RT goes beyond the pale

rt

 

2014/07/15 • Featured, Russia

Russia’s English-language propaganda network, RT (formerly Russia Today), known for its outlandish and over-the-top coverage of world events from a typically anti-Western perspective has reached new depths in the ongoing crusade to demonize Ukraine as it fuels and backs a proxy war in a pocket of the country’s east. While recent coverage of debunked and entirely fabricated claims has been gaining circulation in Russian-language media designed for internal consumption (including the now widely talked about ‘crucification’ hoax), RT’s latest foray is the first with such bloodied verve and disregard for competent journalism to reach an equivalent level for western audiences.

How does it reach this level? In the following 14 minute segment by RT, Ukraine is accused of the following: Murder, torture, crucifixions, beheadings, rape, ethnic cleansing, systematic genocide, instituting man-made famine, using Weapons of Mass Destruction and banned weapons, international conspiracies, and being both literally Hitler, and worse than Hitler. It’s the kitchen sink.

The episode of the program called “The Truthseeker” aired with the title: “Genocide in Eastern Ukraine.” The purpose being to do everything it could to depict Ukraine’s war against well armed Russian militias as nothing more than unprovoked ethnic genocide against an entirely civilian, Russian population. It even led in with a short description of Rwanda – for context.

Quoting “investigative historian” Eric Zuesse, the channel calls Petro Poroshenko’s reformist government “the most far-right wing government on the face of the Earth” on a “one way killing spree.” As elections recently showed, less than 2% of Ukraine’s far-right garnered votes nationwide, significantly less than recent results in even the European Parliament.

The host speaks liberally of “Kyiv’s mass daily bombing of unarmed civilians,” claiming a “Kyiv junta” uses “banned cluster bombs” designed to kill everyone in the surrounding area. He describes a child dying almost immediately in front of his mother’s eyes, a direct contradiction to the statement of the massive blast radius he led in with. He was only getting started.

[quote style=”boxed”]The Ukie army, being a direct successor to Hitlerite Wehrmacht, terribly hates Saur-Mogila, as it is a symbol of Russian valor in the Great Patriotic War. All the time their artillery and mortars lob shells directly at the memorial. But they cannot get any closer.

One day, the pravoseki [Right Sector militants] came there. NazGuard [National Guard], Azov-2 and Dnepr-2. And then they instilled European values in the village. They cut out [murdered] all the men. They would cut them alive. They would cut the arms, then the legs. Then the head.

They did not cut the women – they raped them. And now they continue [to rape them], during the pauses between battles. Doubtlessly, the various fanboys of Europe and the Maidanites will say that these are made-up fairy tales.

Take note, chocolate baron, truth is on our side, and, one day, we will come for you. Yes, you, personally![/quote]

If the above sounds like it was pulled directly from a troll’s rant from the comment margins, or some obscure hate-speech blog, that’s because it was. What was presented on air was a slightly doctored version of the above, published on June 25, with adjusted grammar and evocative narration. The source for the RT centerpiece was “Slavyangrad,” a blog dedicated to such fringe musings. (The name being a Russified portmanteau of Sloviansk & Stalingrad). The rest of the entry deals with the fight against “Ukie-stan,” and the threat of female Polish snipers.

RT’s “Truthseeker” continues his disconnected rant with uncited reports of civilians being “systematically massacred” under “mainstream media silence.” The channel typically positions itself as ‘alternative’ news to the “mainstream,” and regular quotes on the ticker featured lines from Russian tabloid LifeNews, known for generating comical hoaxes.

This talk of systematic genocide was sure to mention the serial ‘murder’ of journalists to endure this silence, bringing up the recent controversial case of a Russian journalist who was, as it turns out, sent to be shot by Russia, sacrificed for media exposure and propaganda material. Footage of his death has now predictably been exploited.

RT, as it is known, regularly parades Holocaust deniers, extreme fringe theorists, conspiracy nuts, and other unknown ‘specialists’ to provide bombastic statements on the air under the misleading guise of being accredited experts. In a shining example of just how unhinged the network could possibly be, an American “living in Eastern Ukraine” was brought on screen to give his testimony: “walking up to someone and disemboweling them, a child, that’s an act of heroism for Bandera [Ukraine Nazi followers].” The unknown man went on to talk of man-made famine, a particularly seditious remark to make given the Soviet Union’s man-made genocide of Ukrainians under Stalin. He claimed the Ukrainian government was “burning wheat fields,” bombing farms, and shooting ambulances. He estimated “several hundred thousand people will starve to death.” Who is this sickly man making these statements? RT doesn’t care.

