by Stephen Lendman
It's malicious. It's unrelenting. Big Lies repeat one after another. Official sources announce them.
Media scoundrels regurgitate them as gospel. It's standard practice. Agitprop substitutes for accurate reporting.
Ukraine crisis misinformation proliferates. Responsible Russian replies get short shrift. Often they're ignored. Sometimes they're twisted irresponsibly.
On March 28, Vladimir Putin said professional Russian action saved Crimean bloodshed. He thanked "the command and service members of the Black Sea Fleet, other units and formations based in Crimea, for their stamina and personal courage."
He praised their "clear and professional actions." They "avoid(ed) provocations and prevent(ed) bloodshed and ensure(d) conditions for a peaceful and free referendum."
One observing UN Charter principles. One entirely legal. One contradicting Western lies claiming otherwise.
"Serious work must be done to modernize the military structure in Crimea," he added.
"We need to complete the formation of police, emergency and penitentiary, as well as security, investigative and drug-control agencies in the new constituent regions of the Federation."
Most Ukrainian forces reject Kiev putschists. They remain in Crimea. They do so freely. Reports otherwise are false.
Those wishing to remain on active duty are being integrated into Russia's military.
Their services are valued. "They will retain their military ranks and service record and have their school diplomas recognized," said Putin.
"The(ir) pay and social status will be brought in line with the Russian legislation." Moscow's military pay is "about four times that of Ukraine."
"Over the next few days the Russian government will make relevant decisions on all the matters concerning military pensions, allowances and salary payouts."
"We respect the choice of those Ukrainian service members and other law enforcement officers who are returning to Ukraine."
"Attitudes towards them and their families must be extremely correct, as required by the traditions of military honor."
All Ukrainian military personnel in Crimea wishing to return home either left or plan to. Around 2,000 of Kiev's 18,000 contingent chose to do so. Moscow provided them help to return home.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said "the organized withdrawal of the units of the Ukrainian army which have expressed a wish to continue serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been completed."
"The state symbols have been replaced on all ships and in all units that have taken the side of the Russian army."
"No acts of desecration and disrespectful treatment of Ukrainian state symbols have taken place."
Spurious Western reports lied about Russian troops massing on Ukraine's border. Invasion perhaps is imminent, they suggested. Saying so is malicious propaganda.
Throughout Ukrainian/Crimean crisis conditions, Putin acted responsibly. International laws were observed. They still are. He's geopolitically opposite Obama.
Reprehensible Western reports claim otherwise. Lies substitute for truth. On March 28, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich responded responsibly.
He debunked false charges. The Russians aren't coming. Aggression isn't planned. No evidence suggests an imminent attack.
Inspectors from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lativa, Switzerland and Ukraine were in direct contact with Russian military unit chiefs on the ground.
They photographed deployed sites and military equipment freely. They accompanied Russian forces on maneuvers.
They know no threat exists. They informed their superiors. Falsified reports claim otherwise. They stoke fear.
They bash Russia maliciously. They do it daily. It bears repeating. Big Lies drown out truth. Media scoundrels echo them like gospel.
Lukashevich issued a detailed statement. It's repeated below in its entirety, saying.
"In the light of claims on an allegedly threatening deployment of units of the Russian Armed Forces on the border with Ukraine, which are fanned by mass media at the instigation by certain politicians in the U.S and some other NATO countries, we find it necessary to make the following remarks."
"The practice of collaboration among member-states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) - and all of NATO's member-states also have membership of the OSCE - boasts a number of well-adjusted and fairly reliable methods of 'getting analgesia' in the form of ground-based and aerial inspections under the 2011 Vienna Document, as well as surveillance flights under the Treaty on Open Skies."
"An opportunity to hold these inspections was offered to everyone who wished to get familiarized with the actual state of affairs in the areas (of Russia - Itar-Tass) adjoining the Ukrainian border. The results of the inspectors' work were reflected in the official reports distributed to all the member-states of the OSCE.
"The unbiased information contained in them should have become, in our opinion, a subject of scrupulous analysis and the groundwork for further conclusions. And did the inspectors establish any signs of a military threat to Ukraine on the part of Russia?"
"Nothing of this kind. A total of four international inspections held on the Russian territory under the 2011 Vienna document on trust-building and security measures involved representatives of Latvia, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Estonia, Belgium, France, and Ukraine, who did not track down any aggressive preparations and did not see any military activity apart from the one, on which Russian had sent notifications earlier."
"Even a Ukrainian inspection group that visited the Belgorod region from March 18 to March 20 agreed that the Russian Armed Forces were not conducting any major military activity there."
"The three battalions of Airborne Troops it had found outside the zone of permanent stationing - that is, in the process of a military exercise - could scarcely be viewed as signs of a "menacing buildup of military muscle."
"Apart from inspections under the Vienna document, US and German inspectors made surveillance flights under the Treaty on Open Skies in March."
"Although their officials conclusions will be known somewhat later after the processing of photo materials is over, one can assume that had our partners registered some aerial signs of large concentrations of Armed Forces, they would not have procrastinated with presenting "hardboiled evidence."
"But they did not, and this means such evidence simply does not exist. In connection with the aforesaid, a few questions arise."
"What is the sense of verifications in the military and defense policy sphere if their results do not influence political practices, including the formation of US and NATO approaches to the situation around Ukraine?"
