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Right-Wing Radicals Ahead in Ukrainian Polls? German Media Blames Russia.


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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The German news media, alarmed by the rise of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, illogically (but predictably) blames Putin and Russia.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s leading newspapers, published an article on the upcoming October 26 parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

The article starts promisingly enough with the headline “A longing for Peace in Ukraine”.  However, a surprise waits for the incautious reader: written in the caption under the headline is “The longer Putin’s war in Donbass lasts, the more popular the radicals become in Ukrainian politics”.

Hello? Wasn’t there a “longing for peace in Ukraine”?  Now we learn, before the article has even begun, that it is actually the pro-war radicals that are poised to do well in the elections.

But the spin gets worse.

“Oleh Lyashko is in position two, surveys say”.  So this is the “new face” of Ukrainian politics? 

Next we find out something about  Lyashko.  Amnesty International are after him:

“Early in August, Amnesty International asked the Ukrainian government to start legal proceedings against Lyashko.  His crimes: kidnappings, arbitrary questionings, arrests and abuses against separatists. Such abuses were easy to document: he had updated videos on his website”.

So this is the “new face” of Ukrainians “longing for peace”? This is the man who might take second place in the upcoming elections?

A few sentences into the article, and the headline has already become a joke.  

The article attracted 19 readers’ comments.  Of these 17 were critical, one was neutral and one was favourable.  Some were openly sarcastic about the caption “Putin’s war” with its subliminal spin.  “Whose war, bitte?”; “Again on the warpath against Putin?”.

Others were unimpressed by the optimistic tone of the headline: “An election between criminals and oligarchs”, “Heaven help us”, “it is going to be a long way to democracy….”

But we know who is responsible for all this, don’t we?  It’s "Putin’s war", after all! 

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