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Donald Trump at G7: ‘Crimea is Russian because everyone there speaks Russian’

The Donald reportedly awestruck the G7 by what we all know – Crimea is Russia

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Donald Trump just blew the minds of G7 leaders, when he, according to Buzzfeed, casually said:

“Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.”

That one sentence was enough to trigger lamentation, and impotent helpless rage in the stenographers union, also known as western media. Trump also allegedly said that Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

According to Transparency International, after more than 4 years from the “revolution of dignity” Ukraine has 130 rank in corruption perception, among 176 states, “out-performed” by such countries as Guatemala, Nigeria, Turkmenistan and Somalia.

This is something Ukrainians are all aware of, as they suffer daily under a government that literally tried to legalize corruption.

NO JOKE: Ukraine coup regime introduces bill to legalize corruption

Buzzfeed claimed that Trump told this to G7 leaders via “two diplomatic sources”, who just so happen to be anonymous. Half of the sources the corporate media uses these days have been anonymous lately.

Still, it’s no secret Trump has been known to, at times, say reasonable things about Russia, as he seems to understand at least in theory, that ‘getting along with Russia is a good thing’. He certainly says it many times, but the jury is still out on whether he means it, or is actually capable of achieving better relations. To be clear, it’s not Russia which has done anything to cause the bad relations.

While we don’t have a video of Trump saying those words, he has recently spoken on camera about Russia in relation to the G7.

Specifically, Trump said:

Russia should be in this meeting. Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting. I would recomend Russia should be in the meeting, it should be a part of it. Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run, and at the G7, which used to be the G8, they through Russia out. They should let Russia come back in, because we should have Russia at the negotating table.

Trump was referencing the fact that Russia was expelled from the G8, which then became the G7, when Russia was accused of invading Crimea, even as it’s pro-Russian people voted to rejoin Russia in a democratic referendum. All that considered, Trump’s comment about Russia being in the G7, and his allegedly stating that Crimea is Russian, triggered the Western media, who just couldn’t handle the truth, and basic logic. Below is a tweet that sums up the western reaction:

Suffice to say, Trump saying that Crimea is Russian drove his haters, and the Russophobes crazy.

It must be remembered, however, that as of now, Buzzfeed is the original source for this story, even as it’s been reported on by RT, as well as many mainstream sites like The Hill, The Daily Beast, and others.

Ever still, without definitive proof, like a direct statement from Trump, or video evidence, we must remember that as of now, this is only based on reports.

It’s possible Trump said it, as he has been known to say surprisingly sober things about Russia occasionally, at least when compared to his colleagues.

It’s also possible it’s simply fake news, designed to get  #Russiagate cultists, and the #resistance movement “screeching”, as RT put it. Even if he said and meant every word of it, in this climate, and for that above reason, it’s highly likely he may deny it, or simply deny to comment on it, and so we may never know whether or not he said it.

Still, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s completely true. Crimea is Russia, however, Trump’s view seems to be only influenced by basic logic. He knows that the population of Crimea is mostly ethnic Russian, so it seems natural that Crimea is Russian, however there is more to it.

Ukraine itself, her people and her history, are in fact, Russian.

How are Ukrainians Russians?

And let me be clear, I am not saying that Ukraine is currently, or should (or should not) be a member of the Russian Federation. The only way for this to happen, is for the Ukrainian people to choose to join Russia, as Crimeans have already done. When I say Ukraine is Russian, what I am trying to say, is that it is Rusian.

Ukrainians are Rusians

Ukrainian cities, people, culture, and language are descended from Kievan Rus’, along with Russia and Belarus equally. These three peoples are all Rus’ folk. When I say they are Rusians, in this case, I do not mean Carpatho-Russian/Rusyn, though they to belong to Rus, but I am referring to the Ancient Land of Rus’, the first East Slavic State

Kievan Rus’ – ancient Russia

Ukrainians don’t deny that the ancient nation which existed on the territory of modern Ukraine was called Rus’. They claim it as their own, in fact, calling it Ukraina-Rus’ (adding the word Ukraine to it, which was not used historically for the nation).

