The lies offered by our media on the Russia-Ukraine conflict are baffling in that so many Americans simply accept them without questioning. Conservatives know the media lied to them about the Russia collusion hoax and the Trump impeachment over his phone call to newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymir Zelenskyy. So it is a mystery why they believe the same media’s reporting on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Many Americans hear the same Pentagon and State Department talking points droned into them 24/7, so even if they know it is propaganda, they still end up believing most of it.
I recommend the following sources to get an objective and abductive viewpoint.
This man was truly Russia’s prophet. Each one of the following excerpts contain Solzhenitsyn’s words that speak loudly to our current situation.
Vladimir Putin’s Recent Speeches on Ukraine
Ukraine War Maps:
The following isn’t to be interpreted as being pro-Russian or pro-Vladimir Putin. I have spent about an equal amount of time in both the countries of Russia and Ukraine. This time amounts to several months out of my life. Rather than stay in hotels and eat at restaurants, I spent most of my time with my friends and their families in over a dozen cities in each country. I have close friends there who have strong feelings on either side of the conflict. Since we are constantly barraged with war footage, we are taught to sympathize with our Ukrainian brethren and their president while being conditioned to view Russians who support their president as evil. However, we should still be wary of media lies in war reporting. The first casualty of war is always truth. How can we forget this so easily?
Lie #1. Russia is losing the war and the strategy to capture Kiev has largely stalled. This lie is based on two false assumptions. First, that Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine and absorb it into a newly restored Russian Empire. Second, that Russian generals have tried to take Kiev, but have faced fierce resistance they did not expect and are faltering. This is wrong simply because we know Russia has been winning since the first day of the operation. The Ukrainian air defense systems and communications were taken out within a matter of hours on February 24, 2022. The military operation since then has been focused on two tactics. First, containing the Ukrainian army that is holed up in several major cities, including the capital of Kiev. Second, the main priority has not been to capture Kiev, but to destroy the Ukrainian army and militia groups in southeast Ukraine. This has included the heavy shelling of Mariupol, which is about to fall any day now. It is a forgone conclusion that the Black Sea and Azov Sea are already controlled by Russia, which is a key strategy for victory. Mariupol has proven a final stiff obstacle. The final push will be to contain the Ukrainian army in the east with Russian troops that will surround the Donbass region. At that point, supplies to the Ukrainian army will be cut off. The conflict will then be a matter of time. Either the Ukrainian army will be destroyed or they will surrender. I don’t see Russia trying to capture Kiev or any city west of the Dnieper. It will be unnecessary. Kiev won’t have an army to defend the eastern part of the country. You can’t fight war without an army. If that is the case, the war should end very soon, at the end of March at the latest. If Kiev refuses to surrender, then the war may move westward and could take until the end of April or May.
Lie #2. Fierce Ukrainian resistance is responsible for 1,000 Russian soldiers killed per day according to the Ukrainian government. Both sides have put out propaganda on the number of Russian soldiers killed. President Zelenskyy’s claim that almost 20,000 Russian troops have been killed in a month is an obvious fabrication too tidy to be true. Russia’s estimates numbers of their own soldier deaths are less than one-tenth of that. Both extremes are exaggerated, but what is telling is that Ukraine did not list its own casualty numbers until Saturday, March 12th saying that around 1,300 Ukrainian troops had been killed since the start of the Russian invasion. On the other hand, the US estimate was that 2,000 to 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed through March 9th. The United States has also estimated that at least 10,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the same time period. According to a researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden, “Ukraine’s government was engaged in a misinformation campaign aimed to boost morale and Western media was generally happy to accept its claims, while Russia was probably downplaying its own casualties. Ukraine also tended to be quieter about its own military fatalities.” We can safely say the extreme numbers on both ends are war propaganda. All things being equal, the number of casualties is probably about a few thousand troops on either side. Granted, these are high casualties. But to spin it toward a monumental Russian failure is a fantasy.
