Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 21, 2020

A Ukrainian/CIA Plot To Incite Belarus Against Russia Unraveled - The NYT Story Thereof Is Hiding The Failure

Just yesterday we flogged the false and misleading reports in the New York Times about Russia's Covid-19 vaccine. Today a different New York Times report by Ivan Nechepurenko, who is also with its bureau in Moscow, proves to be of similar shoddy quality:

In Belarus, Russian Mercenaries Turned From Saboteurs to Friends
President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko accused Russia of sending a group of mercenaries to disrupt his re-election. With mass protests consuming the country after the vote, he briskly changed his tune.

Diligent readers of Moon of Alabama will remember what the story is about. On August 7 we reported how the Ukrainian intelligence service SBU, in the guise of a private military company, hired former Russian and Ukrainian soldiers allegedly for jobs in Venezuela. All the hired men had previously fought on the 'Russian side' of Ukrainian civil war in the Donbas region. The men were told to go to the Belorussian capital Minsk from where they were supposed to be later flown to Venezuela to guard oil installations.

The Ukrainian SBU then told the Belorussian security service KGB that the Russian mercenaries, who were then waiting in a resort near Minsk, were in Belarus to overthrow its president Lukashenko. The men were arrested and Lukashenko made a public fuss about the alleged Russian coup against him. Ukraine then asked for the extradition of the men. It had plans to indict them for their involvement in the Donbas war.

But just a few days after the men were arrested the whole plan unraveled. Russian media proved without doubt that the men had been tricked to go to Belarus and that they had no plans to overthrow Lukashenko. The Belorussian president apologized and the men were returned to Russia. As the Russian broadsheet summarized (machine translation):

[I]t can be stated that the Ukrainian special services managed to create a fake project, in which they involved 180 Russian citizens, while including in the first group of war veterans in the Donbas. At the same time, it is quite possible to admit that the entire fascinating and instructive story was brought to the Belorussian side in a very truncated form - without details about air tickets.

Through this entire operation, the SBU seems to have intended to kill several birds with one stone - the ubiquitous, nightmarish and terrible PMC Wagner was supposed to ricochet on Rosneft - as one of the largest Russian companies, but the main blow, undoubtedly, on the Russian-Belorussian relationships. Not to mention the possible extradition of Russian citizens to Ukraine, which Kiev would be incredibly happy about - such an opportunity to avenge its sailors, whom Poroshenko sent "to slaughter" in the Kerch Strait.

That version story has since been confirmed by the Ukrainian side (see below).

But today's New York Times report does not tell that story at all. It makes it seem as if Lukashenko changed his mind about the 'Russian coup' not because he gained knowledge of the real plot, but because he was under pressure from election protests:

President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus, who was facing a presidential election in less than two weeks, convened an emergency meeting of his top security officials, saying that the Russians were mercenaries with “dirty aims.” Speaking at the meeting, Valery Vakulchik, at the time the head of the K.G.B., confirmed that the Russians belonged to the Wagner Group.
Then, just 10 days before the Aug. 9 vote, Belarusian investigators accused the Russians of plotting to disrupt the election.

“Russia is afraid of losing us,” said Mr. Lukashenko, accusing the Kremlin of trying to “suffocate” Belarus.

Up to that point the NYT got the story right. But it fails when it covers the unraveling of the plot:

According to this new version of what happened, the men had been lured to Belarus by Ukrainian spies, who planned to seize their plane as it flew over Ukraine and have the men arrested over their role fighting in eastern Ukraine.

That Belarus has changed its story so dramatically is a measure of how swiftly the country’s strongman leader, Mr. Lukashenko, has reassessed his political interests.
On Aug. 14, after failing to curb an initial round of street protests with a frenzy of police violence, he ordered the Wagner mercenaries released and allowed them to return to Russia. All charges against them were dropped.
Upon the mercenaries’ return to Russia, several of them appeared on Russian television, claiming that they had no connection to the Wagner Group and had simply stopped off in Belarus en route to Venezuela, where they had a job lined up guarding an undisclosed Russian facility.

The NYT makes it look as if the Ukrainian intelligence service and the CIA were not involved at all and as if the revealed Ukrainian plot has not been real. The change in the 'Russian coup' story is attributed solely to the changing needs of Lukashenko.

That is of course bollocks. The Ukrainian plot was real. We know that because officials from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, which is supported by the U.S. State Department, have officially admitted it and because the Ukrainian media have been all over the story.

As the Canadian political scientist Ivan Katchanovski relayed it:

Ivan Katchanovski @I_Katchanovski - 0:35 UTC · Aug 18, 2020

National Anti-Corruption Bureau of #Ukraine agent states that #Russian mercenaries, who fought in #Donbas war, were lured to #Belarus by Security Service of Ukraine using fake offers by fake persons of work in Venezuela & tickets to fly there via Turkey.
>>> Агент НАБУ заявил о "госизмене Ермака с задержанными вагнеровцами"

National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine agent states that SBU planned to seize #Russian mercenaries, who fought in Donbas war, by making their passenger plane on route from #Belarus to Turkey land in #Ukraine

His statements are generally consistent with previous statements by #Russian representatives & media, release & return of arrested Russian mercenaries by #Belarus to #Russia & with statements of released mercenaries in the Russian media that they were lured with such work offers.
#Ukrainian media reports that US intelligence agents were also involved in this #FalseFlag operation & that video & audio recordings of #Russian mercenaries lured to #Belarus concerning their involvement in Donbas war would soon be published in #Ukraine
>>> “Вагнеровцы”, Ермак и измена Родине

Security Service of #Ukraine sources confirm to Ukrainian media #FalseFlag operation concerning luring of #Russian mercenaries from #Russia to #Belarus. Most of mercenaries were also Ukrainian citizens & fought for separatists in civil war in #Donbas
>>> Затримання "вагнерівців" мало бути українською операцією, яка зірвалась після доповіді в ОП

There is zero doubt that the Ukrainian plot, which was planned and executed together with the CIA, was real. There were no Wagner mercenaries at all, just former Russian and Ukrainian soldiers who were lured into a trap. The plot went bust because the Ukrainians had made some mistakes with the flight tickets which made it easy for the Russians to uncover the whole thing.

