‘Truth is the first casualty of war’ is an old truism.
This is even more so when the antagonists see their struggle in existential terms.
Russia’s military operations in Ukraine offer a good example.
Western regimes are indulging in massive propaganda against Russia to score points.
One news item from Russia’s defence ministry and totally ignored by the western media related to the alleged capture of an American general, Roger L. Cloutier Jr.
The story based on the April 4 tweet quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying: “The Russian army captured the US Major General Roger L. Cloutier Jr. … in the besieged Ukrainian Azov camp in Mariupol.”
The following day, the Allied Land Command issued the following statement: “Lt. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier Jr., commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command, has not been captured by Russian forces in Mariupol.”
In support of this refutation, General Cloutier posted photos from a recent event in Turkey to his LinkedIn profile in which he refuted claims of his capture.
Cloutier is the commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command since August 2020 and is based in Izmir, Turkey.
One Thai-language Facebook post that carried this message received more than 4,000 likes in a matter of hours!
What this indicates is that people worldwide have developed a great dislike of America’s brutal military tactics and are prepared to clutch at any straw that would show the US facing setbacks.
The western corporate-owned media has been full of lurid tales of alleged Russian atrocities in Ukraine without bothering to proof-check.
One such example was the alleged massacre of civilians in Bucha, an eastern suburb of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
Russian forces withdrew from the suburb in March 30.
The mayor of Bucha was interviewed the same day but he did not mention any civilians being killed there.
Four days later, western media outlets were full of lurid tales of how Russian troops had tied the hands of Ukrainian civilians and killed them in cold blood.
Russia vehemently denied these reports but to no avail.
On March 31, Bucha Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk had confirmed in a video address that there were no Russian troops in Bucha.
There was no mention of any civilian casualties, much less atrocities, in his video clip.
That, however, did not prevent the western media and politicians, among them French President Emmanuel Macron facing a serious right-wing challenge in the presidential race, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz from pouncing on the alleged killings.
Perturbed by these allegations, Russia demanded a United Nations Security Council meeting on April 4 over the allegations of atrocities by Russian troops in areas around Kiev through the past month.
A Tass report said: “The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday [April 3] that the Russian Armed Forces had left Bucha, located in the Kiev region, on March 30, while ‘the evidence of crimes’ emerged only four days later, after Ukrainian Security Service officers had arrived in the town.”
The implication was clear: it was a deliberate attempt to spread propaganda against Russia.
Meanwhile, Russian troops have surrounded some 60,000-80,000 Ukrainian troops and their NATO advisors (operating under the guise of foreign fighters) in Mariupol.
According to Western media reports, elite British and US special forces units are deployed in Ukraine, including servicemen of the British Special Air Service (SAS) and soldiers of the First Operational Unit of Special Forces “Delta” of the US Army.
This increases the real risk of NATO forces coming into direct conflict with Russian troops.
Are US and NATO warlords prepared to launch a direct military conflict with Russia?
The outcome would be frightening.
It has also been speculated that Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer’s Moscow mission on April 12 had to do with the rescue of US-NATO special forces surrounded by Russian forces in Mariupol.
It is reported that he had “very direct, open and tough” talks with Putin at a one-to-one meeting in Moscow.
According to reports, Putin did not give any ground to the Austrian visitor.
Meanwhile, Russia’s defence ministry said on April 13 that 1,026 soldiers of Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, had surrendered in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
Russia’s capture of British and American special forces in Mariupol would be a military and diplomatic coup for Moscow.
Imagine these captured special forces being paraded on RT or other Russian television channels, with or without General Cloutier Jr would be quite a spectacle!