WESTERN OPINION-FORMERS WHO MAY HAVE PREPARED THE GROUND FOR THE INVASIONS OF GEORGIA AND UKRAINE.

This is a repost from one I did about 18 August, 2019. The reason for it is because I just discovered that the Mail editorial team incredibly decided to support Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008.

This year the Mail/Mail Online and Mail on Sunday has published a series of news items about Russia’s evil behaviour concerning Ukraine. They have all served as defacto kremprop articles. Comments sections have been infected with trolls as vile as the subhumans who infest RaT/Sputnik.

Peter Hitchens has continued to provide his huge fan base with his usual kremlin-friendly slurry. I have inserted asterisks to highlight some of Hitchens’ most sinister claims:

Now back to the original piece:

Following on from these invasions they continually integrated kremlin lies into their own work in order to consolidate those invasions.

The first (possibly) in an occasional series from Egbert Spang.

1/ Peter Hitchens

Hitchens is a prolific, highly paid journalist for the Mail on Sunday and its sister paper the Daily Mail. He is a skilled polemicist who has quite often switched position. One position never changes though: his unwavering support for Russia and his seething hatred for Ukraine and Georgia. Since his job is highly remunerated and he is known to lead a Spartan lifestyle, one can deduce that his devotion is voluntary, rather than paid. In his early life he was a fanatical Trotskyite revolutionary. Then he joined the Labour Party. Later crossing over to the Tories, he then also left them, in order to become an independent far right winger with no (known) party affiliations.

Over the years he has produced an absolute torrent of articles that are highly supportive of fascist Russia. He is very cunning and uses words carefully to avoid accusations of openly being a shill. He has built a devoted following of putinoid scum who comment on his columns. Their stuff consists of unrestrained groveling to the tiny poisoner: effectively acting as the Zhirinovsky to his putler.

Why does this matter? The Mail is a huge site: the biggest of its kind in the world.

Back in September 2010, he went to Crimea and produced the following article. Like most of his stuff, it is skillfully written. But the intention is unmistakable. He wants the reader to come away thinking: ‘those poor Russians! So disgracefully treated by those rotten, ungrateful Ukrainians!’ The usual kremlin talking points are skillfully inserted. The ending is sinister and chilling. If this isn’t designed to pave the way for an invasion, then I don’t know what is:

27 September 2010

As Ukrainians force Russians to turn their back on their language and change their names, I ask, is this the world’s most absurd city?

Imagine some future Brussels edict has finally broken up Britain and handed Devon and Cornwall over to rule by Wales.

Imagine the Royal Navy, much shrunk and renamed the English Navy, being told it has to share Plymouth with a new Welsh fleet; that is, if it is allowed to stay there at all. Picture the scene as cinemas in Plymouth and Exeter are forced to dub all their films into Welsh, while schools teach anti-English history and children are pressed to learn Welsh. Street signs are in Welsh. TV is in Welsh. Police cars patrolling Dartmoor have ‘Heddlu’ blazoned on them, banks have become ‘bancs’ and taxis ‘tacsis’. Meanwhile, Devon and Cornwall are cut off by a frontier from the rest of England, closing down industries with English links, and people are issued with new identity documents with Welsh names. Utterly mad and unthinkable, you might say. And you would be right. But something very similar has happened in what used to be the Soviet Union, and we are supposed to think it is a good thing – because Russia is officially a bad country, and its former subject nations are therefore automatically good.

Remember how the world’s media reported on Kiev’s ‘Orange Revolution’, which lasted from November 2004 until the following January, with gushing approval? Remember how you were supposed to think the Orange-clad crowds were a ­benevolent expression of popular opinion? Remember talk of a ‘New Cold War’, in which wicked Russia was the enemy and ‘we’, the European Union, were going to extend ‘our’ rule deep into the former Soviet lands? Well, if there was such a war, we are busy losing it because ‘our’ side is misguided and wrong, and because it was always absurd to try to dislodge Russia and the Russians from the great plains of Ukraine and the shores of the Black Sea. In this part of the world, Russia just is. You might as well try to shift the Himalayas with a bulldozer.

