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Kiev regime may be trying to knock off Georgian mercenaries responsible for Maidan massacre

News reports suggest the coup regime is trying to tie up loose ends by eliminating anyone who might talk

Alex Christoforou

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(New Eastern Outlook) – It is not hard to read between the lines of recent news articles in the Georgian press about so-called Georgian fighters in Ukraine fighting on the side of Kiev. Apparently a cleanup operation is going on, not to eliminate the alleged pro-Moscow “separatists” in the East of the country but with some elements within the ranks of those who came to fight in Ukraine—on the side of Kiev.

Along with former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, they entered Ukraine to get another go at the Russians, closer to their home territory. Their presence there has nothing to do with Ukraine itself. The cleanup operation is a reflection of Georgian internal politics and overall US plans for the region, which Ukraine can do without being the theatre for.

Set up to be taken out

We are told by the above-mentioned Georgian link that a number of troops walked straight into an ambush, and that their Ukrainian commanders set them up to be eliminated by the separatists. This would be entirely consistent with previous developments in this story, as it is not new. We have been following it since 2014, and NEO and Veterans today were the first to report on the nexus between the indiscriminate murders in Maidan and Georgian-trained snipers, who mysteriously moved from Maidan Square to Syria, as if they would be interested in that conflict, on fake Georgian passports.

Those links were established, with supporting evidence, even before Gian Micalessin‏, an Italian journalist, claimed to have first broken the story. The lid had already been blown off through contact with Georgian army personnel who had been involved in training those snipers, and even one of the Maidan snipers himself. As Jim Dean of Veterans Today wrote, Micalessin’s story merely confirmed VT’s earlier reports of how outside mercenaries had been brought in to shoot up both demonstrators and security police in a classic Cold War psyop.

There has long been a practice of governments paying snipers to shoot people indiscriminately in Eastern Europe. Prior to August 2008, before the Georgian-Russian war, snipers operating in Georgia (some of whom were the same people), who had been trained by a US contractor, Archangel, were employed to kill civilians in South Ossetia. The important thing to remember is that “Often the people who do these whack jobs are “disappeared” afterwards to tidy up the official version of the event”. This explains what almost went down in Ukraine.

Ambush also a US operation

If these troops were set up by their own commanders, having been imported there by the US to begin with, that makes the ambush also a US operation. When such operations are alleged elsewhere we always find individual Americans suddenly appearing in ill-defined “support roles” and getting out after the dirty deed has been done. This is exactly what has happened in this case too, as we can identify at least two of these mysterious figures who suddenly took an interest in Ukraine.

There is a very big nexus with the “soldier of fortune” John Giduck, who claims to be a second generation Ukrainian-American who has travelled, worked and studied extensively in Russia and the former Soviet Union for almost twenty years. Many of his stories and tall tales have been debunked in recent years; much of his CV has been demonstrated to be faked, despite the high powered spin offered by some who are part of such schemes in response to the respected Washington Monthly in its March/April 2011 issue. But though various groups have proved Giduck a con-artist, he keeps showing up in places associated with the shedding of innocent blood, as in Georgia and Beslan, and this may be more than coincidence.

We should also notice the activities of a certain Brian Christopher Boyenger, who claims to be a former American paratrooper, joined the Ukrainian army’s Georgian National Legion and took part in active combat missions in the war-torn Donbass Region. As an Italian Journalist wrote,

“A few days before the Maidan massacre, Mamulashvili presented to the selected shooters a guy in uniform … he introduced him and told us he was an instructor, an American soldier. The US military man is called Brian Christopher Boyenger, a former officer and shooter of the 101st Airborne Division. “We were always in touch with this Brian – he was Mamulashvili’s man. It was he who gave us the orders; I had to follow all his instructions.””

An article in the US-controlled English language press in Georgia also describes Boyenger as a retired officer and former sniper from the US Army’s elite 101st Airborne Division, and further claims that he is the first US citizen to formally join the Ukrainian military in an official combat role since hostilities broke out against Russian forces and their ‘separatist proxies’ in April 2014.

Nor is the ambush the only strange involving Georgian troops in Ukraine. It has been reported that Georgian volunteers who have been fighting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014 have accused their commander of betrayal and abandoned the brigade they belonged to in the Ukrainian military.

