced in Moscow this morning that the retreat of all Russian troops on the west bank of the Dnipro River was complete. The Times, which has a photographer and at least two reporters on the scene, reported that the Russians are setting up new defensive positions on the east bank of the Dnipro and were beginning to shell Ukrainian military units advancing on Kherson on the west bank of the river.

The Times reporters, Andrew E. Kramer and Marc Santora, wrote that they had spoken by phone to residents of Kherson this morning who told them that “While there was no visible Russian military presence in the city on Friday, four residents described seeing Russian soldiers dressed in civilian clothes — some armed — moving about parts of the city.”

“Kherson is returning under the control of Ukraine. Units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are entering the city,” the intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s defense ministry said in a statement released in Kyiv on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Putin’s government appeared to still be laying claim to Kherson. “Kherson region is a subject of the Russian Federation. This status is fixed,” Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, announced. “There can be no changes here.”

Reports from the front lines in Kherson indicate that Peskov should probably consult the local residents, who continued to greet advancing Ukrainian troops waving the distinctive blue and yellow national flag of Ukraine. The Russian defense ministry spokesman in Moscow appeared just as deluded. “Not a single piece of military equipment and weaponry was left … and there were no losses of personnel, weapons, equipment,” a defense ministry spokesman said.

Below is a photograph of a warehouse in Blahodatne that was part of a Russian military base there. The photo was taken by Lynsey Addario of the New York Times on Friday morning. It shows stacks of ammunition boxes and rows of what appear to be 82 mm mortar rounds lying on the ground. That is Russian ammunition. Those are Ukrainian troops walking through the warehouse examining their find.

Ukrainian soldiers in weapons depot captured from Russians in Blahodatne, Ukraine on November 11, 2022Photo by Lynsey Addario/New York Times

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Reprinted with permission fromLucian Truscott Newsletter

With Russia-Linked Advisor, Greene Parrots Kremlin On 'NATO Nazis'

With Russia-Linked Advisor, Greene Parrots Kremlin On 'NATO Nazis'

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is once again being heralded as a hero after his impassioned speech on the House floor Thursday, during which he blasted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for, among other vulgarities, likening NATO to the Nazis.

"She talks about NATO Nazis. Does the minority believe that our allies in NATO, who are trying to defend the people of Ukraine are Nazis? Has it come to this?" Raskin asked on Thursday.

"She said the aid that the taxpayers of America are sending to the people of Ukraine to defend themselves against Vladimir Putin and the Russian army falls into the hands of Nazis. I want to see her proof. Where's her evidence?"

Pointing to an article on Rep. Raskin's remarks criticizing Greene, attorney, professor, and author Seth Abramson shed a great deal of light on the Georgia Republican Congresswoman.

"I wonder how many Americans know Greene did this," Abramson asked, referring to Greene likening NATO to Nazis, "less than 12 hours after the top primetime Kremlin TV program compared NATO to the Nazis."

"I also wonder how many Americans know that one of Greene’s top advisors has been a Kremlin-connected guy for decades," he added.

Probably not many.

Urging people to "Google both those things," Abramson writes: "Greene is advised by a Kremlin-connected individual in the same way that Trump was in 2016—and if you think it’s a coincidence she’s parroting Kremlin propaganda in real time the way Trump did you need to follow golf instead of politics."

He points to a March article at The New Republic titled, "How Republicans Spent Decades Cozying Up to Putin’s Kremlin," that begins: "The man who once worked to connect Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff to Russia is now chief of staff to Marjorie Taylor Greene. Any questions?"

It gets worse.

"Take Ed Buckham, the recently appointed chief of staff for Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene," The New Republic piece continues. "Today, Buckham handles a congresswoman who proudly attends 'white supremacist, antisemitic, pro-Putin' rallies, as Congresswoman Liz Cheney characterized them, and has become renowned for touting conspiracy theories about how the California wildfires were started by Jewish space lasers. On Thursday, when the House of Representatives voted to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, Greene, not surprisingly, was one of eight Republicans who voted against it."

Abramson also links to video, and writes: "And here is Kremlin TV calling NATO the world’s 'collective Hitler' just hours before Greene did the same thing while advised by a Kremlin-connected chief of staff. Greene has thrown in her lot with the Kremlin. She wants *election aid* from Russia."

Here's that video, which is subtitled in English:

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Russian TV: 'Preparations' Under Way To Get Trump Re-Elected In 2024

Russian TV: 'Preparations' Under Way To Get Trump Re-Elected In 2024

Propagandists on Russian state television told their public audience last week that the time has arrived to sever diplomatic relations with the United States and that the Kremlin is finalizing its "preparations" to interfere with future American elections.

The Daily Beast's Julia Davis reports that President Joe Biden's unwavering support for Ukraine has revitalized Moscow's appetite for manipulating the American electorate.Their objective, one of the individuals revealed, is to "again help our partner," former President Donald Trump, "to become president."

But Davis' takeaway was a little broader. While Trump is certainly a valued asset inside of Russia, Davis believes that "the real agenda of the Kremlin’s operatives was never limited to boosting any particular candidates, but rather aimed to harm America as a whole."

This line of thinking was evident in conversations that occurred among Russian President Vladimir Putin's "puppets" on state television, Davis found.