If you thought that political madness in Europe ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, then you should visit present-day Sevastopol, perhaps the most absurd city in the world. Sevastopol belongs to Ukraine, but hardly anyone here is Ukrainian. Two rival fleets ride at anchor in its majestic harbour. Two rival flags fly from its public buildings. But now this absurdity may be – slowly – coming to an end. A few months ago, in a crucial event largely ignored in the West, Ukraine’s parliament voted to give the Russian navy a new long lease on its base in Sevastopol. This was the end of the flirtation between Ukraine and the West. It was greeted by opposition MPs with showers of smoke bombs and eggs (the parliamentary speaker sheltered under an umbrella, presumably a Russian one). I am not sorry about this. I always thought that destroying the old Communist Evil Empire was quite enough. Why did we then need to rub Russia’s nose in the mud?They are an old, proud people and most of them didn’t want to be communists. As for the defeat, anyone could see it coming. It always happens. Britain’s war in the Crimea in 1854 (launched by a drunken, half-asleep Cabinet in what seems to have been a fit of pique) was officially a victory, but all its gains were reversed less than 20 years later. So the Charge Of The Light Brigade was not just a blunder. It was a pointless one. Imperial Germany seized Ukraine in 1917, and lost it again the following year. Hitler’s Germany repeated the action in 1941, and we all know how that ended.

***Now the creation of a fanciful new country called Ukraine, less than 20 years ago, is running into trouble as many of its inhabitants prefer to be Russian. So why did anyone think it was a good idea to challenge Moscow, on the same repeatedly lost ground? Why are our airwaves and newspapers still full of scare stories about Russia, when the real danger to our independence comes from the EU, and the real threat to our peace and prosperity comes from rather further east? Why do commentators still peddle tales of a Russian menace, when Russia is a military weakling, its ill-disciplined forces largely equipped with scrap metal? I think our treatment of Russia since the fall of communism has been almost unbelievably stupid and crude. We complain now about the autocratic rule of Vladimir Putin. But it was our greed and our bullying of the wounded bear that created Putin and his shady, corrupt state. We insisted on humiliating the Kremlin, when Mikhail Gorbachev had kindly dismantled the communist machine.

***We sponsored annoying mini-states next door to Russia. We pushed the anti-Russian Nato alliance (who else was its target?) ever further eastwards as if there were still a Soviet threat. We flooded Russia with spivs and carpet-baggers, and called this disgrace ‘democracy’. Then we wondered why they didn’t love it. And still it is fashionable to posture in the think-tanks of London and Washington with babble about the need to ‘contain’ Russia, and to side with self-proclaimed people-power ‘revolutions’ in the capitals of Russia’s next-door neighbours. And if Russia objects we throw up our hands and gabble that a ‘New Cold War’ is in the making. No, I am not an apologist for Comrade Putin. I like Russia, and wish it had a better government. I think it would have done if we had been more thoughtful after 1991. But I am against stupidity in foreign policy, and this has been a particularly foolish, short-sighted episode.

Let me show you just how foolish it has been by taking you first to the beautiful Crimean seaport of Sevastopol, once the pride of Russia, now absurdly part of a supposedly independent Ukraine. I went there long ago, under tight escort and carrying a special permit, because this handsome city of white-pillared buildings, shady parks and mighty warships was then a secret, closed city, the most important base of the Soviet Union’s global navy. Not any more. Things are better, and things are worse. In two decades, Sevastopol has gone from being a sort of Stalinist Sparta, austere and warlike, to a seaside Babylon of pizzerias and nightclubs. Nearby Balaclava, once one of the world’s most heavily fortified submarine bases – where the boats hid from nuclear attack in a hollowed-out mountain – is now a rather tawdry seaside resort.

Most of Admiral Sergei Gorshkov’s ocean-going navy has long ago been scrapped and turned into washing machines and razor blades. Now, two navies compete for space in its harbour (designed long ago by a British admiral).One is Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, a shrivelled remnant that can just about sink a Georgian patrol boat (Georgia has a population of 4.7 million) but which has quietly conceded mastery of the Black Sea to Turkey. And this is supposed to be a threat to the mighty and prosperous West? Don’t take my word for it. Listen to a man I shall call Yuri, an English-speaking officer of the Black Sea Fleet, who mourned: ‘Yes, I remember when we had one of the world’s great navies – but these days we can’t even challenge the Turks for control of the Black Sea, for the first time in 200 years.’ What’s left of the Black Sea Fleet can be seen tied up in Sevastopol’s harbour. The seductive, sleek lines of the beautifully designed ships can’t conceal the fact that these vessels date from the age of the Ford Cortina and the Boeing 707. Several of the best-surviving ships now form part of the new, pro-Western Ukrainian navy, which shares the port with Russia – thanks to the wholly unexpected creation of an independent state of Ukraine.