RT captions a video of children and quotes them as Nazis

A good part of the segment was devoted to intentionally mistranslating the word “inhuman” when used by government officials (namely, PM Yatseniuk and President Poroshenko) to rather read as “subhumans,” and deliberately echo Mein Kampf. The Hitler-inspired connections did not end there, as literally every single Hitler-related trope was covered, from death squads, to concentration camps, to even the concept of “Lebensraum,”  living space. The wordsmith “Truthseeker” even connected every dot in succession: Ukrainian death squads will ethnically cleanse Russian ‘subhumans’ into concentration camps, and be given Lebensraum from the pro-Nazi government. There simply isn’t a way to fathom how something as inflammatory, egregious, and outright fabricated could be disseminated to audiences under the auspice of being legitimate news.

When the opponent of mainstream media is the extremist fringe – but given the funding, presentation, and exposure of any regular mainstream media outlet – it can only lead to journalistic gongshows such as this. RT has literally reached the point where the inmates are figuratively running the asylum. RT has gone beyond the pale.

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  • Jacks Channel

    Oh no everyone, all of this is true. (sure it is) All “verified” by RT I’m sure.

  • Walter Salmaniw

    But seriously, how frequently we read the trolls quoting RT as “proof” of all the hate they propagate. Sickening.

    • Mat

      Trolls quote RT, RT quotes trolls. Never ending cycle.

      • Cristian Muñoz

        Russian Trolls CORRuptly you mean. (RT Ruptly)

  • Kruton

    Banned from RT comments section and proud of it!

    • Walter Salmaniw

      Kruton, I briefly attempted to do the same, and suddenly found myself similarly banned. Something about using foul language, although there wasn’t a single such word in any of my comments.

      • Kruton

        We scare them because we really know whats going on.

    • Mat

      and RT is banned from r/news, so I think they got the heavier hit

    • Cristian Muñoz

      I was banned from RT too, because I exposed the Russian lies using RELIABLE Ukranian sources that Ruskies were UNABLE to oppose. Quickly, RT banned me from comment section. I’m proud of it, too!!.
      Russian Trolls CORRuptly (RT Ruptly).

  • Evelyn Myketa Livingston

    Only russian simpletons could believe such obvious crap!

    • John H Newcomb

      Simpletons from any country believe that dreck, because RT’s crap has been reverberating around the world and tons of echo-chamber zombie websites are picking up the original RT propaganda – but many without acknowledging that RT had to take it down when many people did realize it was just too horrendously stupid to be remotely believable https://twitter.com/RT_PressOffice_/status/489025835106856960

      • Mat

        Found it odd that they issued the retraction with a new, single purpose account and not their actual official twitter. They wanted the least amount of people possible to know they screwed up; that account only sent out a select few tweets to journalists.

        • John H Newcomb

          Indeed, do the minimum possible for “credible deniability” while the damage is done and keeps on being done. Could be that without the JuliaDavisNews tweet, far fewer would be aware. And that would suit Russia Today. Now need to watch for the next RT “Truthhider” effort.

  • Con Sequins Nickleby

    RT is funded by the Russian government, so it seems that they have almost unlimited money to pay their commenters to troll each thread and make comments that are favorable to the Russian speakers of southeast Ukraine and Crimea as well as Putin’s Regime, even while that Regime is still passing laws in Moscow against dissenters and critics of Russian policy, both foreign and domestic. The separatists of Donbas were all dissenters and critics of the new government in Kyiv but somehow that type of dissent and criticism of government doesn’t count. But Putin must be smart enough to realize that these particular Russian speakers are back stabbers, for if they did it to the government in Kyiv, then they would also be capable of doing it to Putin.
    The propaganda that these Russians spew against Kyiv, the West, EU, US, Poroshenko and his administration, etc. is repetitive as though they are locked in a room with no windows and are required to recite the bile that they have learned over and over ad nauseum.
    Ethnic Russians come in all shades of intelligence or stupidity. But on RT it is almost impossible to read anything in either the articles or by commenters that make any sense and isn’t bogged down by ridiculous propaganda, innuendo, lies and half-truths. I read articles on RT and the comments occasionally trying to catch an article or comment that is actually believable and that is strengthened by actual research and is unbiased. So far, I haven’t had any luck.
    And to the English speaking Russian commenters paid by RT, anyone who disagrees with their tripe has to be CIA or works for the U.S. State Department. Even Aussies and Brits are accused of it. It is stupidity at its best.

