U.S. launches Russian-language TV station in Eastern Europe “with zero spin” to “break through the drumbeat of Kremlin narratives”

“Focusing on personal storytelling, instead of politics, will allow their content to spread in Russia.”

The stealth approach. Seduction. The approach of pedophiles, drug dealers, sexual predators, and con artists —
— I really like you. I’m your friend. You can trust me.
— Would you like to come to my house and see my puppy? 
— It’s only one pill, and it’ll make you feel better. And it’s my gift to you. 
— You deserve more. I just want to help you.

From Foreign Policy

February 9, 2017

by Kavitha Surana and Reid Standish

Outlets that don’t toe the Kremlin line have long had trouble gaining a foothold in the Russian media market. As a result, the expertly-produced state media enjoys a virtual monopoly in the Russian-speaking world, stifling independent voices and stories critical of official Russia.

Now, a new network for Russian speakers has entered the market and it hopes to break through the drumbeat of Kremlin narratives by focusing on local issues and people’s daily lives.

Current Time, backed by U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Free Liberty and partnered with Voice of America, launched its 24/7 Russian language television channel on Tuesday. It had already started a website last year. With about 100 staff members in Prague and correspondents stationed throughout the region, the network will broadcast in 11 countries across the former Soviet Union, including Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, and the Baltic countries.

“Our focus is on real human beings, bread and butter issues,” Daisy Sindelar, the director of Current Time, told Foreign Policy during an interview. “The videos really tap into day-to-day but universal issues, like corruption and poverty and health care.”

The move comes as European Union officials have stepped up criticism of Kremlin-controlled media. Moscow-funded outlets like RT and Sputnik often set the tone on stories like the Ukraine conflict, NATO, and domestic issues inside some countries with large Russian-speaking populations, sometimes sparking controversy with false information.

“Russia tries to challenge the stability and the minds of Western societies,” said Anna Fotyga, a Polish member of the European Council who sponsored an EU report on Russian disinformation last year. “I consider a Russian-language satellite and digital network an excellent response to this threat.”

Current Time may have trouble drawing eyeballs away from well-funded state media pumped up with drama and glitz. The new outlet will have to make due with a much smaller budget than established Russian networks enjoy. Meanwhile, local affiliate stations that Current Time relies on to distribute their content in Russia are often hesitant to pick up foreign programming for fear that they could lose advertising revenue by going against the official line.

“In the short term, we don’t anticipate that our TV penetration will be significant in Russia,” said Sindelar.

Current Time’s founders think they’ll have better luck reaching the millions-strong Russian language audience across the region on their smartphones, using video to tell personal narratives and highlight local issues. The digital division has already garnered more than 200 million views on sites like YouTube, Facebook, and the Russian social media site VKontakte since January 2016.

Glenn Kates, the managing editor of Current Time’s digital department, said the team was inspired by the growing popularity of short subtitled videos on Facebook from outlets like Al Jazeera +, Buzzfeed, and others news sites that managed to excel in accessing audiences on social media platforms.

“I had seen how those videos were capable of engaging with people and I realized that there is no reason that something that works there shouldn’t work [for Current Time],” he said.

Current Time, which is affiliated with the Broadcasting Board of Governors and funded by the U.S. government, will also need to shed criticism it has its own state-funded editorial viewpoint.

Continue reading

OSCE and EU are complicit in Kiev regime war crimes and lies

“Their reports were full of schematics, photos, testimony of the locals and video materials. All this put together should have, at minimum, proven the criminal essence of the Kiev regime and put on trial at the international tribunal several hundred Ukrainian military men and politicians who gave criminal orders. But the observers returned to Europe and once again an uneasy silence hung in the air. No one demanded to hold accountable the military men shelling peaceful cities, no one called on Poroshenko to cease the inhumane punishing operation and not a single European leader called for sanctions to be imposed against Ukraine at war with its own people.”

What exactly is the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe doing?

OSCE ignored the latest round of bills approved by Ukraine’s Verkovna Rada that completely violate Minsk II, which include allowing more United States and Polish military into the country (Minsk II requires that foreign troops leave).

OSCE is doing nothing about the assault begun last week by the Ukrainian government forces against East Ukraine.

