Ukraine's coup-imposed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk is telling the world that Russian tanks are on the ground in his country. Meanwhile, mainstream media is turning a blind eye to this blatant falsehood.
Western-backed Yatsenyuk had his minutes of fame as he addressed journalists like a Hollywood movie star in Brussels on Thursday after meeting with his European counterparts who acknowledge him as a legitimate representative of Ukraine.
Feeling powerful while standing on stage answering questions amid EU flags, the leader went as far as fiction when he said, “Having Russian boots on the ground and Russian tanks is unacceptable in the 21st century. And who knows the limits, tell me?”
Speaking about foreign investment, he stated: “It would be very difficult to persuade foreign investors to invest in the country which has Russian tanks and Russian soldiers on its streets.”
Surprisingly enough, the fear-mongering reference to tanks – which should have been deemed sensational and made the headlines around the world - was widely ignored or censored by Western media.
The strongest quote and accusation towards Russia was left either unreported or edited, with the word "tanks" replaced by “troops” or “military.”
For instance, BBC tweeted while covering the event: “Russian troops on ground in #Ukraine 'unacceptable in 21st Century' & 'military aggression' - interim PM Yatsenyuk,” choosing to ignore the “tanks” comment.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 6, 2014
CNN tweeted: “Ukrainian interim PM to Russia: Pull back military, stop supporting 'illegitimate so-called government of Crimea.’”
Ukrainian interim PM to Russia: Pull back military, stop supporting 'illegitimate so-called government of Crimea.' http://t.co/Jb4ARrwCJA
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 6, 2014
Even a search on the web will yield little results which include his full comment, with mostly only a few British links popping up.
Yatsenyuk’s latest warmongering talk came after EU ministers met in Brussels to discuss the situation in Ukraine as the Crimean parliament voted for the region to join Russia. The decision will only come into force if it is approved by the Crimeans at a referendum which will be held on March 16. At the very same meeting, Yatsenyuk called that decision “illegitimate.”
This was not the first time Yatsenyuk trumped up aggression and made fictional references to Russian tanks. On Wednesday, he said that Russian troops and tanks disrupted the holiday season in Crimea, NBN News reported.
Why then, when the "legitimate representative" of Ukraine repeatedly makes such strong claims in front of EU-NATO officials and respected media outlets, does the message get skipped? Maybe because there are no Russian tanks in Ukraine?
Or who knows – maybe Mr. Yatsenyuk knows much more than the rest of the world, because today he even stated that Iran already has a nuclear weapons which it would never give up, alongside North Korea, if Ukraine's territorial integrity fails.
“This conflict would have a negative implication on the nuclear non-proliferation program. As for example, it would be quite difficult to convince Iran or North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapon,” Yatsenyuk claimed.
Political analyst Eric Draitser told RT that Western media outlets have been editing the word “tanks” out of their coverage to cover up the leader’s ignorance.
“The claim that Yatsenyuk is making is very important for the narrative that he is trying to spin and for the narrative of the Western propaganda machine. It is entirely possible they are covering up his own stupidity, his own ignorance,” Draitser said.
Another reason for their actions could be trying to bolster their own story. “The narrative has already been established: the Russians have invaded...they are occupying the east and the south of Ukraine. Now what they are trying to do is come up with some kind of substantiating facts in order to make it seem that this narrative is based on facts. But it is not; it is based on hearsay. It is based on rumors, falsified images, or images that are distorted or only partially true. How do you give a government that is constituted of Neo-liberal puppets and right-wing Nazis any kid of legitimacy,” Draitser added.