Published On: Wed, Mar 2nd, 2022

Although its Ukraine conflict propaganda is corporate-media (Mi7) futilely going through the motions, there’s some good use to be had

Regarding the output of the corporate-media (the lion share of Mi7, as it is styled in these pages) in respect of the military operation that Russia is currently undertaking in the Donbas – and for strategic purposes in support of the main aim – across southern and eastern Ukraine, the best thing anyone can do to gain a true perspective is read Nineteen Eighty Four. The book is not fantasy, but instead describes “news” production that reflected real practice that is in use even today. Read the articles at this site that discuss it, especially in how it correlates with real life nefarious conduct on the part of UK Government during World War II.

The upshot is, anyone who places any credence in corporate-media reportage of the happenings in Ukraine without being able to verify it – and one usually cannot – has had his brain removed. What is happening in Ukraine is such a serious setback for UK Government that  Mi7 propaganda effort is going to reflect it to the point that there will be denial – to the nth degree – of Russian progress, and especially of Russian success achieved without the Anglo-globalist at-all-and-any-cost approach, and it is going to be very interesting to see how events are treated when they play out in the only way they can. So, very self-evidently, UK corporate-media coverage of the situation in Ukraine will primarily be concerned with maintaining an illusion of strength to a domestic audience, because Russia is not the UK Government’s ultimate enemy from which a devastating show of weakness must be hidden, especially when UK Government must answer in a manner befitting the crime for the demented way it has been carrying on in its international affairs. Of course, a secondary purpose, presumably, would be to produce material to be consumed by the enemy in the field – and this is where the alternative media ancillary could be useful.

It’s probably safe to say that Russian and Novorossiyan troops won’t be having access to material produced by Mi7 on the medium of state-corporate platforms. If UK Government won’t let Britons watch the Russian channel, RT, does anyone think that the BBC will be available to soldiers in the Russian army in Ukraine? As such, Mi7 propaganda is not going to change the outcome on the ground in any direct way. However, there are big English language alternative media outlets, purporting to be geopolitical expertise, where the propaganda is routinely regurgitated. On the surface, these sites have a reputation for being critical of the US/UK, and an appeal in terms of the provision of a perspective that isn’t found in mainstream English language “journalism”. These sites have a reach into a community that follows geopolitics on the ground, so to speak, on the basis of opposition to the broadest expression of Anglo-American world domination. It is a community that potentially incorporates people with first-hand involvement in military conflict in the context stated above. This community is therefore one that is potentially an environment for the production of cascading rumour that reaches parts (to instil vulnerability), even by word of mouth, that corporate-media cannot.

Now, any defeatism that these sites want to impart to an audience has to be interwoven into a heavy abundance of the popular message: the audience has picked its side, and wants to see an English-language perspective that tells them of their success. The trick doesn’t have to be subtle, because the alternative media audience continually betrays itself as being as dumb as its corporate-media counterpart, it just has to feature. If the reader wants an illustration, let him have it in a self-learning manner, and for contrast consider the body of the previous FBEL article (By Its Looks, Russia’s “Special Military Operation In Donbas” Really Is Just That) as an example of a non-defeatist piece of writing, with especial attention on the absence of warnings of retribution, either for Russia or anyone else, escalating into greater war, or any idea of the US/UK achieving some kind of masterstroke because the Russians are conducting themselves according to the necessity of their self-defensive requirements, which is what alternative media routinely plugs into its output.

So much for website proprietor-produced content, but there’s also the matter of associated open forums in which all and sundry can disseminate lies. That FBEL is not overwhelmed by the dim, deceived, and the devious in the comments section offered here is not so much a matter of being reflective of audience numbers, but more to do (the author suspects) with not being paid to host the sort of forum where there can be rampant disruption. At the one big “expert”  geopolitical site that the author does examine for the sake of learning so that things here being stated can be expressed with any degree of confidence, the proprietor threatens to censor comments that freely repeat corporate-media propaganda (because this is what he must be seen to do), but the forum is nevertheless awash with the material. Being a website operator himself, the author knows that there is functionality whereby comments can remain unpublished, and concludes that where regurgitated corporate-media propaganda appears in alternative media comment spaces, it does so because a decision has been made to allow it.

