Connect with us

RussiaFeed

News

Politics

Navalny’s latest Moscow protest was a total FAIL

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

0 Views

Much to the disappointment of the Western media, which has been building up the – illegal – run of the Russian ‘non-system’ neoliberal opposition politician Alexey Navalny in March’s Presidential election for more than a year, the protests he called on Sunday 28th January 2018 fizzled out to practically nothing.

Lest anyone think this is my assessment, here is the assessment of the protests given by Russia’s Human Rights Council as reported by Russia’s official news agency TASS

About 5,000 people took part in rallies organized by Russian opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny across Russia, chairman of the presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, told TASS on Sunday.

“According to preliminary data, about 5,000 people took part in rallies of Alexei Navalny’s supporters, both authorized and unauthorized,” he said, adding that final data would be available when all public rallies were over.

He called on both Navalny’s supporters and the authorities to demonstrate restraint. “Rallies are still going on and I call on both side to show restraint and observe laws,” he stressed.

Kirill Kabanov, a council member, said earlier the unauthorized rally in Moscow had brought together 400 people, including reporters.

 According to the official website of the human rights council, about 1,000 people took part in Navalny’s rally in Yekaterinburg, about 600 people – in Novosibirsk, some 550 – in Nizhny Novgorod, 380 – in Perm, 350 – in Chelyabinsk, 270 – in Omsk, 230 – in Saratov, 220 – in Samara, 205 – in Krasnoyarsk, 200 – in Tomsk, 200 – in Vladivostok, 190 – in Irkutsk, 150 – in Khabarovsk, 150 – in Barnaul, 150 – in Kemerovo, 120 – in Izhevsk, 115 – Tyumen, 100 – in Orenburg, 80 – in Kurgan, 70 – in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, 63 – in Chita, 60 – in Ulan-Ude, 50 – in Astrakhan, 35 – in Yakutsk, 35 – in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 20 – in Magadan, 16 – in Blagoveshchensk, and one person – in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Russia’s Human Rights Council stands at the extreme liberal end of the Russian political establishment.
Not only did it actively campaign for the release of the then jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but it also published a report claiming that Sergey Magnitsky, William Browder’s associate and the person who is at the focus of the so-called Magnitsky scandal, was mistreated and probably tortured by the Russian authorities and that this was the cause of his death.
The report of Human Rights Council on the causes of Magnitsky’s death has been challenged by a different report by Russia’s Investigative Committee, which unlike the Human Rights Council is a police and investigative agency.  It concluded that Magnitsky had died because of negligent treatment by the prison authorities of a pre-existing medical condition.
Western governments have however unsurprisingly preferred the Human Rights Council’s report, which is cited in the preamble of the US’s Magnitsky Law.
More recently the Human Rights Council had a long and heated meeting with President Putin on 30th October 2017, over the course of which the well know former Soviet dissident Lyudmila Alekseyevna lobbied on behalf of Nikita Belykh, the former Governor of the Kirov Region who is being prosecuted on fraud charges, whilst other members of the Human Rights Council brought up subjects close to Russian liberal hearts such the murder of the liberal politician Boris Nemtsov, the supposedly ‘hysterical’ nationalist atmosphere in Russia, and the alleged denial by the authorities in St. Petersburg of venues for protests called by none other than Navalny himself.
The members of the Human Rights Council are not therefore in any sense the sort of people who would be expected to downplay the size of any protests called by a liberal ‘non-system’ politician like Navalny.  On the contrary they are far more likely to overstate their size and significance of the protests rather than downplay them.
Their estimate that the total number of people taking part in the protests called was 5,000 across the whole of Russia must therefore be treated if not exactly as definitive then at least as authoritative, even if the estimate of 400 people at the Moscow protest is almost certainly too low (other estimates put the size of this protest at between 1,000 and 1,500 people)
A protest wave totalling 5,000 to 6,000 people in a country of 144 million people hardly qualifies as a protest wave at all.  As my colleague Seraphim Hanisch correctly says, it is not even newsworthy, and if it happened in any other country it would almost certainly not be reported at all.
Even Navalny’s most fervid supporters in the Western media have been unable to conceal their disappointment.  Here is a typical description of the protests in a report by Reuters

The numbers attending Sunday’s protests across Russia — some shouting “Putin is a thief” — appeared lower than previous demonstrations staged by Navalny, Reuters reporters said, suggesting momentum may have shifted away from him.

