Ukraine has voted for Europe. That seems to be the message sent out by most Western news sources after the results of the parliamentary election began to come in. They’re not alone, either, as the country’s current president, Petro Poroshenko, explained quite cheerfully that “more than three-quarters of voters who took part in the polls gave strong and irreversible backing to Ukraine’s path to Europe.” Discourse such as this proves that even Western media is still incredibly biased, and that the days of propaganda are not over yet.
A fact that is conveniently left out of the headlines, and, if at all, is often only mentioned later on in the articles, is who actually voted. It is proudly mentioned that “over 50%” (52%, to be precise) turned out to vote, but this does not include the eastern regions. In fact, about 4 million people were unable to vote at all, since Crimea is now part of Russia and the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are controlled by the rebels, holding their own elections next week. These are, not by coincidence, very Pro-Russian regions. To make things worse, though, as the BBC mentions in an off-hand remark, while the voter turnout was 70% in most western regions, it was around 30% in many eastern regions, again exactly there where the majority of Russians live.
When you think about it, these pro-Western claims are actually kind of ironic. Ever since the start of this conflict, both Europe and the government in Kiev have been demanding for the rebels to stand down and for the eastern parts of the country to stop their attempts at secession. However, now that it comes to a vote, they blatantly ignore these regions. No mention is made of them. Instead, they collectively pretend as if all of the Ukraine has voted in favour of the pro-Western government. But if that’s true, then aren’t they admitting that those eastern regions aren’t part of Ukraine at all? After all, those regions did not vote, but Ukraine apparently did.
The problem is that they can do this without issue. People in the West won’t notice, nor will they care. Blog posts like these won’t be read by millions of people, while the biased news reports in mainstream media certainly will. Ukraine has voted pro-Western: great, we were right all along. Russia was wrong and now they’ll have to admit fault. And if they don’t? Well, then they’re just being ignorant and proud.
The Ukraine conflict has become the biggest success story of Western propaganda in the 21st century, and it is reminiscent of nothing but Cold War sentiments. Facts are blatantly ignored or hushed up while faulty, misleading interpretations are thrown into headlines. Who even remembers that the last election in which all of the Ukraine took part led to a win for the pro-Russian government? Who even remembers that that government was ousted in a violent coup, rather than by democratic means? And in a week from now, who will even remember that this so called democratically elected parliament does not represent the millions of people living in the east of the country? It will be forgotten, and we will once again start telling those people to keep living under the rule of a government they didn’t elect, without even for a moment considering their arguments.
Propaganda is not just a tool used by dictatorial regimes. It exists just as much in the West, and until we start realising that, until we start to be critical of the information that is fed to us, we won’t ever know the truth. We will keep living with these biases, and they will lead us straight into another Cold War, for which Russia is no more to blame than we are.
If you’re bored, try looking through the Western news reports of the election. You’ll really find a pattern.
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