Moving on, a second issue concerning Mi7 coverage of the happenings in Ukraine is one of location: where are agents filing reports from? In the abovementioned previous FBEL article, it was noticed that Alex Rossi, working nominally for Sky, had to retreat from Berdyansk to Mariupol, and it was predicted that he would soon have to flee from the latter. Well, we now hear that Mariupol has been encircled by Russian and Novorossiyan forces, and that Rossi has duly decamped to Dnipro (of which, more later). The former piece of information is to be found in numerous ear-to-the-ground places that form that internet community as described above, but it is also now being reported in The Guardian: “the southern cities of Kherson and Mariupol are likely now encircled by the Russians, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.” The encirclement of Mariupol is also confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Incidentally, the Russians appear to be following a doctrine used in Syria, if not developed there, where towns would be surrounded, humanitarian corridors opened, and civilians required to exit so that the defending forces – who were actually holding the innocent as hostages – could be besieged and forced to surrender (or overrun). This is important to know as we look at more evidence of Mariupol having been abandoned by Mi7.

On this day, 2nd March, an ITV crew purports to be in Mariupol (fronted by an agent by the name of John Irvine), but it is interesting that an article where Irvine talks to “defiant Ukrainians [who] stay put as Russian troops close in”, even though it appears to be posted at 12.55pm, is steeped in a sense of the Russians yet to come, or still approaching, so that artillery exchanges happen at the outskirts of the city, only “occasionally” landing closer to the town centre, when there are then injuries to civilians. Compare that with a sensationalist story from The Sun, tellingly opening with a paragraph containing plenty of legally sensitive language: “Russian forces have allegedly been indiscriminately shelling the Ukrainian port of Mariupol… with unconfirmed reports claiming hundreds have been killed”. The Sun appears to be getting its information from the city’s government, and does not cite British correspondents. The author suspects the following: while there is no need to believe things alleged and unconfirmed, if Russians have now moved into a gear where they have encouraged citizens to flee so that they can take on the particularly extremist type of Ukrainian soldier (Nazi) that is said to be in Mariupol, then the ITV report is not current, but has been posted at a time to give the appearance of a media crew being present.  Time will tell.†

Returning to the trail of Alex Rossi, his new location was revealed in a question and answer session hosted yesterday by Sky News, where in-house “journalists” answered their audience’s questions. A particular set, “How safe do you feel reporting from this war zone? How do you know the armies aren’t going to turn on you?” was fielded by Alex Rossi, at 16.32 – in Dnipro, which is very centrally located in the west of eastern Ukraine:

It’s not safe for any journalists working in Ukraine.

Many will have to contend with the threat posed by Russian military attacks but also an increasingly cautious Ukrainian military that is regularly having to monitor for, what they perceive to be, suspicious vehicles driving through heavily fortified towns and cities.

This poses considerable challenges for all of us.

All journalists working in the country need to carry with them their press credentials (local and international) which can help navigating Ukrainian military checkpoints, but this is a horrendous and complex conflict which poses many risks for journalists trying to cover it.

What Rossi doesn’t explain is the obvious necessity to retreat 260 miles, fleeing in the face of an advancing Russian army. Moreover, if Rossi has been withdrawn to Dnipro, and if it is assumed that this is outside of the range of Russian encirclement of what is actually (so the author believes) the main bulk of all Ukrainian forces that happen to be fixed on the Novorossiyan front, then it indicates that the Russians are perhaps aiming at sealing a significantly large and devastating pocket (with reports in ear-to-the-ground media of this happening imminently).

In the same question and answer session, it was claimed of the Sky security and defence editor, Deborah Haynes, that she was in Kiev, but the author has serious doubts that any UK media-military-intelligence is in that city. On 27th February, the Daily Mail ran a story where this telling piece of information was divulged:

After a gruelling night of Russian attacks on the outskirts of the city, mayor Vitali Klitschko was silent for several seconds when asked if there were plans to evacuate civilians if Russian troops managed to take Kyiv.

‘We can’t do that, because all ways are blocked,’ he finally said. ‘Right now we are encircled.’

Of course, this would not be entirely true, because by the Russian methodology, there will be an escape corridor out of Kiev. Indeed, if The Guardian is reporting the following, it possibly signifies that civilians cannot leave the city because of a hostage population scenario:

Thousands of Ukrainians are trying to leave Kyiv, our correspondent in Kyiv reported, as Russia’s defence ministry warned residents to leave as it plans to strike targets in the Ukrainian capital.