The Borderland of Rus’

The word Ukraine, originally meant, and still means, borderland, a fact supported by even official Ukrainian language academic sources.

The word Ukraine even appears in a 16th-century translation of the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 19:1), called the Peresopnytsia Gospel, in which the word Ukraine refers to the shoreline, of either the Jordan River, or the Sea of Galilee.

Historically, the term for what Ukrainians considered “Ancient Ukraine”, but in reality was the motherland of Modern Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians equally, are Rus’.

Ukrainians do not deny their connection to Rus’, but they simply claim that they are true descendants of the citizens of this state, as opposed to Russians. That is absurd, if you think about it. The map below shows Kievan Rus’ was spread equally among the territories of the modern Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. How are Berlin folk more German than Bavarians?

Kievan Rus’ principalities in shades of green. Moscow is not yet a great city, but would be located near Vladimir-Suzdal.

If Ukrainians are Rusian, why are they called Ukrainian?

Ukrainians, or rather, the current forces in power, within Ukraine, claim that they are the true descendants of Rus, as noted, they think they’re more Rusian than the Russians. If one thinks about that for a moment, they realize it is ridiculous. If Rus’ is the state, then the obvious ethnonym for its people would be Rusian, or Rusky.

From Rus’ to Russia – Ot Rusi do Rossii

The extra s, in Russian, is a result of Russian people choosing to use the Greek spelling for Rus’ – Rossia, to reflect the belief that Moscow was (is) the Third Rome, when Ivan the Great married Sophia Paloelogos, the niece of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor.

Eventually, the term Rus’ in Russian began to refer to the ancient period, before Ivan the Great in the 15th century, and Rossia began to be used for modern Russia, from the Renaissance period onward.

It is obvious, however, that Russia is related to the word Rus’, and likewise, Belarus is clearly related as well, but how do you get Ukraine from Rus? Simple…you don’t.

The Ukrainian identity was pushed on the native people of the modern Western Ukraine (Galicia and Bukovina provinces), who called themselves historically Ruthenians (which is Latin for Rusian), but were encouraged to replace this word entirely with Ukrainian.

This was part of the plot of the Austro-Hungarian government, with the aim to root out in those people, their self identification as closely related to Russians, and their growing aspirations to join Russian Empire.

The grim history of Ruthenian oppression before WWI, and their mass repressions and murders in 1914-1917 by Austria-Hungary is comprehensively described by Rostislav Ischenko in his book “Galicia vs Novorossia: the future of Russian World

Different parts of modern Ukraine, after the 1300s, were occupied and ruled by many different powers, especially Poland-Lithuania and Austro-Hungary. It was from these Empires, that some Ukrainians developed a mentality that they were different from Russians. It was an intentional plan – divide and conquer.

Before that came to pass, Ukraine was a part of the Ancient Rus’, however, it was the invasion of the Mongolians that began the division, when Kiev fell in 1240, ending the Kievan Rus period. The territory of what is now modern Russia remained under Mongol Yoke, while the territory of modern Ukraine and Belarus would be dominated by Poland and Lithuania, who by the 16th century, would merge into a single state – the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Europe in 1402

During the Mongol-Tatar Yoke (1237-1480)  Russians had to pay tribute to the Golden Horde (Mongols) and Russian princes had to receive as confirmation of their power “yarlyks” from Mongol khans.

Still, Mongols did not intermingle much with Russians, nor did they attempt to change their religion in a major way. Mongols were steppe nomads, and unlike Europeans, they had little interest in physically occupying and culturally/ethnolinguistically assimilating Europeans, like Russians, who were too foreign to them.

They left the Russians be, so long as they accepted this vassal relationship, but this also meant that Russians would still be able to think independently, not being ruled by a people who wanted to ethnically erase them. There was still room for Russian national development, so Russia eventually overthrew the Mongols, when the Moscowite princes managed to reunite other principalities of the former Kievan Rus.

Ukraine, however, was not so lucky to be occupied by an Empire that did not care to meddle in their internal affairs.

