The denunciation of a “genocide” in the separatist regions as a possible humanitarian pretext for the blitz
In Moscow they know what messages Western public opinion is particularly sensitive to. Refugees, a migration crisis. The ethnic cleansing, the mass graves, the still burning sense of guilt for the ignored massacres in Srebrenica. The independence of a small but proud country. And finally, the use of chemical weapons, a taboo whose violation automatically leads to the passage into the category of bad guys, in the company of Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad. All these ingredients are present in the greatest show staged in the Donbass: the first to be loaded into the buses that would have “brought them to safety” to Russia were the children of an orphanage, and Russian TV frames the elderly and mothers, the gazes lost and distressed, an image that came out of Europe’s worst nightmares. The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry repeats the accusations of “genocide” already launched by Vladimir Putin in the presence of Olaf Scholz, and which went almost unnoticed, in what appeared to be the Russian president’s propaganda outburst. The Russian representation at the UN speaks of mass graves of Russian-speaking civilians, discovered in the separatist enclaves eight years after the Russian occupation. And Telegram channels close to the Russian military claim that Ukrainian infiltrators wanted to blow up a chemical factory to poison the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass, and that it was precisely this failed attack that triggered the evacuation of civilians.the.
The Kremlin adopts the White House technique, in turn accusing Kiev of an imminent attack, but it goes far beyond the accusations and “indiscretions of informed sources”. Civilians from Donetsk and Luhansk are loaded onto buses and taken to Russia. The absurdity of attacking before the eyes of the whole world, and of Russian troops massed on the border despite the promise of withdrawal, is irrelevant to the need to produce the necessary television images. It is a typical operation of the Putinian style, fast, unscrupulous, top secret – the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov himself admits he “knows nothing” – and functional above all to create an alternative reality.
The scenography is prepared to the millimeter, while Putin welcomes Aleksandr Lukashenko to Moscow and prepares to personally command nuclear missile exercises as a display of strategic power. The leaders of the separatist “people’s republics” do not have time to order the evacuation of women, children and the elderly – then it will be discovered that the videos with their appeals had been recorded two days earlier, when there was a flat calm on the front – that the Russian president has already ordered to give the evacuees food, accommodation and 10 thousand rubles each. They are about 120 euros (in the meantime the ruble has started to fall again), a sufficient incentive for a trip across the border. The Russian state agency Ria Novosti announces the displacement of 700,000 refugees in Rostov-on-Don, a number impossible to transport even in a month, but sufficient to denounce a “humanitarian catastrophe”, and to move the Russians, opposed to a new war.
A scenario already tested in South Ossetia in 2008, and in Crimea in 2014: a virtual reality that allows the Kremlin to present itself as a defender of the weak. Meanwhile, the Senate is convened on February 22 in Moscow for an extraordinary session, and the head of the Russian PC Gennady Zyuganov, questioned on the request of the communist parliamentarians to Putin to recognize the independence of the Donbass, replies “Keep an eye on the situation, wait Monday”. The interview is denied, but the audio ends up on the net. The annexation, formal or indirect, of the Donbass had been considered a possible plan B of the Kremlin, and on 22 February, on the eve of the Day of the Armed Forces and the eighth anniversary of the revolution that marked the definitive break of Kiev with Moscow, it could be a good date for Putin’s new “triumph”. Who in front of Lukashenko flaunts indifference towards Western sanctions: “They will introduce them anyway, with or without pretext, to stop Russia’s development.”
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