(bold italics added)

The whole Navalny phenomenon serves as a case study of Western wishful thinking about Russia.

 A bizarre editorial published today by the Times of London – obviously written in anticipation of much bigger protests on Sunday – highlights the extent of this.  It makes the simply extraordinary claim that Navalny is more in tune with the opinions of Russians than is Vladimir Putin

After 18 years of Putinism, the country’s political process has all the verve of the Novodevichy cemetery.

It is no triumph to rule over a forcibly becalmed people. Mr Putin has yet to come up with an election programme. There are hints of a readiness to make some kind of peace in Ukraine and rebuild relations with the West to ease sanctions. But even this suggests that the president is more concerned with enriching his courtiers than improving the lot of the Russian people.

The core issues are those being addressed by Mr Navalny. In unashamedly populist style, he has highlighted the feathered lifestyle of the oligarchs, promising “hospitals and roads instead of palaces for officials”. Uprooting corruption, he says, will free up cash for education and healthcare. Courts will become more independent, media given more freedom, safeguards introduced for competitive elections. There will, he promises, be a generous minimum wage and subsidised loans to allow more young people to buy homes.

The programme may not be realistic but it addresses the concerns of the middle class — the garage owners who are fed up with paying bribes, the entrepreneurs squeezed out by fixed procurement contracts, and young families in small towns who just want better schooling for their children.

Mr Putin has neglected such concerns. If he thinks Mr Navalny is a charlatan, he should fight him on the election stump. Instead, he sends in his goons and in doing so says everything Russians need to know about the hollowness of his rule.

To suppose that Navalny, who can bring out crowds of no more than 5,000 to 6,000 people across the whole of Russia, is more in tune with public opinion in Russia than Vladimir Putin, who has an approval rating of over 80%, is not just outlandish; it is positively fantastic.

Even as propaganda it is simply too ridiculous to work.

Yet this is the delusional thinking which underpins far too much Western reporting of Russia.

Before leaving the subject of Sunday’s protests a few further points about Navalny need to be made:

(1) The constant practice in both the Western and even in parts of the Russian media of saying that Navalny has been ‘banned’ from standing in the Presidential election needs to be seriously challenged.

Navalny was not ‘banned’ from standing in the election since he was not eligible to stand in the election in the first place.

Navalny is not eligible to stand in the election because he has two unspent criminal convictions both of which come with suspended prison sentences, and his standing in the election as a result of these convictions would be contrary to the provisions of Russia’s constitution and election laws.

Russia’s Electoral Commission – chaired by the liberal former Yeltsin era government minister Ella Pamfilova – has ruled as much, as have Russia’s Supreme Court and – more recently – its Constitutional Court.

Given this clear legal position – which is by the way the same in most countries – these institutions had no choice but to make the rulings that they did since for them to have done otherwise in order to allow Navalny to stand would have broken the law.

As I have discussed previously, Navalny, who is by training a lawyer, undoubtedly knows this. His entire ‘election campaign’ was therefore phoney from the start, notwithstanding which he persisted in it, and raised money from the public in support of it.

(2) One of the reasons why the protests Navalny calls are invariably small – and this was also true by the way of his ‘bigger’ protests last year – is because he persists, completely unnecessarily, in staging his protests illegally.

In the case of the Moscow protest yesterday the Moscow city authorities offered Navalny two legal venues where he could have held his protest legally and peacefully.

Instead, in wilful contempt of the law, Navalny chose to stage his protest illegally along Tverskaya – just as he did a year ago – disregarding the fact that this is not only a key traffic artery but is also Moscow’s main street running through the heart of Moscow’s business and entertainment district and therefore likely to be full of ordinary people going about their normal business on a Sunday.

In the event the police on this occasion took little action other than arrest Navalny himself, obviously because the size of the crowd (estimates range between 400 and 1,500) was too small to affect Moscow’s normal life.

It is a consistent fact of Russian political life that in this very orderly and law abiding country Russians will not turn out in large numbers for protests which are staged illegally.