Lie #3. Putin fears a revolution in Moscow and it will be impossible for him to stay in power. In the days following the February 24th invasion, Putin’s personal approval rating actually rose to multi-year highs. According to state pollster VTsIOM, his rating jumped six percent in the week ending February 27th to reach 70 percent. Fellow polling agency FOM recorded a seven percent increase over the same period, bringing approval of Putin to 71 percent. While these Kremlin-linked polls suffer from obvious credibility issues, a recent survey carried out by a group of independent research organizations reached strikingly similar conclusions. This nationwide Russian survey was conducted between February 28th and March 3rd when the reality of the war was already apparent. It found that around 58 percent of Russians approved of the invasion of Ukraine, while just 23 percent opposed it. By the end of March, Putin’s approval rating had risen to an all-time high of 83 percent.
Lie #4. Russian support of the war will drop once Russian citizens see with their own eyes the atrocities and war crimes being committed by the Russian army. On the contrary, Russians have heard for the past eight years of the war crimes committed by the Ukrainian army against the Russians living in the Donbass region. Prior to the 2022 conflict, the total number killed from 2014 to 2021 had reached 14,000 on both sides. Many of these were civilians. The majority of Russians are instead angry that the entire world ignored the tragedy in Donbass and now paints Russia as the sole pariah and has effectively cancelled the Russian people and culture.
The UN rights office has said that since January 24th, 2022, at least 1,325 civilians were killed and 2,017 wounded in Ukraine through April 1st. Ukraine claims as many as 3,000 civilians have been killed in this time period. To put that in perspective, at least 200,000 civilians were killed in NATO’s Middle East wars from 2002 to present. According to a Gallup poll conducted from August 2002 through early March 2003, the number of Americans who favored the war in Iraq fluctuated between 52 percent to 59 percent, while those who opposed it fluctuated between 35 percent and 43 percent. For the sake of argument, if we agree that Russian approval of Putin will drop dramatically, we must assume the Russians are far more civilized and compassionate than Americans toward our own military leadership.
Lie #5. Putin is a war criminal. The problem with this claim is that in order to prove war crimes, the actions have to fit certain definitions. If Putin or his generals indiscriminately fired missiles at civilian populations, then yes, these are war crimes. However, civilians get killed in warfare that involves shelling and bombing even while they are not the primary targets. NATO’s wars in the Middle East prove that to the tune of 200,000 civilians killed. We have known since the war started that Ukraine was hiding portable military targets within the larger cities’ civilian populations. We also knew that the Azov Battalion and extremist nationalist militias were using civilians as human shields in converted hospitals and schools. Using civilians as human shields is an actual war crime. (See: What is really happening in Kiev, Ukraine”.) When Russia has implemented humanitarian corridors for civilian escape routes, the media tells us that the corridors collapse and the ceasefires do not hold. Both sides blame each other, but we are supposed to believe that it is the Russians who are indiscriminately firing at the civilians fleeing. Russian and Greek sources have said that the Azov militia in Mariupol, who want the civilians to remain as human shields, are the ones breaking the ceasefire.
According to a UN report: The Russian Federation’s representative called on the Security Council to keep to the humanitarian context of what is happening in Ukraine and not rely on Ukrainian politicians and mendacious social networks for their political views. Citing an ongoing disinformation war in the West, he said Ukrainian radicals and neo-Nazis — and not the Russian armed forces — are holding hostages in towns and cities and using civilians as human shields. Russian Federation units had declared a ceasefire that radicals in Mariupol violated, as heard in an intercepted radio conversation instructing them to “shoot at the legs” of those heading for the humanitarian corridors, he said. Further, the deployment of heavy weaponry, including bombardment artillery, has become a rule for Ukrainian nationalist battalions, while radicals are continuing to hold over 1,500 foreigners hostage in multiple cities.