It was the discovery of the Ukrainian plot which made Lukashenko change his mind, not pressure from the already dead NED financed color revolution.

The NYT report, which comes nearly six weeks after Moon of Alabama published the real story, is hiding the failed CIA/SBU plot. It is attributing the whole unraveling of the plot's cover story from late July to mid August, and Lukashenko's change of tone as a consequence thereof,  to the election protest against him.

It is not that there was too little room in the NYT to report the full story. Of the 26 paragraphs of the report a full 11 are about the Soviet-era like resort the Russian mercenaries had rested in. Those 11 paragraphs may help to justify the travel cost of the NYT's reporter and photographer but they are otherwise of zero value to the reader.

The real story is the failed CIA/SBU operation. The NYT editors and its Moscow bureau seem to believe that the CIA's failure is not part of "all the news that’s fit to print". Instead of reporting what really happened, like the Ukrainian media did, they cover it up by claiming that it is somehow Lukashenko's fantasy.

Posted by b on September 21, 2020 at 16:50 UTC | Permalink


I skim a lot of news sources and am seeing many Belarus related stories that intimate that Lukashenko is on the way out and that event is "just around that next corner".....

Kudos to b for continuing to call out the MSM "of record" for their participation in empire propaganda.

While it would be nice to think that this is more examples of empire getting desperate/losing it but private finance is still the only tune being played on the jukebox.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 21 2020 17:07 utc | 1

Fantastic reporting b!

Empire MSM can not be trusted.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 21 2020 17:39 utc | 2

This tactic is called "plausible deniability". It's the cornerstone the CIA operations.

The principle of plausible deniability states that, even if an operation is completely uncovered (even if the damn CIA agent comes to the public and confess), it can still be credibly denied. Plausible deniability is so important to the CIA that no project or operation begin without one counter narrative that will make up the plausible denial being ready beforehand.

In the American MSM, plausible deniability is an essential instrument to maintaining credibility. Contrary to what many people commonly think, credibility is a tangible resource that can be spent and replenished. A competent propaganda outlet will now when to tell a lie and when to tell a truth; when to do propaganda and when to do serious journalism; and how to mix the two in order to create a new fantasy world in which the desired public opinion can be shaped. Ideally, the game is rigged beforehand with the respective intelligence agency of the MSM's nation (in NYT's case, the CIA). Articles wholly written by a CIA agent, with the journalist just signing it, are also common.

In this specific case, the NYT used plausible deniability to avoid an unnecessary loss of credibility. Credibility is the life blood of a propaganda outlet, and is only spent on the issues of the utmost political-economic importance (e.g. Trump's impeachment, start a war against another nation, etc.). The NYT, as an experienced propaganda outlet, will not want to spend its credibility reserves with a small case such as this - they are probably stocking it up to defeat Trump at the November 3 elections or to recover from the blow if Trump is reelected. It already suffered one heavy blow when it went head-first for the Iraq invasion of 2003 - only being able to recover after firing a journalist and publishing some mea culpas - so it is more cautious this time.

Posted by: vk | Sep 21 2020 17:45 utc | 3

Even supposedly commercial free digital radio is putting out lies/US Propaganda, this time about TikTok who's being charged with the criminal behavior of some of its users. That's like saying Dell Computer's (or whatever brand was used) responsible for the lies just published by the NY Times.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2020 18:09 utc | 4

So if the idea was to snatch these men en route to South America, was the part about making Lukashenko think they were sent to Belarus to stir up trouble there not in the original plan?

Posted by: David G | Sep 21 2020 18:10 utc | 5

So if the idea was to snatch these men en route to South America, was the part about making Lukashenko think they were sent to Belarus to stir up trouble there not in the original plan?

That is where it gets foggy.

The original plan was to capture the soldiers on the flight to Venezuela (via Turkey) by creating a 'medical emergency' on board while the plan was over Ukraine. The idea was to have it land in Kiev.

But there are acustation in Ukraine that someone in the Ukrainian president's office(?) (or maybe the CIA?) changed the plan on the fly to put up Belarus against Russia. This created the 'Russian coup' story. The soldiers were then supposed to be extradited to Ukraine.

But that 'coup' story created public attention and the Russian services sprang into action and had an easy game with debunking it. The whole thing then fell apart.

Posted by: b | Sep 21 2020 18:21 utc | 6

Gee, Navalny had a medical emergency on a plane too. Around the same time too. Could there be some connection? Nah. Too far away. Or maybe he got sick on the wrong plane, too soon, or something? Nah.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 21 2020 18:40 utc | 7

Just another "xxxx must go" project.....


Posted by: A.L. | Sep 21 2020 18:46 utc | 8

B - 6
So, the original plan was a purely Ukrainian one, or one devised independently, to bring the Russian dudes to Kiev, and another - mostly CIA or Polish-CIA? - plot with colour revolution was on the works at the same time, and when the protests began in Minsk, the Ukrainian plotters thought it would be good to change their own plan, merge it with what was going on, and to get the Russians caught in Belarus instead?

