Western Media’s Humiliatingly Quick Climbdown on the Truth About Debaltseve

How in the age of Twitter, Western media’s obfuscation and deliberate avoidance of reality takes just days to be exposed and not years as before.

February 16, 2015

Right until and after the signing of the Minsk 2 agreements in the early hours of Thursday, February 12, 2015 by the so-called Contact Group (and NOT by the leaders of the four principal countries who negotiated: Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia), the issue of the strategic town of Debaltseve was raised repeatedly.

According to the Ukrainian President, Poroshenko, Debaltseve was not surrounded by East Ukrainian rebels. His maps showed a clear way out. Meanwhile rebel maps (also published by the Russian media) showed a complete encirclement. (Here’s a comparison between Ukrainian map and the Rebel map.).

Poroshenko, and thus the Western media who slavishly echo whatever Kiev says, pretty much refused to believe anything that the rebels or Russia said. Indeed any mention of any views contrary to the saintly Kiev government backed by the full Faith and Exceptional Status of the United States Government were obvious lies and propaganda.

All the while, freely available video evidence published on Twitter by pro-rebel accounts as WELL as reports from the ground as early as February 9, 2015 from fiercely, even rabidly pro-Kiev bloggers were stating that Debaltseve with thousands of Ukrainian troops – mostly conscripts unwillingly drafted in an increasingly unpopular war – were trapped to deal with their fate as their ammunition, fuel and food supplies ran out.

Indeed Putin in his freely available press briefing transcript as well as video after Minsk 2 stated precisely the dilemma (2:16 in the video):

The problem here was that representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics claimed that in response to the aggressive actions of the Kiev authorities they not only held back the Kiev forces but also managed to mount an offensive and surrounded a group of 6,000 to 8,000 servicemen. They, of course, proceed from the idea that this group will lay down arms and stop its resistance.

Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities believe their troops have not been surrounded and therefore think this process will go sufficiently smoothly. I had some initial doubts that I can share with you. If the troops really had been surrounded, then, logically, they will try to break free, while those who are on the outside will try to arrange for a corridor for their trapped servicemen.

This was pooh-poohed by the Western media. Indeed AFP tweeted

@AFP: #BREAKING Putin calls for Ukraine troops encircled by rebels to lay down arms

Which, while tacitly admitting that Debaltseve was indeed encircled, is a bald-faced lie – not even an out-of-context-statement – about what Putin said above.

Following Minsk 2, the DPR head, Alexander Zakharchenko was reported to say

We are ceasing fire everywhere but inner regions of DPR. Any attempt of [Kiev soldiers] to leave the ‘cauldron’ [Debaltseve encirclement] will be stopped. I have already given this order.

“There is not a single word about Debaltseve in [Minsk] agreements. That means that Ukraine simply betrayed 5,000 people in the ‘cauldron’

In the 96 hours following Minsk 2, the pocket tightened and video evidence impossible to ignore were tweeted and re-tweeted by all comers, the Western media pretense crumbled. Reuters, which under the supervision of its “ex”-NATO PR officer Bureau Chief, Dick Balmforth, was molded into a Kiev military outlet, admitted to Debaltseve being encircled.

Alec Luhn, who unlike his lightweight Guardian side-kick, Shaun Walker, strives for what passes for balance in Western media (eg Putin is not totally mad, only half-mad) wrote in a Vice News article that the game was up:

The sad part is [Zakharchenko] may be right [about Poroshenko abandoning the soldiers]. Poroshenko reportedly refused to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a “green corridor” to allow the Ukrainians to leave the city. Of the 16 hours the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russia negotiated in Minsk, eight were spent arguing over whether Debaltseve was actually caught in a “kettle,” the Russian term for a military encirclement,

Soon, as the rebel army reached towards the center of the town, video evidence of a victorious Zakharchenko and his troops in the town started making the rounds. One, in which Zakharchenko tells the Ukrainian POWs (who must know they will be freed soon in any case as per Minsk 2), that Poroshenko abandoned them like they were meat is particularly telling.

Ultimately Russian media, blogs and tweets, roundly ignored by the Western media, just as EU politicians ignored the Russian government, were proven to be right.

And the Western media, consistently wrong about the source and prediction of every single major conflict from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and now Ukraine (initiated in one way or another by their governments) has – once AGAIN – been shown up. But not years later but in days.

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6 Responses to Western Media’s Humiliatingly Quick Climbdown on the Truth About Debaltseve

  1. FkDahl says:

    Hi,
    First time visitor: good work!
    Here is a comment I left at Sic Semper Tyrannis (http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/02/minsk-20-and-debaltsevo-from-the-grazing-fire-level-ttg-.html) regarding the Interpreter magazine:,
    “I see your pro Russia propagandist and raise this:
    The Interpreter magazine was launched and sponsored by The Institute for Modern Russia (a New Jersey registred think tank), with the son of criminal billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky as director (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/The_Institute_of_Modern_Russia) and the Herzen foundation (named of a Russian socialist with Rotchild funding http://sites.utoronto.ca/tsq/19/offord19.shtml), now defunct http://imrussia.org/en/project/135-projects/special-projects/448-the-interpreter-a-new-online-publication-from-imr).
    The lawyer who set the foundation was from Yukos and now runs The Committee for Russian Economic Freedom (http://russianeconomicfreedom.org/).
    Regarding Yukos : Mikhail Khodorkovsky of Yukos is a co-investor with Lord Jacob, 4th Baron Rothschild. (https://consortiumnews.com/2014/11/26/neocons-claim-to-fight-russian-unreality/).
    The editor of Interpreter is Michael Weiss, formerly of Now Lebanon, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOW_News. Check out the sponsors.

    So in conclusion the Interpreter is a propaganda outfit sponsored by the usual suspects.
    As for the T-72 version I cannot easily tell the difference between T72B3 (Russian) or Ukrainian T-72AG,T-72MP or T-72-120 (http://morozovkmdb.com/eng/body/t72.php) or Hungarian T72M (http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/hungary-sells-t-72-tanks-to-026666/).
    I think Graham Philipps (Pro-Moscow Propagandist)has balls. If caught again by SBU he will not live long in their dungeons. I seen his video reportages, and what really is propaganda in it? He shows a snapshot of the situation, a situation that essentially no other Western journalist covers, so that we can be blissfully unaware of the ongoing terror bombardment of Donetsk and other NovoRussian cities. His Russian accent is … interesting.”

    We also the Bellingcat website with Brown Moses ….
    Two days ago I sent a note to BBC (ahem) reminding them that there is video of the neonazi Azov battalion fighting east of the demarcation line, to point out who broke the cease fire.
    PS If you are not aware of it I can recommend http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/ and http://www.syrianperspective.com/

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