  • Cristian Muñoz

    Between 2011 and March 2014 I was a reader of RT, RIA Novosti, Voice of Russia, and other Russian media outlets because I thought they were “Reliable media sites”. But, since the overthrow of YanukoBitch, I realized that the Kremlin began a fierce task of controlling RIA Novosti and other Russian media outlets, and RT becomes a stupid and perverse media outlet, even spreading false information from unreliable Conspiracy Theorists “Truthers” sites ruled by Trolls like Alex Jones, Sorcha Fall, and so many others that spread LIES!!. I tell you this because I was one of those BELIEVERS in “Conspiracy Theory” sites like Infowars that infects You Tube and the Internet. I abandoned those sites because I realized that those behind it are people possessed by chronic paranoia and seeing conspiracy everywhere, the majority of them based in mere assumptions, NOT logic. Soon, I noticed that all conspiracy theory sites have a very strong BIAS against everything that USA and Western democracies do. Meanwhile, Conspiracy Theorists are hidding those proved conspiracies in Russia and China. Those “Truthers” say NOTHING about PROVED self-inflicted terrorists attacks in Russia commanded by Kremlin in places like Grozny (1994) in order to win a justification to destroy Chechnya and impose a mafia-state there. There were another round of self-inflicted bomb attacks in September 1999, killing 293 people, which was used by Moscow to justify its renewed aggression against Chechnya. Then we had a self-inflicted terrorist assault in Dubrovka theater in October 2002, that killed 129 hostages. Then, we saw another Kremlin/Kadyrov-orchestrated self-inflicted terrorist attack against INNOCENT childrens in a school of Beslan, North Ossetia, in September 2004, in which 370 people died. After Beslan, we have more self-inflicted terrorist attack in Russian cities, orchestrated by Kremlin with support of Kadyrov’s Chechen Terrorist Government. If you don’t believe me, you should know that the same tactic is being currently used by Russia against Ukraine, using the same troop of terrorists and mass-murderers of Chechnya and Russian Military that take part in Chechnya’s wars. Why “Truthers” are so obssessed with attacking Western democracies, expiate Russian/Chechen crimes, stubbornly hiding Russian terrorism orchestrated by the Kremlin??. Why “Truthers” praise authoritarian and totalitarian governments like Russia and China??. Why “Truthers” sites are always delegitimize and defame those political movements around the World that are fighting for BETTER life in democracy and freedom in places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Ukraine, Georgia, etc.??. After 3 years eating SHIT from “Truthers” sites who sponsor RT and the Russian state-owned media, and viceversa. I realized that the HIDDEN purpose of Russian and Chinese media is to sponsor Anti-Government sentiment among Western audience to destabilize and destroy the International Community of Democratic Nations, in order to favor the resurgence of Authoritarian-Totalitarian models like Russian Fascist Imperialism, Chinese Imperialism and Communism. The real intentions of pro-Russia, pro-China, pro-Communism “Truthers” site is to DECEIVE the people of democratic nations, in order to favor a renewed campaign of Russian-Chinese Imperialist aggression against its democratic neighbors. Look at the aggressive Russian behavior against Ukraine, Poland, Baltic States, Georgia and Scandinavian states, and take a look at the aggressive Chinese behavior against Asian democracies like Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and India. This explain the real intentions of “Truthers” and “Conspiracy Theory” sites that support RT and Russian media: Spread Anti-Democracy, Anti-Western Governments sentiments, while promoting pro-Russian/Chinese Imperialist agenda and apologetic propaganda favoring Authoritarian-Totalitarian models across the World. It’s time to reveal the real TRUTH regarding Russian propaganda and it’s “Conspiracy theory” sites that promote Social Instability, Anti-Government, Anti-West, Anti-Democracy CRAP among citizens of democratic nations of the World!!. If we fail to STOP this renewed Totalitarian-Authoritarian Russian-Chinese aggression, we will have to live in a World dominated by mass-murderer tyrants that will rule the World using ethnic cleansing, famine, mass-killing, and fear. Time to PRAY FOR UKRAINE, because if Ukraine fail in the war against Russia, then Authoritarian-Fascist Russian Racist Russophilic campaign will spread to the rest of Europe and West like a CANCER.
    Glory to Ukraine!!.

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  • Shust

    I read RT every day and I have never seen those exact headlines. Please provide a link next time before bashing a pretty reputable news source

    • Mat

      Screenshots and video wasn’t enough? Get real.

      • Shust

        The screenshots were edited. RT exaggerates and is overly biased at times but it never stoops to the level that this article sugggests

        • Mat

          If you’re seriously accusing me of doctoring images then you’re barking up the wrong tree.

          The video is right here, enjoy:

  • Randall Cook

    You are a delusional imbecile not worthy of posting about Ukraine or its affairs, J Aldris. Go live in Siberia a few years, then sing the praises of Herr Putin.

  • Pavlo_in_the_High_Desert

    The egregiously putrid nonsense the Putin Regime is putting forth here is for sure obnoxious crap. No sane, reasonable person would disagree with that. What you are not taking into consideration, though, what you are in fact failing to pick up on in the first place, is the deeper-level assault that is being enacted against you by the Regime at the same time.

    That is to say, one must look not just at what is happening in terms of surface-level expression—at content, in other words—but at the lower, structural level, at the manner in which such expression is functioning in the world—that is, in terms of its operational form.