OSCE keeps recording and taking notes.

In November, Radio Free Europe attacked OSCE, accusing it of being pro-Russian, citing supposed Ukrainian public lack of confidence, decrying the absence of Ukrainians as observers, completely missing that Ukrainian-Canadian Michael Bociurkiw is the spokesman for the OSCE mission.

It was a psy-ops piece, bullying OSCE, making it clear that fact-finding and assigning blame to the Kiev regime would not be tolerated. Especially after Bociurkiw  talked about machine gun-like bullet holes in the MH17 fusilage in July.

OSCE monitors make notes, take photos, and then send this back to Kiev and the EU. And nothing changes.

Silence of the Lambs
by Alexey Zotyev
March 22, 2015

And that is why the global community has founded several collegial organizations whose purpose is to monitor the adherence to human rights and main freedoms. Conventions signed by heads of most states guarantee a peaceful sky over our heads, make the rights of simple people a priority in any act and declare comprehensive protection of our rights in the event they are grossly violated. One such organization that is a watchdog of human rights is the OSCE – the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. OSCE unites countries throughout Europe and beyond and includes 57 states as its permanent members. It would seem that this is a good argument in the fight for peace throughout the world…

The first time I personally encountered OSCE observers was at the end of the spring or beginning of the summer in 2014, a year very memorable for all of us. Concerned with the combatting near the Russian border, they walked about Rostov Region, or more exactly, the town of Donetsk [Russia], and recorded Ukrainian munitions hitting Russian territory. Their faces serious and concerned, citizens of problem-free Europe wearing vests appropriate to their status measured craters and examined the consequences of shelling. Being completely normal people, they expressed sincere indignation at the ease with which the Ukrainian military not only shelled their own peaceful cities, but periodically also shelled residential blocks of the town of Donetsk in Rostov Region. The OSCE observers studied the burned roofs of Russian homes and brick pieces knocked out from walls and at that time I thought that in the nearest future everything will change drastically. I honestly expected that the reports written as a result of objective investigations will create a commotion in the European Union and will open eyes for inhabitants of the Old World to the crimes committed by official Kiev. I was greatly surprised when, after returning home, the observers did practically nothing. The reports turned out vague and all the blatant facts of crimes against peaceful folks, Russian as well as Ukrainian, simply disappeared from the pages of the reports. An awkward silence took over the corridors of the OSCE…

Further on, I encountered the “silent” OSCE representatives throughout practically all of the Donbass territory. They wandered around the Boeing that was shot down, they examined houses and bus stops that were subject to shelling, they even went to the front lines to document facts of the peace agreements being violated. These worthy people reacted very quickly to what was happening and were practically the first on location at places where military crimes had been committed. Their reports were full of schematics, photos, testimony of the locals and video materials. All this put together should have, at minimum, proven the criminal essence of the Kiev regime and put on trial at the international tribunal several hundred Ukrainian military men and politicians who gave criminal orders. But the observers returned to Europe and once again an uneasy silence hung in the air. No one demanded to hold accountable the military men shelling peaceful cities, no one called on Poroshenko to cease the inhumane punishing operation and not a single European leader called for sanctions to be imposed against Ukraine at war with its own people.

At certain times, I am overwhelmed by a wave of fury so alien to me, and I want to board a plane, fly to Europe and go to the main square of one of the capitals and scream “People! What are you doing?” I want to put so much sense and images into this short scream so that each European who is in the blast area stops and finally opens his eyes. I am tired of their long-lasting silence, their blindness and deafness. I am tired of the one-sided position of the European leaders. I am tired of the constant waiting for another world war…

In my understanding, a person who has witnessed a crime and hides facts about it is at minimum an accomplice. International law is of the same opinion. The silent observers from the OSCE who readily and with pleasure frisk Russian humanitarian aid convoys and search for Russian tanks along the border, but at the same time stay silent about the thousands of killed civilians and dozens of destroyed residential towns and villages, are without exaggeration accomplices to these inhumane crimes. Instead of documenting military crimes of the Kiev regime and demanding that those responsible be held accountable, they are covering up for the criminals, intentionally hiding or distorting facts. Where they need to scream, they are silent. And the organization itself, as well as the people of the member countries, will in the end pay dearly for this silence. Those who are growing a new fascist regime at their side are mistaken when they think that they will be able to control this regime.