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 21 2020 18:50 utc | 9

This might be naive, but could the Russian and Ukrainian soldiers involved and their families, and perhaps Russia and Belarus too, possibly sue the Ukrainian SBU/CIA, launch a class action lawsuit, take them to the ICC, or otherwise take legal action to hold them accountable for this machination? Besides the impact on the lives of the individuals and their families, doesn't this false flag operation constitute a war crime?

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Sep 21 2020 18:56 utc | 10

b | Sep 21 2020 18:21 utc | 6:

Deep, murky waters. Thanks

Posted by: David G | Sep 21 2020 18:56 utc | 11

@Posted by: vk | Sep 21 2020 17:45 utc | 3
Isn't "plausible deniability" a very important part of any covert operation? I'm no expert, but I don't think it is CIA specific, or even invented by them.

Posted by: Tod | Sep 21 2020 19:04 utc | 12

David G @ 5, Clueless Joe @ 9,

I would agree with B @ 6, that the plan originally would have been to pretend to the war vets that they were being flown to Venezuela, and a medical emergency was to have been staged during the flight. (See the similarity with the recent Navalny poisoning stunt?) The CIA then must have taken over the plan and tacked on the coup plot idea. From that point on, the plan was bound to fail, and it's possible someone in the SBU knew and said it would, but with the CIA and SBU resident in the same building in Kiev, guess whose authority will prevail?

If an opportunity to kill several birds with one stone presents itself, no matter how badly thought out or lazy the plans behind it are, Western intel will seize it. Even if, and especially if, the plans have been used before and been found wanting.

What's amazing is that these plots by the CIA and its fellow intel agency pals seem always to be done on the fly, on napkins in cafes perhaps, with very little planning or coordination and no consideration for the consequences if the plans were to fail. Expediency seems to be the goal and lazy thinking seems to be a core value of Western intel agencies these days.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 21 2020 20:26 utc | 13

Excellent reporting...

If NATO gets its hands on Belarus and the Ukraine finally falls into its orbit war in Eastern Europe is assured unless a color revolution takes off in the Russian federation where it is so destabilized that it cannot act. They appear to be well along with that plan.

This is the endgame of a decades long attempt to get their hands on the whole of Russia's resources. If Russia is so weakened by a color revolution China may seek the opportunity to take Siberia. This has all the makings of WW whatever.

Posted by: circumspect | Sep 21 2020 21:10 utc | 14

It's all a part of the undeclared war by means other than weaponry, the idea is to create as many false flag ops as possible then to accuse Russia for them, vote in more sanctions in the hope the Russian economy collapses. The Ukraine originated sham was one example, the Navalny's poisoning is another, there were many before, will be many in the years ahead.

The same for China, Venezuela or any other country in vogue of dislike by the American Governing elites. The false flag ops may differ in substance, the motivation remains the same. A sure sign of an Empire falling apart not because of any external enemy, but because of internal warts and boils - the BLM movement, Antifa, drug abuse, hollowed manufacturing, rising debt, wealth inequity ....

The November election will be the tipping, one way or another the Republic will not be the same after the counting's over.

Posted by: Baron | Sep 21 2020 21:38 utc | 15

This is a good place to cite C. J. Hopkins in CouterPunch from 2017:

Why Ridiculous Official Propaganda Still Works

The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.

Every once in a while you may find a real gem of investigative reporting on the pages of The New York Times. Often the truth is revealed years after the fact. But these truths and revelations are never integrated into the official narrative. In a few months the real story will be forgotten and replaced by the official truth.

A prime example of good investigative journalism is the story on the CIA weapons pipeline from Croatia and Gulf states to Syrian rebels. See Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A. by C. J. Chivers and Eric Schmitt in The New York Times on March 24, 2013. Do not expect any of this to be acknowledged by today's lead stories in the New York Times or the Washington Post.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 21 2020 22:37 utc | 16

Thank you very much for all the hard work you put into producing this investigative article. However, I must admit anyone who still trusts the Western propaganda outlets, with all due respect, is wasting their time.

Posted by: Ali | Sep 21 2020 22:40 utc | 17

A former editor and correspondent of the The New York Times, Michael Cieply describes how the newspaper works:

Stunned By Trump, The New York Times Finds Time For Some Soul-Searching

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

Reality usually had a way of intervening. But I knew one senior reporter who would play solitaire on his computer in the mornings, waiting for his editors to come through with marching orders. Once, in the Los Angeles bureau, I listened to a visiting National staff reporter tell a contact, more or less: “My editor needs someone to say such-and-such, could you say that?”

The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper’s daily Page One meeting: “We set the agenda for the country in that room.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 21 2020 22:50 utc | 18

The highest authority figures vouch for the accuracy of their plots, with dangling piece of when and why the operation was changed. "European Solidarity" and similar parties attacked the government for changing the plot and letting the "Vagnerovtsy" go back home, while prez. Zelensky issues very upset statement that it was not nice to Belorus to extradite them.

The pattern of behavior of the current government is that they do not do ANYTHING that would offend "western partners", at the very least, they do not COMPLETE ANYTHING of that kind. The switch had to be an idea from the miasma that is "western intelligence".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 21 2020 23:29 utc | 19 always, and especially if it involves anything even remotely relating to 'Russia', or Iran, or whatever adversarial operational target of the day might be - one can reliably count on our very own "Izvestia on the Hudson" to faithfully execute their officially sanctioned nation security state propaganda mission by dutifully steno-graphing as much dis/mis-information as their NSA/CIA/Pentagon handlers request (require) from them.