***This sublimely silly development meant that Russia’s main naval base was suddenly in a foreign country, and its inhabitants became aliens in their own land. It gets more ridiculous. On one side of the harbour, a fortress bears the slogan ‘Glory to the Russian navy!’ A strongpoint a mile away is adorned with a banner proclaiming ‘Glory to the Ukrainian navy!’

Sevastopol’s deputy mayor, Pyotr Kudryashov, knows all about this rivalry. By an accident of history, his son Sergei, 30, and his daughter Anna, 35, are both serving at sea as naval officers – but Anna is in a Russian ship, and Sergei is in a Ukrainian one. Both wanted to join a navy, and each joined the one that was recruiting when they graduated. In theory, if the New Cold War ever turns hot, they could be firing missiles at each other. Mr Kudryashov, who thinks such a conflict most unlikely, jokes: ‘They get on very well – just like brother and sister.’ If you stroll down the city’s pleasant, sunny Lenin Street, past the elegant 19th Century naval museum, you will meet officers and men of both fleets strolling by in their crisp uniforms. The Russians, with their shoulder boards and hats the size of large pizzas, still look very Russian. The Ukrainians, in their crisp khakis, look almost exactly like US navy men on shore leave in San Diego. Both, of course, speak Russian to each other. But, thanks to the New Cold War, the Ukrainian sailors are supposed to speak Ukrainian. For Sevastopol, officially a Ukrainian city, is not very keen on its new status. Street signs are still in Russian. When I asked the waitress in a cafe to explain an advertising slogan on the wall to me, she shrugged in an entirely Russian way before replying: ‘How should I know? I don’t speak Ukrainian.’ Yet a few months ago the cinemas in the city were obliged by law to dub all their films, even those in Russian, into Ukrainian – which is slightly more unlike Russian than Spanish is unlike Italian. This only stopped because the cinemas were empty. The schools, though most reluctantly teach their classes in Russian, teach Ukrainian history, often with an anti-Russian tinge. As Yuri says: ‘It is infuriating for us, to have our children taught about how wicked Russia was.’

One particular annoyance is the hero-worship of the Forties Ukrainian partisan Stepan Bandera. Soviet history dismissed him as a ruthless brigand and Nazi collaborator. Most modern Russians agree. But the last President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, had Bandera proclaimed a national hero, as popular among Russians here as an IRA parade would be in Protestant Antrim. For this and other reasons, many Russians, especially navy families, send their children instead to a special Russian school – the best in town – built and paid for by Moscow in what looks to me like a direct ­challenge to Ukrainian sovereignty. There is even a branch of Moscow University here. Moscow maintains a sort of embassy in the heart of Sevastopol, cheekily sited not far from a rather provocative statue of the Russian empress Catherine the Great, also paid for with Moscow roubles. If all this is not ridiculous enough for you yet, meet retired Rear Admiral Vladimir Solovyov, former intelligence chief of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, now in charge of a welfare organisation for retired sailors.

The admiral, a stocky sea-dog type, says with a chuckle that he knows the East Coast of England well, as seen through a powerful telescope. He was a real Cold Warrior, but now says: ‘I don’t think modern Russia is strong enough to wield power the way the USSR did in the Cold War.’ These days his enemy is different. When this proud Russian recently tried to obtain a residence permit to retire in Sevastopol, he was told that he had been compulsorily awarded Ukrainian citizenship (and was now ‘Volod­omir’ instead of Vladimir). Having gone through hoops to become ­Russian again, he now has to leave the country every three months – or face being fined for overstaying his permit. He gets a Russian pension and lives in a Russian-owned flat. In all important respects, he is in Russia – but technically, he is a foreigner. Like many Russians stuck in a newly foreign land, he warns against attempts to turn him into something else. ‘They made a big mistake. We love many things about Ukraine, the food, the music, the culture, the literature – but when it comes to being told to watch films in Ukrainian, they went too far. And we have a right to see our children grow up thinking, speaking and writing the way Russians do.’

