Land of confusion

The foreign office participates in the information war on ukraine with its own paper. But crucial questions remain unanswered. Who really shot at the maidan in february 2014??

The link created by the auswartigen amt last week on ./44224_1.Pdf (pdf) continues to cause a stir. Denotes a "reality check" in dream research, the verification of whether one is still dreaming or already awake, some people may have rubbed their eyes in disbelief after the government paper became known. The german auben ministry ies a language regulation on what should be truth and what should not be truth in the contentious ukraine conflict?

Land of confusion

The office of foreign affairs, which confronts facts with assertions. Image: lusitana.5

However, a spokeswoman for the office already rejected this accusation last friday. The document is "no language rule", but a "handout" to their own employees, in order to "to contrast frequently heard allegations with facts". But it has also been distributed to members of parliament, "because we think it could be helpful for one or the other member of parliament for his argumentation against his constituency burger". The office could not say who had then given the paper to the press (the suddeutsche zeitung had reported first).

In this context, the almost identical classification of the paper by leading german media at the end of last week was striking. Not only did they unanimously adopt the government’s compilation of arguments on the ukraine conflict (astonishingly enough for a "free press"), but also still verscharften their choice of words. While the auswartige office only from russian "allegations" the media headlines turned them into "putin’s myths" (spiegel online), "moscow’s propaganda" (die welt) or just "moscow myths" (suddeutsche zeitung). Thus it was not about the presentation of two opposing views, from which the reader can form his own judgment, but about the meanwhile already accustomed specification of a clear marching direction with the tenor "the enemy is peeking".

Brainwashing from moscow?

Anyone who has ever wondered how a pluralistic media public could drift into one-dimensional totalitarianism in the past is currently receiving a vivid visual lesson. This is all the more surprising because the arguments of the federal government are by no means as clear and convincing as the headlines of the major newspapers suggest.

This already starts with the fact that the formulation "russian claims – our answers" ames that the dissenting views come exclusively from moscow and that anyone who holds them is subject to putin’s influence. By now it should have become clear that opposition to nato’s position on the ukraine conflict is so widespread, especially among the german population, that the theory of a "hostile indoctrination" borders on the ridiculous.

The points themselves – the paper consists of 18 supposedly "russian" arguments and the corresponding attempts of the german government to invalidate them – are of varying conclusiveness. The very first point of contention ("the west interfered in ukraine’s internal affairs and contributed to the ouster of the legitimate leadership of yanukovych"), the foreign office seems to have little to counter. Instead, it presents the familiar view that ukrainians started the protest after they felt that yanukovych had not signed the agreement with the eu "" had felt. The peaceful demonstrations had then expanded, and the west had merely admonished yanukovych to uphold law and order.

Nobody questions all this (even if the supposedly spontaneous protests may not have been so unplanned in reality: maidan: der verklarte aufstand). However, irritatingly, the actual accusation that the west has actively interfered in ukrainian domestic politics beyond advice and hints, for instance with various organizations for the "democracy demand", with the five billion dollar aid program made public by victoria nuland-"investment" of the usa, with the infiltration of cia advisors and blackwater soldiers or also the launching of own politicians like yatsenyuk (usa) or klitschko (konrad adenauer foundation). The paper of the auswartigen amt is eloquently silent about all such facts of interference.

Interestingly, the document is almost identical in some points with an older argumentation paper of the same konrad-adenauer-foundation.