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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The current Russia-US stand-off is greatly over-hyped by US media


President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at his dacha outside Moscow, Russia, July 7, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).

Since the initial Ukraine crisis began, the death toll has spiked steadily to now count at over 100, according to Ukraine’s Health Ministry. The ministry also revealed that over 980 people have been wounded as a result of clashes between protesters and Ukrainian law enforcement, with 646 requiring hospitalization.

Subsequently, the US media has been forced to sit up and pay attention. The media, has on more than one occasion, referred to the situation as a “dilemma.” The real issue is that Russia has no intention of losing its stake in Ukraine to the EU, and even more possibly, the United States.

Many are wary of the fact that the ongoing political tensions could evolve into a military conflict between the US and Russia. The more radical among us are fearful that World War III is on the horizon.

To allay some fears, one only has to look at the facts.

Russia possesses a naval base in Ukraine (the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea). This peninsula served as a sort of gate between the coast of Russia and the Black sea. With the riots intensifying and the incumbent government overthrown, Russia was at risk of losing Crimea to the EU and US Putin had no choice but to protect their Naval base that has in fact been there for hundreds of years.

The US government, equipped with the knowledge that Russia had more than a vested interest in keeping the Crimea Region, as well as its Naval bases, has sent out stern warnings against Russia’s occupation of the region. Unsurprisingly, Russia went ahead with its occupation of Crimea, sending numerous troops into the region.

For Putin there was not another option.   

Nonetheless, Russia’s occupation of Crimea is not viewed as a problem for inhabitants of the region, as most of them have strong Russian ties. Even before the conflict, the people of this region have considered seceding to Russia. So the new Ukrainian government, influenced by the western powers, is upset, but the people of the region are not.

Still, what may seem as a win-win situation for both parties is not quite so. The US, as well as its allies and the EU, would rather have Ukraine form stronger pacts with the EU. Russia wants the exact opposite.

In reality, occurrences have played out more like a draw between both sides of the issue.

As the potential deal with either the EU or Russia was being debated by the Ukrainian government, the US and their European allies effectively stirred up the North side of Ukraine. This was done to destabilize the nation, in a bid to drag it further from Russian hands and into the arms of the EU

This was to destabilize the country to have it drift from Russian hands to join the EU. With Ukraine in the EU Moscow can be closely “looked at”, so to speak, by the US. If they were successful they would also have Crimea, thus ultimately blocking Russia from the Black Sea.

Still, a stalemate arises because Southern Ukraine is very much pro-Russian. So much so that even before troops were sent into Crimea, the people of the south wanted to split the country in two.

The EU and the US have no ground in trying to force the south of Ukraine to adhere to the beliefs of the north of the country (pro- EU deal). I believe no further serious military action will be taken. Presidents Obama and Putin have been discoursing, as well as Secretary John Kerry visiting ; an agreement is surely in the works.

Despite all this, a very realistic outcome could be the division of Ukraine– with Russia remaining influential over the south while the north forms strong ties with the US and EU.

Distrusting Russia is hip, so it’s no surprise to see the media unabashedly promoting anti-Russian propaganda. CNN has brought up the notion of the “the new Cold War” multiple times already. It won’t stop there. The blame for the destabilization and civil unrest of Ukraine will be placed solely on Russia.

The fear of yet another war which we will no doubt have to be involved in will only intensify our prejudice towards Putin. Rhetoric like “Putin cannot be trusted anymore” will be bandied about “because his actions are disrupting Europe.”

There is no real threat of war in Europe, that is perceivable, it is a giant game of chess that we are witnessing. No Checkmate just yet. With the tool of the media, the US masses can be utilized as mere pawns.