Posted by: time2wakeupnow | Sep 21 2020 23:36 utc | 20

The problem with being a thief, is that you think all other people think like you ..they are thieves. In a similar vein, those who would lie and cheat cannot help but think all others lie and cheat, includind their allies. The rot sinks deep into their organizations, relationships, until they unable to believe even their own truths. This is the way they fail in the end.

Posted by: James joseph | Sep 22 2020 0:07 utc | 21

The blogger Caitlin Johnstone accurately states that these most of these mainstream corporate journalists are really *narrative managers* in that their primary role is to peddle the official narrative of the US corporate/political establishment for any given topic.

I would add that the managing editors of these "journalists"/narrative managers would be more honestly described as "handlers," to use the parlance of spooks.

In fact, it would be apt to described venerable institution of journalism itself as an intelligence operation.


Posted by: ak74 | Sep 22 2020 0:14 utc | 22

The NYT makes it look as if the Ukrainian intelligence service and the CIA were not involved at all and as if the revealed Ukrainian plot has not been real. The change in the 'Russian coup' story is attributed solely to the changing needs of Lukashenko.

plausible deniability protects credibility.

credibly sourced propanganda can be used to establish tightly controlled virtual information enviornments, which can then be used to shape public opinion. by: vk @| 3

"plausible deniability" is a viable defense when discovered Tod @ 12..

opportunity is needed to covert covert activity Jen @ 13..

exposing self contrived false flags allows to pin the blame-tail on innocent targets. by Baron @ 14.

“official narrative” is controlled by subliminal invasion of undefended minds. Petri Krohn @ 15.

corporate journalists are *narrative managers* ak74 @ 21

mindframing in virtual information environments depends on repetitive utterance of the propaganda.. Ali @ 16

take legal action to hold them accountable by: Canadian Cents @ 10 courts conduct lawsuits in secret.. and allow the defendants years before the issue is adjudicated. legal action has little value where the masses establish beliefs that track the propaganda. (Ask anyone that has been hung by an angry crowd; what a court could have done to save a victim's neck).

can we not invent a method that can counter this tactic of using propaganda to control the narrative?

Posted by: snake | Sep 22 2020 0:59 utc | 23

James joseph @20

Very astute observation, James.

Posted by: Greg | Sep 22 2020 1:15 utc | 24

The NYT story is bizarre in its (strategic) sloppiness. Ukraine was accused to make a plot, and question number one would be: was the accusation denied or confirmed. As it is rare to confirm such plots, and as it was confirmed with much acrimony, this angle of the story would be much more interesting than detailed report from the totally sleepy resort where 40-ish D.J. encourages 40-ish (and beyond, and beyond) female visitors to dance.

BTW, I wonder how high fashion and modern are Catskill resort in the suburbs of NYC. I guess this is an equivalent scene, people of certain age going to a resort near their hometown to vacation on budget. Superiority complex is oozing from the piece in addition to making propaganda on demand. In a wider perspective, NYT is good enough for the elderly with fixed views who vacation in Catskills, so they can enjoy learning that back in Belorus things are even more spartan.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 22 2020 1:52 utc | 25

As Belarus is eventually pushed into the NATO orbit along with the Ukraine the Russian Federation will have their back against the wall on its western front. War is almost inevitable at this point.

If the color revolution that is being pushed in the Russian Federation takes root they may be to weakened to respond. At that point China, with its eyes on Siberia make its move at some point concurrently as the Western capitalist front makes its move on Russia's resources.

Russia is a large turkey that a couple of large powerful capital enterprises want to carve up for its resources. Will the nukes fly or will Russia allow the final cuts at the breast meat happen without response?

This is all about the control and ownership of massive resources.

Posted by: circumspect | Sep 22 2020 3:17 utc | 26

I can't help comparing this to the ongoing story that isn't -- the gripping testimony being heard for the defense in the Assange trial. Okay I'm prejudiced as one of the recent witnesses was Nicky Hager whom folk may remember as being a New Zealand reporter who wrote revealing malfeasance on the part of kiwi troops in Afghanistan among other wikileaks type disclosure reporting. One tweet I saw someplace had John Pilger suggesting that things might be turning Assange's way, since the prosecution was not able to counter revelations about rendition and torture that were clear war crimes Wikileaks had reported on.

Nothing of this is being covered either at the Guardian or New York Times. Crickets. Or, hey, back to Belarusse!

Posted by: juliania | Sep 22 2020 3:35 utc | 27

Posted by: snake | Sep 22 2020 0:59 utc | 22 can we not invent a method that can counter this tactic of using propaganda to control the narrative?

1) Hack them. Release their planning documents, emails, phone calls, etc. showing how the scam was set up.

2) Waste of time. They control the media. The Internet may have lots of influence, but it still does not set "consensus reality" - that remains with the MSM. The MSM issues one coordinated narrative. The Internet is all over the place. Without one coordinated narrative, you can't set "reality".

3) In addition, those who issue the narrative and control the MSM have the power. People want to believe those in power, due to cognitive dissonance - otherwise they'd have to accept that everyone ruling their lives is a corrupt liar. The electorate may *say* they understand that their rulers are corrupt - but they can't act* on that realization without compromising their own internal belief systems. So again, waste of time to try.