From Rus’ to Ukraine

Culturally similar Slavic Poles, and their Lithuanian partners heavily influenced the culture, and day to day life of Ukraine, as they ruled and occupied it. Ukraine, or rather, what was the central and western parts of Kievan Rus’, was partitioned into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and their self-rule ceased to exist completely.

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled Ukraine, and began to try and change the people, to make them more similar to their Polish-Catholic overlords. This culminated in the Ukraine of Brest (1595-1596), a treasonous union, when the Vatican got some Orthodox Bishops to unite with the Roman Catholic Church, betraying the locals who were Orthodox Rusians (Ruthenians). They went to bed Orthodox, and woke up Catholic.

Reunification of Russia and Ukraine

Eventually, for this and many reasons, including severe economic oppression of Rusians, the Cossacks, Orthodox warriors who lived in the wild fields of Southern Ukraine united under Bogdan Khmelnitsky, and in 1654, drove the Poles away from the central Ukraine, and decided to pledge allegiance to the Russian Czar to reunite with Russia. When they resisted the West, and rejoined their people, Zaporozhian Cossacks (the ancestors of many Ukrainians), did in 1654, what Crimeans did in 2014.

Pereyaslav Rada of 1654, by Mikhail Khmelko “Forever with Moscow, Forever with the Russian People”

This map below shows the evolution of the Ukraine’s territory. Notice how Austro-Hungary eventually ruled far Western Ukraine, and the further west you go, the longer it was until union with Russia. Austro-Hungary kept control of Galicia and Bukovina, and it was from there, they forced many Ruthenians to identify as Ukrainians, in the 19th century, up until WW1. To be clear, there was no true ethnic difference between a Ruthenian or a Ukrainian, it was not like they were two separate nations.

The name Ukraine was rather a cultural project, designed to make Ruthenians forget their connection to Rus’, and make them more docile vassals of western powers.

They wanted them to forget all about ‘Holy Rus’, Great Rus’, Orthodox Rus’, and by extension, not wish to recreate Kievan Rus’, by joining with Russia.

This was described extensively by famous Russian-Ukrainian Saint Lavrenty of Chernigov.

Crimea

Crimea, which had been ruled by Tatars since the beginning of Mongol-Tatar Yoke, had never a part of Ukraine at any point in its history. It began as a Greek colony, and then became a part of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

In 1475, the Ottoman Empire conquered the Genoese colonies, and also the last bastion of the Byzantine Empire, the Principality of Theodoro, inhabited by Orthodox Christians (Greeks, Alans, Goths, etc.) by up to 200 thousand people.

The maps above shows the point at which Crimea was rejoined with Russia. Crimea’s history essentially goes, in a very abridged way:

  • Ancient peoples: Greeks/Scythians, Persians, 600 B.C to 63 B.C.
  • Roman Empire 63 B.C.
    • Eastern Roman Empire 800s to 1220s Mongol invasion. Tatars spread across all of the Pontic Steppe and Crimea.
  • Venise and Genose briefly rule in 13th century
  • Crimean Khanate begins in 1449, and continues until 1783
    • Between 1475-78, Ottomans invade, establish presence in what is now Southern Ukraine, Crimean khanate becomes vassal of Ottomans.
  • New Russian Period, Catherine the Great liberates Crimea in 1783, and Crimea joins the Russian Empire as a part of Novorossia.
  • Soviet period between 1921-1991
    • Khrushchev gives Crimea to Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1954
  • Crimea becomes a part of independent modern Ukraine in 1991
  • Crimeans vote to rejoin Russia in 2014

In short, as you can see, Crimea was never a part of any Slavic country at all until 1783, when it joined the Russian Empire. Crimea certainly was never a part of Ukraine in old history.

It is also worth noting that the accession of Crimea in 1783 was peaceful, the result of diplomatic negotiations between Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Crimean Khan Girey.

New Russia (Novorossia)

Effectively all of the cities in Southern Ukraine, including Odessa, Mikolaiv, Kherson, as well as Crimean Sevastopol, Simferopol, Yalta, etc. were built in this period (late 18th century) by the Russian Empire. They were NOT part of Ancient Kievan Rus, and much like the concept of “Ancient Ukraine”, they did not exist.

