Russia Makes False Pretext for War with TV Report on ‘Thousands Tortured’ by Ukraine

Russia’s media appears to be creating false pretexts for war. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has amassed nearly 150,000 troops around the borders of pro-Western, democratic Ukraine.

The Pretext for War

The pretext for war is a false report accusing Ukraine of torturing thousands of Russians in the country; it was just run on one of Russia’s most watched TV shows, hosted by Dmitry Kiselev, known as the main propagandist of the Putin regime.

US intelligence information leaked by German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday revealed a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be expected on Wednesday. President Biden has been saying Moscow’s attack could occur any moment now.

Putin already struck Ukraine back in 2014 when he seized and annexed the Crimean Peninsula. Putin’s attack back then was in response to a pro-Western revolution in Kyiv, which ousted a Moscow-friendly president.

In recent months, apparently sensing the foreign policy and leadership weakness of Biden, Putin has been amassing troops near Ukraine’s borders.

In December, Putin even issued an ultimatum to the West, in essence demanding all of Eastern Europe be surrendered under Russia’s control, just like it was during the Cold War.

Ukrainians ‘Will Hang’ Russian Children

On Sunday, Dmitry Kiselev, the propagandist anchor, often called “Putin’s mouthpiece”, showed a segment, as cited by the Daily Mail, claiming Ukrainian nationalists are about to slaughter many ethnic Russians living in Ukraine.

It also alleged, without giving any evidence, that Ukraine already tortured and savagely killed thousands of ethnic Russian civilians in the section of the Donbas region controlled by the Ukrainian troops.

Kiselev’s report showed a Russian separatist fighter in Donbas who declared there were Ukrainian nationalists there who vowed to butcher all Russians and hang their children.

The propaganda segment is particularly concerning; it bears a stark resemblance to media reports in Russia’s state-controlled outlets back in early 2014, right before Putin sent Russian troops to occupy the Crimean Peninsula and stir the insurgency in Donbas.

Just as now, back then, the pretext used to justify the war was the need to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

The last data about Russia’s troops surrounding Ukraine on three sides is their number reached 148,000, up from 130,000 just days ago.

They are also equipped with large numbers of tanks, attack helicopters, missile launchers, and artillery pieces, not to mention the Russian Air Force and the vessels of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, right to the south of Ukraine.

Biden’s last telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin was on Saturday.

That last-ditch effort to dissuade the Russian autocrat from starting the biggest war in Europe since World War II appears to have failed, judging from the continuing Russian military build-up and increasingly aggressive TV propaganda of the Kremlin.