Ruslana photo on Russian (Soviet) propaganda website rusvesna.su
Russian disinformation is so predictable and sick at the same time. Like its Soviet predecessor, it relies on taking bits out of context and mixing them with a healthy portion of pure fabrication in the belief that many (foreigners as well as the Russian audience) will believe it without doing the slightest fact check to see if it is real. As usual, it is not real.
Ukrainian singer Ruslana, who was regarded as a hero of Maidan and camped out there for about 100 days last winter, and sang the Ukrainian national anthem from the stage there hourly, has since been a sort of unofficial Ukrainian ambassador, traveling the world pushing the Ukrainian cause. In early September she went out to eastern Ukraine to see what was happening there, and came back critical of government support for the Ukrainian troops (army and volunteer battalion forces) and incompetence of some military commanders, and calling for the war to end (or at least for there to be a real ceasefire, which is hardly what is currently in effect), but making it clear that Russian troops must leave Ukraine one way or another, and making it extra clear that Putin’s regime is the source of the war in the east. Russian propaganda turned her visit on its head, however.
Here is the version from the Russkaya Vesna (Russian Spring) website, which like Putin’s Nashi youth group, tellingly does not use the .ru internet address, but rather, .su (rusvesna.su) for Soviet Union. This right there shows where their heads are—and certainly’ Putin’s too. In any case, this version is full of the usual—takign bits of a news conference totally out of context and presenting false “facts” attributed to dubious sources:
Ukrainian singer Ruslana: a visit to Donetsk was an eye-opener
07.09.2014 – 22:45
Renowned singer and unofficial «symbol» of Maidan Ruslana said a visit to Donbass «opened her eyes».
The singer returned from Donetsk and immediately held a press conference where she declared she was wrong, supporting the policy of the Government of Ukraine.
— I came to Donetsk and saw something that I never expected to see. It literally «blew my mind» There are shells falling on our people! — the outraged Ruslana said. — It is necessary and simple -initiate a cease-fire, end the war and bloodshed. And if the politicians think otherwise it means there’s something fishy, there are some dirty games being played.
According to Ruslana, Ukrainian journalists must go to the front to find out what is true and what is false.
— If you’re so brave, then come with me next time, — the singer invited of one of Kiev reporters. — Then you’ll be able to see everything and understand me.
Artiste told that her car, in which she was traveling with DNR Prime Minister Alexander Zaharchenko, came under fire.
— Who was shooting and whom, whose bullets were those — it’s impossible to make out. But it is quite clear that we shoot our own people. I was the first one to beat my chest and scream that there is no civil war in Ukraine. I was so wrong, — admitted Ruslana.
The singer said that she was greatly disappointed by the Ukrainian leader Petr Poroshenko. Ruslana told how she went to participate in a demonstration in front of the presidential administration in Kiev on August 28. The rally was arranged by relatives and friends of the Ukrainian military, surrounded in Ilovaisk. Singer was shocked and angered that nobody from the Poroshenko’s people came out to talk to activists.
— You have to work with people, to talk, to convey your position. And let me tell you the shocking phrase, but, nevertheless, I was not heard by Poroshenko, when I stood at the presidential administration. When I arrived at the Donbass, it was Zaharchenko who listened to me and heard me — summed up the singer.
Ruslana, known as the winner of «Eurovision — 2004» actively participated in the Maidan protests. In early December, the singer even threatened to burn herself on the main square of Kiev, if things in the country «do not change». Her active civil position won her unofficial title «symbol of the Maidan,” among its activists, and in February, Ukrainian politicians promised her a place in the new parliament.
That was Russia’s fiction. Now here is what Ruslana actually wrote, verbatim, on her Facebook page after the trip. It differs almost totally from what the Russian propaganda site said she said:
About trip to Donetsk
September 2, 2014 at 6:21am
I just returned from Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk, where I went deliberately, because understood that we do not see much, and we are also not heard by many.
The amount of information I received and seen with my own eyes, is too shocking and unexpected. I have a lot requests and questions. But not to stray for a long emotional speech, I will use short exact phrase to be heard and to be understood.
The purpose of my trip
On Thursday I, along with hundreds, maybe thousands of Kyiv residents, family members of our military and volunteer battalions stood in front of President’s Administration and demanded: “Save the life of our guys, give them aid, help them survive!”
I didn’t know if we were heard. None of those with whom we have actively communicated and called each other “brothers at Maidan, contacted me, gave any information, found necessary to develop a common position and action.
So I first went to Dnipropetrovsk to see our troops who are fighting in the area of ATO, then to the hospital, and then, with Colonel-General Vladimir Ruban, to Donbas.
Such patriotic enthusiasm. Such Ukrainian spirit and will to Independence and Victory I didn’t experience for a very long time. It was as if I ended up in Lviv during early 90s or Kyiv during Maidan.