They were not part of the old Russia, or the Ukraine occupied by Poland, but instead, they were cities built in the frontier, in the borderlands and Wild Field, that during the Ancient Rus period was raided by Polovtsians (Cumans), Khazars and Pechenegs, and became New Russia in the 18th century.

For this reason, the southern portion of Ukraine was called New Russia (Novorossia), to contrast with Little Russia (Malorossia), which is the term used for the central region which was formally Kievan Rus’ (Kiev, Cherkassy, Pereslavl, Poltava, Chernigov, etc.

Ukraine is Two Countries

In the most simplistic of ways, you can say that when talking about Ukraine, you are speaking about two different countries: the East and the West.

Ukraine was once divided during the Polish period, along the River Dnipro into left and right bank Ukraine for this reason.

In general, this is an accurate division, reflected in Ukraine’s demographics, and mindsets displayed broadly across these regions. Indeed, the country  is historically divided into East and West.

While the West is distinct from the East, this does not mean that historically speaking, the West, even Lviv was any less Rusian than the East. The West was simply occupied for the longest period of time by Poland and Austro-Hungary, so the Russian culture was persecuted and suppressed  there the most.

Still, in Galicia, the far western region, in Zakarpattya (Transcarpathia), we can see the suffering of Russians quite acutely, in the persecution of the Carpatho-Russians, also called Rusyns, and their intellectual movement, the Galacian Russophiles, whose feelings of brotherhood with Russians can be summed up in the words of Father Ivan Naumovich. This Carpatho-Russian Priest wrote a book called “A Glimpse into the Future” which reads:

The time has come . . . to cross our Rubicon and say openly so that everyone can hear it: We cannot be separated by a Chinese wall from our brothers and cannot stand apart from the linguistic, ecclesiastical, and national connection with the entire Russian world!

Carpatho-Russians were brutally persecuted by Austria-Hungary for their culture and even mere possession of Russian literature. They were often under forced pressure to convert from ancestral Russian Orthodoxy to the Uniate Catholic Faith, and to identify as Ukrainians.

History repeats itself. For centuries the Great Pochaev Lavra was a fortress of Orthodoxy under years of Uniate persecution. There, Saint Job of Pochaev, together with Polish-Lithuanian Prince of Ruthenian blood, Konstantine Vasil Ostrogski, fought to preserve the Church Slavonic language, by printing the first book in this old Slavic tounge, when Catholics were trying to force everything to be served in Latin.

Those events in Western Ukraine were in the 16th-17th century, but that persecution never ended, and continued under Austro-Hungary and even into the 21st century.

A perfect example of this suffering, is the life of Hieromartyr Saint Maxim Sandovich, a Priest born in Lemkivshina, a Ruthenian land now in modern Poland. He studied at the great Pochaev Lavra, showing how history repeats itself.

Pochaev continues to grow today, with a new MASSIVE cathedral built and finished a few years ago

I wrote about Saint Maxim here, in an article graciously republished by the wonderful people at OrthoChristian (Pravoslavie.ru).

He was murdered in front of his family, and pregnant wife by the Austro-Hungarian authorities, and his final words were

“Long Live the Russian People! Long Live Holy Russia and all Slavs! Long Live the Holy Orthodox Faith!”

His story is a microcosm of what happened to the Russian people, when the Carpathian Mountains in Galicia became like a Second Golgotha, when the Rivers Tisa and Bug flowed with blood like the Nile. There, the Russian spirit was kept in bondage, and it still suffers greatly to this day. Luckily, the Russian Spirit is among the few which knows how to flourish like a phoenix in suffering.

Far Western Ukraine, however, has always been more hostile to Russian culture, as it was the birthplace of the Uniate sect, and later, where the Austro-Hungarians began their policy of Ukrainianization from the 19th century until WW1.

Famous WW2 Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, who united with Hitler, was a Uniate, and he continued this legacy of purging Russian culture from Ukraine. His “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists” (OUN) became the source of servicemen to Waffen-SS division Galicia.

Bandera envisioned the Ukraine as a classic one-party state, with himself in the role of führer (providnyk), and expected that a new Ukraine would take its place under the Nazi umbrella.

