Why the Kremlin needs propaganda more than ever

Why the Kremlin needs propaganda more than everBritish edition “The Guardian” published an article, which, after its translation into Russian, has become extremely popular with such sites as “Russian spring”. Although, on the website of the newspaper itself we can find a lively discussion which started immediately after the publication, with more than 1,300 comments and more than 5 000 publication’s sharing. We are going to speak about and analyze the article written by Nikolai Petro "Why Ukraine Needs Russia More Than Ever."

In the very first paragraph, the author (who, without doubt, must know the Russian language well, as he was the adviser to the Mayor of Novgorod, and received an honorary Doctorate degree at the local university), writes about Ukrainian purchases of European gas, which was 30% more expensive. The author doesn’t specify what exactly the price was compared to, but he refers to the site of the President of Ukraine.

According to the President, Ukraine has achieved “the excellent result”, notwithstanding the fact of Russian aggression. «I congratulate you. This winter was the first winter, when, even if the Russians closed completely the gas for us and set the price which was 30 percent lower than the European wholesale one, Ukraine managed to refuse the offer. Such behavior towards our country – aggression, economic blockade, embargo, which was put on us – requires a specific attitude. But Russia won’t be able to force us to our knees and we know that for sure”, - said the Head of the State.

Why the Kremlin needs propaganda more than ever

Apparently, the author meant this quotation and changed the meaning of Poroshenko’s idea.

In the view of Nikolai Petro, the rejection of that dubious discount from the aggressor on unknown terms is a good option for a country in dire economic straits. After all, it is about the economy, that this Professor of Political Science writes in his article, while regularly referring to Russian sources, which were to confirm his logic and his conclusions.

"Less than in a year, the currency has lost in the value 350%", - writes the author.

In this case he is referring to 2015 (in January 2015, $ 1 was equal to 16.15 hryvnia). Apparently, Petro believes that the hryvnia’s exchange rate is now hovering somewhere around 56.5 per dollar. Even “The Guardian” has made the information more accurate and has removed this passage of the author, but in the Russian translation no edits have been made.

"Up to seven million Ukrainians work in Russia nowadays. In 2014, they sent home $ 9 billion, which is three times greater than the volume of foreign direct investments received by Ukraine in the past year."

That is, according to the author, the direct foreign investments in Ukraine are about $ 3 billion. The State Statistics Service of Ukraine, apparently, is unfamiliar with professor’s numbers as well as he is absolutely ignoramus in official statistical data: he prefers to make such conclusions, referring to the article of “Ukrainian choice”

Why the Kremlin needs propaganda more than ever

By the way, it is cleverly enough, that “Ukrainian Choice” was one of the few Ukrainian resources which placed in the article of Nikolai Petro. Another source of placing the misleading and unverified information was "the candidate for the Presidency" Volodymyr Oliynyk. On his personal website one can find many other articles about the "junta", puppets and insidious State Department.

"EU Certification allows only 72 Ukrainian companies to export goods to the EU. Of these, 39 licenses are reserved for the exporters of honey."

In general, everything here is true, and one can even find the link to the source of the information, applied by the author. But Petro forgets to clarify that we are not talking about a total of 72 Ukrainian companies. We speak about 72 companies that have certification for the export of food of animal origin. It could be an insignificant detail, of course, and the editors of “The Guardian” cannot know the Russian language at such a high level to understand the trick. But as far as the relevant conclusions of the author are concerned, they have to verify the information. After all, the article of Nikolai Petro is placed not in the "Opinions" category, but in the category "World", claiming to be objective and showing the non-engagement of the author.

"It is not clear how Poroshenko plans to make Ukrainian agriculture competitive on the world market, when his own Minister of Agriculture points out that four out of the five agricultural Ukrainian enterprises are bankrupts." The professor prefers to ignore the fact that in his interview Alex Pavlenko talked about the enterprises, which are the part of the Ministry of Agriculture, not about all Ukrainian agricultural companies. Incidentally, in the same interview, the Minister spoke about the interest of foreign investors to the "serious agrarian assets". This last fact doesn’t converge with the apocalyptic picture of the state of the Ukrainian economy described by Petro.

In his article Petro also accuses the Ukrainian government of having terminated the contract with Russia for the supply of defense and aviation goods. Apparently, the author sees no contradiction in the fact that Ukraine cannot simultaneously fight against the pro-Russian militants in the Eastern regions of the country and continue to supply the arms to Russia.

The general conclusion in the abovementioned article underlines the need to forge economic ties between the Ukrainian authorities and the aggressor from Russia, as well as the fact that "Western politicians must insist that economic rationality takes precedence over economic nationalism, and make it a condition for assistance to Ukraine."

One should not count on the fact that the Russian propaganda has come to naught. Her loyal fighters are still energetically engaged in the distortion of Ukrainian true events.

Alexandr Shalupyna
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