It has long been my opinion that one of the principal reasons why the opposition protests in 2011 to 2012 were so much larger than usual was not because there was any significant increase in pro-opposition sentiment at that time but because in a change to their usual tactics the protest leaders – including Navalny himself – decided to conduct their protests legally in the venues offered by the authorities.

That meant that many more people turned up than would have been the case if the protests had continued to be staged illegally.

By contrast Navalny’s persistent habit since the end of the 2011 to 2012 protests of staging his protests illegally means that far fewer people attend them than might otherwise do.

This pattern of persistent law breaking is incidentally very characteristic of Navalny, both in his business dealings – as shown by his two convictions – and in his political activities – as shown by his running and raising money for a phoney election campaign and by his persistent habit of staging illegal protests.

The reality is that far from Navalny being harassed by the Russian authorities in the way that the editorial in the Times of London says, they actually treat him with kid gloves.

Despite two criminal convictions, repeated and flagrant violations of his bail conditions and of the conditions of his two suspended prison sentences, and despite an almost unending succession of public order offences, he has never served any significant time in prison.

Nor have the Russian authorities taken any step to suppress his blog.

A cynic would say that the Russian authorities have no reason to act otherwise since Navalny’s behaviour makes the case against him for them.

(3) It has become increasingly clear over the last year that the primary motive for Navalny’s behaviour is not to challenge Vladimir Putin for the Presidency. As the Times of London admits in its editorial even Navalny himself acknowledges that he has no chance of winning an election against Putin in any circumstance.

Rather Navalny’s primary motivation is to preserve his position as the de facto leader of Russia’s ‘non-system’ liberal opposition by preventing any alternative leader from emerging.

His real purpose in running a phoney election campaign and in staging illegal protests is to take attention away from other liberal ‘non-system’ politicians who might otherwise attract attention so as to keep attention focused on himself.

That is why he is now calling for an election boycott.

If Navalny were a serious politician really interested in building up a strong liberal opposition to the government in Russia he would not have run a phoney Presidential campaign and would not now be calling for a boycott.

He would be supporting other legally eligible liberal ‘non-system’ candidates for the Presidency such as Grigory Yavlinsky or Ksenia Sobchak, and would be campaigning on their behalf.

Navalny’s call for a boycott is instead calculated to reduce their vote, and to be clear that is unquestionably its purpose.  As Navalny knows perfectly well, it is liberal candidates like Yavlinsky and Sobchak who are most likely to be hurt by a boycott of the election by the sort of liberal voters who are most likely to heed Navalny call, whereas Putin’s prospects of being resoundingly re-elected are not going to be affected by any call Navalny makes for a boycott in the slightest.

This fact is very well understood by other liberal ‘non-system’ politicians in Russia even it is completely lost on Russian affairs ‘commentators’ in the West, which explains why so few of them have any time for Navalny.

I am not sympathetic to the liberal ‘non-system’ opposition in Russia.

These people had their chance in the 1990s when they failed disastrously.

Since then they have shown no regrets for what happened and have made no acknowledgement of their failure, and nor have they given the slightest sign that they have learnt anything from it.

At the same time I acknowledge as a political fact that there is a certain percentage of the Russian population which shares their views, though how large it is it is difficult to say.  Claims that it is as much as 10-15% of the Russian population are I am sure over-estimates, but there is no doubt these people exist, and that they have a right and indeed a need to be represented.

That Navalny is not the person to represent them or to provide them with political leadership should by now be obvious.

On the contrary the way Navalny conducts himself serves only to divide and discredit further a liberal ‘non-system’ opposition which is already divided and discredited.  As a result it remains locked in the political ghetto it has been in ever since it lost power in the 1990s.

The fact that Western governments and the Western media – who presumably want to see Russia’s liberal ‘non-system’ opposition win – are unable to see this, and continue to support Navalny despite the damage he is doing to the liberal ‘non-system’ opposition that he pretends to lead only shows how little they understand Russian politics or indeed Russia.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Is the Violent Dismemberment of Russia Official US Policy?

Neocons make the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

The Duran

Published

on

Authored by Erik D’Amato via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity:


If there’s one thing everyone in today’s Washington can agree on, it’s that whenever an official or someone being paid by the government says something truly outrageous or dangerous, there should be consequences, if only a fleeting moment of media fury.

