Russian state media has shut down last weeks minor dissent and now demands an end to sanctions and even reparations for affected Russians. Or else.
Russian President Vladimir Putins willingness to negotiate with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is being packaged as a sign of his love and good will, and not the consequence of mounting losses and humiliating defeats faced by the Russian military in Ukraine. Appearing on a state TV show Sunday Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, political scientist and Professor of Communications Dmitry Evstafiev argued: Right now, President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putins third proposal to the Ukrainian leadership is on the table. This, of course, is a demonstration of his greatest respect andI would even sayof love by our President towards the Ukrainian people.
Multiple state TV shows emphasized the reluctance on the part of the United States and NATO to intervene against Russias bloody invasion of its neighbor, presenting it as the proof that the Kremlin can go to any lengths to emerge victorious. Olga Skabeeva, the host of a state TV show 60 Minutes, intentionally distorted the statements of White House press secretary Jen Psaki. On Friday, Skabeeva claimed: Jennifer Psakis statement said that no matter what Putin does in Ukrainewhether he uses biological weapons or drops a nuclear bombthe United States wont get involved.
On Monday, disregarding strong bipartisan support of Ukraine in the United States, Skabeeva claimed that Americans dont care about Ukraine and are concerned only with rising gas prices. She alleged: To the dismay of the State Department, it turned out that Americans are indifferent towards saving Ukrainian Banderites. Russian state media and government officials have taken to describing any opponents of the Kremlin in Ukraine as or Banderites, the followers of Stepan Bandera, the ultranationalist political figure who fought for Ukrainian independence before being assassinated by the KGB in 1959. This expression is being used as indiscriminately as branding all opponents the Nazis.
The show proceeded to broadcast a clip of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump, blaming Biden for his alleged inability to communicate with Putin. Hinting at the upcoming presidential elections, Skabeeva sniped: Fun times for them are only starting. Were waiting. In the meantime, state media is replete with baseless promises of wide-ranging concessions from the West that Moscow anticipates receiving in the future.
Appearing on Sunday Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, Russian parliament member Oleg Matveychev, known as the Kremlins spin doctor, watched a clip of Fox News Tucker Carlsonan everyday occurrence in Moscows tightly-controlled media environment. Matveychev noted: There isnt a single country in the world that is as easily manipulated as America. He argued: Heres what will be on the table after our victory... After Ukraines demilitarization is completed... were going to raise the stakes... For example, the lifting of all sanctions... The dissolution of NATO, because the presence of NATO in some countries is getting in our way. Extradition of all war criminals... like [Anton] Herashchenko [former deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs], Zelensky, [former President of Ukraine Petro] Poroshenko. Extradition of various oligarchs, like [Mikhail] Khodorkovsky.
In recent days, Russian state television regressed from Orwellian lies to Kafkaesque nightmares, as pundits started to promote the idea of executing Ukrainians resisting Putins war of aggression by hanging. They noted that the so-called constitution of the rogue republics created in Ukraine by Russian forces conveniently allows for the death penalty. Last Thursday on The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, after listening to other pundits and experts endorse the idea of executing Ukrainian citizens by hanging, doctor of political sciences Elena G. Ponomareva argued: "Never let morality prevent you from undertaking correct actions. I understand the importance of a humanitarian component... but morality shouldn't get in the way."
Sundays Vesti Nedeli hosted by Dmitry Kiselyov continued the theme of public hangings, broadcasting the scenes from the public execution of German Nazi soldiers on Kyivs Independence Square in 1946. The segment was entitled Denazification of Ukrainethe new opportunities for growth and appeared to serve as a tool to desensitize the Russian population for the grotesque war trials and executions the Kremlin is reportedly planning to conduct in Ukraine, perhaps in the same public square captured in the historical video.
Bloomberg previously reported that, according to an unnamed European intelligence official, Russia's intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service, has drafted plans for public executions in Ukraine after cities are captured. Russian state media appears to be laying the groundwork to normalize such an idea, in order to make it seem acceptable to average Russians.
Reciting the list of Russias future demands during Solovievs show, Matveychev became even more brazen: We should be thinking about reparations from the damage that was caused by the sanctions and the war itself, because that too costs money and we should get it back. The return of all Russian properties, those of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and current Russia, which has been seized in the United States, and so on.
The host chimed in to ask: Are you including Alaska and Fort Ross?
Matveychev nodded: That was my next point. As well as the Antarctic... We discovered it, so it belongs to us... Also, the return of all medals that have been unlawfully taken from our sportsmen during all Olympic games, as well as the extradition of [Grigory] Rodchenkov, along with the extradition of multiple other criminals well want. I think we should start voicing all of that, so they understand what will be on the table. You didnt want to talk to us about something small, like Ukraines neutrality, heres what you get. And thats not even all of it.
Soloviev asked: Does your list include a tactical nuclear strike, or are we going straight for the strategic one?
Matveychev pompously scoffed, What for? We can take them down without it.
On Monday, Soloviev revisited the topic of nuclear blackmail, perhaps blinded by rage after the recent seizure of his two Italian villas. He said: I still think that those who took our money should be told, you have 24 hours to unfreeze our funds, or else well send you what you know weve got. Your choice. Tactical or strategic, take a pick. You took our money, youre the thieves, our talk is short with you: a bullet to the head.