“All but three of approximately 40 Georgian volunteers have walked away from the Foreign Brigade of Ukraine’s Armed Forces … and now “vow not to leave the war zone but instead merge with some other military unit,” said commander of the Georgian Legion Mamuka Mamulashvili.

Knowing your enemy

The infamous Mamuka Mamulashvili is a story in himself, which has been well documented. It involves Georgian snipers, the Georgian Brigade, and a bunch of CIA-sponsored hired killers who have attached themselves to him in some way. NEO partner organisation Veterans Today has even contacted Mamulashvili, giving him an opportunity to respond to an earlier article about him and the activities of Georgians in Ukraine, but not received a response, unsurprisingly.

It is not difficult to discover Mamulashvili’s history. One just needs to look at all the US and NATO-sponsored media outlets which write positive stories about him and how he got to Ukraine, where these stories are published and where they are not, and it becomes possible to build a picture of who his friends really are.

There is also the issue of where he gets his money from. As an irregular, Mamulashvili is not paid by the regular Ukrainian army, but nor is there any evidence that he has been hired as a mercenary, a paid combatant receiving a salary. As a volunteer soldier, he has to meet his own expenses, or get someone else to do that for him.

In Georgia Mamulashvili was not independently wealthy. Before going to Ukraine he worked for the Ministry of Defence as a paid advisor to Irakli Alasania. We know from previous press reports and documents this is the person the US wanted to take control in Georgia after Saakashvili crashed and burned, at least before Bidzina Ivanishvili became available.

But as the new government’s first Defence Minister, Alasania fired Mamulashvili and 30 other veterans during a so-called “reorganisation process” connected with either cleansing the department of the many involved in criminal procurements or bringing in new people whose pockets the minister wanted to line through another set of criminal procurements, depending on your point of view.

Mamulashvili has said publicly that he was not removed due to any reorganisation but because he was politically active. It is true that Alasania was not one to tolerate those he saw as threats, especially from within his own rank and file, so this is credible. However if we accept Mamulashvili’s own story, he was removed specifically for having connections with former president Saakashvili, and political and career objectives of his own which were somehow linked with Saakashvili.

If this is so, Mamulashvili is being paid by Saakashvili, or the tooth fairy, and supported by his media team. This in turn means that he is on the payroll of the Americans, as Saakashvili and the other wanted Georgians who were spirited to Ukraine made no secret of being on someone’s payroll.

Mamulashvili’s media connections clearly link him to the US Embassy, and to a team of foreign nationals based in Georgia who provide media support for the regime in Kiev – Vice News, VOA, former Peace Corp Volunteers and others working under the guise of running language clubs in Tbilisi and working for various NGOs.

Study in Scarlet – Enoch Drebber and Joseph Stangerson

Their names and connections are well known: Richard Delong, who was giving interviews with various German media outlets about Euromaidan, and had bragged about how some of his statements may end up in the film they are working on, and a French National, Remi Boissonnas, who is claimed to be the mastermind behind the Tbilisi cell that was involved with much of what transpired in Kiev and providing covering media support under the guise of Language Exchange Club Tbilisi, who were involved with Language Exchange Club Kiev, during the Putsch.

One member, the guitarist among this groups is perhaps a Mormon [well, he studied at their Brigham Young university in Utah] and he is VERY interested in Russian, linguistics, and his politics of Euromaidan, often quoted Saakashvili when he wrote to his friends.  “The people with you tonight are from the inner circle of Saakashvili and his team.”

We should remember that not that long ago there were plans for a pro-Saakashvili coup in Georgia, which was stopped thanks to friends in Turkish intelligence and the efforts of Veterans Today.

Knowing your friends and your enemies 

What has transpired in Ukraine is a threat to Ukrainian, Georgian, Russian and US national security, and for that matter, everybody else’s, but it has taken since 2014 for the full story to develop, even the extent of US involvement in these murders.

It is now clear, at least in retrospect, that Georgia should never have allowed its nationals to engage in Ukraine, a BIG mistake. However, it was an avoidable one. Those associated with Saakashvili’s rebels (boeviki) have actually been blessed until recently by the present Georgian government, which has always supported the Poroshenko regime in Kiev.

