Russian media on Crimea: “Putin will become the first person of world politics”

By Tony Ortega
Saturday, March 1, 2014 20:51 EDT
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Russian President Vladimir Putin fishing in the Tyva region on July 20, 2013. [AFP]
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While an Ohio congresswoman was telling Buzzfeed that she sympathized with Russia’s position in regards to Crimea and could understand why Russian president Vladimir Putin was “about peace in the Crimea,” the people of Russia are being fed a very different interpretation of events by that country’s media.

In Russia, the media is portraying this moment as Putin’s big move on the world’s stage as he stands up to United States “hegemony.”

In a story about the Ukrainian crisis in the daily Moscow tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, nationalist Moscow State University professor of political science Alexander Dugin explained how the current moment is about much more than Crimea…

“Right now, the most important thing, in my view, is to withstand the bluff of the US and the NATO countries that will demand the withdrawal of our forces from Crimea under the threat of World War III. Such a war will not happen. The West is being governed by sane people. If we insist on our position, the period of one-dimensional peace will be over. A big struggle is taking place right now. Not a struggle over the Crimea, or Ukraine, or Russia, it’s a struggle for the world order. Either it’s going to be a one-dimensional world order, or not. If we can endure it, and I have no doubt that we will, not only will we establish a constitutional order in Ukraine and bring back peace and prevent massacres, we will also give a chance to all the people of the world to build their own destiny. Right now, Putin stands only one step away from becoming the world leader, the key figure, the embodiment of liberty and independence from US hegemony. He is passing a historical test. Right now is the moment of truth for us, for Russians, for Putin himself. Crimea has a secondary importance. What’s happening there, it’s not only about establishing order, not only about saving Crimeans from genocide and violence. It’s not about the return of Crimea to Russia. It’s about something else completely: the fact that the American hegemony in the world and the capacity of overthrowing regimes, initiating massacres will come to an end. If Russia will stand its ground, and we insist on international law, on adherence to democratic procedures, on legality and peaceful resolution of problems, in reality it’s simple. Putin will become the first person of world politics. And Obama, the second. It’s fundamental, irreversible — In geopolitics, in all the conflicts, in all the areas, including the Pacific region, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Islamic world. All of the maps, all of the positions will change. Now the world pauses. In order for the US to keep its position, it has to start World War III, and it won’t do that. Let’s note that Ukraine can’t fight Russia, especially because there is no such state: its president is on the one side, the junta on the other. The junta does not control even Kiev, where there are lots of militias that operate in their own interests. In this situation, there is no consolidation, and accordingly, the only thing that Kiev can count on in the face of people’s opposition to the junta — for order, for constitutional order, for its interests, for its democracy, for life and freedom of citizens — is US intervention, the entry of the NATO forces. However, even if NATO forces enter the conflict directly, that will result in a nuclear war that the West does not want. Thus, everything that the West will offer is a pure bluff.”

The same story also quoted Russia’s most powerful female politician, Valentina Matviyenko, who is chairwoman of Russia’s Federation Council. She said the following to Russia’s parliament…

“Violence and threat to the lives of civilians living in Ukraine and our countrymen, citizens of the Russian Federation, continues. We showed the highest political and diplomatic culture by not interfering with Ukrainian sovereign matters, thinking that a peaceful and political solution will be found to the crisis. However, unfortunately, it is not happening. Further escalation continues. We got a request from the government of Crimea to assist them. They are worried about the well-being of their citizens. In this situation, we have to take measure in order to help our brother-nation.”

Komsomolskaya Pravda also described Crimea in lurid terms…

“Hundreds of years ago, in Crimea places were conquered and protected. The imagination paints pictures from history books and movies. The rotten sea — the Red Army walking knee deep in mud. The armies of count Potemkin, yet to become Count Tavricheskiy, standing in orderly squares in the salt steppe. Sparse White Guard groups of soldiers lying in foxholes dug right into the ancient Turkish fortifications. English, French and finally German troops. Who hasn’t coveted this land? It never came to anybody without a price, without blood, or just from a signature in a state paper.”

