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Putin in Crimea

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, May. 10, 2014 at 12:53 PM


Putin in Crimea

by Stephen Lendman

On Friday, he arrived in Sevastopol. It was his first Crimean Federal District visit since reunification with Russia.

He came commemorating Moscow's Great Patriotic War victory.
Its efforts were key to defeating Nazi Germany. Things might have turned out differently otherwise.

Putin honored fallen war heroes. He thanked living veterans. He praised their heroic contribution. They defeated Hitler.

They sacrificed greatly doing so. They did so more than all other allied countries combined. Millions of lost lives attested to their determination to prevail.

Putin congratulated Crimeans on Victory Day. He was delighted to be with them, he said. Sevastopol defenders were some of Russia's most heroic.

Despite Hitlers order "to hold every meter" of the city, Soviet forces triumphed in spring 1944. Doing so took nearly 18,000 lives and tens of thousands of injuries.

Sevastopol rose from its ruins. It was rebuilt. It became larger, stronger and more resilient.

It's a strategic Russian naval base. It's home to its Black Sea Fleet. Putin honored its importance to Moscow. He praised its war veterans.

"The heroic feat of the generation that defeated fascism, Nazism will always be an example of courage, valor and unbending will, an example of selfless service to the Fatherland," he stressed.

"We are looking up to you, dear veterans. You have passed on to us the greatest values of unity, fairness, and solidarity. You have taught us to act in good conscience."

"Generations that were raised in Crimea and Sevastopol have been relying on these values, being honest to the memory of those who worked on this land, in this beautiful city, who fought here defending Russia."

"The current year is the year of milestone events for the hero city. It is rich in outstanding historic events."

"Two hundred and thirty years ago, in February 1784, the city was given its present name by an Empress Ekaterina II decree."

"In September, it will mark the 160th anniversary of the heroic siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War."

"I am confident that the year 2014 will also go down in its history, in the history of our state as the year, when peoples living here decided to be with Russia."

"This way they reiterated their fidelity to the historic truth and to the memory of our ancestors."

About 150,000 Sevastopol residents witnessed impressive activities. They included a huge naval parade.

A spectacular air show accompanied it. Celebrations came weeks after Crimean reunification.

State Department spokeswoman denounced Putin's visit. She shamelessly called it "provocative and unnecessary."

Crimea is part of Russia. Nearly 97% of residents voted for reunification. They did so lawfully. Self-determination is a universal right.

Not according to Psaki. "Crimea belongs to Ukraine," she said. "(W)e don't recognize…the illegal and illegitimate steps by Russia in that regard."

She turned truth on its head saying so. Her job is lying for power. It's twisting facts to fit US policy. It's disgracing herself in the process. She repeats it in daily press briefings.

The New York Times bashes Putin relentlessly. On May 9, it headlined "From Crimea, Putin Trumpets Mother Russia," saying:

"Putting his personal seal on the annexation of Crimea, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia traveled on Friday to the naval port of Sevastopol, where he used the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany to assert that Moscow had the right to take over the Black Sea peninsula."

"Over the past decade, Mr. Putin has gradually turned Victory Day into a celebration of resurgent Russian power and nationalism."

"The visit to Sevastopol, in southwestern Crimea, the historical home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, was a potent manifestation of his goal of reviving Russia as a global power."

Fact: Putin acted honorably.

Fact: He visited Sevastopol to honor fallen war heroes.

Fact: He thanked living veterans.

Fact: The Times mocked their achievement.

Fact: It unjustifiably bashed Putin.

Fact: It lied doing it.

Fact: Moscow asserts legitimate rights alone.

Fact: Putin represents responsible geopolitical leadership.

Fact: Obama is polar opposite.

Fact: The Times represents some of the worst scoundrel media presstitution.

Fact: It substitutes for responsible journalism.

Fact: It's not in the Times' vocabulary.

Fact: Supporting wealth, power and privilege alone matter.

Ukraine's putschist Foreign Ministry reacted as expected. It protested Putin's visit. It accused him of violating international law.

It lied doing so. It ignored Kiev's illegitimacy. Governance by coup d'etat has none whatever.

It doesn't matter. It enjoys full Washington support. It bears repeating what other articles stressed. One fascist regime supports another.

Kiev issued a statement saying:

Putin's "provocation once again confirms that Russia deliberately chooses to escalate tensions in Russian-Ukrainian relations."

"We urge the Russian side to return to civilized methods of interstate relations."

NATO Secretary General Ander Fogh Rasmussen is a convenient US stooge. Orders come straight from Washington. He genuflects and obeys.

He called Putin's visit "inappropriate." He spoke from Tallinn. He did so during provocative Estonian war exercises. They ongoing close to Russia's borders.

On May 9, neocon Washington Post editors headlined "Vladimir Putin's meaningless words on Ukraine."

They lied claiming he "has no compunction about making demonstrably false statements."

"If he can sow dissension among Western governments with words, (he'll) do so," they said.

"But the words have no relation to Russia's actual behavior."

"On the ground, all evidence suggests that Moscow is still backing armed militants in eastern Ukrainian cities, seeking to undermine the elections and aiming at imposing its rule, directly or indirectly, on as much of the country as possible."

"Mr. Putin's triumphant appearance in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Friday showed that his aim is to manipulate the West into tolerating and eventually accepting his illegal aggression."

WaPo editors lied calling his actions "cynical gamesmanship."

Fact: They march in lockstep with America's imperial agenda.

Fact: They support its lawless aggression.

Fact: Putin deplores war.

Fact: He champions peace.

Fact: He respects other nations' sovereignty.

Fact: He calls rule of law principles inviolable.

Fact: No evidence whatever suggests he's involved in Eastern Ukrainian resistance.

Fact: Self-defense forces act entirely on their own volition.

Fact: They're not militants.

Fact: They're not terrorists.

Fact: They're not separatists.

Fact: They're freedom fighters.

Fact: They reject illegitimate fascist rule.

Fact: WaPo editors support what demands condemnation.

Fact: Putin seeks no territorial expansion.

Fact: His agenda is polar opposite Obama's.

Fact: He didn't arrive in Crimea "triumphantly."

Fact: He came to honor Crimea's fallen war heroes.

Fact: He paid tribute to survivors.

Fact: WaPo editors turned truth on its head.

Fact: Putin bashing persists.

Fact: It does so without justification.

WaPo editors wants tougher US policy adopted. They want it enforced. They want EU partners marching in lockstep.

They want Russian industry and financial interests targeted.

"The world will know Mr. Putin is serious about accepting an independent Ukraine when he pulls his special forces out of the east and Russian troops withdraw from the border," they said.

Fact: Putin respects sovereign independence for all nation-states.

Fact: Obama's agenda is polar opposite.

Fact: No evidence whatever suggests Russian forces in Ukraine.

Fact: Plenty shows NATO troops encroaching provocatively on Russia's borders.

Fact: Putin ordered Russian war games further removed from Ukraine's.

Fact: He acted in good faith.

Fact: WaPo editors responded by bashing him.

Fact: They're on the wrong side of history.

Fact: They're like other US scoundrel media editors.

Fact: They support what demands condemnation.

Fact: They do so unapologetically.

It bears repeating. Putin represents responsible geopolitical leadership. Obama is polar opposite. Don't expect scoundrel media editors to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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