Posted by: Richard Steven Heck | Sep 22 2020 4:01 utc | 28

re juliania | Sep 22 2020 3:35 utc | 26
I too am a fan of Hager's work over the years in particular his disclosure of the illegal tricks the conservative party of Aotearoa (the national party) get up to, but I find myself disagreeing one of the few times ever with John Pilger.
The die hs been cast Mr Assange will be tortured to death in an amerikan supermax prison there is no escaping that short of a group of committed people in england breaking him out.
We must not fall for the same ploy used by the NYT when selling propaganda, that is allowing some truth to slip into proceedings to make it appear to the naive that this is a 'fair' trial. It is not.
Even the despicable Graun has been running articles which imply that they too are concerned about the freedom of speech implications of Mr Assange's lynching.
This one here by Lulu is a particularly slimy act by the graun's editors. Lulu is speaking from his heart but the fishwrap is just being its usual hypocritical self in a way that reminds me of the stunt they pulled in the last few weeks of the last england general election when they ran a handful of stories sympathetic to Mr Corbyn.
These plays are partly because they want to have 'proof' to deny they were being subjective and partly because I know I am not the only human who has written to them stating their daily begging letters are a waste on me as I would never ever give them a brass razoo because of their deliberate slanders of Messrs Assange & Corbyn.
Literally thousands of other former readers have done this. The graun's management must be aware of the problem they will inevitably face in the not too distant future, that is a time is coming when he graun's zionist donors will decide there are better uses for their money.
In england it has become pretty much illegal to say anything disparaging about israel so once the zionists believe that has been set in stone they will move their funding somewhere else.
The graun will be buggered without zionist cash, so these attempts to pretend they care about Assange are typical duplicitous tosh designed to encourage any with short memories to decide "Well really the guardian ain't so bad, maybe I'll sling 'em a few quid".

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 22 2020 4:57 utc | 29

Posted by: b | Sep 21 2020 18:21 utc | 6

Nothing new concerning the papers of reference, be it NYT in the USA, Spiegel -unfortunately I do not speak german and the Spiegel is the only one that I know of with a small weakly english section- Le Monde, The Guardian, El País, etc. They all belong to the infamous club of the presstitutes.
Ukraine is a zombie, remotely controlled to keep Russia off balance, not having enough with Ukraine the same tricks are being applied in Belarus but it seems that the plan did not go trough.
The work you do is commendable B, but I would appreciate a lot if you would focus your efforts in Germany since not a lot is known about the internal politics of a country that basically is the leading one in the EU.
The Navalny affair, Merkel calling for changes in the UN, Germany relations with Poland, the Treuhand and the liquidation of the DRG, and a lot of issues that someone living there -I assume- sure knows a lot better that the rest.
Ukraine is like an open oozing wound, and it could be a surprise in the coming election debates in the USA, the Biden Poroshenko tapes are not even mentioned by the presstitutes, and the level of theft and corruption is monumental, fumbling Biden will have a serious problem when these conversations come up in the debates.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 22 2020 5:29 utc | 30

"In england it has become pretty much illegal to say anything disparaging about israel"

And in the US: "to date, 32 states have adopted laws, executive orders or resolutions that are designed to discourage boycotts against Israel. Separately, the U.S. Congress is considering anti-boycott legislation as well in reaction to the BDS movement. The Senate passed S.1 which contains anti-boycott provisions on January 28, 2019, by a vote of 74-19. The House passed a resolution condemning the boycott of Israel on July 24, 2019, by a vote of 398-17."...As quoted From The Jewish Virtual Library.

Now, all the Israeli lobby/foreign ministry has to do is get another 6 states to adopt most, if not all of the Israeli government's anti-BDS position and then they will officially have enough total states (38) to force through a constitutional amendment legally prohibiting any and all real or perceived anti-Israeli Government speech, sentiment, and/or activism.

And all the NYT's can keep harping on about is how "Russia" is nefariously "interfering" in our sacred "democracy" Crickets as to how another foreign country routinely writes and passes laws here in the US through our (their surrogate) representatives..

Posted by: time2wakeupnow | Sep 22 2020 6:05 utc | 31

Posted by: Richard Steven Heck | Sep 22 2020 4:01 utc | 28

RE: the Mighty Wurlitzer:

4.) Turn the TV off, give it away, cancel your cable TV, get a dumb phone, don't EVER pay for propaganda when you don't have to.

You notice how they all ask for contributions? Another attempt to imitate their betters and gain/borrow credibility. They want you to pay for your internet bullshit too.

5.) Turn off Javascript so they can't run their ads and screw up your reading experience.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 22 2020 7:48 utc | 32

With the Belarus coup plot sagging under the weight of its own internal contradictions, it looks as though something CIA-ish is afoot in Thailand. Thailand's 'rebels' are running on the meme "Thailand belongs to the Thai People, not the King!"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 22 2020 8:08 utc | 33

Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 22 2020 8:08 utc | 33

Not that I wouldn't put it past the coke dealers from Langley to try out their new tools in Thailand, the mentioned meme has nothing to do with the Muslim rebels operation in the south of Thailand. Its going back to the old red vs. yellow shirt conflict, and is more likely a false flag by the junta to keep their reign on power for a few more years.

Posted by: Peter Camenzind | Sep 22 2020 9:58 utc | 34

#33 Thai people not wanting a king has zero to do with the cia coups or current situation in Belarús.

Posted by: Abu Aisha | Sep 22 2020 10:17 utc | 35

2) Waste of time. They control the media. The Internet may have lots of influence, but it still does not set "consensus reality" - that remains with the MSM. The MSM issues one coordinated narrative. The Internet is all over the place. Without one coordinated narrative, you can't set "reality".by: Richard Steven Heck @ 28

Yes I think you are on to something.. <= the mind control machinery belongs to the MSM, so whatever is done, needs to ride on the MSM .. they own the tracks, the train, the fuel, they sell the tickets that allow access, and are the sole recipient of each corporate income tax deduction classified as advertising, which means the government itself subsides their (the MSM) railroad. So when the MSM train pulls into one of its audience attended stations, the crowds that assemble to watch need to be taught or tricked or induced into absorbing or interpreting a meaning quite different than was the intention of the MSM design.