“With Europe, economic wars should take priority. With America, we should be working to amplify the divisions and—in light of our limited abilities—to deepen the polarization of American society," political scientist Malek Dudakov said on Thursday's edition of The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev.

“There is a horrific polarization of society in the United States, very serious conflicts between the Democrats and Republicans that keep expanding. You’ve already mentioned that America is a dying empire—and most empires weren’t conquered, they were destroyed from within. The same fate likely awaits America in the near decade," he continued. "That’s why, when all the processes are thawed, Russia might get the chance to play on that.”

Davis noted that the show's host, Vladimir Soloviev, believes that Putin's bloody war in Ukraine and the US's backing of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's government is a preview of an upcoming clash between the US and Russia that is only starting to heat up.

He lamented that Russia's ability to spread disinformation was significantly diminished when Russia Today was banned on American airwaves after Putin attacked Ukraine.

“I would act through various diasporas" to make up for the elimination of that channel for misinformation, Soloviev said. "For example, I would work with the Spanish-speaking media—since America is becoming predominantly Spanish-speaking, with the colossal influence of Latin America, I would work through their press, through those narratives, moving in that direction… they aren’t allowing us to work with American media directly, but we have many opportunities that we aren’t using thus far.”

Other chatter, however, went far beyond ideological battles, according to what Davis' witnessed on Soloviev's program just days earlier:

Pundit Karen Shakhnazarov: 'I would find it useful to break diplomatic relations with the United States. I don’t see any point in maintaining them. And that would deliver a crushing blow to Biden. There are plenty of people in the U.S. who say that he is bringing us all to the edge of nuclear war. That will be a strong signal.'

Soloviev expanded on that point, suggesting that Russia should just go ahead and nuke the US because that is the true nature of the war in Ukraine.

“De facto, we aren’t fighting a campaign against Ukraine, but against the entire West," he said. “Maybe it’s time we strike them?" he added, referring to the US, "since we’re already a pariah state, a war criminal if everything is so bad.”

Davis pointed out that "short of nuclear holocaust, it is now clear that Russia is focusing its efforts on distracting America from its foreign policy objectives by threatening to meddle in US internal affairs."

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

When Putin Strikes Ukraine, He Is Aiming For America

When Putin Strikes Ukraine, He Is Aiming For America

When Tucker Carlson insists there is no reason for Americans to distrust Russian President Vladimir Putin — and that his reputation for criminal brutality is simply fabricated by the "globalist deep state" controlled by George Soros — his rhetoric conceals the true source of friction between the United States and Russia. Having erupted in the bloody destruction wreaked by Putin on Ukraine, that uniquely alarming conflict will persist even if the world escapes the worst consequences now.

To understand this peril means setting aside the myths and lies promulgated by Putin's enormous worldwide propaganda apparatus and its operatives in this country — not just Carlson but former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon and a virtual army of the minions of former President Donald Trump.

Let's be clear: No matter what Putin or his apologists may claim, he didn't invade because of fears that Ukraine will join NATO, which he knows won't happen anytime soon. He didn't invade because he worries about alleged Ukrainian nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs, which he knows do not exist. And he certainly didn't invade because he fears that Ukraine is overrun with "Nazis," since he clearly doesn't much object to actual Nazism or any other variety of fascism. (To take just one example from among the many Nazis supported or tolerated by Putin, he has permitted the main neo-Nazi media outlet in the United States to operate from Russian territory for years.)

What troubles Putin and his ultra-nationalist coterie in the Kremlin is something much deeper. He believes that authoritarian rule in Russia is threatened by the example of Western democracies, whose people are accustomed to affluence and freedom that are enjoyed in his country only by the oligarchs who surround him (who mainly reside in American and European cities). Worse than Ukraine joining NATO, according to his worldview, is its urge to join the European Union — a symbol not only of Western power but of liberal democratic values. That was why he covertly financed the "Brexit" campaign that led to Britain's exit from the EU.

Naturally, Putin regards the example of Ukraine, with its improving economy and popularly elected government, as a menace to his own regime. Although Russia's living standards have improved during the past two decades, its gross domestic product still lags far behind much smaller nations such as Italy and France — and remains less than one-tenth the size of the United States. Russians are well aware that their authoritarian system incubates corruption like excrement breeds flies.

But simply denouncing Western democracy and materialism is a hard sell. So, in recent years, Putin has increasingly depicted himself as a defender of traditional Christian values against the supposed "decadence" of America and Europe, meaning that he persecutes lesbians and gays while proclaiming the mystical superiority of the Russian Orthodox church and a powerful new Russia that reclaims the lost Soviet empire. Although divorced from his wife and reputed to be a hedonist with a harem of younger girlfriends, Putin is well aware of how eagerly right-wing "Christians" accept hate as a substitute for actual morality. Anyone who has observed Trump's embrace by American evangelicals, despite his platoon of porn stars and Playboy models, knows that much.

What does Putin believe? Nobody but him may know and that scarcely matters anyway. His objectives are as clear as his bloody criminality — and his loud-mouthed media apparatchiks regularly enunciate his regime's hostility toward us. They exult in any setback for the United States, they imagine themselves rising with our destruction, they attack us covertly every day, and they persistently aim to divide Americans by race, region, religion, and partisan affiliation.

Vladimir Putin is an implacable and exceptionally dangerous enemy of the United States and of the values enshrined in our Constitution. Those who provide aid and comfort to his regime betray this country and those values.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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