Again, the author thinks that the chances of any Mi7 remaining in Kiev is remote, and if Black-“journalist”, Clive Myrie, is reporting from a bunker, as we shall see, in the first days of March to explain why he still puts himself in danger in the Ukrainian capital, it doesn’t mean that he is in Kiev, for a report from a bunker (that looks remarkably like a TV studio) could come from anywhere. (The main candidates are the place in Liviv in which rumour places Ukrainian president Zelensky, or somewhere in the vast basements of the Ministry of Truth):

In an interview with BBC host Christian Fraser, reporting from an underground bunker, the Mastermind host explained his commitment to staying in Ukraine and reporting from the ground in Kyiv in order to stop the spread of misinformation…

‘It’s part of our job. We all feel that we want to tell the story of this war and tell it accurately and fairly.’

‘That is really important because there is so much crap out there that is misinformation, propaganda nonsense. What you’re trying to do… is you’re trying to be truthful to this story.’

This is very interesting indeed because it relates to the very same illustration being given here. The fact that Russians control the approaches to Kiev can be reduced to internet “crap” if Clive Myrie and his Mi7 cohort can be seen to be operating without concern for falling into the hands of a Russian Government that has a beef with the “Empire of Lies”.

The bottom line of this issue is that the Russian operation in Ukraine is not a war under the control of the US/UK; it is no Libya, where – purely for the purposes of producing propaganda – Sky News teams can travel well ahead of proxy army lines (on a battle field where the enemy is ensconced in defensive positions) and tell its audience that anti-Gaddafi forces have advanced into this or that area – only then to fall back to real positions. The skies are not friendly in Ukraine for Mi7 to operate this way, and more importantly, in Ukraine, there is always the chance of suddenly coming across an advancing enemy. The observant reader should have noticed by now how corporate-media reportage is largely devoid of battlefield situation awareness, with a lot of the material being churned out concerning itself with “suffering humanity” stories that don’t have to be in the immediate vicinity of any fighting. It’s because the Russians are in control, and in such a way that – as mentioned before – an outcome where the Russians are satisfied towards the achievement of their goals cannot be in any doubt.

All that being said, there is a way that Mi7 can be very useful if one looks for the possibility of its propaganda projecting the position of its own side, so that what is being ascribed to Russia in terms of failing leadership, faltering morale, large casualties, Putin being charged as a war criminal etc, is actually something happening much closer to home – or feared as being a possibility. After all, the current crop of Winston Smiths are so very prolific with their propaganda, while at the same time being so very unequal to previous generations of Ministry of Truth drone in terms of intellect, that one just knows that most of the fairy tale telling will not be pulled out of arses in Victory gin induced flights of Comrade-Ogilvy-manufacturing fancy.

 

† Update: Thursday, 3rd March, and Good Morning Britain shows a film of John Irvine and crew encountering ”a large Russian armoured column”, when they were stopped and had their identities checked. They were allowed to continue on. Irvine claimed he was fleeing Mariupol, but there’s no way of knowing how far from the town the encounter took place, or indeed when. However, he did say this: “[the Russian’s presence confirmed that Mariupol is indeed encircled, and it’s taking a pummelling”.

Naturally, Irvine couldn’t help but add the obligatory sniping to convey the impression of Russian brutality,  but it was an odd thing to say given that he was encountering mobile artillery that was supposed to be encircling Mariupol, but whose guns were silent.

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  1. Ken Michael says:

    With circa 40 million smartphones in the possession of Ukraine people on the ground and comms still working, shouldn’t the internet be awash with real-time ‘front-line’ detailed video evidence substantiating their agitprop?… I wonder why it’s not.

    • P W Laurie says:

      As I understand it, the very thing you’re talking about – showing a flare fired by Russians, who were by then the stewards of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, and under attack and acting in a defensive capacity, and not the strike of a missile fired in offense – debunked an entire US/UK/Ukrainian propaganda campaign concerned with framing the Russians as unscrupulous breeders of radioactive environmental catastrophe. Twice this has been tried, and twice it has failed. An FBEL article is pending.

  2. Mara D says:

    ‘It’s part of our job. We all feel that we want to tell the story of this war and tell it accurately and fairly. That is really important because there is so much crap out there that is misinformation, propaganda nonsense. What you’re trying to do… is you’re trying to be truthful to this story.’

    “our job”, “we all feel”, “you are”. Not a single use of the word “I”. This is a typical example of a person avoiding owning any of their statements. He can’t bring himself to say “I’m trying to be truthful”. Why not? Stress response can be seen when uttering a direct lie. He also modifies “truthful” with “trying to be” which is not the same as actually being truthful.

    Epic fail.

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