What I like about your idea is it provides what every scientific experiment needs; a means to measure the output or change <=produced by, or caused by experimental trials. If the masses develop a different understanding or assign a different meaning than was intended by the MSM design, the impact of the application of each of our experimental designs can provide <=by its response =>a quantitative measure of the response caused by the experimental input.

Testing ways and means that can reverse the behaviors or beliefs MSM audiences adopt or express, should be the experimental goal. .

Use the MSM engine to invert the intention of the MSM media train, redirect the audience mindset to a different belief, and the audience expressions of behavior in ways contrary to the MSM intention, is the challenge..

Is this list up to developing strategies that can be tested?

Posted by: snake | Sep 22 2020 10:19 utc | 36

Petri Krohn | Sep 21 2020 22:50 utc | 18:

Thanks for citing that Michael Cieply piece, which rings all too true about the NY Times.

Posted by: David G | Sep 22 2020 11:07 utc | 37

The NYT article proposes that the belorussian KGB at first confirmed that the mercenaries were assets of Wagner.
That could be just another inaccuracy/ assumption disguised as a fact but if its true it raises the question why that is. Did they took the word of their SBU "colleagues". Did they not consider the SBU could have a diametrically different agenda?

Posted by: aurbanite | Sep 22 2020 11:30 utc | 38

Petri Krohn | Sep 21 2020 22:37 utc | 16:

The Hopkins piece is also well worth reading. He seems to have been banished from CounterPunch since then.

You are quite right that inconvenient facts do sometimes still appear in the NY Times, but are “never integrated into the official narrative”. Recent examples off the top of my head:

• that the violent confrontation at the Venezuela-Colombia border bridge was instigated by the Guaidó golpistas, not the Venezuelan forces

• that the OAS falsely impugned Bolivia’s election, enabling that coup

• that the attack that killed a U.S. “contractor” on a base in Iraq, setting off the U.S.-Iran tit-for-tat, including the murder of Gen. Soleimani, was by I.S.-aligned salafists, not – as advertised – “Iranian-backed militias”

• that the PCR test for coronavirus being used to justify Planet Lockdown actually lacks diagnostic value

The Times got to all these stories weeks or months late, after independent media had beaten them to it, but they did appear in the paper, and all could have ben used to drive further reporting to widen the cracks in the official, deceitful consensus. Yet they’ve all been left in the cold as orphans, outside the chosen narrative.

Posted by: David G | Sep 22 2020 12:00 utc | 39

The american people ca still prevent the destruction of Europe and their own country by picking up their arms and start mowing down all government officials and media pundits.Enough talk,enough bullshit, the time is now!,

Posted by: willie | Sep 22 2020 13:08 utc | 40

I, for one, am very glad to see the plot failed. The Russian and Belarusian intelligence and security services saw it coming from miles away, and were ready for it. They had accurate information about which governments were involved, all the way down to which services, which units, and specific officers and offices.

Posted by: Josh | Sep 22 2020 14:34 utc | 41

C.J. Hopkins's pieces now appear on A new piece of his is featured there today.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 22 2020 14:37 utc | 42

Russian and Belarusian coordination and response execution were excellent, and effective.
Also, the western intel network, along with almost all coordinators were thouroghly exposed. The coup plotters either fled the country or were arrested. The Navalny twist is odd, but whatever.

Posted by: Josh | Sep 22 2020 14:37 utc | 43

Hopefully this fiasco weakens the Kiev regime's hold on the people of Ukraine, and damages its potential to instigate more extraterritorial instanility and conflict. Also, one can hope that CIA's influence diminishes within the Ukrainian state otsel (time will tell), at least some confidence is surely lost.

Posted by: Josh | Sep 22 2020 14:41 utc | 44

Hoping for the citizens of Ukraine to tire of the Maiden regime might, on the surface, sound like a long shot. But, then again, just how much wonderful can these guys stand from their current government? Who knows?...

Posted by: Josh | Sep 22 2020 14:44 utc | 45

MSM is blamed for propaganda. How to fix and counter.
At the lowest common denominator, resides a human. By that I mean, it is a human being that creates that propaganda. Sanction him/her. Demos at their residences, occupy style.
Not until people’s (humans) feet are held to the fire will they feel the agony.

Lowest common denominator, people. You are one of them. Do your civic duty. Inform, and occupy.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Sep 22 2020 14:48 utc | 46

In general, these regime change operations (like in Belarus) are part of a *broader* stratagem that the Anglo American imperialist powers led by AMERICA and the UNITED KINGDOM deploy to subvert, destabilize, or balkanize dozens of nations around the world including Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ukraine, Thailand, Cuba, Syria, Iran, or China, etc.

What is most interesting (and often swept under the rug) is how America's regime change assets have created an *interconnected spider's web of operations* that transcend a particular targeted nation.

Thus, America's "pro-democracy" stooges in Thailand are making common cause with American-bankrolled neo-Nazi stooges in Belarus!

Thai Opposition Figure Supports US-funded Neo-Nazis in Belarus

Or America's beloved Ukrainian neo-Nazis have flocked to Hong Kong to support America's "pro-democracy" destabilization campaign there.

Ukrainian neo-Nazis flock to the Hong Kong protest movement

In short, the tentacles of the Anglo American Empire have penetrated all major regions of this planet.

The greatest deception, however, is how these regime change operations are disguised behind the founding lies of the Anglo-American Empire and self-styled Free World in general: Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights.