Lie #6. Russia is indiscriminately targeting the civilian population. We should absolutely condemn the intentional killing of civilians in wartime. If I told you that most of the war crimes were actually on the Ukrainian side, would you say, “That’s just Russian propaganda?” If someone is aiming at a military target that is hidden inside a civilian structure, such as a church, a hospital, a school, a mall, the city square, that’s fair game in war, but if civilians are killed in the process it is not intentionally targeting civilians. It difficult to fathom that Russia would be indiscriminately targeting civilians. It doesn’t do anything except create sympathy for Ukraine and make the whole world hate Russia. Then we might ask why the Ukrainian military would make these civilian areas targets. And the answer would be the same.
It should be easy to prove from the ample testimonies of those who have escaped Mariupol that the Ukrainian militias in the southeast are using civilians as human shields. That is a war crime. It’s not a gray area at all. What we hear in the news is that Russians and Ukrainians are negotiating humanitarian corridors and then they collapse because troops start firing. What the news media omits to say is that it is the Russians firing. It’s just implied. But does that make any sense? The Russians want as many civilians as possible out of the cities. They also want deserters from the Ukrainian military. But what is happening is that the radical militias are firing into the cease fire zones where the corridors are. That’s been told by numerous sources. Our media does not report it.
In Donbass that a great number of Ukrainian civilians deaths is currently caused by the Ukrainian military firing on pro-Russian Ukrainians. This has been going on for eight years. Is that a Ukrainian war crime? Or is it all just due to evil Russia? In short, it’s good to listen to both sides of the reporting. We hear only one side of this. And the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Lie #7. Due to the failure of the military, Russia will either: a). Resort to chemical, biological or nuclear warfare; b). Resort to more brutal tactics in targeting civilians; c). create “false flags” blaming Ukraine for any of the above; d). scale back the war effort to secure the Donbass region and look for a way to exit the war while saving face.
Again, each of these is based on a narrative that attempts to explain the facts of the war in terms of the lie that the Russian army if failing. If we look at the total factual information we have been given, we see the following. Prior to the Ukraine military operation, Putin gave a speech in which he insisted three times that the goal was “not to occupy Ukraine,” but to:
- Demilitarize the country of Ukraine;
- De-Nazify the Ukrainian nationalist militias;
- Obtain a guarantee of neutral status that Ukraine never join NATO;
- Recognize Crimea, Lugansk and Donetsk as territories separate from Ukraine.
The great tragedy is that prior to the war, Ukraine’s NATO status was far off and the Donbass regions and Crimea were already lost to Ukraine. Now the destruction of the Ukrainian army is becoming a current reality. These demands could have been met without war and the death of thousands of troops and civilians. Now western NATO leaders are talking tough publicly, but know that the defeat of the Ukrainian army is a forgone conclusion and that the sanctions on Russia might hurt the west as much or worse.
Lie #8. “This is straight out of the Russian playbook.” “This war is not going according to Putin’s plan.” This assumes of course that there is a secret playbook or a plan that Putin doesn’t want anyone else to know, but western intelligence agencies have thankfully leaked it to our media. When Putin said that Russia had “no plans to occupy Ukraine” in his 2022 speech to the special military operation, he really must have meant something else. So even though the battle tactics of Russia line up with exactly what Putin said, these are misinterpreted as a failed plan to occupy all of Ukraine.
Who is lying?
There is no doubt that both nations, Russia and Ukraine, have been incredibly corrupt in the past 30 years, but also throughout all their history. Both put out incredible lies as war propaganda, but we are conditioned to think Russia is lying while every report out of the Ukrainian government is the truth. Far worse, since 2004, western leaders have worked to keep Ukraine impoverished and corrupt as a way to cultivate a puppet state that would act as a wedge to destabilize Russian security, even while some western politicians have been personally enriched by corrupt business dealings in Russia and Ukraine. In coming months, it will be evident that this web of lies has backfired in a great way. There is now a great opportunity for Christian ministries to encourage both nations to grow in grace and work for the reformation of society according to biblical principles. Sadly, many of our western political leaders have not been led in Christian love and humanitarian compassion, but have rather contributed to the corruption and profited from the chaos.