The European political elite are so busy forming the image of Russia as an enemy and aggressor, that they have completely forgotten about such things as objectivity and justice. Today, they are intentionally transmitting lies to their public with just one goal – to please the USA. They hold so sacred the interests of the superpower, that they often put them above the interests of their own people. It is specifically this process, an irreversible process, that has given birth to the silent observers in white vests, who see everything, understand everything, but cannot say anything.

If someone thinks that the OSCE representatives do their work well, and are fulfilling their mission with honor, let them tell me the answer to one simple question – where were the OSCE representatives when an armored vehicle of the Ukrainian Armed Forces ran over a woman with two children? Why did no one condemn the drunken soldiers killing a woman and her eight year old daughter who died under the caterpillars of a multi-purpose light armored hauler? Why didn’t anyone voice a reproach of the national guard fighters shooting automatic weapons above heads of indignant people who came to the administrative buildings in Konstantinovka with only one goal – to demand that the murderers be held accountable? And moreover, none of the OSCE observers drew parallels between behavior of the fighters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and behavior of soldiers from Nazi Germany on occupied territory! They are silent again…

Everyone is silent. They are silent when we are trying to scream of the tens of thousands of innocent victims and thousands of destroyed homes. They are silent when we talk about firebombs and cluster bombs being showered down on women, old people and children. They are silent when we accent attention on torture behind Kiev’s walls. They are not silent only when there is talk of mythical separatists, terrorists and Russian military aggression. During such moments even the most timid display high oratory skills. When watching these convulsions of reason one wants to understand – are they doing this because they are submissively listening to America or because they are scared mindless of Russia?


Azerbaijan should be very afraid of Victoria Nuland

[Victoria Nuland’s] role in the Ukrainian events forever marks her as an agent for US-supported regime change in the former Soviet sphere, and her visit anywhere in that space should be seen as the bad omen that it is.

By Andrew Korybko, March 1, 2015
Posted on Oriental Review

The US’ Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, visited Baku on 16 February as part of her trip to the Caucasus, which also saw her paying stops in Georgia and Armenia. While Azerbaijan has had positive relations with the US since independence, they’ve lately been complicated by Washington’s ‘pro-democracy’ rhetoric and subversive actions in the country. Nuland’s visit, despite her warm words of friendship, must be looked at with maximum suspicion, since it’s not known what larger ulterior motives she represents on behalf of the US government.

A Bad Omen

Nuland is most infamously known for her “Fuck the EU!” comment that was uncovered during a secretly recorded conversation with the American Ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. The two were conspiring to build a new Ukrainian government even before democratically elected (but unpopular and corrupt) president Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown by the US-supported EuroMaidan coup. Nuland played a direct role in events, not only behind the scenes, but also on the streets, since she proudly handed out cookies and other foodstuffs to the ‘protesters’ that would violently seize power just over two months later. Her role in the Ukrainian events forever marks her as an agent for US-supported regime change in the former Soviet sphere, and her visit anywhere in that space should be seen as the bad omen that it is.

Like Husband, Like Wife

Normally an individual’s personal life doesn’t have any bearing on their professional one, but in the case of Nuland, it’s the opposite because her husband is the leading neo-conservative thinker Robert Kagan. He and his ilk are known for their expertise in exploiting foreign geography to maximize US power, regardless of the regional cost. Also, he previously referred to Azerbaijan in 2006 as a “dictatorship” and said the US will “pay the price” for dealing with it when responding to a user-submitted Q&A session with the Financial Times:

“During the Cold War, both Europeans and Americans had to compromise with dictators around the world in order to weaken the Soviet Union and communism. What would be, in your view Mr Kagan, the new sort of compromises that the US government is willing to make to defeat terrorism?
Corneliu, Bucharest

Robert Kagan: Clearly we are making such kinds of compromises all over the place in the war on terrorism, although I must say I doubt they are proving very useful.

We are turning a mostly blind eye to the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, despite much rhetoric to the contrary, as well in Saudi Arabia. We have been forgiving of the dictatorships in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Nor have we been very critical of the Putin dictatorship in Russia, no matter how many people he assassinates.

