“It is easier to deceive people than to convince them that they have been deceived” Mark Twain
We are not so innocent anymore. I don’t know at what point we lost our naivety, but what is clear is that we have become a little more stubborn. In our eagerness not to believe, we may even go so far as to deny evidence we have had in front of our eyes all our lives and allow ourselves to be convinced by a new fashionable theory. This applies to everyone and everything. Smoking was good for your health, just like Coca Cola was an elixir that healed everything, or the Russians were all communists, except Illya Kuriaki who worked for good.
I was reading someone on Twitter who said that to find out whether Putin was good or bad he was going to watch Rocky IV again and I understood in this sarcasm how a very complex situation we are living through was hidden, one that has to do with the amount of propaganda, operations and demonisation campaigns we are involved in. And this goes in all directions, it is not that there are more immoral people on one side than on the other. That said, one has to weed, decrypt content and try to tell what one can perceive.
Ukraine has had its face wiped clean since the perpetration of the coup against President Yanukovych, in which the involvement of the United States and other European nations was decisive. The use of snipers, ultra-nationalists and Nazis as a shock force to crush the Ukrainian people was camouflaged in a so-called internal war. The Orange Revolution had been a failure, but so had the pro-Russian Yanukovich government. And then there was another resounding failure under Poroshenko the chocolatier, and with Zelensky it was no different, as in October there were major demonstrations against the government’s anti-social policies.
So, the war suited Zelensky, at least the dialectic, the escalation of discourse that generated unity among a people highly dissatisfied with poverty, the cost of living and a country bankrupt and mega-indebted to the IMF.
Ukraine had everything in its favour to portray itself as a victim of the annexation of Crimea and this gave the Nazis arguments to pursue their plan to exterminate dissidents, separatists and anti-fascists. The logistics of these people were never very assertive, so they went about massacring civilians left and right, especially in the now notorious Donbass.
It was so difficult to wash the face of this compendium of degenerate Nazi hooligans that the best thing to do was to sweep Ukraine under the carpet and let the world look the other way. That’s why whenever Russian diplomacy came out to talk about it, it was easy to point to them as a bunch of grudges who were stuck in time and did not accept that they were no longer a world power. They were thrown with “everything”, ridiculed and made a big mess of in Belarus, which they were able to resolve not without effort and bad arts.
It is true that in 2018, Sergei Loznitsa released Donbass, a film that showed the level of uncontrol and hardship in that Ukrainian territory. The film’s description was eloquent enough: “When war is called “peace”, when propaganda is presented as the truth, when hate is called “love”, that’s when life itself begins to resemble death“. But I would like to know how many of you had access to it.
Serhii Filimonov became famous for his performance in the film Rhino. Although he is not an actor, for this first appearance on the big screen he won several awards, such as the Best Actor Award at the Stockholm Film Festival and his appearance at the Venice Film Festival. This raised controversy, as it is noted that this type of retribution may be helping to publicly pardon his extreme right-wing discourse and his past violent acts. In addition to being a Dynamo Kiev hooligan, Filimonov was a fighter during the 2014 war in Ukraine, volunteering as a member of the Azov Battalion, notorious for its ferocity, Nazi ideology and crimes committed throughout 2014 to date.
Serhii leads a paramilitary group called Honor and is currently fighting against the Russian armed forces. Wounded in 2014, this former boxer plays in Rhino a gangster who progresses in the underworld through violence in the post-Soviet era. Film critics lament the fact that this man gets awards for “playing himself”. In interviews he claims that his far-right affiliation and hate crimes are part of Russian propaganda and he describes himself as a proud nationalist ready to crush Russian invaders.
An ideology that is at odds with his shock group’s involvement in the incidents in Hong Kong in 2019, where they went to apply their violence against the Chinese central government and sought the break-up of the territory. Precisely the same thing they are fighting in their own country. As for the tattooed swastikas and Nazi paraphernalia of the members of the columns of Honour, Filimonov considers it irrelevant and attributes it to the past of most of them, linked to their fanaticism for football. “We have neither the time nor the desire to hate people who have done us no harm. We only hate enemies,” he said in 2019 in an interview with Vice magazine, where the presence of Ukrainian Nazis in the Hong Kong riots was probed.
Although Filimonov denies it, the Ukrainian police have him syndicated for having been part of the group that stabbed black Chelsea fans at a match against Dynamo Kiev in 2015 and he also appears on the lists of Nazi militants managed by Israeli organisations, according to the newspaper Haaretz. Another article in the same magazine Vice denounces the use of Ukraine as a training ground for neo-Nazi shock forces from all over the world, forming part of the Azov Battalion or simply taking advantage of the total lack of territorial control of these armed groups that have functioned as gangsters in the Donbass for years.
The ground for this communicational war has been prepared for years, films, series, literature, news channels, a decades-long work that lays the groundwork for the dominant discourse imposed from the Anglo-Saxon centres of power to be easily introduced. It is even the same power stations that feed anti-system positions that do not affect the real interests of their corporations.
Russia feeds its reputation as an unconquerable country and flaunts its military might through its media. The space race has been put on the back burner, but Europe’s satellite landscape is starting to get complicated if they lose Russian cooperation in the space race. One of the latest information battles has been over the development of Covid-19 vaccines, with the Sputnik vaccine still not being approved for use in Europe, which must continue to rely on US and British technology. Curious, isn’t it?