March 7, 2014
A BBC Newsnight short titled, “Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine,” reveals xenophobic Jew-hating nationalists, armed and leading the mobs in Kiev, directly contradicting months of Western media narratives portraying the rabble as aspiring for “freedom,” “democracy,” and “closer ties with the West,” with the most absurd example being the “I am Ukrainian” propaganda reel.
Russia invaded Ukraine over the weekend, justifying its incursion by claming it needed to protect Crimea’s ethnic Russian population from supposed neo-Nazi extremists. This was pure propaganda, of course—Vladmir Putin has been keen to annex land that used to be part of Russia, as he did in Georgia in 2008, and seems to think that the Ukrainian army will and should immediately surrender to the Russian one.
Still, Putin needed a story to spin, no matter how full of holes, and thus the neo-Nazi claims. But as it turns out, Crimea’s streets are not exactly paved with extremists—a fact that has proven troublesome for Russian state TV channels looking to find token far-right bogeymen.