    What I mean by this is that you are not even stopping to think what the Regime is actually doing to you as it slaps you around day after day with this constant stream of propagandistic nonsense—nonsense which you indeed never fail to react to in kind. In doing so, you are in fact responding precisely in the manner the Regime wants you to, as if they were pushing you about to and fro on marionette strings.

    All the time, effort and energy you spend answering this nonsense, in other words, is time you are not spending properly coming to terms with your dire situation, properly analyzing and coming up with successful strategems, viable long-term plans by which you might ultimately overcome your current difficulties. If you are spending all your time forever taken aback, put on your heels, feeling compelled to strike back at this nonsense, all the other things you should be doing only end up neglected instead.

    And in the meantime, as your attentions are diverted elsewhere, rot begins to creep into the system, unnoticed or thoughtlessly disregarded, the sort of insidious corrosion which will eat away at, and in the end, take down everything you have worked and sacrificed for.

    The Regime is purposefully dishing out this nonsense—and indeed, it seems as if they are hardly even paying attention to how absurd most of the content is, as if they are just throwing at the wall whatever first comes to hand merely to see what might stick—precisely as a means to keep you preoccupied, as a means of monopolizing your time. And if you simply react to it mindlessly each time, like a tempermental adolescent to every provocation (which is exactly how the Russians have always treated you, after all), salivating like Pavlov’s dog every time some calculated stimulus is waved in front of your nose, you end up serving not your own purposes, but rather the purposes of the Regime instead.

    To give another example of the same sort of thing: In terms of the content of his jingoistic surface expression, Mr. Lyasko may appear to be a tried-and-true Ukrainian patriot to some of you at the moment. In terms of the underlying, operational form of what he is up to, however, the ultimate upshot of what he is really about in effect amounts to signing a collective, national death certificate vis-a-vis any chance you might have to establish Ukraine as an independent state, a fully self-sufficient entity free at long last from Russian interference, safely enconsced in the European fold where it truly belongs. Do no doubt for a minute but that the men in the Kremlin are sitting back right now, observing the rise of this viscious, clophopping Lyasko doofus, and rubbing their hands together in intense elation and glee.

  • Pavlo_in_the_High_Desert

    It has been pointed out numerous times that the Putin Regime’s assault on Ukraine has effectively unified the larger bulk of the Ukrainian nation against it; what no-one has pointed out yet is that it has at the same time effectively unified the Ukrainian nation in such a way that has impelled it—tricked it, bamboozled it, really—into abandoning the very European principles which presented a threat to the Regime in the first place. Whether or not the Pan-Slavic, Neo-Imperalist morons finally succeed in destablizing the Donbas in the long term or not, either way the Regime wins. It may not be the most optimal outcome the Regime would have preferred—that would of course have been complete acquiescence, or else complete destablization—but it represents at least a second- or third-best best win for the men in the Kremlin.

    This is what overweening power does. If it cannot find a way through the front door, it will try the side or the back door. If that doesn’t work, it will not simply turn tail and abandon the attempt; it will find a way instead to tunnel underneath the structure, and then begin a process of slowly but surely undermining the foundations of the edifice.

    You need to make a decision as a nation and as a people whether your society will be one which establishes an environment that allows for the full development of the individual, or whether you will remain mired in one or another version of collectivism, as has been the case for the last century or so. It seems to me that in the turbulent months that have passed since the Yanukovych abdication, you have in fact choosen the latter. There are any number of gradations between the two poles I specify—you need not take an extreme version of either—but you must choose ultimate allegiance with one or the other.

    The direction you are now headed will render your nation thoroughly unfit for acceptance into Europe. They will not ever inform you of this fact; they certainly will not pay you the respect of conferring upon you any manner of fair warning. They will simply leave you dangling in the wind for the forseeable future, decade after decade after decade.

    Please wake up and stop deluding yourselves. This is no longer the era of the EuroMaidan Revolution in Ukraine. You have turned away from that direction and left it behind you now. This is now the Lyasko Era, and it is his clownish, repugnant visage that is now the face of your civilization. And if you continue down this dismal, repulsive and utterly self-destructive track, you will render your nation an economic and geopolitical basketcase, a black hole for generations to come. You will sign away not only your own future, but that of your children and grandchildren as well. You will remain forever standing on the other side of the enclosure seperating yourselves from Europe, noses pressed up against the glass, glumly wondering why they will not ever let you in.

    Please send this sordid little Lyasko idiot back to the barnyard where he belongs, along with the other farm animals, and start the process finally of building for yourselves a true European future before it is too late.

  • David Rusinas

    RT have a comments page? That’s one thing I didn’t know! Perhaps I should post a few comments in Lithuanian! As for RT’s retraction, the only apology they need to make is for their wonky journalism and misleading the gullible.