Despite evidence to the contrary, US policy makers and corporate media have intentionally neglected to report that neo-Nazi militias played a central role in the February 22, 2014 overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych. Robert Parry reports, “The U.S. media’s take on the Ukraine crisis is that a ‘democratic revolution’ ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, followed by a ‘legitimate’ change of government. So, to mention the key role played neo-Nazi militias in the putsch or to note that Yanukovych was democratically elected – and then illegally deposed – gets you dismissed as a ‘Russian propagandist.’”
Some media outlets have also reported unsubstantiated US claims that, following the coup, Russia dispatched unidentified “provocateurs” to destabilize the new regime in Kiev.
In late March, the New York Times reported on a telephone conversation between Russian president Vladimir Putin and President Obama to discuss strategies for addressing the crisis. Putin told Obama that neo-Nazi militants had surrounded parliament. The Times chose to spin Putin’s report as a ploy to, “capitalize on a tense internal showdown in Kiev.” This bias also extends to reporting of Crimea’s popular vote to secede from Ukraine and to join Russia, labeling it Putin’s “seizure” of Crimea. The Times and other corporate news outlets dismissed the March 16 referendum as somehow rigged, suggesting that the 96 percent tally for secession was, itself, evidence of fraud, although no other evidence of election fraud has been presented.
“If the New York Times and other leading U.S. outlets did their journalism in a professional way,” Parry writes, “the American people would have had a more nuanced understanding of what happened in Ukraine and why. Instead, the Times and the rest of the MSM resumed their roles as U.S. propagandists, much as they did in Iraq in 2002-03 with their usual preference for a simplistic ‘good-guy/bad-guy’ dichotomy.”
Source: Robert Perry, “Ukraine’s Inconvenient Neo-Nazis,” Consortium News, March 30, 2014, http://consortiumnews.com/2014/03/30/ukraines-inconvenient-neo-nazis/.
Student Researcher: Bryan Brennen (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)