With one notable exception: Arguing that the US should be quietly working to promote the violent disintegration and carving up of the largest country on Earth.

Because so much of the discussion around US-Russian affairs is marked by hysteria and hyperbole, you are forgiven for assuming this is an exaggeration. Unfortunately it isn’t. Published in the Hill under the dispassionate title “Managing Russia’s dissolution,” author Janusz Bugajski makes the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have simply reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow’s neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed, one that nourishes Russia’s decline and manages the international consequences of its dissolution.

Like many contemporary cold warriors, Bugajski toggles back and forth between overhyping Russia’s might and its weaknesses, notably a lack of economic dynamism and a rise in ethnic and regional fragmentation.But his primary argument is unambiguous: That the West should actively stoke longstanding regional and ethnic tensions with the ultimate aim of a dissolution of the Russian Federation, which Bugajski dismisses as an “imperial construct.”

The rationale for dissolution should be logically framed: In order to survive, Russia needs a federal democracy and a robust economy; with no democratization on the horizon and economic conditions deteriorating, the federal structure will become increasingly ungovernable…

To manage the process of dissolution and lessen the likelihood of conflict that spills over state borders, the West needs to establish links with Russia’s diverse regions and promote their peaceful transition toward statehood.

Even more alarming is Bugajski’s argument that the goal should not be self-determination for breakaway Russian territories, but the annexing of these lands to other countries. “Some regions could join countries such as Finland, Ukraine, China and Japan, from whom Moscow has forcefully appropriated territories in the past.”

It is, needless to say, impossible to imagine anything like this happening without sparking a series of conflicts that could mirror the Yugoslav Wars. Except in this version the US would directly culpable in the ignition of the hostilities, and in range of 6,800 Serbian nuclear warheads.

So who is Janusz Bugajski, and who is he speaking for?

The author bio on the Hill’s piece identifies him as a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. But CEPA is no ordinary talk shop: Instead of the usual foundations and well-heeled individuals, its financial backers seem to be mostly arms of the US government, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the US Mission to NATO, the US-government-sponsored National Endowment for Democracy, as well as as veritable who’s who of defense contractors, including Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Textron. Meanwhile, Bugajski chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State.

To put it in perspective, it is akin to a Russian with deep ties to the Kremlin and arms-makers arguing that the Kremlin needed to find ways to break up the United States and, if possible, have these breakaway regions absorbed by Mexico and Canada. (A scenario which alas is not as far-fetched as it might have been a few years ago; many thousands in California now openly talk of a “Calexit,” and many more in Mexico of a reconquista.)

Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine a quasi-official voice like Bugajski’s coming out in favor of a similar policy vis-a-vis China, which has its own restive regions, and which in geopolitical terms is no more or less of a threat to the US than Russia. One reason may be that China would consider an American call for secession by the Tibetans or Uyghurs to be a serious intrusion into their internal affairs, unlike Russia, which doesn’t appear to have noticed or been ruffled by Bugajski’s immodest proposal.

Indeed, just as the real scandal in Washington is what’s legal rather than illegal, the real outrage in this case is that few or none in DC finds Bugajski’s virtual declaration of war notable.

But it is. It is the sort of provocation that international incidents are made of, and if you are a US taxpayer, it is being made in your name, and it should be among your outrages of the month.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

At Age 70, Time To Rethink NATO

The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

Published

on

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


“Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.”

So said President Charles De Gaulle, who in 1966 ordered NATO to vacate its Paris headquarters and get out of France.

NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The young girl of 1966 is no longer young. The alliance is 70 years old.

And under this aging NATO today, the U.S. is committed to treat an attack on any one of 28 nations from Estonia to Montenegro to Romania to Albania as an attack on the United States.

The time is ripe for a strategic review of these war guarantees to fight a nuclear-armed Russia in defense of countries across the length of Europe that few could find on a map.

Apparently, President Donald Trump, on trips to Europe, raised questions as to whether these war guarantees comport with vital U.S. interests and whether they could pass a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

The shock of our establishment that Trump even raised this issue in front of Europeans suggests that the establishment, frozen in the realities of yesterday, ought to be made to justify these sweeping war guarantees.

Celebrated as “the most successful alliance in history,” NATO has had two histories. Some of us can yet recall its beginnings.