We know this because the US Embassy and State Department have approved of their activities, supported them financially and provided them with the necessary military hardware. Even if the Georgian government did not want this to happen, it wouldn’t have had a choice. This also explains how a number of young Georgians who didn’t have passports suddenly ended up fighting in Ukraine or Syria, and their families were told that the identity if the person who gave them their passport was classified.

Many of the individuals involved in supporting this conflict, they are complicit in the murders of these Georgian soldiers, worked in Kiev prior to being relocated to Tbilisi, and still move back and forth on a regular basis. It is easy to track them via their social media postings, Facebook, and those who know them personally. Not only the CIA uses Facebook and fake accounts.

As Jim Dean of Veterans Today best sums it up, “as for volunteers fighting in other people’s wars … most of them were like mercenaries everywhere, are in it for the thrill, the money, and stories to tell when [they] get home.” But a group of these volunteers have now found out the hard way that hard politics is a bigger driving factor in the Ukraine conflict, and the installation of the Kiev government, than any grievance anyone might have had which could lead to war.

It is easy to see why Georgians might want to fight in Ukraine, paid or not. Russia was seen by some of them as the common enemy, and the Poroshenko regime was presented as the popular response to alleged Russian attempts to dominate Ukraine through Yanukovych. The fact that Ukrainians themselves twice elected Yanukovych, and twice outside forces intervened to remove him, was not important. Georgians don’t place much credence in the results of elections, and with good reason given what they have seen back home.

But Georgian volunteers can’t act as individuals in the service of an army. They are integral parts of a political scheme, and that is something that we are not supposed to be able to connect. It is clear that many of them have bitter memories themselves of from Saakashvili’s years of misrule and terror. Kiev at first may not have cared who was running their units, or why, but they do now. Hopefully Georgia as a nation will too realise it has to act differently, times have changed, and it too must try to extricate itself from sending its own citizens to be murdered by their own comrades fighting in a conflict which doesn’t help Georgia in the least.

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Trump Demands Tribute from NATO Vassals

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO are a captive audience.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Regardless of whether one loves or hates President Trump at least we can say that his presidency has a unique flavor and is full of surprises. Bush and Obama were horribly dull by comparison. Trump as a non-politician from the world of big (real estate) business and media has a different take on many issues including NATO.

Many, especially in Russia were hoping that “The Donald’s” campaign criticism of NATO would move towards finally putting an end to this anti-Russian alliance, which, after the fall of Communism really has no purpose, as any real traditional military threats to Europe have faded into history. However, Trump as President of the United States has to engage in the “realpolitik” of 21st century America and try to survive and since Trump seems rather willing to lie to get what he wants, who can really say which promises from his campaign were a shoot and which were a work.

So as it stands now Trump’s recent decision to maintain and build US/NATO bases across the world “and make country X pay for it” could mean anything from him trying to keep his campaign promises in some sort of skewed way, to an utter abandonment of them and submission to the swamp. Perhaps it could simply be his business instincts taking over in the face of “wasteful spending”. Making allies have to pay to have US/NATO forces on their territory is a massive policy shift that one could only predict coming from the unpredictable 45th President.

The one thing that we should all understand, and which Trump perfectly and clearly understands, is that the members of NATO (and other “allies”) are a captive audience, especially Germany, Japan and South Korea, which “coincidentally” are the first set of countries that will have to pay the “cost + 50%” to keep bases and US soldiers on their soil. Japan’s constitution, written primarily by American occupation forces forbids them from having a real military which is convenient for Trump’s plan. South Korea, although a very advanced and wealthy nation has no choice but to hide behind the US might because if it were to disappear overnight, then Gangnam would be filled with pictures of the Kim family within a few weeks.

In the past with regard to these three countries NATO has had to keep up the illusion of wanting to “help” them and work as “partners” for common defense as if nuclear and economic titan America needs countries like them to protect itself. Trump whether consciously or not is changing the dynamic of US/NATO occupation of these territories to be much more honest. His attitude seems to be that the US has the possibility to earn a lot of money from a worldwide mafia-style protection scam. Vassals have no choice but to pay the lord so Trump wants to drop the illusions and make the military industrial complex profitable again and God bless him for it. This level of honesty in politics is refreshing and it reflects the Orange Man’s pro-business and “America will never be a socialist country” attitude. It is blunt and ideologically consistent with his worldview.

