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Gilbert Doctorow

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What the ‘chattering classes’ of Russia are talking about


My harvest of impressions from the past 48 hours of monitoring Russian political talk shows and news bulletins of Russian state television is filled to the brim with both highly interesting and at times frightening and off-putting developments. 

The most momentous is perhaps what I just saw 15 minutes ago on the latest edition of Время покажет (Time Will Tell), a talk show I know from the inside having twice been a panelist there in 2016-2017. The program opened with mention of the forthcoming European visit of Joe Biden which has two cities on its itinerary: Brussels for the next regular G7 and NATO gatherings, and….Warsaw.

Why Warsaw? The presenter notes that this meeting with the Polish leadership might be linked with the planned visit of President Duda to Washington next week. But then she moves on to link it was another announcement made yesterday by the US envoy to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. In the video recording of Thomas-Greenfield projected onto the screen, the envoy tells us that while the United States has no intention of sending any military personnel to Ukraine, any member country of NATO has the right to do so on its own.

This matches up nicely with the latest Polish government thoughts aloud to the effect that it might just move some troops across the Ukrainian border to secure its own eastern flank. In this way, the Poles would be doing no more than the Turks have done in Syria, where they still are parked in the predominantly Kurdish sector of the country in violation of international law.
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Zero Mainstream Coverage Today of the Foiled, US-Backed Plot to Assassinate Belarus President Lukashenko


In his last book “War with Russia?” my friend and colleague Steve Cohen wrote about the flagrant censorship of news being carried on by The New York Times in support of its Russia-bashing editorial policies. Said Cohen, the newspaper’s century old slogan of “All the News That’s Fit to Print” has been turned into “All the News that Fits” when it comes to coverage of Russia.

But the problem goes far deeper than the professional malpractice of one leading newspaper in America. The censorship of news carried by mainstream media by US authorities covers not only the domestic press but also the mainstream of Allied countries. News blackouts are imposed when something ugly arises implicating the United States in violation of international norms of state behavior for which the State Department has no ready explanation or white wash.

This very situation seems to have arisen over the weekend, when news broke in Moscow over the arrest of two conspirators plotting a coup d’état in Minsk, to be carried out by the Belarus armed forces tentatively during the 9 May parade celebrating victory over fascist Germany in the Second World War.

Other leading English-speaking papers such as The Guardian and The Financial Times have front page reports on Alexei Navalny’s near death condition in a prison camp but not a word about Belarus. Ditto the Frankfurter Allgemeine and Le Figaro. Curious, n’est-ce pas? Warum? Let’s look into the story in its full dimension.
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