The Anglo-American Origins of Color Revolutions & NED

Posted by: ak74 | Sep 22 2020 15:26 utc | 47

Ohhh, you mean Trump's CIA headed by his hand-picked torture Director, Gina Haspel?

Posted by: Circe | Sep 22 2020 15:43 utc | 48

MSM is blamed for propaganda. How to fix and counter.
At the lowest common denominator, resides a human. By that I mean, it is a human being that creates that propaganda. Sanction him/her. Demos at their residences, occupy style.
Not until people’s (humans) feet are held to the fire will they feel the agony.

Lowest common denominator, people. You are one of them. Do your civic duty. Inform, and occupy.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Sep 22 2020 14:48 utc | 46}}

The Interface between Propaganda and War: Prof.
The Propaganda Model: The filters (Herman & Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, the political economy of the mass media).

1. Size, concentration of ownership and profit orientation of mainstream mediated
2. Reliance upon advertising
3. Reliance upon official sources
4. Flak
5) Anti-communism and other ideological control mechanisms.

the political communications literature shows how journalist are constrained in a democracy [by privately owned media,] <=in ways which are highly detrimental to democracy, concentration of conglomerate ownership of MSM allows a few to control most oe media outlets [<=which is the place people go for their information] These large media conglomerates integrate with other very large conglomerates to merge their overlapping interests and to coordinate their interactions with governments. They also mention media reliance for financing on advertising paid for by non media conglomerates, suggesting such financing makes mainstream media extremely dependent on and highly avoidance sen-sensitive to allowing challenge or to reporting coverage of events w/might upset cash flows from conglomerate controlled media outlets. They also talk about the kind of criticism journalists endure when their speak truth to power articles press powerful buttons.

Its not the human at the bottom, but the conglomerate integrated teammanship large conglomerates can impose on its members that create the highly restrictive environment in which corporate journalist are controlled by threat of loss of pay-check.
As snake said @36 above, the MSM owns the train, and everything it needs to continue its journey, what is needed is a set of strategies that make each mile the train travels generate audience responses that cause the conglomerates and the governments that facilitate their crimes and follies real pain. .

Posted by: snake | Sep 22 2020 16:22 utc | 49

I want to add to my post at 49 an observation.. After reading the stokes monkey, in Assange is a villain trial, now showing in British Courts; where the USA is trying to assassinate Assange for his receipt, possession, redaction, and publication of government documents that contained nefarious secrets I had this thought, the persons prosecuting Assange seem to me to be the media, much more than the challenged sources at the government. give that some thought.

Posted by: snake | Sep 22 2020 16:41 utc | 50

@35 Abu Aisha

Thailand is constantly under assault by the busy little bees on Wireless Road and the current protests are identically modeled after Hong Kong. For all their numbers and resources they really lack originality. The pseudo-Nazi salute they have adopted is a nice touch I must admit.

All that said, the current Thai king is an immature and perverse individual with unclear affiliations, but he spends a lot of time in Germany which makes his support of his own country questionable. The forces seeking to maintain an independent Thailand did themselves no favour allowing this man to take the position as he is highly unpopular across Thai society and has zero moral authority. A more enlightened choice such Princess Sirindhorn for Queen would have avoided all of this. That may be where this all ends up, and that would not be a bad thing.

Posted by: sad canuck | Sep 22 2020 18:42 utc | 51

If the original plan involved creating a medical emergency to divert the plane to Kiev, that begs the question: how would the medical emergency be created? Perhaps, by spraying someone’s skin with some kind of liquid, causing that someone to experience extreme pain to attract the attention of the flight attendants? Of course, once the plan has changed, the liquid, which preserved its qualities for only a short period of time, say, a few weeks, was no longer needed. Such a waste of time and energy of all Porton Down specialists involved in its production! Unless. . . the already well-rehearsed poisoning-on-a-plane operation could be quickly recycled to be used on another target in another Russian-speaking country. Not a perfect match, of course—it would be better if Navalny was killed, and the liquid wasn’t designed to do that—but that’s okay: the Western population is dumb and will believe the “very evil, but very incompetent Russian state” narrative.

Of course, I’m merely speculating. After all, the noble Western intelligence agencies would never—never!—do anything like that.

Posted by: S | Sep 22 2020 19:23 utc | 52

Richard Steven Heck | Sep 22 2020 4:01 utc | 28

So, IOW, what you are saying is : "Don't hope. Take dope. Give up!" You should get together with circumspect! (At 14 and 26.)

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 22 2020 21:10 utc | 53

Posted by: time2wakeupnow | Sep 22 2020 6:05 utc | 31
Anti-Semitic? Me? I'm not Anti-Semitic! I'm Pro-Palestinian!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 22 2020 21:12 utc | 54

Thanks, Debsisdead @ 29, good correction on the Guardian - I never go there, used to love it back in the day...Yes, Niki Hager has done a great job lo these many years. Sorry you think the die is cast; it simply adds to the overall degeneration of the west in the eyes of the world. And one would think, surely it cannot go on this way...

Posted by: juliania | Sep 22 2020 21:24 utc | 55

Josh | Sep 22 2020 14:41 utc | 44

the Ukrainian state otsel. Who he?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 22 2020 21:26 utc | 56

Posted by: snake | Sep 22 2020 16:22 utc | 49
Propaganda is a human problem. Humans generate and consume it.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Sep 22 2020 22:14 utc | 57

If the original plan involved creating a medical emergency [...] Porton Down specialists involved in its production [...] it would be better if Navalny was killed [...]
Of course, I’m merely speculating. After all, the noble Western intelligence agencies would never—never!—do anything like that.

