Russia-Ukraine War: Narratives vs. Reality

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Kevin Barrett

Jumada' al-Akhirah 08, 1444 2023-01-01

News & Analysis

by Kevin Barrett (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 52, No. 11, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1444)

Since Russia’s war in Ukraine began last February, consumers of western media have been inundated by a nonstop barrage of propaganda hammering out endless variations on three main themes: Russia is evil! Ukraine is good! Ukraine is winning! From the “heroic Ukrainian martyrs of Snake Island” (who, as it turned out, surrendered to the Russians to save their lives) to the “ghost of Kiev who shot down countless Russian planes” (a complete fabrication) to the “Russian attack on a Mariupol maternity hospital” (a PR stunt staged by Ukrainian forces) to more recent stories claiming “Putin fell down the stairs and soiled his pants” (which sounds more like something that might happen to Biden), western mainstream media is pushing the propaganda into Orwellian overdrive.

People in denial about unpleasant realities tend to wax hysterical. That seems to be what’s driving the ever-more-manic, shrill, unhinged tone of western mainstream reporting on Ukraine. The louder the headlines scream that Russia is suffering defeat after defeat and will completely collapse as soon as Putin dies of cancer, the more obvious it becomes that Russia is winning, Ukraine is doomed, and the declining US empire is approaching the precipice.

According to Anglo-zionist media, Russia is always suffering stupendous casualties and has always ever run out of ammunition and missiles. Their situation is hopeless. It is only a matter of hours, perhaps a few days at most, till Putin keels over dead and the Russian Federation implodes.

The reality, discernible in the writings and interviews of such independent analysts as Col. Douglas Macgregor, Larry Johnson, and Andrei Martyanov, is starkly different. Russia has been systematically grinding down Ukrainian forces, exacting a roughly ten-to-one casualty ratio, destroying Ukrainian weapons as fast as they can be resupplied, knocking out electricity across much of Ukraine, and setting the stage for a likely decisive victory in the wake of its mobilization of 300,000 new troops, with a 1.2- million-man reserve force behind it and millions more available if needed.

Ukraine’s formerly million-strong army, by contrast, now totals fewer than 200,000 and is shrinking daily as increasingly untrained reserves are fed to the Russian artillery meat-grinder.

How do we know that western media are lying and that Macgregor and other dissidents are closer to the truth? By reading between the lines of the more sophisticated western journals such as The Economist, which recently published a long article featuring interviews with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and two of his top generals, Valerii Zaluzhny and Olekzandr Syrsky; and The Financial Times, which now grudgingly admits that Russia’s economy hasn’t been damaged by sanctions.

The Economist interviews feature Zelensky and his generals desperately begging for vast stockpiles of new weapons. They admit that Russia is in a strong position and poised for a devastating winter offensive, and that only a major escalation of western support could save Kiev.

There are signs that western leaders understand the writing on the wall and are considering sending in a quasi-NATO “coalition of the willing” that would risk a nuclear World War III. In late October, Gen. David Petraeus floated that idea, suggesting that since no other NATO countries are interested, the US could join with Poland and Romania and send troops into Ukraine to battle the Russians. Though that would theoretically avoid triggering NATO’s Article 5 and all-out war, the risks of escalation and Armageddon would still be enormous.

It is important to keep in mind that the side seeking a pretext for escalation is obviously the side that is losing. Two recent potentially-escalatory missile attack scares offer additional signs that it is NATO, not Russia, that is growing desperate. The first occurred on November 15, when a missile struck Przewodów in eastern Poland close to the Ukrainian border, killing two Polish civilians.

Thanks to alert villagers who photographed what was left of the missile, the world quickly learned that it was an S-300 air defense missile, a relatively short-range weapon that could not possibly have been fired from Russian positions, but instead must have been launched by Ukraine. Caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Zelensky—who had obviously hoped that the false flag would be blamed on Russia as intended—refused to back off from his mendacious assertion that Russia had attacked Poland and that NATO must invoke Article 5 and declare war on Moscow.

The piano-playing president’s refusal to abandon the fabricated blame-Russia story would make no sense if Ukraine were actually winning the war as reported by western media. Zelensky’s stubbornness in clinging to a desperate lie suggests that the war is so hopeless for Kiev that the Ukrainian president would rather risk blowing up the world than accept a looming Russian victory.

Then on December 5, Ukraine launched another dangerous provocation with simultaneous drone attacks on the nuclear-armed Engles Airfield in southern Russia, 300 miles from the Ukrainian border, and the Dyagilevo military base in Ryazan, 150 kilometers from Moscow. Shortly after the attacks, dozens of nuclear-capable bombers took off from Engles Airfield like a swarm of angry hornets from a stick-poked nest, in a pointed warning to Kiev, Brussels, and their American masters.

Four days later, on December 9, Putin announced that Russia is considering changing its nuclear doctrine to permit preventive, rather than just retaliatory, nuclear strikes. This unfortunate change of policy, the Russian president said, is a response to the US doctrine of nuclear aggression, according to which the US will always strike first in any prospective nuclear war. Since whichever side strikes first has a massive advantage, at least on paper, and since both sides’ weapons are constantly getting faster, stealthier, and more accurate, Russia’s joining the US in embracing an “always strike first” doctrine would make nuclear war far more likely.

Then on December 15, Moscow publicly “locked and loaded” a nuclear Yars rocket at the Kozelsky base as Gen. Andrey Gurulev stated that if push came to shove, London would be hit first as a warning to Washington. Gurulev’s warning to the UK followed a British admission that Royal Marines were mounting “high-risk covert operations” in Ukraine—a major escalation and de facto British declaration of war on Russia.

Though the Russians are understandably worried about a US nuclear sneak attack, their biggest concern is a nuclear false flag in which someone from the pro-Ukraine side sets off a nuke and blames it on Russia. Ray McGovern, the CIA’s former presidents’ daily briefer, explains:

“The Kremlin strongly suspects some sort of false-flag nuclear explosion (perhaps a dirty bomb) might be used by West to ‘justify’ responding with some kind of tactical nuclear weapon lying in bunkers in several European NATO member states. The Russians fear that NATO might opt for this kind of nuclear ‘solution’ as the only possible way to stave off definitive defeat of Kiev’s remaining forces this winter.”

In the light of these realities, the western media’s ability to shamelessly invert the truth is positively Orwellian. Much of the American and European public has been brainwashed into believing that “Putin is losing badly and may resort to nuclear weapons in desperation” when the reality is precisely the opposite: It is the west that is contemplating a nuclear false flag and subsequent escalation to stave off inevitable defeat.

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