In 1948, Soviet troops, occupying eastern Germany all the way to the Elbe and surrounding Berlin, imposed a blockade on the city.

The regime in Prague was overthrown in a Communist coup. Foreign minister Jan Masaryk fell, or was thrown, from a third-story window to his death. In 1949, Stalin exploded an atomic bomb.

As the U.S. Army had gone home after V-E Day, the U.S. formed a new alliance to protect the crucial European powers — West Germany, France, Britain, Italy. Twelve nations agreed that an attack on one would be treated as an attack on them all.

Cross the Elbe and you are at war with us, including the U.S. with its nuclear arsenal, Stalin was, in effect, told. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops returned to Europe to send the message that America was serious.

Crucial to the alliance was the Yalta line dividing Europe agreed to by Stalin, FDR and Churchill at the 1945 Crimean summit on the Black Sea.

U.S. presidents, even when monstrous outrages were committed in Soviet-occupied Europe, did not cross this line into the Soviet sphere.

Truman did not send armored units up the highway to Berlin. He launched an airlift to break the Berlin blockade. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian rebels in 1956. JFK confined his rage at the building of the Berlin Wall to the rhetorical: “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

LBJ did nothing to help the Czechs when, before the Democratic convention in 1968, Leonid Brezhnev sent Warsaw Pact tank armies to crush the Prague Spring.

When the Solidarity movement of Lech Walesa was crushed in Gdansk, Reagan sent copy and printing machines. At the Berlin Wall in 1988, he called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Reagan never threatened to tear it down himself.

But beginning in 1989, the Wall was torn down, Germany was united, the Red Army went home, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the USSR broke apart into 15 nations, and Leninism expired in its birthplace.

As the threat that had led to NATO disappeared, many argued that the alliance created to deal with that threat should be allowed to fade away, and a free and prosperous Europe should now provide for its own defense.

It was not to be. The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

This, said Kennan, would “inflame the nationalistic and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion” and “restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations.” Kennan was proven right.

America is now burdened with the duty to defend Europe from the Atlantic to the Baltic, even as we face a far greater threat in China, with an economy and population 10 times that of Russia.

And we must do this with a defense budget that is not half the share of the federal budget or the GDP that Eisenhower and Kennedy had.

Trump is president today because the American people concluded that our foreign policy elite, with their endless interventions where no vital U.S. interest was imperiled, had bled and virtually bankrupted us, while kicking away all of the fruits of our Cold War victory.

Halfway into Trump’s term, the question is whether he is going to just talk about halting Cold War II with Russia, about demanding that Europe pay for its own defense, and about bringing the troops home — or whether he is going to act upon his convictions.

Our foreign policy establishment is determined to prevent Trump from carrying out his mandate. And if he means to carry out his agenda, he had best get on with it.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Photos of new Iskander base near Ukrainian border creates media hype

But research into the photos and cross-checking of news reports reveals only the standard anti-Russian narrative that has gone on for years.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

Fox News obtained satellite photos that claim that Russia has recently installed new Iskander missile batteries, one of them “near” to the Ukrainian border. However, what the Fox article does not say is left for the reader to discover: that in regards to Ukraine, these missiles are probably not that significant, unless the missiles are much longer range than reported:

The intelligence report provided to Fox by Imagesat International showed the new deployment in Krasnodar, 270 miles from the Ukrainian border. In the images is visible what appears to be an Iskander compound, with a few bunkers and another compound of hangars. There is a second new installation that was discovered by satellite photos, but this one is much farther to the east, in the region relatively near to Ulan-Ude, a city relatively close to the Mongolian border.

Both Ukraine and Mongolia are nations that have good relations with the West, but Mongolia has good relations with both its immediate neighbors, Russia and China, and in fact participated with both countries in the massive Vostok-2018 military war-games earlier this year.

Fox News provided these photos of the Iskander emplacement near Krasnodar:

Imagesat International

Fox annotated this photo in this way:

Near the launcher, there is a transloader vehicle which enables quick reloading of the missiles into the launcher. One of the bunker’s door is open, and another reloading vehicle is seen exiting from it.