A declaration of Bandera’s union with Hitler

Bandera was officially proclaimed a Hero by the Ukrainian government in 2010 and idolized by ultra nationalists after the Maidan coup in 2014.

Uniates and Nationalists marching with Bandera portraits, and right sector (banned in Russia) flags, along with those of Sloboda party

It was the rise of this extreme neo-Nazism, which we saw in Korsun, Cherkasy region, in February 2014, when Ukrainian armed extremists attacked 8 buses with Crimeans, who participated in the anti-Maidan protests, and were returning home after the snipers massacre.

The Crimeans were brutally beaten, and the extremists allegedly killed some.

This was another event which caused Crimeans to want to leave Ukraine, and return to Russia.

It was the mass murder in Odessa, in May 2014, when scores of innocents, including pregnant women, were burned alive which convinced Crimeans that they made the right decision.

Four Years after Odessa Pogrom – Neo-Nazism still rampages in Ukraine

This form of extreme Ukrainian nationalism comes primarily from Far Western Ukraine (Galicia), and that is what makes the far west distinct from the near west and central regions.

Even to this day you can find people in Malorossia, and in Novorossia (a majority in Donbass), who feel they are brothers with Russians. Most speak Russian as a primary language anyways, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who does not have some form of relatives in Russia.

I would argue from personal experience, that the people of these regions are merely being silent about what they truly feel about Ukraine and Russia, taking the attitude of “Moya hata za Krayu” (it’s none of my business).

Many would express Pro-Russian views if they felt safer. You can still hear people saying: Россия, Україна и Беларусь, вместе мы – святая Русь – (‘Rossia, Ukrainina, i Belorus’, vmesto my Svyataya Rus’) or Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, together, we are Holy Rus’.

I have believed this since my earliest memories, and this is confirmed by the words of Orthodox Saints like Lavrenty of Chernigov, who was born in 1868 in Chernigov, Russian Empire, and reposed (died) on the Feast of Theophany, 1950, Ukraine CCP.

These regions could theoretically, in the future, unite with Russia, however Galicia (and some in Malorossia today) may never want that.

Many Western Ukrainians, however, truly see themselves as different from other Ukrainians, and Russophilia has almost been completely erased from history there.

While Far Western Ukraine can still be grouped politically and culturally with central Ukraine, generally speaking, it is the only region where Uniates are a majority in some areas, and where the Ukrainian nationalist sentiment is the highest. Galicia is very different from the rest of Ukraine.

Ukraine is Three Countries

As a result, Ukraine is really, more like three countries, rather than two:

  1. Little Russia – Malorossia, Central Historical region of Rus’)
  2. New Russia – Novorossia was southern and eastern Ukraine)
  3. Galicia–Volhynia – the far west, the only region ruled by both Poland AND Austro-Hungary. This region includes Transcarpathia.

Three Ukraines: note the small Yanokovich voters in Zakarpattia (transcarpathia) in the far west, the blue beside the massive red

Ukraine is best understood as a merging of several historical regions, all of them related to an extent, but some having more in common with neighboring countries (Russia or Poland), than they do with other regions of Ukraine. Ukraine is not a united nation-state.

Ukrainians in fact, have the Soviet Union to thank, for repatriating Carpatho-Russians from Slovakia and Poland to Ukraine, and forming the Ukrainian state, which would not have existed were it not for the Bolsheviks.

Despite the narrative about Soviet oppression (the Bolsheviks oppressed Russians the most of any Soviet people), the Soviet Union did what the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and Polish-Lithuanian Empires never could do – not only united the left bank and right bank Ukraine, but also substantially enlarged its territory, by assigning Novorossia (including Crimea) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic that they established.

Upon Khrushchev’s initiative, on 300th anniversary of the Ukraine’s reunification with Russia,  Crimea was transferred from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (that became Russian Federation in 1991) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in violation of the Constitution of the USSR, and without asking for the opinion of Crimea population, further complicating things, though Crimea was always predominantly Russian speaking.

I have written about the languages of Ukraine here, for those interested.

