How “American journalists” do Russian propaganda about Crimea05.05.2020
The invaders changed their tactics in Crimea. Now they blame “wild Crimeans, who do not accept the Russian order” in the failures of Russia, as the essay on the site “Rosbalt” says. The author of these lines has been observing the way Kremlin propaganda of the new age has been created.
“Wild Ukrainians” and “inhuman Russian rules”
Igor Rotar, the author of the essay “Not everything is good in the Kingdom of Crimea“ ( https://m.rosbalt.ru/russia/
In the very beginning of the article offensive sentiments about the people belonging to the nation of Crimean Tatars sound. According to Rotar, Russian Federation takes away land illegally occupied by Crimean Tatars,and Crimean Tatars see the legal actions of Russian Federation as “persecution against the indigenous people.”
Why Rotar is silencing prison sentences for Crimean Tatars for posts and reposts on Facebook, for their journalistic activities? Who can benefit from portraying Crimean Tatars as land scammers?
Then Rotar writes, referring to the words of Viktor Yaducha, ex-chief editor of “Prymitki”, that Kremlin henchmen and federal predatory officials who seized authority in the Crimea did use a patriotic child to take Crimean assets in their pockets from Ukraine.
For some reason Igor Rotar does not consider the world-recognized fact of aggression against Ukraine conducted by Russian Federation as well as occupation of Crimean peninsula, as possible reasons of problems, described by him. And author of “Rosbalt” does not mention anyhow the fact that since 20.02.2014 Crimea is outside the any kind of legal field. Mr.Rotar rejects for some reason the analysis of different points of view that is commonly accepted among journalists.
Rotar writes that the Russian management of the ArtekChildren’s Center expels veterans of the institution to the street. But, according to this “American journalist”, it is not bad, and bad is that “Russia’s attempts to restore order in “abandoned camp”(!) cause dissatisfaction with Russian politics within the population of Crimean peninsula.
For some reason, the author has not tried to find out the point of view of the other side – veterans of Artek and residents of Gurzuf, who lost Artek beach “GurivskyKameni” and a number of nature reserves due to the ambitions of Russian.
For some reason, Igor Rotar didn‘t decide to pay particular attention to the fact that 2 children has already died in the camp of Artek under the management of Russian Federation, and the overall morbidity has increased as well. He didn‘t think over the importance of such problem as Artek militarization, one in which every reading parent would be interested in. Instead, Mr. Rotarwrites that “Russia’s attempts to restore order in the abandoned (!) camp cause dissatisfaction with the local population.”
Rotar also writes that he checked the rumor about Russians seizing cars with Ukrainian numbers in Crimea, and actually found out that it was not true. It is a primitive technique, reflecting an attempt to impose an idea that claims of Ukraine and Ukrainians are stupid, fictitious and meaningless.
Crowds of guards, fences, frames and inaccessibility of officials in administrative buildings of Crimea are presented by Rotar as “protection against threats from Ukraine”. It’s a nonsense. So officials protect themselves from the Crimeans they robbed. For example, in Yalta, in protest, a man recently cut his veins in the mayor’s office, protesting that Russian officials and police have seized his apartment.
The tour of „American journalist”
I do think that if to investigate how Ihor Rotar’s essay about Crimea was being written, we could indicate mechanism behind the Russia propaganda machine.
My friend Viktor Yadukha, ex-chief editor of the „Prymitki“ website, asked me to meet such author as Igor Rotar, that American journalist of the Russian origin, who in the fall 2019 was writing an objective essay on the topic of Crimea.
The point is that, in principle, since March 2019, I have not been in contact with the Russian press as I am deeply convinced in fact that there is hardly any journalism there, there is a propaganda service to the authorities. And I also know that there are serious problems with the information field about the Crimea in Russia, which they are trying to solve without neglecting in any way.
Therefore, I met with Rotar exclusively at the request of Yadukha and was interested in him as in author of the book as his book had already been finished. I told Rotarthat in the spring of 2014, the Yalta sanatorium of the Russian Black Sea Fleet was sunk by Russian special forces to seize power.
I told about the fact that organizers of so-called “The Crimean Spring” gave Yalta election chairman IrynaBelozerova $ 60,000 to hold a “referendum” in Yalta, and the real turnout and the number of votes “for Russia” were substantially less than 50%. I said that in the fall of 2014, Democratic Russia demanded $ 80,000 for the seat of the Yalta City Council.
