Bunny Rabbits and the Big Bad Wolf: Ukraine and Russia through the lens of Western reporting

As we all know, Ukraine is today the poster boy of the “international community,” meaning the United States and its allies. Translated into comic book images, the present military conflict between Ukraine and Russia pits a cuddly bunch of bunny rabbits (Ukraine) against the Big Bad Wolf (u know who).

Regrettably that is the intellectual level of most Western reporting on developments in an unfolding tragedy. Almost everything that the supposedly innocent victims say about their attackers instantly is disseminated at God’s honest truth. The exception is numbers. Generally the casualty figures cited by Kiev for both their own civilian and combatant losses and for the Russian soldiers they say they have killed are preceded in our newspapers and on the air as being ‘unverified’ or ‘unconfirmed.’

Now the latest front page news regarding the alleged Russian bombardment of a nuclear power station in Zaporozhye in southeastern Ukraine is a perfect test case for us to see who is really the villain in the piece, the bunny rabbits or the wolf.

The alleged bombardment ignited a fire near a main reactor but happily it was extinguished quickly and no leakage of radioactivity was reported by the Ukrainians, nor was there any interruption of critical functions of the reactor. The whole point of the incident was to establish that Russians are firing indiscriminately on infrastructure, worst of all on nuclear installations with a potential for incalculable damage, moreover that they were in violation of international rules to safeguard the operations of nuclear plants. 

The intent here was to internationalize the Russian-Ukraine military conflict in the same way as the supposed poisoning of the Skripals in 2018  in the United Kingdom turned what would have been strictly an attempted murder under English law into a violation of the international rules governing nerve agents and other prohibited chemical weapons. Or in the same way that the supposed chemical weapons attacks on civilians in Syria by the Assad regime would have turned a civil war into a breach of international law that was intolerable. Or in the same way that the destruction of a commercial airliner over the war zone in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, the MH17 case, raised the fighting on the ground in Donbas to an international incident meriting the condemnation of the entire civilized world and imposition of sanctions on the assumed culprit who was abetting the local conflict, that same wolf.

Each of those three major incidents of the recent past was a ‘false flag’ operation carried out by enemies of Russia for the sake of clearly defined geopolitical objectives. I will not take the reader’s time with the proofs of my assertion here. The relevant literature in favor of the ‘false flag’ interpretation is extensive. What I wish to do here is simply to note why today’s allegations with regard to the Zaporozhye stink to high heaven and to note why the cuddly rabbits are the true villains.

Let us go back to the very beginning of the Russian ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine.  One of the first acts of Russian forces after they crossed the Belarus border into Ukraine was to seize the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, where there is the sarcophagus of the unit which exploded and also other units which are still operational. The Russian forces immediately entered into collaboration with the Ukrainian operational staff to ensure that the facility would remain secure.  Why did they do that?  Precisely because they did not want any radical Ukrainian militias to gain access to the nuclear waste buried on the site to build one or more dirty bombs, or otherwise to put the working stations in danger.

These militias, including the infamous Azov battalion, which has had concentrations of its combatants in Mariupol and other  locations in the southeast of Ukraine, were the forces that turned street demonstrations of the Maidan into a coup d’état that overthrew the legitimate president of the country in February 2014. They have been the power behind the throne in Kiev ever since.

It has taken some time for the Russian forces to move across the southern tier of Ukraine as they gradually take control of the entire Black Sea coast to close down Ukraine’s commercial shipping, strangle the economy and force capitulation on the Kiev regime. In this sweep yesterday they approached the Zaporozhye atomic power plants with intent to capture them and keep them out of harm’s way.  In these conditions could there have been any sense whatsoever for the Russians to bombard that installation?  Absolutely not. But could there have been any reason for Ukrainian radicals to stage some kind of showy but not overly risky blast at the facility?  I rest my case there on cui bono reasoning, which is entirely sufficient for the moment and until full forensic work can be performed by outside investigators.

Now I turn our attention to nomenclature.  The Kremlin has chosen to call the radical nationalists in Ukraine “neo-Nazis.”  Within Russia, this designation makes good sense.  Among the Ukrainian arch nationalists are a great many who venerate as a national hero Stepan Bandera, an ultra-right political and military leader who actively collaborated with Hitler’s forces.  Bandera was and his memory in Ukraine remains today a conflation of their own national identity with a near-racial hatred for (Soviet) Russia, or in folk language, for the Moskali, or Muscovites.

Outside of Russia, the designation “neo-Nazis” does not resonate in the same way.  This is why German Chancellor Scholz was so dismissive of the term, which he found “laughable,” to the outrage of his hosts in Moscow during the joint press conference with President Putin a couple of weeks ago.

Sometimes, however, Putin speaks of the radical nationalists in Ukraine as “terrorists.” That is really the term which should be used when addressing the international community, which knows little of Bandera, but a lot about terrorists. In this connection, the Kremlin has in recent days pointed out that the nationalist militias have been using the civilian population as human shields for their own protection. The Russians say the radicals have so far refused to allow civilians in besieged towns and cities to avail themselves of escape corridors which the Russian military was making available to them. In this connection as well, the Ukrainian militants were placing weapons in residential buildings and firing on Russian units in the hope of attracting return fire to cause civilian deaths that will be reported to international humanitarian organizations.  And, I maintain, the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear installation was almost certainly the work of these same terrorists claiming to be Ukrainian patriots.