Ukrainian Leader says Half of Ukraine is Mentally Retarded

In conclusion, if President Trump truly said Crimea is Russian, he is very right. Crimea is Russian both by self-determination of its people, when they voted on 16 March 2014 for reunification with Russia, as well as obvious logic.

Crimea, was in fact, the site of the baptism of Equal-to-the-Apostles High King (Grand Prince) Vladimir of Kiev, beginning the period known in history as Holy Rus’ or Holy Russia.

Crimea has been filled with the stories of great Russians, like Saint Luke, the Archbishop of Crimea, who also happened to be not only a Physician, but one of the most talented surgeons in Russian history. Check out the above link to learn more. From a secular perspective, he was an amazing surgeon, and Christians believe his medical talents were in fact, miraculous. He created many unheard of, and lifesaving surgery methods for the first time in human history.

Crimea was once an Ancient Greek colony, leaving behind wonders like this Dormition Caves Monastery, which later was expanded on by Russian monks.

Crimea is a crucial part of Russian history and culture, and if President Trump recognizes that, he is not “siding with Russia”, he is simply being smart, by accepting the obvious fact which was always there. Crimea is Russian.

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Red Pilled ThoughtCrimesRastislav Veľká MoravaAM Hantsregolo gelliniCheryl Brandon Recent comment authors
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Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes
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Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

great detail

Rastislav Veľká Morava
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Rastislav Veľká Morava

Ukraine in Slavic Languages is ukrajina or u-krajina, which translates to “on the borderlands, part of a larger group” That is why it is a small “u” and it was/is called the Ukraine, even in the English Language.

So called “Ukraine” is an artificial country created by the Bolsheviks, with no basis in reality, and with no binding history.

AM Hants
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AM Hants

Slightly off topic, but, this article, so needs sharing and viewing. Does fit in with the above, just not covering Crimea.

A Young Russian Explains Why the West Reminds Him of the USSR
A lying media, suffocating political correctness, former Marxists now in the establishment… https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/young-russian-explains-why-west-reminds-him-ussr/ri23747

regolo gellini
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regolo gellini

Fantastic info that we in the West ignore completely . Thank you for a wonderful history lesson.

Cheryl Brandon
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Cheryl Brandon

$chumpinstein got it half right but, it is the geography that is also important which he left out!History was left out wilfully asm, $chumpinstein doe snot known anythiny about Russia except ; it is a great place to put a golf course/hotel???

RussG
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RussG

Fabulous article, and thanks for the history/geography lesson. Yes, Crimea is Russian without any doubt.

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Bercow blocks Brexit vote, May turns to EU for lifeline (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 112.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s latest Brexit dilemma, as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, shocked the world by citing a 1604 precedent that now effectively blocks May’s third go around at trying to pass her treacherous Brexit deal through the parliament.

All power now rests with the Brussels, as to how, if and when the UK will be allowed to leave the European Union.

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Via Bloomberg


Theresa May claims Brexit is about taking back control. Ten days before the U.K. is due to leave the European Union, it looks like anything but.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow’s intervention, citing precedent dating back to 1604, to rule out a repeat vote on May’s already defeated departure deal leaves the prime minister exposed ahead of Thursday’s EU summit in Brussels.

Bercow, whose cries of “Orrdurrr! Orrdurrr!’’ to calm rowdy lawmakers have gained him a devoted international following, is now the pivotal figure in the Brexit battle. May’s team privately accuse him of trying to frustrate the U.K.’s exit from the EU, while the speaker’s admirers say he’s standing up for the rights of parliament against the executive.

If just one of the 27 other states declines May’s summit appeal to extend the divorce timetable, then the no-deal cliff edge looms for Britain’s departure on March 29. If they consent, it’s unclear how May can meet Bercow’s test that only a substantially different Brexit agreement merits another vote in parliament, since the EU insists it won’t reopen negotiations.

Caught between Bercow and Brussels, May’s room for maneuver is shrinking. Amid rumblings that their patience with the U.K. is near exhaustion, EU leaders are girding for the worst.

