When I originally began this blog back in 2013, I had this idea that it would be a balanced source of information about Russia(as if anyone actually wanted that). What I envisioned was something which would take on the literally-Russophobic work of various scaremongers on one side, and the pro-Kremlin romanticizers on the other. As I stated in my FAQ, I don’t really have a stake in taking either of the major “sides” when it comes to Russia vs. the West. Now, I have to admit, things have changed. Out of dozens of stories I see every week, most of them involve wrongdoing on the Russian side. Whereas Kremlin-financed media used to be soft on Putin, they’ve abandoned that in favor of literally making shit up every chance they get. Whereas I once considered myself an ideological opponent of Euromaidan, the Kremlin’s cure turned out to be so much worse than the disease itself. The exaggerated, inaccurate claims about Russia in the Western press, the conspiratorial propaganda claims occasionally made by pro-Ukrainian sources- both have been obscured by a veritable tsunami of bullshit coming out of Russia.
I do not believe in balance for balance’s sake. Not all opinions are equal and neither are all narratives. Hence if it begins to appear that I’m taking a side in this conflict, the reader should direct their ire at Russia and its media. I’m not going to spend my time digging through dozens of articles looking for some blatant, genuine anti-Russian propaganda to debunk while Russia is burying the world in bullshit claim after bullshit claim. Russian lying has reached such a height that many people, including myself, are afraid even to play devil’s advocate out of fears that our words will too closely match those of pro-Kremlin propagandists, thus destroying whatever credibility we might have had. I personally feel reluctant to discuss the matter of far right wing extremism in Ukraine for fear that my words will be twisted and I’ll be accused to labeling the Ukrainian government a “fascist junta.”
Indeed, I disagreed with the claims about Russian involvement in the Donbass region before, but that was only because I still held on to the apparently long-outdated notion that Putin was a realist. I wasn’t aware he’d lost his fucking mind. That and people on the ground whom I trusted lied to me, repackaging Russian propaganda so as to make it seem as though it were coming from a Ukrainian-based source. Sometimes I wonder if those same people I was talking to were making notes of my comments, adapting their propaganda accordingly. I’m very tolerant of differences of opinion, but if I catch you lying to me, all bets are off. I open the books and start checking everything you said.
I think that too is why I’m honestly more inclined to take on Russian propaganda instead of continuing any critique of Maidan and the current Ukrainian government. Realistically, even if there were a positive movement for change in Ukraine, that movement can’t possibly do anything while part of Ukraine is occupied. Moreover, it’s the Russian-sponsored war in Ukraine which fuels Ukraine’s nationalists.
In the past I tried to balance out criticism of Russia with criticism of Ukraine’s government as well, but those days are gone. For one thing, I’d need to go out of my way to find verified stories about Ukraine. Thank the Russian press and its PR organs for that. If I want to find a Russian propaganda piece to debunk, I can just hop on over to VKontakte, RT, or Voice of Russia. No problem. Upset? Send your complaints to Mr. Kiselyev.