Dear Western journalists,  do please try to be more discerning and stop telling fairy tales about cuddly rabbits and the Big Bad Wolf.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

22 thoughts on “Bunny Rabbits and the Big Bad Wolf: Ukraine and Russia through the lens of Western reporting

  1. Excellent again.
    They are Europe’s ISIS. Extremist, terrorists, and willing to murder to create an effect. Promoted and armed by US and some rich bastards.
    Had Europe not blocked all news out of Ukraine for 8 years, “Nazis” would do fine.
    Personally I think just categorising all the groups as Azov helps in its simplicity and by connecting US trainers and weapons to the bad guys. The groupings may be more complications, but the line between US/NATO, Azov and similar groups, and co-ordinated murder for nationalist ends is that simple.


  2. It is funny that Germany has no problem with establishing harsh laws against Neo Nazis a home, and makes even the decision of swastikas illegal, but apparently has no problem with a country that makes a Nazi Collaborator and fascist like Bandera a hero and permits his followers to conduct torchlight processions? Apparently again, fascists are good fascists as long as they are acting against Russia. What they failed to mention, that the slaughters committed by the Bandereites were something that even SS men had difficulties to comprehend in their savagery.

    As most people really have no clue what the Nazi parties (OUN and UPA) in Ukraine stood for, here some choice morsels:
    “Family life must be of Ukrainian character. Its content: the parents (fathermother) and children have to be Ukrainians. Mixed marriages (UkrainianPolish, Ukrainian-Muscovite, Ukrainian-Magyar, Ukrainian-Jewish) will be
    banned, forming such unions will be made impossible. We regard their very
    existence and the making of such unions a crime of national treason.”

    “When this new, great day [of national revolution] arrives, we will have no
    mercy. There will be no cease-fi re, the Pereiaslavl or Hadiach peace treaties
    will not be repeated. A new Zalizniak, a new Gonta will come. There will be
    no mercy, neither for the big, nor the small, and the bard will sing: ‘And father
    slaughtered son.”
    “It is easier to liquidate 44,000 Jews using these methods, than to liquidate 3¼
    million with more radical methods. . . . All of the possibilities, especially if
    combined, will decrease the current strength of Jewry and will not only bring
    an end to their expansion in our country, but assure a continuous decline in
    the number of Jews, not only through emigration, but also through the decline
    of their natural growth rate. As the Jews will not be able to make a living, the
    Jews will take care of this themselves.”
    “In the time of chaos and confusion it is possible to permit the liquidation of
    undesirable Polish, Muscovite, and Jewish activists, especially supporters of
    Bolshevik-Muscovite imperialism.
    Destroy the officer staff, shoot the Muscovites, Jews, NKVD men, the political
    instructors, and all who want war and our death!
    The Jews are to be isolated, removed from positions to avoid sabotage,
    Muscovites and Poles even more so. If there is an absolute need to retain, for
    example, a Jew in the economic administration, one of our militiamen must
    be placed over him, and should liquidate him for the slightest transgression.
    Only Ukrainians, not foreign enemies, can be leaders in the various branches
    of life. The assimilation of Jews is excluded”

    In April 1943 Mykola Lebed’, the acting leader of the OUN(b), advocated a
    policy “to cleanse the entire revolutionary territory of the Polish population.” The “mass
    extermination” was organized by Dmytro Kliachkivs’kyi, known under the nom-de-guerre
    Klym Savur. The UPA’s ethnic cleansing of the Poles in Volhynia and Galicia continued
    through 1943 and much of 1944, until the arrival of the Soviets. Whereas the UPA also killed
    Jews, Czechs, Magyars, Armenians, and other ethnic minorities, Poles were their main target.
    “Long live the great, independent Ukraine without Jews, Poles, or Germans.

    “When the Bandera gangs seize a Jew, they consider it a prize catch. . . . They
    literally slash Jews to pieces with their machetes.
    Bandera men . . . are not discriminating about who they kill; they are gunning
    down the populations of entire villages. . . . Since there are hardly any Jews
    left to kill, the Bandera gangs have turned on the Poles. They are literally
    hacking Poles to pieces. Every day . . . you can see the bodies of Poles, with
    wires around their necks, floating down the river Bug.



  3. The problem with Russians calling Ukraine a neo-nazi state is very simply that the elected president is Jewish. It is ridiculous on its face, like calling America under Barack Obama a KKK state. You could make an argument that Neo Nazis provide a lot of street muscle, are over represented in the armed forces and security services, and that the broader population has acquiesced to Bandera being rehabilitated and turned into a national hero. But calling Ukraine a neo-nazi state is simply untrue and discredits the person saying it. The situation is much more complicated. (Not to mention having a Jewish president, Ukraine is also very close to Israel!)

