Censorship Exercise, Conflict journalism, Eyewitness Accounts, Ukraine

OSCE Conference Scandal in Vienna

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Written by Zlatko Percinic and originally published on Neo Presse

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “OSCE Conference Scandal in Vienna

    • The “war” that the US had hoped for against Russia is not materialising as they had hoped, the sanctions that the US encouraged the EU to take have not proved fruitful either. There is only one course left and that is the vitriolic pursuit of lies and other misrepresentations known as “propaganda”. It is easy to play on the misconceptions the west has on Russia due to the relentless volume of US propaganda (and that of the UK) which has been at work for over a century. The fact is that the US is terrified of the ability Russia is now displaying in the trade and geopolitical world, it challenges the US position. The mere chance that the ruble could be assimilated into a global Chinese bank currency is anathema to the US. Take heart in knowing that despite the giant US propaganda that spews from all directions it will not stop countries like China, Bahrain, Argentina, India and many, many more from diplomatic and economic ties developing. China is fully aware that if ever the US was able to cripple Russia then it would turn against China next. What do you think the Chinese are going to do about that? Countries all over the world are very familiar with america’s tactics and many if not most are not deceived by this Ukraine conflict as “Russian” aggression” any more than they are with what is happening in Iraq and Syria, where US interests will be served. The US has, whether it realizes it or not, and I suspect they are aware given the impetus and drive of their propaganda, shot itself in the foot. What their activities have achieved is to make more aware to many more countries the “cost” of doing business with the US and the IMF(or even not doing business with them; ie Macedonia, Serbia, Armenia) and is actively driving countries and emerging markets to look toward the east as an alternative. The diplomatic and trade avenues being pursued by many countries with China and Russia, are a direct consequence of the US threat as perceived by them and the rabidly russophobic bigots will be the ones with egg on their faces.

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by mohandeer | June 26, 2015, 14:23
  1. Reblogged this on susannapanevin.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by susannapanevin | June 26, 2015, 14:13
  2. I have long had my suspicions about OSCE. Not only because of their demonstrated tendencies to ‘stack the deck’ in favor of Ukraine in their carefully timed ‘inspections,’ but also because of the radical ultranationalist family background of its Canadian spokesperson for the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by John Gilberts | June 26, 2015, 16:54

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  1. Pingback: Donetsk Lugansk News Jun 25-27 | Novorossiya Daily Sun - June 26, 2015

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