« There is no Russian culture, there is only a terrorist culture »

Meeting with Promote Ukraine, an association at the heart of Ukrainian propaganda

« There isno Russian culture, there is only a terrorist culture », was the slogan proudly brandished by the NGO Promote Ukraine during a demonstration in front of the famous Belgian theater La Monnaie on September 23.

While a performance of Tchaikovsky’s world-famous opera « The Queen of Spades » was to take place that evening, dozens of people were present to show their indignation. Disapproving that the theater could accept a Russian artist while the war in Ukraine was in full swing. The amalgam is obvious: « all Russians are guilty, it is the war of a people », recalling the worst instruments of war propaganda. The NGO even proclaims in an article  » Russia is a terrorist country, next to which « Al-Qaeda », « Taliban » and ISIS seem only unconvincing imitators « .

A generalization of the actions of a government to its entire people is a sure tool of propaganda, erasing the nuances that generalize to history and to a culture. Tabula Rasa: there is no longer any Russian past or culture. Premise for extermination? Can we think that those who eradicate in this way considered, before the Russian offensive of February 24, 2022, that Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky… were worthy of interest, who suddenly became pariahs on February 25? Can we erase the whole Russian culture in one go? Doesn’t the beauty of art come from the message the work conveys rather than the origin of the artist? One does not ask Tchaikovsky to be a posteriori pro or anti-Ukrainian, whereas from now on the only fact of his origin would make him guilty post-mortem.

One of the arguments of the demonstrators is that Ukrainian art is not highlighted, especially in this theater, but this is a separate issue. And beyond that, the real question is: who benefits most from this war? For those who think that this is a struggle between Good and Evil, with Russia alone responsible for the situation (so in short that everything would be fine if it had not invaded Ukraine), we invite them to read the American precedents in terms of destructive colonization of a country (Afghanistan, Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria…).

Promote Ukraine, an NGO in the heart of Europe

Our team went to the front of the event to interview members of Promote Ukraine but the task was delicate and the dialogue difficult.

First, we asked a demonstrator if she thought that Russian culture could really be summed up in rape, torture and murder as written on the sign of one of her friends. She said yes, because she thought that the Russians had suppressed Ukrainian culture for years and that from now on we should only get to know it. It is for her a collective responsibility of the Russians from the moment when the people remain silent…

The silence is relative, because in terms of omerta and denial, it was not better when we approached the war that lasts since 2014 in Ukraine, following the coup that saw the overthrow of President Yanukovych(1)The coup d’état was fomented by the United States in order to operate a strategic rapprochement on Russia via Ukraine and to place its pawns (NATO bases in particular). Those we interview are unanimous: we are  » misinformed « , it is just a  » lie « , a  » propaganda of Putin « . The same is true for the 13,000 deaths in the Donbass since 2014 and the massacre in Odessa,  » all is this is false « , these are  » images manufactured by the Russians « .

In a report by journalist Paul Moreira, who traveled to Ukraine, we realize that while the 2014 revolution was originally based on legitimate protests, there was a recuperation of it by far-right militias and neo-Nazis supported by the US. Like the Azov Battalion, which gets part of its financial resources from the Ukrainian state. These groups interfere in the country’s politics (for example, former deputies Dimitri Yarosh and Igor Mosiychu(2)) and in the fighting against the Russians. These militias were particularly active during the first demonstrations between pro-Kiev and pro-Russian Ukrainians. It was in this context of rebellion and coup that on May 2, 2014 in Odessa, some 40 Russian separatists perished, burned alive in a deadly fire orchestrated by pro-Kiev demonstrators, while they had taken refuge in the city’s chamber of trade unions to protect themselves from a demonstration that had degenerated.

Since this coup, the war has never stopped, with the UN counting more than 13,000 deaths in the Donbass since 2014, figures that are difficult to deny, therefore.

Who is behind Promote Ukraine?

The association behind the protest is an association with about 100 employees, founded in 2014 by Marta Barandiy, a Ukrainian specialist in international and European law who is also the head of Djannet, a company consulting between Europe and Ukraine. The organization Promote Ukraine lives mainly on donations from large foundations, private and public companies and individuals. It is located in the European district of Brussels, in premises made available by the European Parliament, which were inaugurated during a solemn ceremony on February 17.

If you take a closer look at the list of employees, you’ll see that many of them also come from the European Parliament, that one worked for Euronews, MHE, and others come from great schools like Harvard, or from Amazon…

The association Promote Ukraine is followed on social networks by many members of the European Parliament, as well as personalities and political parties such as Andrea Cozzolino, Theo Francken or ALDE party… This NGO with the air of a lobby, which claims to be neutral, collaborates nevertheless with the Christian Democrats and Flemish…

Surprising then all these high placed people supporting more or less openly Promote Ukraine which demonizes all the « ugly Russians » and refuses to recognize facts however proven.

