NATO enlargement is a threat to Russia, and the United States is arming and preparing Ukraine for war, says the Kremlin's main propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov in a nearly two-hour show that reflects the Kremlin's views on international politics.
NEWS: The author of the show claims that the Americans are preparing Volodymyr Zelensky for war and are arming the Ukrainians just as they did volith the Georgians in 2008, when Saakashvili ordered the firing of rockets at the city of Tskhinvali, controlled by separatists. “The situation at the demarcation line with Zelensky’s Ukraine in Donbas is so tense that a provocation might occur any time ... Putin leaves for Beijing, to attend the opening of the Olympics, and Zelensky is being prepared for war. And he's ready. He is as temperamental as Saakashvili. Putin flew to the Olympics in Beijing before, in 2008. Then, after many challenges, prepared for war and armed by the same United States, Saakashvili ordered the attack on the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali. So today, on the eve of the Olympics, we are feeling a sense of déjà vu.”
The author claims that Russia wants a new security model, but NATO has forgotten that it has promised not to expand to the east. “The problem is not Ukraine and Donbas, although the US wants to make it all about Ukraine. Russia has proposed in writing a new model of global security ... Washington and Brussels insist on the principle of open doors and free choice of allies, forgetting that they have promised that NATO will not move an inch to the east. In response to the Russian statements, they initially said that this was not the case, then after the publication of the transcript they said that they had been misunderstood then and that, in general, what is only spoken does not count. Sergey Lavrov: Now that we are presenting not oral promises, but written documents, which have been signed by all OSCE states, including by the US President, I have in mind the 1999 Istanbul Declaration and the 2010 Astana Declaration, our Western partners now have to get out of a more serious situation. Both documents stipulate the right to choose allies and the need to take into account the security interests of another OSCE state, including the Russian Federation.”
Ukraine, even if it is not a NATO member, is armed by NATO, the author claims. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is quoted again as saying that “Washington's goal is not the fate of Ukraine but to render the situation around the Russian Federation tenser." It was also claimed, during the show, that the five waves of NATO enlargement, after 1900, have led to imbalance and the emergence of threats against Russia.
Dmitry Kiselyov also claims that the United States only pretends to help Europe find sources of gas as an alternative to the Russian ones, but in reality it is only causing colossal damage.
He also insinuated on the show that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had called Ukraine a “chicken coop”, hinting at the comparison used by the US official who said that Russia was acting like a fox attacking chickens.
NARRATIVES: 1. The United States is preparing Ukraine for war against Russia, as it did in 2008 with Georgia.2. Washington's goal is to render the situation around the Russian Federation tenser.3. The US has promised that NATO will not expand, but it has not kept its word.4. NATO enlargement is a threat to Russia.
CONTEXT: The Russian Federation has amassed significant forces on its border with Ukraine, raising concerns among the international community about an escalation of the Donbas war. Since the beginning of the conflict in this region of eastern Ukraine, in 2014, more than 13,000 people have already died. Against the background of these events, Kiev has permanently moved away from Moscow and is now asking to join NATO. Similarly, another former Soviet republic, Georgia, with two separatist regions on its territory, wants to stand under the NATO umbrella. In fact, NATO officially recorded both countries’ desire to join the Alliance back in 2008, at the summit held in Bucharest.
The Baltic states were the first republics from the former USSR to rush into joining NATO shortly after leaving the Soviet empire, in order to ensure their security. While deploying tens of thousands of troops and military equipment on the border with Ukraine, the Russian Federation is asking the United States and NATO for written security guarantees that NATO shall stop its expansion to the east, into the former Soviet Union, which it considers its area of influence. Moreover, it is calling for the withdrawal of NATO military infrastructure from the eastern flank of the Alliance. Both requests have been rejected by the Allies, who’ve pointed out that it’s the sovereign right of any state to make the security arrangements it deems appropriate - including joining any alliance. Also, the way in which NATO chooses to place its troops in its own territory cannot be established by a third country, as Moscow claims.
TV Rossia 1 is a state-run federal station broadcasting throughout the Russian Federation, with a potential audience of 98% of the country's population. Its programs are also broadcast in former USSR states and European countries. The show “Vesti nedeli” is broadcast weekly in prime-time, on Sunday night, and reflects the Kremlin's point of view on foreign policy. Dmitry Kiselyov is one of the main promoters of the Kremlin's propaganda, being included in the list of sanctions of the EU, Canada and Ukraine for the promotion of Russian propaganda regarding the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, in 2014. The producer has stated in one of the shows that Russia could turn the US into radioactive ashes.
PURPOSE: The narratives aim to portray Ukraine, NATO and the United States as aggressors and enemies of the Russian Federation, who can launch an attack on it at any time.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The conflict in Ukraine was triggered by the Russian Federation with the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, and the subsequent support of the separatist insurgency in Donbas, a region inhabited mainly by ethnic Russians. The Russian-backed separatists have proclaimed two republics, Donetsk and Luhansk, in the Donbas region. The Russian Federation wants to keep Ukraine within its area of influence, and the separatist regions are the main pressure tools it still has in that country. The conflict stemmed from the fact that the people of Ukraine wanted the country's integration into the European Union, massively protesting against President Yanukovych's refusal to sign the Association Agreement with the EU in 2013, a refusal caused by intense Kremlin pressure. Following the Russian aggression, Ukraine has intensified its efforts to join NATO.
Russia claims that after the collapse of the USSR, the Americans promised Moscow that NATO would not expand to the East. The Kremlin has kept insisting recently that NATO lied to Russia by expanding the alliance in 1999 and 2004 and has called on Washington for written guarantees to rule out any new membership in the alliance, especially that of Ukraine. The rumors about the alleged promises made by the Americans regarding NATO have not been documented anywhere. They are not real, Mikhail Gorbachev's translator Pavel Palajchenko has recently stated, as he took part in the negotiations and had direct access to diplomatic correspondence and transcripts of the talks. He has said that the issue of NATO enlargement was addressed exclusively in the context of the unification of Germany , in the sense of including the territory of East Germany under the umbrella of the Alliance. The issue of further enlargement to the east was not raised at the time, and even if it was addressed in some discussions – historians have different views on that and it’s possible that the idea of NATO maintaining its current borders was mentioned by the then Secretary of State, James Baker – there was no concrete offer from the West, to have been made public and registered in a document. Similarly, it is interesting to note that Russia has flagrantly violated the Budapest Memorandum, a concrete document by which the signatories, including the Russian Federation, guaranteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for the latter renouncing its nuclear arsenal.
The NATO member states pose no danger to the Russian Federation, as it is a defensive alliance. NATO forces on the eastern flank are significantly smaller than those available to Moscow, which has begun to conduct more and more mass concentrations of troops and military exercises in the western part of its territory. Ukraine and Georgia want to join the Alliance for the same reason that the Baltic states and those in the former socialist camp wanted it: for fear of the Russian Federation, the successor of the USSR, which attacked them in the past.