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.

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Ukraine ‘disappears’ regime opponents – where are Svetlana Naboka and Marina Zhavoronkova?

By Eric Zuesse
Posted on Fort Russ, April 9, 2015

(Image of Big Brother by Joo Serk Lee)

In Odessa — the same city where the Ukrainian civil war started on 2 May 2014 with a massacre of opponents that had been carefully planned by a team connected to the U.S. White House— there are reported to be two bloggers for the “Voice of Odessa” political site who were seized by the Security Bureau of Ukraine on April 7th, and whose “whereabouts are unknown.” This report appeared in the local Odessa News.

The “Voice of Odessa” site was formed right after the massacre, in order to get an independent investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of that massacre, in which officially 46 people were burned, shot and clubbed to death, but unofficial estimates run over 200, all victims who have not been heard from since, and some of whom had allegedly even been abducted from hospitals after the massacre.

This report’s translated headline reads “SBU Detained Activists at Kulikov Field.” Kulikov Field is the square or plaza in front of the former Odessa Trade Unions Building, which is the building where the massacre-victims, who had been printing and distributing pamphlets opposing the newly installed government, were murdered, by Right Sector troops in plain clothes, and also by mercenaries in the private army of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who had allegedly announced in advance that he would pay $5,000 per corpse. (There has been no reported follow-up, regarding whether he actually paid everyone who participated, or how he paid them.)

The report on these disappearances says that the names of the missing bloggers are Svetlana Naboka and Marina Zhavoronkova, and that both women were seized at around 10 in the morning of April 7th. Furthermore, “one of the detainees seized during the search is now lacking her home computer, telephone and other personal belongings,” which presumably, were also taken by the state security force.

Whereas none of the perpetrators of the massacre has been prosecuted, the regime is trying to eliminate its opponents. On the same day that the two bloggers were seized, there was a related headline, “SBU reported on the closure of a number of sites for anti-Ukrainian propaganda.” That news report carried the following statement, from the SBU:

“The security service of Ukraine … has discontinued operation of a number of Internet sites that were used to perpetrate information campaigns of aggression on the part of the Russian Federation aimed at violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order and territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.”

Presumably, the abduction, and perhaps elimination, of Svetlana Naboka and Marina Zhavoronkova, was part of that “discontinued operation” by the SBU against “aggression of the Russian Federation.”

The coup-established regime was not ‘the constitutional order’ in Ukraine. It overthrew the constitutionally elected President, and violated the Ukrainian constitution. However, “Big Brother” is based upon the Big Lie. So, it’s ‘the constitutional order.’ A good videoshows the coup being carried out, but it actually started much earlier, in Spring of 2013. The same videographer also did a good videoof the Odessa massacre.

Resistance to America’s Russia-hating Ukrainian regime is increasing, and it’s not only in Donbass — the region that has formally declared its separation from Ukraine, after Viktor Yanukovych, who had received 90+% of the vote there in the last democratic Ukrainian election, 2010, was overthrown by Obama. For example, barely more than three weeks ago, on March 12th, a column of Ukrainian tanks on trucks was blocked by overtly pro-Russian Ukrainians, who even showed the pre-communist (1710/1721-1858 &1883–1917/1918) flag of the then-single nation of Russia (from the time when Ukraine was part of Russia), which was until the Bolshevik Revolution. The video of this event, the courageous blocking of those trucks, was headlined “People stop military, sent by Kiev government, at Volnovaha.”The people who were blocking it are visible in the video carrying the three-striped — white, blue, and red — flag of the Russian Empire. Russian Television on March 16th headlined about this, “Defensive blockade: Activists stop Kiev’s military trucks heading to Russian border,” and reported that, “Activists in eastern Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions [but not in the part that’s in liberated Donbass] are blocking columns of heavy military equipment heading from Kiev to the border with Russia.” Ukraine is massing tanks on the Russian border to either invade Russia (which Ukraine repeatedly has threatened to do) or else to defend against a Russian invasion (which Russia has not threatened to do). These truckers encountered such hostility that they backtracked and took an alternate route (presumably more northerly).

Officially in Ukraine, all opponents of the Obama regime there are ‘terrorists.’ (Thus, the government’s constant bombings of them are in an ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ or ATO.) The Obama team told its people to use this terminology because gullible individuals anywhere will oppose anyone who is merely labeled a ‘terrorist’ — even when the actual terrorism is on the part of the U.S. Government and its installed regimes, such as is the case in Ukraine.