[Fox:] The Iskander ballistic missile has a range up to 310 miles, and can carry both unconventional as well as nuclear warheads, putting most of America’s NATO allies at risk. The second deployment is near the border with Mongolia, in Ulan-Ude in Sothern Russia, where there are four launchers and another reloading vehicle.

[Fox:] Earlier this week, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said authorities of the former Soviet republic are being “controlled” by the West, warning it stands to lose its independence and identity as a consequence. “The continuation of such policy by the Kiev authorities can contribute to the loss of Ukraine’s statehood,” Mr Patrushev told Rossiyskaya Gazeta, according to Russian news agency TASS.

This situation was placed by Fox in context with the Kerch Strait incident, in which three Ukrainian vessels and twenty-four crew and soldiers were fired upon by Russian coast guard ships as they manuevered in the Kerch Strait without permission from Russian authorities based in Crimea. There are many indications that this incident was a deliberate attempt on the part of Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko, to create a sensational incident, possibly to bolster his flagging re-election campaign. After the incident, the President blustered and set ten provinces in Ukraine under martial law for 30 days, insisting to the world, and especially to the United States, that Russia was “preparing to invade” his country.

Russia expressed no such sentiment in any way, but they are holding the soldiers until the end of January. However, on January 17th, a Moscow court extended the detention of eight of these captured Ukrainian sailors despite protests from Kyiv and Washington.

In addition to the tensions in Ukraine, the other significant point of disagreement between the Russian Federation and the US is the US’ plan to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Russia sees this treaty as extremely important, but the US point of view expressed by John Bolton, National Security Adviser, is that the treaty is useless because it does not include any other parties that have intermediate range nukes or the capability for them, such as Iran, North Korea, and China. This is an unsolved problem, and it is possible that the moves of the Iskander batteries is a subtle warning from the Russians that they really would rather the US stay in the treaty.

Discussions on this matter at public levels between the Russian government and the US have been very difficult because of the fierce anti-Russia and anti-Trump campaigns in the media and political establishments of the United States. President Putin and President Trump have both expressed the desire to meet, but complications like the Kerch Strait Incident conveniently arise, and have repeatedly disrupted the attempts for these two leaders to meet.

Where Fox News appears to get it wrong shows in a few places:

First, the known range for Iskander missiles maxes at about 310 miles. The placement of the battery near Krasnodar is 270 miles from the eastern Ukrainian border, but the eastern part of Ukraine is Russian-friendly and two provinces, Donetsk and Lugansk, are breakaway provinces acting as independent republics. The battery appears to be no threat to Kyiv or to that part of Ukraine which is aligned with the West. Although the missiles could reach into US ally Georgia, Krasnodar is 376 miles from Tbilisi, and so again it seems that there is no significant target for these missiles. (This is assuming the location given is accurate.)

Second, the location shown in the photo is (44,47,29.440N at 39,13,04.754E). The date on the “Krasnodar” photo is January 17, 2019. However, a photo of the region taken July 24, 2018 reveals a different layout. It takes a moment or two to study this, but there is not much of an exact match here:

Third, Fox News reported of “further Russian troops deployment and S-400 Surface to air missile days after the escalation started, hinting Russia might have orchestrated the naval incident.”

It may be true that Russia deployed weapons to this base area in Crimea, but this is now Russian territory. S-400s can be used offensively, but their primary purpose is defensive. Troops on the Crimean Peninsula, especially at this location far to the north of the area, are not in a position strategically to invade Kherson Oblast (a pushback would probably corner such forces on the Crimean peninsula with nowhere to go except the Black Sea). However, this does look like a possible defense installation should Ukraine’s forces try to invade or bomb Crimea.

Fox has this wrong, but it is no great surprise, because the American stance about Ukraine and Russia is similar – Russia can do no right, and Ukraine can do no wrong. Fox News is not monolithic on this point of view, of course, with anchors and journalists such as Tucker Carlson, who seem willing to acknowledge the US propaganda about the region. However, there are a lot of hawks as well. While photos in the articles about the S-400s and the Russian troops are accurately located, it does appear that the one about Iskanders is not, and that the folks behind this original article are guessing that the photos will not be questioned. After all, no one in the US knows where anything is in Russia and Ukraine, anyway, right?

That there is an issue here is likely. But is it appears that there is strong evidence that it is opposite what Fox reported here, it leaves much to be questioned.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending