So all was not perhaps what it seemed in Kiev. I wrote a piece back in November 2004 about Ukraine as I was rather uncomfortable with the somewhat homogenous nature of the message we were receiving from the media.

In 2005 the former Chief of Staff Oleksandr Zinchenko has resigned suggesting that in many respects the current incumbant government in Ukraine is more corrupt than the old one. This does not strike me as very surprising, there was an awful lot about the Ukrainian “Orange Revolution” which struck me at the time as odd.

The media coverage seemed very standardised, all sources were lauding the pro-capitalist, pro-EU/US Viktor Yushchenko, it was a whitewash (or Orangewash if you prefer) in favour of Yushchenko’s campaign and a widespread besmirching of the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych.

I was already suspicious when the media was claiming electoral fraud in Yanukovytch’s Eastern Ukrainian regions where the turnout figures of 96.3% in Donetsk and 88.4% in Lugansk were being bandied around as proof of nefarious activity behind the scenes. What the media seemed less inclined to report was that the figures in the Western Ukraine area the heartland of Yushchenko were not dissimilar with one area reputed to be 94%. It looked to the impartial observer that it may be a case of 6 of one and half a dozen of the other but this was not an impatially observed piece of news. It had long since become clear that there were “favoured” candidates. Yushchenko was a very Western-facing politician, the consumate businessman and capitalist, whilst his opponent was more endemic of the old Ukraine. Yanukovych’s past was trotted out, how he had been involved in criminal activty such as armed robbery. No defence by Yanukovych was reported despite this all having taken place many years ago and Yanukovytch not attempting to cover upp said events but admitting that he had been wrong in the past whilst Ukraine was under the old Soviet regime. Interestingly there was practically no mention anywhere of Yushchenko’s past and his involvement in the embezzling and subsequent laundering of $613 million dollars of IMF money in December 1997.

The Western media made much of the “popular uprising”, the scenes of those up the streets of Kiev all dressed in orange protesting at the initial result which put Yanukovych at 49.46% and Yushchenko 46.61%. This is however less surprising when you think that Kiev is a city in the western part of Ukraine, a city with a high organised crime rate, one therefore on many counts less inclined to go back to increased ties with Russia. Suffice to say the Orange Revolution did not extend to Donesk or Lugansk.

The ‘poisoning’ of Yushchenko rather typified the whole affair. This was reported widely in all the media and held up as the epitomy of Yanukovych’s attempt to win the election at any cost. Again there was something not quite right. It was cited that Yanukovych’s close ties with the Russian’s and in particular the KGB meant that he was able to organise such a disposal of an opponent. There was little mention of a revealing interview with a senior KGB operative who protested that there was neither precedent nor logic to the KGB using dioxin as a poison. It was ineffective, slow and obvious and certainly not the KGB’s style at all. Furthermore no actual proof of any Yanukovich involvement was ever offered, nor seemed there any great hurry to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.

It was somewhat ironic that the US was quick to jump on the electoral irregularities bandwagon, but then I suppose we ought to listen to them after all they are the masters on that front. Why were there 563 international election observers in Ukraine whilst the US is left to get on with it?

Behind that facade of uniformity in the mainstream media back in November there were those who smelt a rat. Justin Raimondo was one of the first I came across who was saying something other than the party line. His article was persuasive because it seemed clear that he had gone behind the facts in the banal fashion in which they had been presented.

Of course there has been far less in the news about the sacking of the whole government, far less about any problems at all because the orange order cannot be seen to fail, this would undermine the credibility of all those who were so quick to eulogise it, without many of them having a clue about any serious Ukrainian politics.

In conclusion therefore it is another in the series of entries of mine that show how whilst on the one hand we can feel as if we are bombarded with news it is in fact more a question of us being bombarded by the same thing from many different sources and this is hugely different.

Song Of The Day ~ The Beatles – Sexy Sadie

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