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President Putin signs law blocking fake news, but the West makes more

Western media slams President Putin and his fake news law, accusing him of censorship, but an actual look at the law reveals some wisdom.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The TASS Russian News Agency reported on March 18th that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law intended to block distorted or untrue information being reported as news. Promptly after he did so, Western news organizations began their attempt to “spin” this event as some sort of proof of “state censorship” in the oppressive sense of the old Soviet Union. In other words, a law designed to prevent fake news was used to create more fake news.

One of the lead publications is a news site that is itself ostensibly a “fake news” site. The Moscow Times tries to portray itself as a Russian publication that is conducted from within Russian borders. However, this site and paper is really a Western publication, run by a Dutch foundation located in the Netherlands. As such, the paper and the website associated have a distinctly pro-West slant in their reporting. Even Wikipedia noted this with this comment from their entry about the publication:

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, The Moscow Times was criticized by a number of journalists including Izvestia columnist Israel Shamir, who in December 2014 called it a “militant anti-Putin paper, a digest of the Western press with extreme bias in covering events in Russia”.[3] In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to suspend online comments after an increase in offensive comments. The paper said it disabled comments for two reasons—it was an inconvenience for its readers as well as being a legal liability, because under Russian law websites are liable for all content, including user-generated content like comments.[14]

This bias is still notably present in what is left of the publication, which is now an online-only news source. This is some of what The Moscow Times had to say about the new fake news legislation:

The bills amending existing information laws overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Russian parliament in less than two months. Observers and some lawmakers have criticized the legislation for its vague language and potential to stifle free speech.

The legislation will establish punishments for spreading information that “exhibits blatant disrespect for the society, government, official government symbols, constitution or governmental bodies of Russia.”

Insulting state symbols and the authorities, including Putin, will carry a fine of up to 300,000 rubles and 15 days in jail for repeat offenses.

As is the case with other Russian laws, the fines are calculated based on whether the offender is a citizen, an official or a legal entity.

More than 100 journalists and public figures, including human rights activist Zoya Svetova and popular writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, signed a petition opposing the laws, which they labeled “direct censorship.”

This piece does give a bit of explanation from Dmitry Peskov, showing that European countries also have strict laws governing fake news distribution. However, the Times made the point of pointing out the idea of “insulting governmental bodies of Russia… including Putin” to bolster their claim that this law amounts to real censorship of the press. It developed its point of view based on a very short article from Reuters which says even less about the legislation and how it works.

However, TASS goes into rather exhaustive detail about this law, and it also gives rather precise wording on the reason for the law’s passage, as well as how it is to be enforced. We include most of this text here, with emphases added:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on blocking untrue and distorting information (fake news). The document was posted on the government’s legal information web portal.

The document supplements the list of information, the access to which may be restricted on the demand by Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies. In particular, it imposes a ban on “untrue publicly significant information disseminated in the media and in the Internet under the guise of true reports, which creates a threat to the life and (or) the health of citizens, property, a threat of the mass violation of public order and (or) public security, or the threat of impeding or halting the functioning of vital infrastructural facilities, transport or social infrastructure, credit institutions, energy, industrial or communications facilities.”

Pursuant to the document, in case of finding such materials in Internet resources registered in accordance with the Russian law on the mass media as an online media resource, Russia’s Prosecutor General or his deputies will request the media watchdog Roskomnadzor to restrict access to the corresponding websites.

Based on this request, Roskomnadzor will immediately notify the editorial board of the online media resource, which is in violation of the legislation, about the need to remove untrue information and the media resource will be required to delete such materials immediately. If the editorial board fails to take the necessary measures, Roskomnadzor will send communications operators “a demand to take measures to restrict access to the online resource.”

In case of deleting such untrue information, the website owner will notify Roskomnadzor thereof, following which the media watchdog will “hold a check into the authenticity of this notice” and immediately inform the communications operator about the resumption of the access to the information resource.
The conditions for the law are very specific, as are the penalties for breaking it. TASS continued:

Liability for breaching the law

Simultaneously, the Federation Council approved the associated law with amendments to Russia’s Code of Administrative Offences, which stipulates liability in the form of penalties of up to 1.5 million rubles (around $23,000) for the spread of untrue and distorting information.