On the other hand, one could look at this development as a possible move not to turn NATO into a profitable protection scam but as a means to covertly destroy it. Lies and illusion in politics are very important, people who believe they are free will not rebel even if they have no freedom whatsoever. If people are sure their local leaders are responsible for their nation they will blame them for its failings rather than any foreign influence that may actually be pulling the real strings.

Even if everyone in Germany, Japan and South Korea in their subconscious knows they are basically occupied by US forces it is much harder to take action, than if the “lord” directly demands yearly tribute. The fact that up to this point US maintains its bases on its own dime sure adds to the illusion of help and friendship. This illusion is strong enough for local politicians to just let the status quo slide on further and further into the future. Nothing is burning at their feet to make them act… having to pay cost + 50% could light that fire.

Forcing the locals to pay for these bases changes the dynamic in the subconscious and may force people’s brains to contemplate why after multiple-generations the former Axis nations still have to be occupied. Once occupation becomes expensive and uncomfortable, this drops the illusion of friendship and cooperation making said occupation much harder to maintain.

South Korea knows it needs the US to keep out the North but when being forced to pay for it this may push them towards developing the ability to actually defend themselves. Trump’s intellectual “honesty” in regards to NATO could very well plant the necessary intellectual seeds to not just change public opinion but make public action against US/NATO bases in foreign countries. Japan has had many protests over the years against US bases surging into the tens of thousands. This new open vassal status for the proud Japanese could be the straw to break the camel’s back.

Predicting the future is impossible. But it is clear that, changing the fundamental dynamic by which the US maintains foreign bases in a way that will make locals financially motivated to have them removed, shall significantly affect the operations of US forces outside the borders of the 50 States and make maintaining a global presence even more difficult, but perhaps this is exactly what the Orange Man wants or is just too blind to see.

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High-ranking Ukrainian official reports on US interference in Ukraine

It is not usually the case that an American media outlet tells the truth about Ukraine, but it appears to have happened here.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Hill committed what may well have been a random act of journalism when it reported that Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Hill.tv’s reporter John Solomon that the American ambassador to that country, Marie Yovanovitch, gave him a “do not prosecute” list at their first meeting.

Normally, all things Russia are covered by the American press as “bad”, and all things Ukraine are covered by the same as “good.” Yet this report reveals quite a bit about the nature of the deeply embedded US interests that are involved in Ukraine, and which also attempt to control and manipulate policy in the former Soviet republic.

The Hill’s piece continues (with our added emphases):

“Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,” Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

“My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime,” he continued.

Indeed, the Prosecutor General appears to be a man of some principles. When this report was brought to the attention of the US State Department, the response was predictable:

The State Department called Lutsenko’s claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, “an outright fabrication.” 

“We have seen reports of the allegations,” a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. “The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects.”

This is an amazing statement in itself. “Our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer”? Are Americans even aware that their country is spending their tax dollars in an effort to manipulate a foreign government in what can probably well be called a low-grade proxy war with the Russian Federation? Again, this appears to be a slip, as most American media do a fair job of maintaining the narrative that Ukraine is completely independent and that its actions regarding the United States and Russia are taken in complete freedom.

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that “the situation was actually rather strange” and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but “never received.”

“At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue,” he said. “At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy.”

“Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts,” he said. “The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general’s office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem.”

“The portion of the funds, namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General’s office. But we have never received it,” he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who was at the time House Rules Committee chairman, voiced concerns about Yovanovitch in a letter to the State Department last year in which he said he had proof the ambassador had spoken of her “disdain” for the Trump administration.

This last sentence may be a way to try to narrow the scope of American interference in Ukraine down to the shenanigans of just a single person with a personal agenda. However, many who have followed the story of Ukraine and its surge in anti-Russian rhetoric, neo-Naziism, ultra-nationalism, and the most recent events surrounding the creation of a pseudo-Orthodox “church” full of Ukrainian nationalists and atheists as a vehicle to import “Western values” into a still extremely traditional and Christian land, know that there are fingerprints of the United States “deep state” embeds all over this situation.

It is somewhat surprising that so much that reveals the problem showed up in just one report. It will be interesting to see if this gets any follow-up in the US press.

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President Putin’s anti-fake news law is brilliant, 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. This law is brilliant, for it hits the would-be slanderer right where it counts – in the pocketbook.

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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