When Putin speaks, the Western press pays attention – even though Putin tells nothing but lies, and his words don’t match the actions of Russia. When Putin’s terrorists and criminals in Russia-occupied Ukraine speak, they are signalling Russia’s actual intentions. But the Western press pays no attention to them or to what Russia’s army invading Europe is doing in Donbas and Crimea.
On November 16, Putin had a telephone call with Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, who he placed as figureheads of the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” terrorist organizations and crime syndicates. Putin pretended to consult with these proxies, and to ‘agree’ to an exchange of hostages between Russian invasion forces and the government of the country they are invading, Ukraine. Credulous Western press reported this phone call as a ‘thaw’ in Putin’s position, and a sign that Russia would finally respect one of the expectations of the Minsk Agreements, which is an ‘all-for-all’ prisoner swap.
Russia has kidnapped and holds hostage Ukrainian citizens. It keeps them in gulags in Russia, in jails in Ukraine’s southern peninsula of Crimea, and in dungeons in eastern Ukraine in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. On the battlefronts of Crimea and Donbas, Ukraine has captured prisoners of war from the Russian armed forces and Russian intelligence services. Ukraine has also captured numerous terrorists and criminals as a result of the Anti-Terrorist Operation it has been conducting since 2014 and the start of the Russian invasion. Russia blocks the Minsk-required prisoner swap by pretending that Russia, Russia-occupied Donbas, and Russia-occupied Crimea are completely different environments (even though they are all under the tight control of the Kremlin). Putin gets different spokesmen to say that a prisoner swap is ‘impossible.’ The criminal Sergey ‘The Goblin’ Aksyonov says “no” in Crimea; the criminal Alexander Zakharchenko says “no” in Donetsk; the criminal Igor Plotnitsky says “no” in Luhansk; various Putin regime officials say “no” in Russia. All these puppets mouth the words that Russia has nothing to do with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Western press reports what Putin says and ignores what Russia does. Putin’s words about a prisoner swap were echoed. Russia’s actions in refusing give up its hostages were ignored. The words of Putin’s flunkies saying that an exchange of detainees continues to be ‘impossible’ were not reported. News that Europeans are suffering cruel captivity at the hands of Muscovy is not widely broadcast beyond Ukraine.
When a “school-year ceasefire” was announced at the end of August this year, western Europe politicians praised it as a breakthrough. They talked about it as if the announcement of a ceasefire was the ceasefire itself. The Western press reported the pronouncements of these politicians uncritically. In fact, Russia broke the ceasefire within minutes, and have broken it dozens of times every day and night since. In recent weeks, Russia has resumed bombardments of Ukrainian defenders and civilians with GRAD multiple-launch rocket systems – a war crime. None of this was commented upon by western European politicians or reported by the mainstream media.
On November 19, Alexander Khodakovsky announced that the “school-year ceasefire” was over as far as the so-called “DPR” was concerned. Khodakovsky is the commander of the Vostok Battalion, a terrorist entity that operates within the 1st Army Corps (Donetsk or so-called “DPR”) of the Russian armed forces. Khodakovsky is a war criminal, and is sanctioned by the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, and other countries. Khodakovsky announced that the ceasefire would be over at midnight. We will see if this presages a new offensive by Russia against Ukraine. In any event, the propaganda lies of Khodakovsky are more newsworthy than the propaganda lies of Putin. What Putin says will happen – a prisoner swap – doesn’t happen. What Khodakovsky says will happen – a ceasefire will be broken – has already happened in a way, because Russian never observed the ceasefire in the first place.
Once Putin captures land from Europe he will never give it back – unless he is forced to do so. Once Putin kidnaps and holds hostage Europeans he will never let them go free – unless he is compelled to do so. Once Putin is allowed to shell and rocket and shoot Europeans he will never stop – until he is stopped.