It is true that there are plenty of parts of Ukraine where people do feel and speak Ukrainian – mainly in the west around the city now called Lviv (though in the past 150 years it has also been the Austrian city of Lemberg, the Polish city of Lwow and the Soviet city of Lvov – in this part of the world you can move from country to country just by staying in the same place). But travel east, as I did, to the old coal-mining region of the Don Basin, and you will find out why so many Ukrainian citizens did not support the 2004 Orange Revolution. I went to the decayed town of Gorlovka. Independence has done little for this place. Cut off from its Russian hinterland and its markets, it is expiring. All around are dead slag heaps and ruined mines and factories, and tragic landscapes of collapse under a ferocious sun. Gorlovka’s coal mines and chemical works fed the USSR’s industries. Now they are mostly dead and the town – twinned with Barnsley in the Eighties – is nearly as bereft of its traditional industries as its Yorkshire opposite number. Sad, empty playgrounds are melancholy evidence of a city condemned to die. There is still a statue of Lenin in the main square but on its flanks are scrawled graffiti – a thing I have never seen before in the former USSR. The image of Lenin was once revered, and later hated, but never trivialised by drawings of Bart Simpson. The mayor, Ivan Sakharchuk, is proud of his treaty with Barnsley and also insists that there are no ­difficulties with being Ukrainian. I am not so sure. Nobody uses the town’s Ukrainian name of Horlivka. Many of the street signs are still in Russian. The names of shops are in Russian. The newspapers on sale are in Russian. In the rather smart Cafe Barnsley, the only beer on sale is Russian and the radio is tuned to a Russian station.

***I suspect the people are hoping for – and expecting – a Russian future.

10 comments

  • “in this part of the world you can move from country to country just by staying in the same place”

    Sounds like he is trying to make a joke out of occupation. I doubt the Ukrainians find much humor in his quip. I find it sickening that anyone…anyone…try to justify Putin’s imperial fascism.

    By the way, Sir Scradge, I heard an assertion on Tucker Carlson’s show that I find disturbing but it was just in passing so I don’t know the context but I heard him say, “Some Ukrainians are paid to hate Russians.” This clearly shows ignorance because Ukrainians have millions of reasons to hate Russians.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You forgot what I told you redders. Carlson is a vile pig who openly stated live on air that he was rooting for Russia in its war with Ukraine. He is of course a Trump supporter, as all the right wing putinoid scum are.

      Liked by 3 people

      • And Trump placed sanctions on Putin’s regime. So, go figure, Scradgle. Things don’t add up to what you wish they did.

        Liked by 1 person

        • What I wish? I wish Trumpkov was not a putler-groveler. I don’t object to his other policies. I could even have been a mild supporter. You accept that Carlson is a massive Trump supporter I assume? You accept also that he is a senior US cheerleader for the rodent’s fascist regime? You accept that all the most prominent Trump supporters in US media are also putinoid scum? (The only exception, as I have previously pointed out, is the blameless Mark Levin).
          Also I assume you accept that Trump pardoned a very long list of exceptionally evil criminals who all shilled for putler, including Manafort and Stone, who share equal blame with putler for everything terrible that happened subsequent to the time that they skanked Yanuk into office?
          FDR praised Stalin, Obama praised the Castros, but no US president has ever repeatedly praised a murderous fascist dictator and surrounded himself with friends who shill for said fascist dictator.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Yes yes I know the routine bro. All Trump supporters love Putin and all Socialists hate Putin…

        Liked by 2 people

        • If I may correct that statement Redders: all of Trump’s key supporters in US media are putler-grovelers, except Mark Levin. All socialists don’t hate putler: ALL the far left support putler simply because they want to wreck western capitalist democracy. The far left in America and Britain have infiltrated academia, which is why 33% of US students are sympathetic to communism. So far I have only identified one piece of putinoid scum in the Dems: Tulsi Gabbard and she is loved by the readers of pro-Trump sites. If you know any more, let me know?
          I thought that ‘The Squad’ might turn out to be putlerites, but so far the evidence is inconclusive.
          Also : see my reply to the ‘engineer’ troll above.

