"Bunny Rabbits and the Big Bad Wolf: Ukraine and Russia through the lens of Western reporting"
by Gilbert Doctorow
gilbertdoctorow.com (March 5, 2022)

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 as 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