"Is it linked to the fact the unbiased information gathered by military inspectors does not reach political leadership?"
"Or are these very same leaders so susceptible to emotions that they might ignore facts in favor of own political tastes and preferences?"
"In any case, our Western counterparts give grounds for calling the efficiency of the International Security Treaty mechanism from the angle of consolidating trust and security."
"We will take account of this in our work on further improvement of the Vienna document and in the process of scrutiny of supplementary initiatives in the format of the OSCE forum on security cooperation."
On Friday, Putin called Obama. He did so to discuss Ukraine. Itar Tass said he stressed ongoing violence by extremists. They're "committing acts of intimidation against civilians," he said.
They act with impunity. Putin urged international efforts to stabilize things. John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov will meet to discuss joint US/Russian efforts to do so.
Putin acted responsibly. An irresponsible White House press release lied saying otherwise.
"President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," it said.
Obama ludicrously claimed "the the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections."
He urged Putin to support what demands rejection. He lied claiming Russian troops massed on Ukraine's border. Avoid "further provocations," he said.
He twists facts repeatedly to fit policy. He threatens world peace. He threatens humanity's survival.
Putin isn't naive. He knows what he's up against. He knows Washington's imperial ambitions. He's been outspoken about them many times.
He knows how great conflicts begin. So does Paul Craig Roberts. "We are again on the road to World War," he fears. "(T)he drive to war is blatantly obvious."
Washington bears full responsibility. Rogue Western nations and supportive media scoundrels share it.
"(T)he world (is) again being led down the garden path by lies and propaganda…(T)his time (it's) (on) behalf of (unchallenged) American world hegemony," Roberts stresses.
Putin understands the threat. He's going all-out to defuse it. He has no willing partner in Washington. Advancing America's imperium matters most.
Obama reflects the worst of rogue leadership. He's duplicitous. He's a serial liar. He represents corrupted monied interests. He's a war criminal multiple times over.
He's waging war on humanity. He's doing it at home and abroad. He blames victims for his crimes. Millions of corpses attest to his barbarity. His belligerence risks World War III.
On Friday, Security Council members met in closed-door session. They did so to discuss Ukraine. UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained Moscow's position publicly.
"Someone must seriously think through what they are doing and the consequences of certain actions they are advocating," he said.
"Our international partners insist that the only way out is to have this presidential election on May 25."
"In a situation of political chaos in the country? What will be the effect of those elections if some of the regions do not participate or turnout is very low in the course of those elections?"
Ukraine needs legitimate governance. It needs constitutional reform. It needs them in place before elections are held, Russia stresses.
"There is no political leader in sight who might be able to unite the country," said Churkin.
"All the politicians one can hear about are extremely divisive for the Ukrainian society."
"The other thing that is going to come up in the next couple of months is most likely dramatic decline of the living standards of people, because of IMF package which now has been proposed to them" and accepted.
Western nations urge Russia to engage in dialogue. At the same time, they turn a deaf ear to what it's saying.
"If you want dialogue, please respond to what we've been saying," said Churkin. "They are responding, sometimes, but the response is that: 'Well, but you know, the Ukrainians…' "
"We understand the importance of constitution, but how can they do it now? Can they do this constitutional assembly? There is no one to organize the constitutional assembly!"
"Well, if there is nobody to organize, maybe this is exactly the role of the international community? This Compact support group we have been proposing to help them organize those things if there is nobody currently in Ukraine who can take this responsibility."
"Our position is very clear. (It's) disappointing that those things which are obvious to us do not seem to sink in in the minds of our international interlocutors and our Ukrainian colleagues."
Ukrainian conditions remain chaotic. Stability is nowhere in sight. Fascist putschists run things. Responsible governance is absent.
Sham May elections aim to legitimize illegitimate rule. Democracy is strictly verboten. Russia in under no illusion.
Western supported rogue Ukrainian governance threatens its security. Potential civil war looms. Igniting it risks cross-border spillover. Doing so risks global war.
Russia is going all-out to defuse things. Its best efforts may not be enough.
Separately, Lukashevich said irresponsible Western sanctions "cannot go without reaction." Moscow intends "a responsive measure, which we are mirroring to a large extent."
Hungary opposes Western sanctions. Germany has mixed feelings. Angela Merkel wants "de-escalation."
She's against economic sanctions. She hopes to avoid them. Germany is heavily dependent on Russian natural gas. After China, it's Berlin's largest trading partner. Volume approaches $100 billion annually.
Thousands of German companies are involved. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake. Safeguarding them is vital to Germany's economy. Merkel is responsible for doing so.
Russian parliamentarians are considering imposing sanctions on US companies. Reports suggest setting limits to offices considered legal entities.
Duma Deputy Vadim Dengin said:
"If the US cares little about losing business contacts with Russia through imposing its sanctions, then Russia should have long since started supporting Russian producers in full."
US companies want business as usual to continue. Bottom line priorities matter most. Political disagreements hurt them. How much they're able to curb further action remains to be seen.
It bears repeating what previous articles stressed. Today is the most perilous time in world history.
Paul Craig Roberts is justifiably worried. People don't "learn from history," he says. Obama bears full responsibility.
He justifies US aggression irresponsibly. He's heading down "the road to World War."
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.