OSCE-conference Scandal in Vienna from 15.-16.06
From June15 to 16, OSCE held a conference at its seat in the Austrian capital Vienna entitled “Journalists’ Safety, Media Freedom and Pluralism in Times of Conflict”.
Nothing exciting, one is tempted to say, if reality had not been a bit different.Because what seems to have been intended as a subject with all the best intentions turned into heinous anti-Russian propaganda in several of the presentations.
Hromadske Int., founded just at the end of 2013, for example, did a presentation titled “Digital Journalism Revolution on the Eastern European Front-line”. Even though some may dismiss it as splitting hairs, it is quite relevant whether you talk about a war in eastern Ukraine, when speaking of the Ukraine crisis, or about an “Eastern European front-line”. Because the latter implies a war including all of Europe with its front-line in the Donbass and with Russia as the enemy. And that is a completely different matter than limiting the war in Ukraine to the east of the country.
Specifically Hromadske, which does not shy away from offering a platform in its Ukrainian version to people who declare 1.5 million inhabitants in Russian-speaking Donbass as “superfluous”. And to top even that, a cameraman of Hromadske was honoured with the German Media Award in the category “report from conflicts”. But it should be noted that Ivan Lyubish-Kirdey received this award for his work as a cameraman for ARD, when he entered the city of Ilovaisk together with the fascist Azov, Donbass, Dnepr and Kherson battalions, and after some days “his” unit came under heavy fire from the rebels’ counter-offensive. Their flight by car was filmed by Lyubish-Kirdey who now received this award.
Or Freedom House, founded in 1941 to put the US population into the right mood for US entry into WWII and which later turned into a forum for different hard-pressed minorities. Under the Reagan administration and as a consequence of the Iran-Contra-affair it was integrated into the National Endowment for Democracy, which is submitted to the US state department, to enable the White House to better control “public diplomacy”
Even this Freedom House presented a speech about “History as Propaganda”, together with representatives of countries like Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland (and a few others, as seen above). As if coup-organiser Yatsenyuk never twisted history and as if Poland does not distort historical facts. On the next day, Freedom House even added an event about the situation in Crimea and in the Donbass.
Still that was not enough. While all the presentations mentioned above were voluntary presentations that delegates and guests could choose to attend or not, the second day started with an obligatory part of the program. It was titled “Propaganda and Information Warfare” and delivered a presentation of the “effects of Russian propaganda in Eastern Partnership countries” (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belorussia).
This presentation was prepared by Andriy Kulakov, programming director of “Internetnews Ukraine” (recently he spoke in front of the US Congress). Some of the financial supporters of “Internetnews Ukraine” are the European branch of NED, Civil Society Forum or EU itself. Here are some slides from this presentation.
Particularly the slide using SS-runes certainly should be put in question, but this was done neither by OSCE nor by the participants of the conference. In contrast, when the Russian delegation showed its presentation about victims of torture by the Ukrainian “security services” and showed images from the embattled village of Shirokino, another employee of “Internetnews Ukraine” stood up and took up position in front of the desk with a copy of exactly this slide to interrupt the presentation. Even before the presentation started, a big copy of the same slide stood beside the table, that had to be removed.
This employee of “Internetnews Ukraine” was probably Vitaliy Moroz, who also participated in the conference. If you look at his tweets from these two days, besides participating, he was quite busy typing anti-Russian slogans.
Another Ukrainian delegate used the time between lunch and the beginning of the Russian presentation on the second day to distribute flyers in front of the room warning of “hate speech” and “defamation”.
Another activist and Kremlin opponent from Russia, Viktoria Ivleva (who declared in an interview with propaganda channel Radio Free Europe that, for her, Maidan stood for love), who was invited by the Ukrainian delegation, tried to disrupt the Russian presentation by grabbing the material offered to the listeners and carrying it out of the room.
Another person causing trouble was the American historian and professor at Yale University, Timothy Snyder. In his speech about “History as Propaganda” he said:
“People in the Donbass kill other people due to Russian lies.”
This way Snyder faded out all the events that led to civil war in Ukraine. The Maidan protests that were infiltrated and then abused by the Right Sector and other fascist forces; the coup against president Yanukovich; the attack of the Ukrainian Army against the Donbass population, masked as Anti-Terror Operation; the massacre of Odessa; all the uncountable tortures of civilians.
Instead of that, the Yale professor toured through Germany, where he claimed that “Europe is an easier goal for Putin than Ukraine”, or talked about “Russia´s neocolonial project”. It´s easy to find a lot of other similarly ridiculous texts from Snyder on the internet.
When all those details are summed up, the conference did not meet the requirements that derive from OSCE´s claim to be a neutral organisation. Looking at the quantity of actions and positions that were mainly directed against a single specific country, namely Russia, it is thoroughly legitimate to call the whole event a scandal.