Posted by: S | Sep 22 2020 19:23 utc | 52

It reminds me how the British so quickly determined Russian culpability in all major woes besetting Wiltshire. "Only Russia had the necessary motivation, expertise and ruthlessness". This is a truly beautiful constructs. Many Western countries have the expertise -- after all, the British represent top levels of knowledge, and some Western countries are over the top. Motivation could be a Black Flag for a good cause. But would they have the ruthlessness? Bingo! They would not.

However, the operation was not ruthless at all. First, however poisonous, Novichock was carefully diluted. Then right when the victims succumbed to its effect, qualified help was at hand in the person of the Head Nurse of the British army together with her plucky daughter. And an expert from Porton Down was at hand in the hospital where victims were brought in. I could imagine kind hearted Teresa May being worried about the risk to innocent civilians, and the spooks in charge overcoming her objections one-by-one. How to give them qualified help, will it be really, really qualified -- "we will give Britain's best!".

In the case of Navalny, the only people who could poison him were his companions who may have various faults and foibles, but who do seem to care about him. Thus once again, lethal poisoning was out of the question.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 23 2020 5:41 utc | 58

you are absolutely right,and thank you for the linking.

Like I wrote in several post this year,it would be nice if someone took a closer look into the 100-year Bildzeitung fest in Hamburg Germany,where Guaido,Wong,Klimski (mayor of Kiev) and other ukranian ,iranian,syrian "opposition"activists were present.

Posted by: willie | Sep 23 2020 9:45 utc | 59

Lukashenko secretly inaugurated after disputed Belarus election

Woah! I didn't know The Independent had an investigative journalist in Minsk, hidden in the Palace of Independence. Good job, Independent!

Oh, wait: the inauguration wasn't secret. It is all over the place, including the Belarusian official news agency website, Belta.

Posted by: vk | Sep 23 2020 12:11 utc | 60

I am amazed that none have considered the implications of the mass demonstrations that occurred in Minsk.

Photos show nearly 100,000 people massed together during the COVID-19 epidemic. These massings of people should have resulted in a massive number of infections subsequently. This did not occur. The world
odometer site shows Belarus having new cases at the rate of between 100 and 200 / day.

A serious criticism of Lukashenko by the opposition and neighboring NATO states was his handling of the COVID-19 epidemic, which was nearly identical to that of Sweden. Lukashenko openly stated that he intended to use the public health system inherited from the Soviet Union, and maintained by his administration(s) to treat serious cases as they arose.

The world odometer site shows Belarus to have a much below average number of deaths... Likely because the country is also using Hydroxy-chloroquine as prophylaxis and early stage treatment, and is using the Cuban interferon alpha for serious cases.

It would seem one goal of the attempted color revolution was to stop Lukashenko's administration proving the swedish model the correct one, given the country has a robust public health system.

Since NATO countries gutted their public health systems under US pressure, this is an indictment of the US public health system model, isn't it?


Posted by: Dr. George W. Oprisk | Sep 23 2020 16:53 utc | 61

Re: Dr. George W. Oprisk | Sep 23 2020 16:53 utc

The crowds in Minsk are sparse, with social distancing. Photo analysis of crowds is tricky for this and other reasons.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 23 2020 17:00 utc | 62

Posted by: snake | Sep 22 2020 16:22 utc | 49
Propaganda is a human problem. Humans generate and consume it.Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom @57
Content in propaganda is a human problem, humans both generate and consume the content.

Defenseless, misled humans exposed to misleading content in propaganda are often highly vulnerable easy targets for subliminal absorption and deep heart acceptance of misleading content. Propaganda characteristically delivers that content, in repeated fashion, over and over, to tune belief and to conform behavior to the message it the propaganda. The problem is there is no accountability for wrongful or misleading content in propaganda, nearly everything the MSM publishes is misleading and often crafted or engineered to mis lead or to change, adjust or maintain a belief or a behavior. It was exactly that point in 49, that the size of the organization, the penetration and coordination of content distribution, and the observation that propaganda is a transport vehicle that can place content (valid or invalid) in a position to be an environment variable.

Posted by: snake | Sep 23 2020 17:27 utc | 63

I repeat my assertion.

I saw photos of the mass demonstrations, and they were estimated to contain 100,000 people.

They stretched for miles...

Perfect way to spread COVID-19.

The unsaid story.... is why there wasn't a surge in infections.

Piotr Berman is in denial.....

There was no surge because Belarus achieved herd immunity....

Same as Sweden....

NATO is in denial of that.....

Russia is also going for herd immunity....

What will NATO do??? Lockdown again??? That is proposed for both the UK and USA....

In USA alone it's estimated 160,000 small/medium sized businesses are closing...

Retailers are shedding more than 20,000 stores....

Airlines are shedding 100,000 employees.... well paid employees....

Note that Belarus is no longer front page news....


Posted by: Dr. George W. Oprisk | Sep 23 2020 19:14 utc | 64

#51 sad Canuck. I understand you're a monarchist from your comment.

Posted by: Abu Aisha | Sep 24 2020 14:10 utc | 65

Southfront is running a piece about a former close associate to Poroshenko who describes how poroshenko hired thugs to disappear and torture Maidan protestors so as to raise public opinion against Ianoukovitch and demand foreign help from the EU,where criminals as Guy Verhofgstat,Bernard Henri Levy,Frans Timmermans and Daniel Cohn-Bendit were very eager to intervene ,with all their usual fake democratic tralala.

Posted by: willie | Sep 25 2020 12:45 utc | 66

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