Debunking, Ukrainian style

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In Novorossia Today, February 9, 2016

Translated from Russian by Tom Winter, February 11, 2016

[Background: the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement needs the assent of every EU member to come into effect. But in Holland, 450,000 signed a petition to put it to a referendum. The referendum will take place April 6; a recent poll showed that “NO” would win handily… — Tr]

Today, as the tea was brewing tea in the kitchen, I was looking as usual through the news from Ukrainian media, and as usual, nothing out of the ordinary, just the everyday bunk. But what’s this? I read in one headline “Foreign Minister” (of Ukraine) “disproves myths,” and that grabbed my attention. 

Was it finally going to happen that there could be at least one ministry or politician of today’s regime in Ukraine managing to prove something?

And then there it is: Kuleba, the Foreign Ministry spokesman debunking the myths about the referendum in the Netherlands on the EU’s association with Ukraine. 

I turned to it, I read it, I came to the conclusion that the government still perseveres in aiming to turn their subjects into complete idiots who can not think. Let’s just follow along as the Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine “disproves” one myth after another.

[Myth 1: It was all against Ukraine]*
“For the Dutchman, the current 55.5% intending to vote against an Association Agreement is only to show Brussels who’s the boss. And he does not care that the vote puts EU unity and effectiveness up in the air. He does not care that his NO vote will backfire somewhere there in the East for millions of Ukrainians. The authors of the referendum aimed it most of all at their government and the EU. Ukraine was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. So it just happens, unfortunately”

Of course it does, especially if you don’t read it, and just endorse it without looking at it, following the marching orders from the US. 

But in some ways it’s hard not to agree with Mr. Kuleba: it’s absolutely no concern for the ordinary European how the vote recoils on the Ukrainians: they didn’t care then, they don’t care now, and they’re not going to. They’ve got problems higher than the roof and to take such beggars on top of that — not going to happen.

[Myth 2: It’s all Moscow’s doing]
“It is doubtful that it was the Kremlin that started the referendum game, but not doubtful that the Kremlin is in the game. We do not see the streams of money, but among the opponents we see there is practically verbatim repetition of the Russians’ cliche.”

Well of course, and what were you expecting? The nature of truth is that you can repeat it without changing anything in it. It’s falsehood that has many faces, but when you say the truth, it has but one. After all, they said the association would be a disaster for Ukraine’s economy, and that is how it will end up.

“Thanks to the democratic laws of the Netherlands the Kremlin can go even further and openly support the forces agitating against the agreement, with money. But that wouldn’t be Kremlin style. Kremlin style – informational provocation and a covert game. And there will be lots more between now and April 6.”

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This much he got right: Not Kremlin style to stomp with both feet on the internal affairs of another country. And is it Kremlin style, “to go even further?” All right, and how then to call what happened in 2013 in Ukraine? When they openly said how much money the US State Department spent on Maidan when Nuland was amok in Kiev with her notorious cookies? Oh perfidious Kremlin, daring to give information to residents of the Netherlands (what provocations he’s talking about I’ll never know)

“The authors criticize their government and the EU for temporary implementation of the agreement and demand a moratorium until the results are announced.”

 This clause, which the Ukrainians very plainly overlooked, is very interesting. So far, it has gone right over their heads. Contemplate again the meaning in this sentence. Doesn’t it make you wonder?

[Myth 3: It all depends on Ukraine]
“The role of Ukraine in the next 10 weeks is quite simple – to talk convincingly about our culture, the business opportunities for the Dutch, about our success stories of change and, of course, to demonstrate real progress in the implementation of the Agreement, how it is going to transform the country. Everybody involved must play the role so as to keep a unified communications front and to reach out to a wider audience “

It’s all good about the culture. Just great. Evidence of this is massive, to take the word of the Foreign Office.

How does it strike you, Mr and Mrs Europe, when a government’s Foreign minister resorts to obscenity when addressing the president of another country? Well there’s culture, on some level. 

For the Business Opportunities, you could turn to Mr. Kolomoisky. He can lucidly explain how you can quickly and efficiently take over a whole oblast and do raider grabs on plum enterprizes. 

And the country’s GDP is burgeoning, oops, sorry, falling by day by day and hour on hour. 

Success stories of change? Here an absolute success! Change: No more pensions, no more wages, housing prices have hit the ceiling, in Kiev more robberies happened in January than all last year, and already the robberies are not for money, often just groceries, so they can have something to eat!

[Myth 4: All is lost]
“As for the abolition of Schengen visas for Ukrainians, it is a different story altogether, and the referendum has nothing to do with it. Nothing is lost. It’s all just getting started.”

Apparently the regime intends to keep feeding their people the fairy tale about the visa-free regime, even though the text itself suggests there will be many more empty promises.

For me at least, it was funny, yet at the same time I felt a sorry for those people who, reading it (a loss to define the text, I am not a psychiatrist), keep on supporting the government, and keep right on believing in a brighter future.
*These bracketed headers are from the Kuleba article and do not appear in Morozov’s piece. I included them for clarification — Tr.

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