Despite the tight control exercised over information, the Russian public knows that atrocities have taken place on Ukrainian soil, but the state television channels and news outlets deny Russian complicity in these atrocities. Russia's First Channel made the accusation "With Bucha, the Kiev regime began the first link in a chain of bloody provocations in its own country." The outlet Ura.ru offered a reward of 5000 euros for information about what had transpired in Bucha.
The blogger and journalist Yuri Podolyaka, who has a regular YouTube channel called The World Today, has played an active role in attempts to shift the blame to the Ukrainians. Podolyaka claims to be a Ukrainian himself born in Sumi, who had already detected the dangerous anti-Russian trends in 2004. His blogs are disseminated by the Russian military and translated into many languages. Podolyaka published an appeal from the heart by a Ukrainian from Bucha, who is currently hiding in Kyiv. This alleged eyewitness account was enthusiastically published in the Russian press including the following excerpts:
"The Russians left Bucha on March 30. And on the 31st in the evening the looting began. A brigade consisting of more than 10 people in civilian clothes was engaged in looting, but they were guarded and commanded by ZSU [Ukrainian Army] soldiers around the clock"
"Do you think there is fascism in Ukraine? No, it's not fascism. Fascists did not rob or kill their own people! This is fierce Satanism, senseless and merciless! They aren’t 'our guys,' they are not human beings!"
"A neighbor saw that 'our guys' were even taking furniture out of his house, so she ran to them, 'Guys, why are you doing this?! We're your people!' She was immediately shot and put under a fence... as well as her husband!"
The Ukrainian strongly hopes that the Russians will come to Kiev, because if that happened." I’ll be able to enlist as a private to free my Fatherland, my homeland, from the savage Satanism that mauled our home in Bucha for three days, that tortured my beloved village for ten days. Please, my dear, good Russian soldiers, don't stop."
Yuri Podolyaka (Source: En.topwar.ru)
A commentary by Ria Novosti commentator Irina Alksnis assured the Russian public that even the West was getting tired of Ukrainian fabrications. The original Western enthusiasm for Ukraine would wear off as did Western enthusiasm for the operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The most apt comparison was with Syria were the West supported the opposition to the Assad regime only to discover that the so-called moderate opposition was comprised of hard-core jihadists. The West was now discovering similar barbarism in the Ukrainians. Despite this epiphany, the West could still use the atrocity tales as a stick to beat Russia with. The discovery of Ukrainian cruelty actually provided the West with an incentive to prolong the war in order to kill off as many Ukrainians as possible.
Alksnis' commentary follows below:
"The president of Ukraine felt offended.
"In an interview to the German newspaper Bild, he recounted that one European leader, commenting on the events in Bucha, demanded for Ukraine to provide evidences that it was not staged. Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t specify who exactly said this, but according to unconfirmed rumors, it was Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban.
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"The West's attitude towards Ukraine is becoming ambiguous again. This was the case over the last years, when, after a few years of the post-Maidan 'honeymoon' [had passed], Europe and the US quickly grew tired of the corruption, destructiveness, and inflexibility in Kiev.
"At first, the Russian special operation washed away the accumulated negativity, and Ukraine once again appeared in the Western political and media sphere as a European country, uncompromisingly struggling for its ultimate deliverance from the Russian colonial yoke, [and a country] that builds democracy and aspires to EU and NATO membership.
"However, the effect was short-lived, and ambiguity reappeared in the West's attitude toward Ukraine. On the one hand, Kiev receives enthusiastic support, not only moral, but also in the form of arms supplies. On the other hand, after only a month and a half of the special operation, information that Ukraine falls far short of the image of a knight of the civilized world in shining democratic armor is being more actively introduced to the public opinion.
"The Bild story is most illustrative in this regard. The Ukrainian president related the incident, obviously, obviously in the hope of arousing sympathy for his country and indignation at the cynicism of a European leader. However, Ukraine has already gained a reputation for ceaselessly fabricating fakes.
"The Western audience itself has repeatedly fallen victim to Ukraine’s deceptions, which were later exposed. In this situation, a request to supply proof to the validity of the events in Bucha in the eyes of a third-party appears quite logical and well-founded. In contrast, the posture of outraged innocence performed by Kiev is not very convincing.
"To this category one can attribute the openly tepid Western reaction to the tragedy in Kramatorsk [rail station]. If, in the Bucha story the US and Europe turned a blind eye to the numerous inconsistencies in the Ukrainian version of events (after all, they really needed a picture of "Russian atrocities") the OTR-21 Tochka strike on the train station carried such a stink of ZSU [involvement], that it was too much even for the West.
"Thus, one shouldn’t be surprised if a story should appear some time later in some highly influential world media stating that as result of a journalistic investigation it turned out that it was the Ukrainian army that struck Kramatorsk. Just as a few days ago The New York Times confirmed the authenticity of video [showing] Russian POWs being massacred by Ukrainian soldiers.
"By the way, the Western media (citing its sources) also reported on Kiev's refusal in principle to observe the rights of POWs.
"However, it would be a fundamental mistake to view such a change in Western behavior as an approaching turning point in the information war and its willingness to concede that Russia is right. The ongoing correction of Western policy toward Ukraine has a completely different meaning and solves absolutely different problems.
"The Ukraine’s image as a European country (in the best sense of the word) not only fails to withstand a collision with reality (as the world too often observes the manifestation of the country’s true nature), but it’s also awkward for the Western establishment for many other reasons.
"At the moment there is a correction of its image in accordance with the actual state of affairs, and Ukraine is turning into a sort of Eastern European ISIS, or more precisely a variation of the "moderate opposition," that the West actively supported in Syria.
"In fact, the 'moderate opposition' consisted predominantly of hard-core Islamists. Take the story that occurred, when a representative of this opposition cut off an 11-year-old boy's head on camera, while the State Department promised to 'suspend' aid to the group to which the militant belonged, provided the investigation would confirm the authenticity of the event.
"This is not to say that Western society is completely naive. The notion of 'our son of a bitch' [the author references Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s remark in relation to Anastasio Somoza] is quite well understood and, with varying degrees of transparency, supported by the bulk of the citizens. It is just that the "handiwork" of the respective [armed] forces are traditionally pushed into the background of public attention, for the sake of their countries' geopolitical interests
"This is exactly the transformation Ukraine is now going through in Western public opinion. It is transforming from a democratic country moving towards the light, to the EU and NATO, into a barbaric country, where savage mores and endless cruelty reign, where no norms and rules of civilized society are respected. In general, in the eyes of Europeans and Americans, Ukraine is turning into Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya combined, it’s simply situated closer geographically.
"Thus, in general, it is even desirable (for the Europeans) that as many 'natives' [i.e. the Ukrainians] as possible should perish in the bloody slaughter, since, for a highly developed Europe, proximity to such an accursed territory is, naturally, psychologically uncomfortable. And this way Ukrainians will give their lives to confront Russia and, at the same time, reduce the discomfort they cause to civilized Europeans by their mere existence.
"This is precisely the most important thing. As precisely for this reason, Ukraine, a barbaric, inhuman country in terms of its cruelty (to both foreigner and its own citizens), which does not recognize the rules and norms of the civilized world, is the most effective Western weapon against Russia."
Irena Alksnis (Politobzor.net)