The recent scandal with the denial of British visas to more than half of the Russian delegation to FIA (Farnborough International Airshow) was characterized by the Russian foreign ministry as "clearly unfriendly." Representatives of the Russian companies hit by the denial – Rostekhnologii and United Aviation Corporation (OAK) – have also voiced suspicions that the move of the UK authorities might be a part of the unfair competition schemes used against the Russian industry by the US and the EU countries.
There few commentaries in the Western press on the recent appointment of Irina Gerashchenko, the press secretary of the former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko in his time in office (2005-2010), to the position of the government official responsible for resolving the conflict in the east of the country.
On June 3-4 president Barack Obama is going to Poland before moving on to the G7 summit in Brussels. Obama’s visit is theoretically devoted to the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of Poland’s first post-communist parliamentary election, in 1989.
There are two enthusiastic tunes on the Ukrainian theme in the Western press, whose purpose is to put a cover on what is actually a civil war in the east of the country, with dozens of people killed every day. The first tune can be summarily called "the good election" (not to confuse with the "bad" ones, where pro-Western guys may lose); and the second one can be reduced to a bumper sticker about "Akhmetov – the good oligarch."
The general condemnation by the West of the two referendums on self-determination, held in Ukraine’s eastern regions, Donetsk and Lugansk, just attracted even more public interest to both.
The recent events in Eastern Ukraine bring back a lot of tragic memories to both Russians and Ukrainians, especially those who still remember the World War II, which was indeed the Great Patriotic War for both of our nations. For the first time after a 70-year-long hiatus we hear shells exploding, artillery thundering and bombs falling in this part of Ukraine. The last time this area was a scene to military action was in 1943-1944, during the battle for the region of Donbass – once one of the most cherished territorial gains of Hitler in the former Soviet Union, valued for its steel and coal.
If one were to believe the Western media, one could gather an impression that the Third World war has already begun. Phrases like "the annexation of Crimea", "occupation" and even "theft of another country's lands" (the expression used by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuricher Zeitung) have quickly spread all over. But here is the problem: it appears that serious people in the West, business representatives specifically, do not believe their own mass media. Otherwise, what could explain such a strange thing as the appreciation of the ruble by 31 kopeks against the euro – right after the West announced imposing all sorts of sanctions upon Russia?
As the European Union is desperately searching for some kind of economic sanctions against Russia, its choices appear to be dramatically limited. The problem is that so called cheap sanctions, the ones that would not cost Europeans anything, have all been applied long ago, before the Ukrainian crisis even started. And the real economic sanctions, such as curtailing bilateral trade with Russia may cost dearly to European exporters to Russia and thus hit the budgets of the EU’s members.
The war between Russia and Ukraine has not started and, most likely, will never start. But the information war is in full swing, and, as usual, truth is the first casualty.
When CNN’ Christiane Amanpour was countering the arguments of the veteran expert on Russia and the Soviet Union, Stephen Cohen, she used the classical arguments of all appeasers and Holocaust deniers. Judge for yourself. Here is when Stephen Cohen had to say: "There’s a small but resolute right-wing nationalist movement in Ukraine."
The decision by the European Union to provide massive economic aid to Ukraine comes after the crisis around Crimea began. Huge figures have been mentioned, the European Commission talks about 15 billion euros. The new Ukrainian government wants more, however: new prime minister Arsenyi Yatsenyuk is asking for 35 billion euros over the next two years.
Now that the State Secretary of the United States John Kerry pledged to give the new Ukrainian cabinet of ministers $1 billion in American loan guarantees, it is just about time to analyze who are the members of this new government. After all, Kerry in his speech in Kiev praised this government to the skies and did not find a single flaw in its rather violent coming to power, putting all the blame on president Viktor Yanukovych, who "fled into the night", according to Kerry's description, with no apparent reason.
Viktor Yanukovych has been given asylum in Russia. On Thursday he made a statement from an undisclosed location, in which he asked the Russian authorities to guarantee his security. The Russian news agencies quoted unidentified sources in the presidential administration as saying that this guarantee was given to Yanukovych.
The old expression of a “double standard” is too soft to define the attitude of the American press to Ukraine. Triple and quadruple standards are used, and there is no end in sight. For example, the new leadership of Ukraine, which will most likely include Oleg Tyagnibok, who blames all the misfortunes of Ukraine on, I quote, the Russian and Jewish mafia, is already praised by the White House for, I quote again, "constructive work." And wishes are expressed from Washington to see from Mr. Tyagnibok "the prompt formation of a broad, technocratic government of national unity."
As it seems, many people remember very well Viktor Yanukovych’s phrase from his Sunday’s interview to the Kharkov television, which he pronounced, addressing his companions-in- arms: “Well, we knew how to deal with the “Maidan” victory in 2005, and we’ll be able to do that now too.
So, President Yanukovych has lost and the situation in Ukraine is developing according to the old rule, known even to the ancient Romans – “Woe to the Vanquished”. During the first day of its work, the Ukrainian parliament, called the Supreme Rada, has replaced a dozen of ministers by Ukrainian nationalists, canceled the regional status for the Russian language even in the areas where Russians are a majority and declared the still legal President Viktor Yanukovych a criminal.
So, President Yanukovych has lost and the situation in Ukraine is developing according to the old rule, known even to the ancient Romans – "Woe to the Vanquished". During the first day of its work, the Ukrainian parliament, called the Verkhovna Rada, has replaced a dozen of ministers by Ukrainian nationalists, canceled the regional status for the Russian language even in the areas where Russians are a majority and declared the still legal president Viktor Yanukovych a criminal.
The European Union and the United States call the events in Kiev a victory of the people. Russia calls it a coup d’etat. Views are different, but conclusions are similar. Ukraine now is less ready than ever for any kind of integration – its plight is feared both inside the EU and in Russia. What awaits Ukraine in the near future? What lessons can be learnt?
“Ukraine’s division is fatal for it,” writes a German journalist Andrea Seibel in Der Welt weekly, adding that Ukraine’s nationalist West is seeking freedom with the European Union, while Ukraine’s East wants to tie its fate with Russia. And of course, Russia for Andrea Seibel is a symbol of being not free. So far, the attitude of the vast majority of the European and American media is equally one-sided: West is good and East is bad.