I described such man as Andrey Rostenko as one who had a good memory of the evil 90s, as one who comes from the organized criminal group “Salem” and the one that is the former mayor of Yalta. He was the man lobbying dangerous for the city Yalta construction, destroying parks and protected areas (for what he surely was being paid). I told how the opponents of Rostenko’spolicy were pressed and led to suicide as well.
I reported about the collapse of healthcare and education system as well as barbaric methods of dissidentspersecution, and about my point of view based on that Russia bases its power in Crimea on fears. As most of Crimean people have lost a lot over the course of last 6 years, they do realize Russia expansion as the root of problems.
Rotar could meet the most strict requirements for journalism, to write different points of view regarding the events in Crimea, and to engage the reader in discussion over the important but pressing issues in Russia.
The truth revealed to be not in demand
Honestly, after communicating with Rotar I envisioned a trick. But I hoped that he was a professional. I asked the journalist to let me read some of the text about me before publishing, realizing the importance of topic disclosed and being quite suspicious about the Russian media.
And I said at once “Either write the whole truth or rather write nothing at all“.
Igor Rotar agreed to my request. Then Victor Yadukhacalled me, said that Rotar understood everything and would not mention me in his texts.
But the one who was hiding under the guise of the “American journalist” decided to disregard the rules of ethics, forget about the arrangements and, finally, publish an ambiguous text on “Rosbalt”.
The publication on “Rosbalt” was astonishing. After all, at the meeting, Igor Rotar told me, that he was hired by Lenta.ru to write an essay on Crimea, which paid him a trip to the Crimea.
But the text appeared almost half a year later on “Rosbalt”. Does it mean that “Rosbalt” use the material, preparation of which is paid by “Lenta.ru”? Or can Federal Security Bureau (FSB) or Administrative Direktorate of the President of Russian Federation be financing the operation?
The truth about Crimea in 2014-2019, which I told in detail to Rotar in the Yalta cafe “Marry berry” did not appear in his essay. Rotar replaced it with the thesis that I wear a Ukrainian scarf and write more in Ukrainian than in Russian. He presented the situation not as an understanding of reality by a thinking person but as a mistake of Russian security forces, “who pushed away our former one.” He didn’t just ignore my detailed story, but exposed it through the lens of a strange to me Russian narrative, he tried to create a false image of me, one would be beneficial to Russia.
I wrote a letter to Igor Rotar asking to comment the situation, to explain the reasons for neglecting the ethics of journalism as well as ones that made Russian-born journalist living in the US to dislike Ukraine.
Rotar replied: “Eugene, I do not have time to communicate with you. Write what you want and where you want».
Russian goal of a new essay on Crimea
Russia releasing Rotar’s essay on Crimea half a year after the fact of information gathering is trying to execute several public opinion frauds at once.
Russians themselves do not trust the Russian media. Therefore an “American journalist” of Russian origin and an opposition site have been chosen. So the Russian Federation is trying to sell its population a paradigm shift. Previously, Ukraine and “Ukrainian officials in the Crimean authorities” (collaborators whom Putin himself had appointed) were ones to be blamed in all woes.
Now the Kremlin, in the hope of displacing the local population of the Crimea and replacing it with loyal migrants, introduces a narrative about the wildness of Crimeans and the high level of civilization of Russian people. It is symbolic that this is happening at time when Crimean people are being withdrawn from control over the rest of financial flows on the territory of peninsula. This people are being replaced with managers from the mainland of Russia.
The Kremlin also allows ideological adherents of the “Russian world” and aggression to complain about the current occupation demonstration for the fact that so-called authorities of the region Aksyonov and Konstantin
And to strengthen the morale of the radical adapts of the “Russian world“, the Kremlin sends a message that the problems in Crimea are not because of the fact of territory occupation (and it‘s not really terrible), but because of the „Crimean people wildness“ and „current occupation administration stealing too eagerly“.
Such behavior of Russia in the information field is a good sign for Ukraine. Their losses on ideological and economical fronts of war for Crimea push them to non-standard solutions that only exacerbate internal conflicts within Russian elite.
Eugene Gaivoronskiy special fo Irnternational Center for Countering Russian Propaganda