          Liked by 2 people

          • You are completely ignoring history friend. What ideology is most compatible with Putinism? Even Putin himself has said his ideology is similar to American Democrats. Meanwhile the Kennedy’s that went to Moscow around Reagan and told them to wait it out, the Sanders that honeymoon in Moscow, the Kerry’s that create back-channels, the Shultzs, Kings, Keisers, Hughs, Lavells, CNN types, Martyn Andrews’ and Durantys in the media that live their lives drenched in Socialism are given a pass.

            Liked by 2 people

            • I have condemned repeatedly all the people you name above. I hate Duranty more than any of them and never tire of recommending all supporters of Ukraine to watch the great movie; Mr Jones.
              Kerry and his friends at the top of the Dems all hate Israel. So much so that he revealed intel about Israel to Iran; putler’s client, just recently.
              It’s not news that the hard left supports Russia and putler. What is very new and disturbing is the level of support putler enjoys from GOP supporters, which has never happened before and is entirely down to Trump.
              Putler’s ideology is simple, but has evolved. He is a Marxist-Leninist turned fascist. A socialist who added nationalism to become a national socialist. Above all that though, he is a thief, a mass murderer, a liar and a dictator who wants to rule for life. He will likely try to manipulate one of his daughters into his succession plan. He has nothing whatsoever in common with the Dems or the GOP. Claiming similarity with the Dems is just epic trolling on his behalf. He hates them. He hated the GOP until Trumpkov came along. He will hate them again when God willing, they are ruled by Marco Rubio or someone with a similar position to him.
              How can I be ignoring history simply by pointing out indisputable facts about Trump and his top friends in the media’s open allegiances to the rodent nazi? Study what Carlson, Savage, Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham etc actually say about putler and what they say about Trump*.
              Because of his enormous popularity Carlson was even approached by the GOP to run in 2024. Carlson went on to double down on what he’d said previously; suggesting that the U.S. “should take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine.”
              Now that is dangerous, despicable and terrible. It should be more than enough for you to renounce all support for Trump. Especially as he endorsed the theft of Crimea.
              Since 2012, putler has been courting the main groups that make up Trump’s base of support. That includes white nationalists, but it also encompasses the gun rights crowd and evangelical Christians. He sent a skank named Maria Butina to open up back channels with senior members of the GOP in the run up to 2016. She did this by infiltrating the NRA. She even met Trump while she was busy sucking and fucking her way into a position of influence. Her mission was 100% successful. She was convicted and locked up. How the fuck did she end up back home so quickly and working for RaT? You should read up on her story and how this cheap little grifter made fools of the GOP.
              Trumpkov on putler : “I like him. He likes me.”
              “He’s a great guy”. And so on ad nauseoum.
              Your position on Trump in relation to Ukraine is untenable. With regard to his policies on the economy, immigration, terror (excluding Russian terror of course), Israel, Brexit etc, I am in agreement with him and you.
              *Hannity, another top Fox guy, is not an open putlerite, but has never condemned the bastard. Also the late Rush Limbaugh, a decent guy in many respects and absolutely loved by older GOP supporters, was incredibly outspoken about pretty much everything, yet strangely silent about putler. In all the endless recordings of him sounding off, you will never hear one word of condemnation for putler. Strange isn’t it?
              Finally, because I like to be scrupulously fair, I can commend Trump for one thing he got right on this related topic :
              ‘Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they were getting from 60 to 70% of their energy from Russia and their new pipeline, and you tell me if that’s appropriate, because I think it’s not. And I think it’s a very bad thing for NATO, and I don’t think it should have happened, and I think we have to talk to Germany about it.’
              Well, he didn’t succeed unfortunately. If only he had been as supportive of Georgia and Ukraine as he was critical about NS2.

              Liked by 1 person

  • Hitchens is a very strange bird. His brother was as well. It’s such a shame that things were not as he reported, and would have liked them, to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  • onlyfactsplease

    Unfortunately, we have numerous scum buckets in the West who openly support the fascist crime syndicate known as mafia land. However, it’s not only them that encourages mafia land to do the things that it does but more than enough Western politicians who think that only hot gasses from lame dialogue could restrain this trash country instead of the harshest possible sanctions and direct military aid for Ukraine.

    Liked by 3 people

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