Behind the European façade, the US flag

Their intention to « save » the Ukrainian population would seem honorable if, behind it, the USA were not also the ones fanning the flames in a well understood economic interest. History has shown us that the USA has always done everything possible to avoid being dethroned. What a « godsend » that its greatest historical enemy is rejected by the whole of Europe, while for years the American government has been putting pressure on it to integrate Ukraine and Georgia, something logically unthinkable for the Russian government.

In an interview, Christelle Néant, a freelance war journalist in Ukraine since 2014, tells us,  » A country with a policy dictated by neo-Nazis, which wants to join NATO, to acquire nuclear weapons, which has American biological weapons laboratories and which, on top of that, attacks 4 million people on its territory, 800,000 of whom have Russian passports, it is normal that Russia reacts. When Russia asked in 2021 not to bring in Georgia and Ukraine, the goal was to avoid this escalation.(3)

After all, history is repeating itself: the United States pretended not to want to get involved in the conflict and ended up turning around and allying itself with Ukraine, which is reminiscent of its previous strategies.

The United States is still being portrayed in the power media as the heroes of history who come to save the Ukrainian people. They encourage boycotts of Russian resources, thus raising prices before offering their gas and oil.

Not to mention the September 26 attacks on the three Russian gas pipelines built in partnership with Germany. Erwan Castel, a French fighter allied to the Russian troops, explains that the gas pipelines that were destroyed by 4 explosions of 500 to 700 kg of TNT,  » cannot have been done by accident, but can only have been done by an elite unit. However, few countries have such a unit and neither the Russians nor the Europeans have any interest in seeing these pipelines destroyed, so it can only be the United States ». One sentence stands out from the interview:  » Who benefits from all these crimes? All eyes turn to uncle SAM « . This reminds us of an interview where the former Secretary of State of the United States, Condoleeza Rice, explained that her country wanted to change the structure of trade in the energy market in order to increase dependence on North American energy.(4)

If the Ukrainian government and Europe really wanted to stop the war and the suffering of their people, they would not have refused the diplomatic path proposed by the Russians since 2014. But war is profitable.

The trap of Manichean thinking

Deconstructing the obvious path of thought dictated by governments and the mainstream media is not an easy task, and even more so when it comes to affairs of state.

When a media outlet or organization questions the actions of the Ukrainian government with the sole purpose of demonstrating that nothing is black and white, it is accused of supporting or at least encouraging « the pro-Russians ». The NGO Amnesty International has paid the price, it which usually relatively politically correct, denounced in its report on Ukraine « tactics of fighting endangering the population », has attracted the wrath of the « masters of truth ».(5)

In a totalitarian system, lying is the rule. 

Anaïs C.

Notes et références
  1. A l’époque, le président Ianoukovitch avait refusé de signer l’accord de partenariat avec les Européens et s’était rapproché de la Russie, quelques temps plus tard, il y a eu un coup d’état.https://www.nouvelobs.com/rue89/rue89-le-yeti-voyageur-a-domicile/20140311.RUE9766/le-coup-d-etat-ukrainien-a-bien-ete-pilote-par-les-etats-unis-la-preuve.html
  2. Igor Mosiychuk leader du parti néonazi Pravy Sektor, est devenu commandant adjoint du groupe néo-nazi Azov en juin 2014 mais aussi député ukrainien de 2014 à 2019. https://mronline.org/2022/05/20/igor-mosiychuk-crimea-will-be-ukrainian-or-will-be-depopulated/ Dmitro Yarosh: nommé conseiller du commandant en chef des armées ukrainiennes en 2021 par Zelinski, il fut député de 2014 à 2019 et candidat à l’élection présidentielle. Il fait parti de Azov qu’il a dirigé, ainsi que du parti de secteur droit.
  3. https://www.kairospresse.be/au-coeur-du-donbass-interview-de-christelle-neant/
  4. Condoleeza Rice ancienne secrétaire d’État des États-Unis: «Je comprends que ce n’est pas plaisant d’avoir une influence sur des liens économiques, de cette manière mais c’est l’un des leviers dont on dispose sur le long terme. On veut simplement changer la structure des dépendances énergétiques. On veut accroître la dépendance à l’énergie Nord Américaine. L’immense trésor de pétrole et de gaz que l’on trouve en Amérique du Nord. https://elucid.media/politique/sabotage-nord-stream-allons-nous-tenir-le-choc-ig02/
  5. Un rapport très complet que je vous invite à lire. Ukraine. Les tactiques de combats ukrainiennes mettent en danger la population civile — Amnesty International

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