The United States has become George Orwell’s Oceania. He got all the basics right. He is already the modern Nostradamus. However, Big Brother, the U.S. aristocracy, isn’t publishing that fact. Now, why would that be the case? Publishing that fact would confirm that they’re collectively Big Brother. That explains why the Brookings Institution is urging Obama to bomb Donbass longer and harder, and why over 98% of the U.S. Congress are urging him likewise, even though over two-thirds of the U.S. public who have any opinion on the matter, are against it.. Obama, who did the coup, hasn’t pursued the extermination-program with the persistence that Big Brother demands. Big Brother demands more follow-through on his part. And, apparently, they’ll get it.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,, and CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/04/ukraine-disappears-regime-opponents.html

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

From Global Research, December 15, 2014
By Stephen Lendman
http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-nato-delivering-arms-to-ukraine-the-planning-of-aggression-against-russia/5419850

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

The myth of the Tiananmen Square massacre

Excerpt:

Peaceful protests in the downtown square receive international backing, financing and media support from the United States and Western powers; they eventually come under the leadership of armed groups who are hailed as freedom fighters by the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and other media; and finally the government targeted for overthrow by the CIA is fully demonized if it uses police or military forces.

In the case of the “pro-democracy” protests in China in 1989 the U.S. government was attempting to create a civil war. The Voice of America increased its Chinese language broadcasts to 11 hours each day and targeted the broadcast “directly to about 2,000 satellite dishes in China operated mostly by the Peoples Liberation Army.”viii

The Voice of America broadcasts to PLA units were filled with reports that some PLA units were firing on others and different units were loyal to the protestors and others with the government.

The Voice of America and U.S. media outlets tried to create confusion and panic among government supporters. Just prior to June 4 they reported that China’s Prime Minister Li Peng had been shot and that Deng Xiaoping was near death.

What really happened in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago
Brian Becker
4th Media, June 7, 2014

Twenty-five years ago today, every U.S. media outlet, along with then President Bush and the U.S. Congress were whipping up a full scale frenzied hysteria and attack against the Chinese government for what was described as the cold-blooded massacre of many thousands of non-violent “pro-democracy” students who had occupied Tiananmen Square for seven weeks.

The hysteria generated about the Tiananmen Square “massacre” was based on a fictitious narrative about what actually happened when the Chinese government finally cleared the square of protestors on June 4, 1989.

The demonization of China was highly effective. Nearly all sectors of U.S. society, including most of the “left,” accepted the imperialist presentation of what happened.

Tank set on fire by protesters outside of Tiananmen Square, June 4, 1989

At the time the Chinese government’s official account of the events was immediately dismissed out of hand as false propaganda. China reported that about 300 people had died in clashes on June 4 and that many of the dead were soldiers of the Peoples Liberation Army. China insisted that there was no massacre of students in Tiananmen Square and in fact the soldiers cleared Tiananmen Square of demonstrators without any shooting.I

The Chinese government also asserted that unarmed soldiers who had entered Tiananmen Square in the two days prior to June 4 were set on fire and lynched with their corpses hung from buses. Other soldiers were incinerated when army vehicles were torched with soldiers unable to evacuate and many others were badly beaten by violent mob attacks.

These accounts were true and well documented. It would not be difficult to imagine how violently the Pentagon and U.S. law enforcement agencies would have reacted if the Occupy movement, for instance, had similarly set soldiers and police on fire, taken their weapons and lynched them when the government was attempting to clear them from public spaces.

In an article on June 5, 1989, the Washington Post described how anti-government fighters had been organized into formations of 100-150 people. They were armed with Molotov cocktails and iron clubs, to meet the PLA who were still unarmed in the days prior to June 4.

What happened in China, what took the lives of government opponents and of soldiers on June 4, was not a massacre of peaceful students but a battle between PLA soldiers and armed detachments from the so-called pro-democracy movement.

On one avenue in western Beijing, demonstrators torched an entire military convoy of more than 100 trucks and armored vehicles. Aerial pictures of conflagration and columns of smoke have powerfully bolstered the [Chinese] government’s arguments that the troops were victims, not executioners. Other scenes show soldiers’ corpses and demonstrators stripping automatic rifles off unresisting soldiers,” admitted the Washington Post in a story that was favorable to anti-government opposition on June 12, 1989.ii

The Wall Street Journal, the leading voice of anti-communism, served as a vociferous cheerleader for the “pro-democracy” movement. Yet, their coverage right after June 4 acknowledged that many “radicalized protesters, some now armed with guns and vehicles commandeered in clashes with the military” were preparing for larger armed struggles. The Wall Street Journal report on the events of June 4 portrays a vivid picture:

As columns of tanks and tens of thousands soldiers approached Tiananmen many troops were set on by angry mobs … [D]ozens of soldiers were pulled from trucks, severely beaten and left for dead. At an intersection west of the square, the body of a young soldier, who had beaten to death, was stripped naked and hung from the side of a bus. Another soldier’s corpse was strung at an intersection east of the square.”iii

The massacre that wasn’t Continue reading