This is all largely in the service of the war on terror. During the Cold War I actually believed that we wrong to support so many dictators, for it often did not help but hurt in the struggle against communism, in addition to being a violation of the principles we were struggling to defend.

I am equally unpersuaded today that our support for these dictatorships will help us fight terrorism, and once again we pay the price of moral and ideological inconsistency.”

revolution-starts-in-the-streets-110007-500-381_large_0Given the ideological context in which Nuland likely sees eye-to-eye on with her husband, plus her experience in instigating the Color Revolution in Ukraine, it is not likely that she came to Baku with positive intentions, or even with a positive image of the country in her mind. This is all the more so due to the recent scandal over Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Foreign Agent, Domestic Punishment

The US-government-sponsored information agency was closed down at the end of December under accusations that it was operating as a foreign agent. While the US has harshly chided the Azeri government for this, at the end of the day, it remains the country’s sovereign decision and right to handle suspected foreign agents as it sees fit. Azerbaijan’s law is similar to Russia’s, in that entities receiving foreign funds must register as foreign agents, and interestingly enough, both of these laws parallel the US’ own 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Continue reading

US-NATO delivering arms to Ukraine; the planning of aggression against Russia

From Global Research, December 15, 2014
By Stephen Lendman

Despite claiming otherwise. Big Lies substituting for hard truths. Longstanding US-controlled NATO policy. Ignored by media pundits reporting nothing.

Kiev wants Donbas democracy crushed. Hardline rule replacing it. Naked aggression waged to force-feed policy.

Illegitimate oligarch president Petro Poroshenko’s so-called “day(s) of silence” are meaningless. Subterfuge. Quiet before the storm.

Poroshenko threatened “total war” on Russia. “(F)ull-scale war” on Donbas. “Better prepared than” earlier.

Armed with covertly supplied US weapons and munitions. Unanimously passed identical House and Senate legislation makes it easier.

The Ukraine Freedom Support Act (UFSA) of 2014 authorizes lethal and non-lethal aid. Besides what’s already being supplied.

Including communications equipment. Body armor. Night vision goggles. Humvees. Radar. Counter-mortar detection units. Binoculars. Small boats. Various other gear.

Sniper and assault rifles. Hand grenade launchers. Mortars and shells. Stingers. Anti-tank missiles. What’s known may be the tip of the iceberg.

UFSA legislation “authoriz(ing) (Obama) to provide defense articles, defense services, and training to the Government of Ukraine for the purpose of countering offensive weapons and reestablishing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine…”

“(I)ncluding anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, crew weapons and ammunition, counter-artillery radars to identify and target artillery batteries, fire control, range finder, and optical and guidance and control equipment, tactical troop-operated surveillance drones, and secure command and communications equipment.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia “will not be able to leave this without a response.” Especially if new US sanctions are imposed.

Ryabkov blamed US “anti-Russian moods.” Trying “to dictate decisions to us that for us are categorically unacceptable.” Destroying chances for cooperation.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich responded to hostile US legislation, saying:

“Both houses of the US Congress have approved the Ukraine Freedom Support Act bypassing debates and proper voting. The overtly confrontational message of the new law cannot but evoke profound regret.”

“Once again Washington is leveling baseless sweeping accusations against Russia and threatening more sanctions. At the same time it is muddling together the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts, which the United States has been instrumental in inflating. It even refers to the INF Treaty although American compliance with it is questionable, to put it mildly. At the same time, it promises to Kiev to arm its military operation in Donbass and openly admits that it intends to use NGOs for an impact on Russia’s domestic processes.”

“Though it appears that major challenges to international security demand pooled Russian and American efforts, US legislators follow President Obama’s administration destroying the very foundation of partnership. Bilateral relations are being torpedoed no less powerfully than by the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment, endorsed in 1974 to obstruct cooperation for several decades. We cannot but conclude that, blinded by outdated phobias, the United States is anxious to reverse time. As the US Congress instigates anti-Russian sanctions, it should part with the illusion of their effect. Russia will not be intimidated into giving up its interests and tolerating interference in its internal affairs.”