The Code’s new article, “The Abuse of the Freedom of Mass Information,” stipulates liability for disseminating “deliberately untrue publicly significant information” in the media or in the Internet. The penalty will range from 30,000 rubles ($450) to 100,000 rubles ($1,520) for citizens, from 60,000 rubles ($915) to 200,000 rubles ($3,040) for officials and from 200,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles ($7,620) for corporate entities with the possible confiscation of the subject of the administrative offence.

Another element of offence imposes tighter liability for the cases when the publication of false publicly significant information has resulted in the deaths of people, has caused damage to the health or property, prompted the mass violation of public order and security or has caused disruption to the functioning of transport or social infrastructure facilities, communications, energy and industrial facilities and banks. In such instances, the fines will range from 300,000 rubles to 400,000 rubles ($6,090) for citizens, from 600,000 rubles to 900,000 rubles ($13,720) for officials, and from 1 million rubles to 1.5 million rubles for corporate entities.

While this legislation can be spun (and is) in the West as anti-free speech, one may also consider the damage that has taken place in the American government through a relentless attack of fake news from most US news outlets against President Trump. One of the most notable effects of this barrage has been to further degrade and destroy the US’ relationship with the Russian Federation, because even the Helsinki Summit was attacked so badly that the two leaders have not been able to get a second summit together.

While it is certainly a valued right of the American press to be unfettered by Congress, and while it is also certainly vital to criticize improper practices by government officials, the American news agencies have gone far past that, to deliberately dishonest attacks, based in innuendo and everything possible that was formerly only the province of gossip tabloid publications. The effort has been to defame the President, not to give proper or due criticism to his policies, nor credit. It can be properly stated that the American press has abused its freedom of late.

This level of abuse drew a very unusual comment from the US president, who wondered on Twitter about the possibility of creating a state-run media center in the US to counter fake news:

Politically correct for US audiences? No. But an astute point?

Definitely.

Freedom in anything also presumes that those with that freedom respect it, and further, that they respect and apply the principle that slandering people and institutions for one’s own personal, business or political gain is wrong. Implied in the US Constitution’s protection of the press is the notion that the press itself, as the rest of the country, is accountable to a much Higher Authority than the State. But when that Authority is rejected, as so much present evidence suggests, then freedom becomes the freedom to misbehave and to agitate. It appears largely within this context that the Russian law exists, based on the text given.

Further, by hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook, rather than prison sentences, the law appears to be very smart in its message: “Do not lie. If you do, you will suffer where it counts most.”

Considering that news media’s purpose is to make money, this may actually be a very smart piece of legislation.

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ABC’s Ted Koppel admits mainstream media bias against Trump [Video]

The mainstream news media has traded informing the public for indoctrinating them, but the change got called out by an “old-school” journo.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News reported on March 19th that one of America’s most well-known TV news anchors, Ted Koppel, noted that the once-great media outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post, have indeed traded journalistic excellence for hit pieces for political purposes. While political opinions in the mainstream press are certainly within the purview of any publication, this sort of writing can hardly be classified as “news” but as “Opinion” or more widely known, “Op-Ed.”

We have two videos on this. The first is the original clip showing the full statement that Mr. Koppel gave. It is illuminating, to say the least:

Tucker Carlson and Brit Hume, a former colleague of Mr. Koppel, added their comments on this admission in this second short video piece, shown here.

There are probably a number of people who have watched this two-year onslaught of slander and wondered why there cannot be a law preventing this sort of misleading reporting. Well, Russia passed a law to stop it, hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook. It is a smart law because it does not advocate imprisonment for bad actors in the media, but it does fine them.

Going to prison for reporting “the truth” looks very noble. Having to pay out of pocket for it is not so exciting.

Newsmax and Louder with Crowder both reported on this as well.

This situation of dishonest media has led to an astonishing 77% distrust rating among Americans of their news media, this statistic being reported by Politico in 2018. This represents a nearly diametric reversal in trust from the 72% trust rating the country’s news viewers gave their news outlets in 1972. These statistics come from Gallup polls taken through the years.

 

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