Our men – are Heroes. These words stop being just words when there are actual facts. We have to preserve memory of their heroism for the future generations.
I saw Donetsk. I was surprised, if not shocked. It differs from the Russian lies; it also differs from what we imagine. The city is alive. I saw writings in Ukrainian. During the whole time I was there, I spotted only one tri-color.
Oleksandr Zaharchenko gave up 16 men who were taken into captivity. Unconditionally. With no bargains. After we left he released another 10.
About the victims
Of those of whom we spoke in Donetsk – 150 were killed, maybe even more. Number of victims of Ilovaysk may exceed 400. Exact figures should be given by the military experts. And they should be honest.
I don’t want this to become statistics!
In recent days, Russian troops are destroying our best men, patriotic volunteers of battalions Dnipro, Donbas, Krivbas. We might not have more of those young and dedicated, they are brave and trustworthy – the gene pool of the nation. They should have been saved in every way possible…
Effects of the victims.
In place of young patriots, will come those who will not forgive and will want revenge. They will accept the challenge and uncivilized methods of Moscow hordes. They will become alike….
I am getting terrible information via think nerves of human misery. People say, word-by-word: “We will not be the state army, we will be the Army of the People.
Without mercy. And without conscience. This is scary. Idea will be replaced by Revenge.
About those who destroyed
Our men were destroyed by Russian troops…and politicians.
“Politicians will fight for our land to the last Ukrainian”. These are not my words.
Maybe it is time to unite?
About Russian troops
Russian troops replaced and are replacing mercenaries who are already demoralized, because they do not see any sense or support for their actions, and separatists who have ceased to execute Kremlin commands.
Russian troops need to withdraw from Ukraine themselves, or taken back to their homeland in humanitarian convoy, there is no other way out.
Our task is to make sure that they withdraw themselves. This will save hundreds, maybe thousands of lives.
This Ukrainian massacre is beneficial for Putin. Now he called to give our military men corridor, and then shot them using Russian forces. Corresponding wave of hatred and aggression can demolish those who are now in Donetsk and Luhansk, and who no longer take his orders.
This is his solution to many problems. From fight against “unorthodox views” among separatists to justifying entry of troops and its legitimization.
Russia – is not Putin. There are millions of people. They have sons, brothers, parents who are dying in foreign country. They are buried secretly and shamefully as criminals. We can and must talk with Russians. When official diplomacy is not working, people’s diplomacy must work. After all, we are all people. Even those whose brain has turned into “liquid”.
About people of Donetsk
People of Donetsk, even though it is difficult to understand, are on both side of the border, yet they are still UKRAINIAN. Not DPR, not LPR, not Novorussian, and not other products of Kremlin propaganda or folk art. They are Ukrainians, and we are one nation, even if we differ from each other. After all, Ukrainians of Sumy region or Slobozhanschina region also vary from Ukrainians of Podillya or Zakarpattya. But we are one nation and need to protect each other and our country. Otherwise, we will not have nation or country.
About our volunteers and their commanders
Men are ready to sacrifice their lives, sometimes without thinking and without hesitation. But it is time to start thinking, if you give up your life, who will remain after you are gone? Who will build and defend Ukraine? Commanders, you have the most sacred in your hands, the most important for Ukraine – lives of her sons.
Donbas was, is and will be Ukraine.
About Oleksandr Zaharchenko
I build my own impression of this man with only one meeting. I don’t want to and will not comment. Only quotes from our conversation.
“Human life is above everything…. This horror and bloodshed must be stopped. Ruslana, please do everything to accomplish this…”
“I propose to stop the senseless fire and find out – who really needs deaths of thousands of Ukrainians.”
“I will not go beyond the limits of the Donetsk region with any onset – this is horror story against me.”
“I need for Donbas to have normal life, and I am happy that you have cleared all of us from Yanukovich with Maidan. Half of Donbas applauded standing up when you were saying what Yanukovich’s and his gang’s place is…and then everything got confused…”
“I am as Ukrainian as you, but can’t see or hear that.”
About the truth
I am tired of Putin’s lies and half-truths of our spokespersons.
About Ukrainian people
Ukrainian people are and will be UNITED.
Why am I sure of this?
Because it can’t be otherwise.
All military actions must be re-thought.
Military force – is the last argument, if it is not invasion or aggression.
Operations are unprofessional.
Generals are really “eating up battalions”.
Our military men must be protected from the stigma “Deserter”.
And to some generals and officers that “miraculously left the captivity” without their men, it is time ask questions, as well as their management.
Military and political corruption – is now my goal.
My mission – is public diplomacy and efforts to stop the deaths of hundreds of people who are willing to give their lives for their country.
Ukraine is bleeding under the criminal scenario of many centers of influence.
The fire must stop in order to find out and see who really needs this war.
Ukraine needs PEACE.
People need to LIVE, and not DIE.
I heard Donbas.