German government denies fighting information war, ramps up information war
Thanks to the abysmal reporting during the Ukraine crisis, trust in Western media has reached an all-time low.
The situation in Germany is a case in point. According to a recent study, 63 percent of Germans have little or no trust in the Ukraine coverage of German mainstream media.
Western governments and media are freaking out and wondering what to do.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to identify the problem: The people are being lied to and manipulated. No, not by Western media but by Russian media - at least that’s what the increasingly unpopular government officials, pundits and journalists in the West would have you believe.
Europe is losing the information war against Russia. That’s the problem.
“Russia’s advantage in the information war” was the main topic behind the scenes at the Munich Security Conference and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the first to point this out, saying that the West should pay more attention to the non-military part of “Russia’s hybrid warfare.” It is unclear whether Merkel got any advice from The Economist’s Edward Lucas, who suggested at the conference that the West should use KGB methods against Russian media.
A few days after Merkel had made this statement, German journalist Tilo Jung asked government spokesman Steffen Seibert if the German government is also fighting the information war. Seibert denied this and emphasized that the German government “is only informing about facts.”
Shortly thereafter, everyone could get an idea of what the German government means by “facts.”
Germany’s Federal Foreign Office examined “Russian allegations” regarding the Ukraine crisis and released a “reality check” for its employees. Much to this dismay of the German government, the eight-page document has been widely ridiculed and thoroughly debunked. Here are some of the highlights:
Reality check: Russian allegations – our responses:
2. Allegation: Fascists are in power in Kiev.
Correct is: Radical groups participated in the Maidan protests, some of which hold right-wing extremist views. However, they were only a small fraction of the protesters (up to 2 million nationwide). They were not involved in the interim government, which was formed on February 27, 2014 after the transition of power.
The right-wing nationalist Svoboda party, which was involved in the interim government, as well as the Right Sector did not pass the 5-percent election threshold in the parliamentary election in October…
Since the Federal Foreign Office spared no efforts to cherry-pick facts and distort the truth, we translated only the first part of the responses but you get the idea:
3. Allegation: The removal of President Yanukovych and the installation of the interim government were a coup d’état.
Correct is: After the escalation of violence President Yanukovych signed a memorandum on the peaceful settlement of the crisis, which came about thanks to the mediation of France, Poland, Germany and Russia. President Yanukovych fled Kiev in the night from February 21 to February 22, 2014 after the signing. The majority of ministers had left Kiev as well so that there were no government and no head of state capable of acting…
Ok one more:
5. Allegation: Crimea has always been Russian.
Correct is: Crimea has an extremely checkered settlement history. In ancient times, Cimmerians, Tauri and later Greeks settled there, Goths came to Crimea in the course of the Migration Period in the third century. Huns, Khazars, Cumans and Tatars followed them starting from the fifth century. After the reign of the Mongols Crimea belonged to the Ottoman Empire until 1744, the Ottoman Empire had to grant independence to Crimea as a result of the sixth Russo-Turkish War. Subsequently, the Russian Empire annexed Crimea in 1783. After the displacement of the Turkic part of the population the peninsula was colonized with Russian, but also German, Greek, Bulgarian and Baltic peasants…
These are the “facts” the German Foreign Ministry has handed to its employees and members of the German Bundestag to prepare them for “Russian allegations.”
Predictably, German mainstream media embraced the “reality check” without question and helped the German government to expose “Putin’s myths” (Spiegel Online), “Moscow’s propaganda” (Die Welt) or “Moscow’s myths” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).
Although German government and media are only “informing about facts,” the population is increasingly skeptical of the official narrative.
And as we all know, there is only one possible explanation for this: Russia is waging a brutal information war!