Washington is directly involved in planning and directing Kiev’s naked aggression. Covertly since conflict began last April.

UFSA legislation does more than authorize arming Ukraine. It directs John Kerry to work with Ukrainian officials. Helping them reduce Russian gas imports.

Instructs Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) overseeing all US civilian and international media to submit an action plan to Congress. Continue reading

OSCE observers say no Russian invasion, and CIA’s Radio Free Europe gives surprising evidence

From Strategic Culture Foundation, Oct 31, 2014
By Finian Cunningham

For months now, Western mass media have been in lockstep with the US State Department and the NATO military alliance, promulgating claims of Russian aggression in Ukraine and towards Europe generally. The mantra-like repetition of these claims, with scant substantiation, resembles the Big Lie technique of Third Reich master propagandist Josef Goebbels. Told often and brazenly enough, the claims acquire normalcy as «accepted facts».

Western news media, from the BBC to the New York Times, uncritically peddle NATO and Washington claims that Moscow has «annexed» Crimea and infiltrated troops into eastern Ukraine to destabilise the pro-Western «government» in Kiev.

Last month at the NATO summit in Wales, outgoing secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen asserted: «So we continue to call on Russia to pull back its troops from Ukrainian borders, [and] to stop the flow of weapons and fighters into Ukraine».

Last week, that narrative was debunked by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The OSCE has been appointed to monitor the border between Russia and eastern Ukraine. The organisation’s monitoring chief Paul Picard confirmed that since the beginning of its observer mission at the end of July to present, it has not recorded any movement of military equipment or units from Russia into Ukrainian territory.

«The movement of military equipment has not been seen by the OSCE from our border point [of observation]», said Picard during a press conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don last week.

The OSCE monitoring chief did say that there was Russian military movement of airplanes, helicopters and drones inside Russian territory along the border, but that there was no cross-border incursion. «We observed their movement, but didn’t see them fly into Ukraine, so they did not cross the border», Picard said.

Tellingly, the OSCE assessment nullifying Washington and NATO claims of Russian invasion and infiltration of Ukraine was given negligible reportage in the Western media, which persists with the anti-Russian narrative that seems to operate on the basis of not letting the facts intrude on a convenient storyline.

However, the OSCE version of reality was surprisingly corroborated by an unlikely source – Radio Free Europe – albeit unintentionally, it would seem. Continue reading

Partitioning Russia After World War III? Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty publishes redrawn map of the Russian Federation

Dmytro Sinchenko published an article on September 8, 2014 about dividing Russia. His article titled «Waiting for World War III: How the World Will Change». [3] Sinchenko was involved in EuroMaidan and his organization, the Ukrainian Initiative «Statesmen Movement» (Всеукраїнської ініціативи «Рух державотворців»), advocates for an ethnic nationalism, the territorial expansion of Ukraine at the expense of most the bordering countries, reinvigorating the pro-US Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova (GUAM) Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, joining NATO, and launching an offensive to defeat Russia as part of its foreign policy goals. [4]…This …is not something that has been reported in the US-aligned corporate networks, but is something that has been published directly by US government-owned media. The forecast was published by the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, which has been a US propaganda tool in Europe and the Middle East that has helped topple governments.

WWIII aimed to redraw map of Russia?

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Strategic Culture Foundation 10 September 2014
Reposted on Global Research, September 10, 2014

The end goal of the US and NATO is to divide (balkanize) and pacify (finlandize) the world’s biggest country, the Russian Federation, and to even establish a blanket of perpetual disorder (somalization) over its vast territory or, at a minimum, over a portion of Russia and the post-Soviet space, similarly to what is being done to the Middle East and North Africa.

The future Russia or the many future Russias, a plurality of weakened and divided states, that Washington and its NATO allies see is/are demographically in decline, de-industrialized, poor, without any defensive capabilities, and hinterlands that will exploited for their resources.

The Plans of the Empire of Chaos for Russia

Breaking the Soviet Union has not been enough for Washington and NATO. The ultimate goal of the US is to prevent any alternatives from emerging in Europe and Eurasia to Euro-Atlantic integration. This is why the destruction of Russia is one of its strategic objectives. Continue reading