This post first appeared on Russia Insider
This is great video.
The Russia-gate phenomena beginning in 2016 is merely the tip of the iceberg in a long history of Western fake news corruption, corruption that goes way back to biased portrayals of events like the 2008 war in Georgia.
The Georgia war had a long build- up starting with foreign NGO’s inciting aggressive separatism in Georgia, and using a pretext of fighting against “Russian Imperialism”. Putin acknowledged complex ethnic issues in the Caucasus and welcomed the idea of political compromises, whereas those in Georgia moved aggressively towards war.
Russians have been long aware of the fake news portrayed in any events which relates to neoliberal hegemony.
Watch as Russian president Vladimir Putin calls out the fake news media a decade ago in 2008. Transcript follows below:
The Russian PM visited the working lunch of the political analysts who attended the Valdai discussion club.
Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister, 2008: "To begin with, I'd like to greet you all. Good afternoon! As far as I can see, you haven't finished eating. Too bad. It's going to be hard to continue eating".
Indeed, nobody thought about lunch anymore, even if it was a working one. The political analysts' attention was arrested by Putin's quite explicit answers to their sharp questions, which mostly covered the South Ossetia crisis.
Jonathan Steele, Guardian columnist: "I understand you, as well as many other Russian top officials, have been angry about the attitude taken by the Western media. You immediately claimed that it was Georgia who had started the war. But then, the Russian troops advanced deeper into the Georgian territory. Russian aviation attacked Gori, and there were many refugees. It didn't look like an attempt to protect South Ossetia, but an attempted vengeance. We wonder why the Russian troops acted like that".
Vladimir Putin: "You know, your question doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is the power of the propaganda of the so-called 'West'. It's amazing! It's just remarkable! As our saying goes, that beats everything! I don't believe that there are people here that are unaware of the reality. In any case, the people in this hall know and understand how the situation actually unfolded. It all started on the afternoon of August, 7. But our troops came to Tskhinvali only on the night of August 10. You know, I was in Beijing and watched world media. They were completely silent as if nothing had happened at all. They were silent as if they were ordered to be so. I congratulate all those who are engaged in it. You've done an outstanding job! But the result is bad, and it will always remain so because this job is dishonest and immoral. Immoral politics always loses in the long run".
According to Vladimir Putin, Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia had actually been prepared for a long time. Under the Western media's claim of Russia's imperial ambitions, the Georgian Army was arming intensely.
Vladimir Putin: "Our American partners were constantly engaged in training the Georgian armed forces, investing considerable sums in it, sending there a lot of instructors who were mobilizing the Georgian Army. Instead of seeking a solution, a rather complex solution to the ethnic conflict situation, in my view, one of the sides to the conflict, Georgia, was just pushed to these aggressive acts. That's what actually happened. Of course, we had to respond, what else did you expect? Should we have wiped the bloody snot, as we call it, and bowed our head? Do you want to provoke the imbalance of the situation in Russia's North Caucasus?"
Vladimir Putin says the situation in Russia's North Caucasus has been crippled from abroad over the past years, often with the help of NGOs acting in our country.
Vladimir Putin: "We've detected the creation of the NGOs in some North Caucasian republics which would use the excuse of lack of protection, lack of protection, of South Ossetia to raise the question of breaking away from Russia. So, it's bad that we've protected South Ossetia, but if we hadn't done that, we'd have taken another hit, this time, concerning crippling Russia's North Caucasus.
The sky's the limit for their arrogance! And why did we act like that? Because the infrastructure used to attack our peacekeepers in Tskhinvali and South Ossetia on the whole went far beyond Tskhinvali itself: command points, radars, arms depots.
Did you expect us to wield a penknife? I hear the thesis of the improper use of force. What is a proper use of force? They use tanks, multiple launch rocket systems, heavy artillery. Should we respond with a sling? What's an adequate use of force in this case? Of course, those who orchestrated the provocation should have expected that they'd get a sock on the jaw. If command points are beyond the conflict zone, then that's where we should hit. That's a given. That's what war science prescribes".
At the same time, according to Putin, Russia had no intention of infringing on the sovereignty of the former Soviet republics, while the USA and its European partners often either ignored or turned it to their advantage, putting a premium on their geopolitical interests. That was the case when they recognized Kosovo's independence, brought troops into Afghanistan, or unfolded the war in Iraq.
Then the discussion turned to history. Briton Richard Sakwa, professor at the University of Kent, spoke about Griboyedov who had concluded an agreement with Persia in 1829 and the complicated relations of the Tsarist Russia and Britain.
Richard Sakwa: "For 200 years Russia failed to build a stable, confident relationship with the West. Why was this not possible?"
Vladimir Putin: "Listen, you're asking me why Russia failed to build a stable relationship with the West. And I'm asking you why the West didn't build a stable relationship with Russia. The efforts must be mutual. You can't... You see, an equitable relationship means mutual respect. And mutual respect means recognizing the other side as an equal partner. Look at the political practice of our American partners. God help you if your policy runs counter to the US interests on the American continent. It is considered sacrosanct! However, they think it's OK to deploy their warships 10 km far from where we're located. Do you call this an equal treatment? We have no imperial ambitions that they're trying to accuse us of. And we won't have any".
Political analysts attending the discussion club summed up the conversation with the Russian PM.
Ariel Cohen, USA: "The PM was in great shape, as usual. It is especially important to me that he avoided the escalation of rhetoric. Meaning, he didn't try to further exacerbate the confrontation that is obviously growing between the USA and Russia. What we've heard was quite pragmatic, with Russian interests not being betrayed".
Yan Charnogursky, Slovakia's PM in 1991-1992: "Mr. Putin's answers to the questions were convincing and without logical gaps".
The presidents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia addressed the Valdai discussion club today. Sergey Bogapsh stated that Abkhazia would develop as a sovereign state, but at the same time, it would build the closest possible relations with Russia. The Abkhazian president said that the republic was going to accede to the CIS and apply for membership in the Union State of Russia and Belarus. To this end, according to Bogapsh, first, it will conclude an agreement on cooperation with Russia.
Sergey Bogapsh, president of Abkhazia: "First, the necessary papers are to be signed. It's a complicated issue that is to be addressed step-by-step. We'll apply for membership in the Union State. And we're ready to accede to the CIS if it's going to expand, and the CSTO. That's our line and our principles. This will be decided by their members; we are for it.Э
South Ossetia's president Eduard Kokoity spoke about the republic's foreign policies. The Russian PM held the first meeting with him after our country recognized the independence of South Ossetia.
Vladimir Putin: "I'd like to once again congratulate you on the decision you've made. We know that South Ossetia had long striven for it and suffered much. The recognition of independence is an important step The situation in the republic is to be normalized to ensure the security, to restore the social sphere and the economy".
Eduard Kokoity, President of South Ossetia: "On behalf of the people of South Ossetia, I'd like to express gratitude to you and the president of the Russian Federation, for taking timely action to save the small South Ossetian people from full extermination".
As for the Valdai discussion club meeting, it will resume tomorrow.Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!
Anton Vernitsky, Marina Yeliseeva, Kirill Zotov, Stanislav Olpetin for Channel One.
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