There are more lies of course. The above are the big ones. I understand people hating Putin or being on the side of Ukraine over Russia. There are many good reasons for this. We need to be as Christ said, “wise as serpents, and innocent as doves” in discerning what is the truth. We can know that the governments of both countries are corrupt while neither hating Russians nor believing that the Ukrainians are innocent victims. But it is important to know that we are being lied to by our government and media. And it is even more important that we ask why we are being lied to.
Why are we being lied to?
As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote in the monumental work, The Gulag Archipelago, “We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know that they know that we know that they are lying, by they are still lying.” That’s the reality when the government controls media reporting.
The question is, “Why?” and there are only a few possibilities.
- Our government officials control the media. I have written elsewhere that a very small group of people are heads of 85 percent of the American media. Each one of them are beholden to the Washington establishment in some way. We are being fed talking points from government entities and there is actually very little real investigative reporting on this war. One thing that propagandists know is that even when people know they are being manipulated by propaganda, they are no less likely to believe it. If it is all you hear, most people will simply parrot the lies.
- Our government officials actually believe their own lies. How can that be possible? George Orwell wrote in 1984 of a “Doublethink” and “Newspeak” in which words take on opposite meanings of what they really mean. This includes the phenomenon of accusing an opponent of the thing you are guilty of yourself. So killing thousands of civilians and hitting civilian buildings in Ukraine is a war crime and an atrocity. But destroying civilian infrastructure and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq is defending freedom.
- Our government officials a narrative from the beginning of the war that would justify regime change in Moscow. As the war develops all the fact are not interpreted objectively or even abductively. But they are interpreted to fit a narrative. So when Russia doesn’t topple Kiev in once week “according to the plan,” this is interpreted to mean that Russia is losing the war because it is not accomplishing the objective of conquering Kiev and toppling the Ukrainian government.
Quo Vadis? Where are we going?
Soviet Communism fell in 1991 and it opened up the world to an unheralded 30 years of greater peace, a decline in hunger and poverty, and a greater spread of Christianity like we’ve never seen before in all human history. At that time, I thought the traditionally Christian nations of the free world would join with the increasingly Christian nations of the newly liberated third world to defeat the spread of Islam. But what I soon realized that the twin cousin of Soviet Communism is Western Egalitarian Humanism. Or as some have called it: “Neo-liberal Globalism.” The problem is that many Christian conservatives — even some good-hearted patriots — are globalists. They want “America first” — but to them that means America first in the whole world — a globalist world order led by America and NATO.
Egalitarian humanism is a religion. It is equality before the Hegelian state as “God walking on earth.” It promises freedom, but delivers bondage because we must accept that our rights come from our government. True Liberty is equality before God. Governments exist to defend those rights — not to expand them through accommodations to ever increasing special interest groups,
The Russia-Ukraine crisis is a snapshot of a much larger spiritual war. This war is now raging between the conservative civilization states and the liberal nation states. The western neo-liberal globalists must be defeated first. Then we will have about 100 years of general peace in which Christianity can leaven the nations without being disrupted by the West’s continual Orwellian wars to “keep the world safe for democracy.”
At the end of that time, we’ll see another world order emerge — an era of multi-polar Christian civilizations. Many people have had their eyes opened in the last two years. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the excessive government mandates, rising fuel costs due to the pagan worship-hysteria over the “dying environment,” and now our sanctions on Russia are causing our economy to teeter on the brink of collapse. Each one of these problems is a real ongoing concern not to be ignored. But we’ve seen with our own eyes the cynicism of a career-politician-elite class who never let a crisis go to waste.
Yet there is great hope.
The religion of egalitarian humanism is collapsing under the weight of its own sin, just as communism collapsed in the 1990s. Something must arise from under the rubble. It will be some form of nationalism or populism to replace failed globalism. That is already here. But there is a continuing struggle. The last spasmodic death rattles of western neo-liberal globalism vex us. Our job as Christians is to provide the building blocks by which there might be a Christian civilization that arises — a Model of Christian Charity to heal the wounded — and not just a selfish nationalism.