Moscow seeks to discredit Russian protests by suggesting Ukraine is behind them

Farmers from the Kuban region in southern Russia protesting against illegal takeover of their lands by large agricultural holding companies in cooperation with courts and law enforcement agencies organized a tractor march to Moscow with an objective to bring to Putin their complaints. Signs say: "Return our land!", "President, we entrusted you with power, so why do government officials and judges rob us?", "Who are the judges? A band of robbers for hire!" (Image: social media)

Farmers from the Kuban region in southern Russia protesting against illegal takeover of their lands by large agricultural holding companies in cooperation with courts and law enforcement agencies organized a tractor march to Moscow with an objective to bring to Putin their complaints. Signs say: "Return our land!", "President, we entrusted you with power, so why do government officials and judges rob us?", "Who are the judges? A band of robbers for hire!" (Image: social media) 

2016/09/12 • Analysis & Opinion, Russia

The FSB is spreading stories claiming that Ukrainian nationalists are behind the protests of Kuban farmers and may soon do the same with the tractor drivers’ march as well, an obvious effort to discredit these popular movements as well as an indication of Moscow’s concern about them.

The tractor drivers said on Friday that if they will expand their protest throughout Russia if the demands of the Kuban farmers are not met. Apparently to forestall that possibility, the FSB has come up with this story, Newsader.com reports.

But there is another possible explanation as well, one that Newsader.com doesn’t mention and it is even more worrisome: any suggestion that Ukrainians are trying to influence domestic Russian affairs could spark an upsurge in anti-Ukrainian feelings among Russians and be used by the Kremlin to justify a new wave of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

One tractor driver, who was detained for ten days said that FSB officers told him that he was “a traitor to the motherland” because “Ukrainian nationalists had given” the drivers money. Such statements are not true, the driver said, but undoubtedly some Russians are prepared to believe them.

Another farmer said that the FSB and other enforcement agencies had been putting pressure on the farmers and tractor drivers and that “FSB officers were searching for foreign citizens,” clearly in the hopes of coming up with evidence for the links between the Russian protesters and Ukraine that they claim exist.

And a third activist said that the Russian police who had detained him charged him with having links to “’the fifth column’” and having “’sold out’” to the enemies of Russia. He said that such charges are untrue noting that “we have never gotten involved in politics,” despite official pressure on the movement.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dirk Smith

    Same formula for the primates in Moscow for the last 100 years. Blame the victim or one of your numerous ‘enemies.’ Katyn, MH17, Moscow bombings, etc. A truly dysfunctional evil society.

  • zorbatheturk

    Russian lies never stop.

  • Jacob Schønberg

    Just another example that Russia has no free press and no fair legal system. Russia always put a lot of dirt into any important issue. Ukraine should work harder to get the fair lega system that can work as example for all the Russian voters

    • Alex George

      Yes, very important that the Ukrainian courts be fully and truly reformed. A lot of corrupt judges need to go.

  • Alex George

    Well well. I had no idea that the SBU was so powerful – now it seems they are organising protests deep within Russia!

    Doesn’t say much for the counter-intelligence directorate of the FSB now, does it? ;o)

  • Mykola Banderachuk

    Boy oh boy, these kremlin kids really know how to create nonsense and fantasy, they are always good for my morning chuckle.