    The way I would put it (and I am more sympathetic to Russia than 99%+ of people in the West at this point), is that the entire country of Ukraine has been Galicia-ized since 2014. Things that were unique to that region before, like hostility to the Russian language and culture, veneration of Bandera as a hero, a desperate desire to escape the Russian orbit and enter the West, have spread and taken over the entire county.

    I think Russia will win the military part of this conflict soon, just like America won the initial war in Iraq, but I have no idea how Russia will successfully install a friendly government or occupy territory there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you declare a violent Nazi like Bandera a national hero, and if you integrate military forces like the Azovs into your military, then you associate with Nazis, condone their ideology, and deserve the label.

      Look at the strenuous efforts the German army and police made to eliminate Neo Nazis from their personnel.
      However, his label, unfortunately – because the population is preoccupied with economic concerns more than ideology, and does not entice them to fight against those policies – paints all Ukrainians with the Nazi brush, whereas this label is more appropriate for those living in the western parts of Ukraine and support those ideologies.

      Ukraine has never allowed a process of de-Nazification like what happened – however incomplete, and with gaping holes in the process – in Germany and has allowed the parties that were the founders and carriers of this ideology to literally get away with murder. Instead, the participants were allowed to whitewash their deeds and write exculpatory BS that has no connection to the reality of the atrocities they committed and their involvement with the German SS, many of them fleeing to Canada to continue their anti-Russian propaganda and their support for the Banderite ideology from this safe haven.

      So yes, from my experience as one growing up in Germany the rule applies: if you accept Nazis, and walk with Nazis, and do permit the ideology to flourish unchallenged, you are a Nazi.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to amend my previous statement, that Zelensky seems to be actually the pres. of a Nation run by Fascists:

        “In a face-to-face confrontation with militants from the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion who had launched a campaign to sabotage the peace initiative called “No to Capitulation,” Zelensky encountered a wall of obstinacy.

        With appeals for disengagement from the frontlines firmly rejected, Zelensky melted down on camera. “I’m the president of this country. I’m 41 years old. I’m not a loser. I came to you and told you: remove the weapons,” Zelensky implored the fighters.”
        “Though Zelensky achieved a minor disengagement, the neo-Nazi paramilitaries escalated their “No Capitulation” campaign. And within months, fighting began to heat up again in Zolote, sparking a new cycle of violations of the Minsk Agreement.

        By this point, Azov had been formally incorporated into the Ukrainian military and its street vigilante wing, known as the National Corps, was deployed across the country under the watch of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, and alongside the National Police. In December 2021, Zelensky would be seen delivering a “Hero of Ukraine” award to a leader of the fascistic Right Sector in a ceremony in Ukraine’s parliament.”
        Does anyone still think that Nazis don’t run Ukraine?


      2. It’s absurd to relate what a small group of neo-Nazis do a country that is not engaged in wars of aggression against other states with what the German Nazis did in WWII which involved multiple wars of conquest against neighboring states. (The fighting in Ukraine is more like a low grade civil war or separatist movement)

        I’m bemused to see this apologism for the Russian invasion. It doesn’t matter how you paint the causes, Russia invaded Ukraine with the aim of destroying the existing state. Not the other way around.

        It’s a war of preemption and such wars are not just(ifiable) and will end in tears for many, as the US’s intervention in Iraq powerfully demonstrates.


      3. Note that the American slaughter is an “intervention”, whereas the Russian police action is “a war of pre-emption”

        Thanks, mate. Just what the world needs. More Madison Avenue propaganda.


      4. @john cleary– fair point I shouldn’t have called the US involvement in Iraq an ‘intervention’ it was a straight up invasion aimed at replacing the entire government. I think it was clearly justified as a ‘war of pre-emption’ and in this way it parallels the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

        It also parallels it in that the justification was based on a delusion of the leaders, that the invaded country posed a threat to the security of the invading country. That wasn’t true of Iraq or Ukraine.

        The bare facts of the invasion of Ukraine remain that Putin and cronies undertook a destructive invasion of a neighbor who is not a threat to them. The Iraq war only weakened the US and made the security worse, and I think it’s pretty clear the Ukraine war will do the same for Russia.

        I think it’s a bad war and should be condemned and stopped.


      5. It’s quite true that Ukraine is no threat to Russia.

        On the other hand those outsiders who are using Ukraine as a launchpad against Russia are an enormous threat. Are you aware that Ukraine is already a de facto member of the NATO alliance? Are you aware that the Ukrainian armed forces have been integrated into the NATO command and control structures?

        What is your explanation for the NATO and American refusal to contemplate the Russian security proposals? Article 10? Read it for yourself.

        No, the bad actors in this affair are in the West. And poor old Ukraine is paying the price for going along with them.


    2. Sean – Saying that Ukraine can’t be a neo-Nazi state because the president is Jewish is the same as a white American saying he can’t be racist because he has a black friend. There is no causal relationship between either one.

      Zelensky may hate the Nazi’s as much as any Jew, but he has made common cause with them and given them a lot of power, including in government. That validates the statement that Ukraine has a neo-Nazi government.

      It also means that Zelensky is a weak idiot, internet memes notwithstanding.


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