Meanwhile, another website, TV Rain, reports that tomorrow, March 2, there will be a march in Moscow to support the Russian Parliament’s decision to give Putin the power to send more troops to Crimea.

“Tomorrow, 2 March 2014, in Moscow, there will be a march in support of the decision of the Upper House of the Russian Parliament of the Russian Federation. According to the reports of ITAR-TASS, officially, the march will be named ‘March in support of the people of Ukraine and against the provocateurs that took power in Kiev’… There are many reports in the social media whereby workers of the Moscow government organizations are forced to participate in this march. We were not able to confirm or refute these reports.”

And here’s a report from Lenta.ru, a newspaper that is owned by a group founded and formerly owned by Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire owner of the Brooklyn Nets…

“Unrest came to the Crimean city of Simferopol a few days ago, but two of the city’s biggest ethnic communities are Crimean Tatars and ethnic Russians — and they protested separately, seeing the future under the new government differently. The Tatars completely support the Kievan revolutionaries; they protested at Maidan and consider themselves the creators (and thus the supporters) of the revolution. Ethnic Russian residents of Simferopol don’t want to live under the thumb of the opposition that deposed Yanukovych. They demand a referendum to pronounce Crimea an independent state, or make it part of Russia….On Wednesday, 26 February, a Russian tri-color flag was placed on top of the octagonal building of the republican higher chamber of the Crimean parliament (there were also plenty of Crimean flags). The people in the inner yard of the parliament chanted “Ro-ssi-ya, Ro-ssi-ya” as if the Sochi Olympics found an unexpected continuation in Simferopol….In the same inner yard gathered no less than 10,000 Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians with their own blue and yellow flags. Both sides came to protest in front of the parliament, because at 3 o’clock the members of the parliament were supposed to have an extraordinary meeting in which they were to decide whether to recognize the new government of Ukraine. The noise in that closed space was incredible, the multiplicity of slogans among the protesters reminded some absurd play: “Uk-rai-na, Uk-rai-na…..”; “Pu-tin, Pu-tin” was the answer of Russians; “Allah-hu-akhbar” came from the Tatars.”

And an editorial by political analyst Petr Akopov in the online newspaper Vzglyad…

“The U.S. will not threaten Russia with military sanctions. Nobody is ready to fight for Ukraine. And threatening us with war only for the psychological pressure is useless, because it will only show that Washington has completely lost its sense of reality. American military superiority in this situation does not play any role — firstly, because nobody in the U.S. is capable of convincing its own population that Americans must fight for the “Russia’s Mexico.” But more importantly, the U.S. with its own behavior in the world arena is completely discredited. Furthermore, in any country, from Japan to Venezuela, everybody understands the moral, historical, and geopolitical difference that exists between the American attack on Iraq and the introduction of the Russian military to Ukraine. Very worrisome times await us — boycotts and sanctions are quite likely (Obama is already threatening with isolation), and mass campaigns against us in western media. However, he won’t continue with it, as it’s not in the interests of the West itself. After the mandatory public hysteria, Obama will have to calm down and negotiate with us about Ukraine, and together with us create an interim government and forget about the Euro integration of Kiev. If the US won’t agree to that, and will decide to enter a tough confrontation, then Russia will not limit itself with recalling its ambassador from Washington. Vladimir Putin has been working for a while on building a strong geopolitical combination and variations of actions. Syria, Aghanistan, and the U.S. game with Iran — these are just some most noticeable issues of today which will be affected by an attempt of confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. A total collapse of the American hegemony became possible not just because during the post-Soviet period the U.S. was simply overstrained, trying to dictate its will to the world, but also because, while China was rapidly growing in strength, Russia managed to rebuild not only its physical forces, but also its willpower and moral power. The will is back, the self confidence and our right to insist on our historical and national interest. In the 1990s, Russia was falling. From 1 March 2014 it began an era of a comeback. And it’s irreversible.”

Tony Ortega
Tony Ortega
Tony Ortega is Raw Story's executive editor. From 2007 to 2012 , he was editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. He also worked at Voice Media Group's other newspapers in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Fort Lauderdale. He lives in New York City and is originally from Los Angeles.
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