By Dmitry Glukhovsky
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
The biggest surprise for me in this whole current situation is the rapid, no, immediate turn to savagery in our mass media. All who yesterday were at least trying to pretend they were a journalist, today pump out propaganda–frenzied, primitive, cruel propaganda.
Our television is like a burst abscess, my once-favourite “Gazeta” and “Lenta” are glass-eyed, empty carcasses of their former selves. There is no journalism left in the country. People–seemingly normal, sane people–forget about everything and lie, lie, lie! The painted chicks on “Vesti” and “Perviy” lie, the correspondents lie, the editors lie a little and the chief editors lie big-time.
How do they do it, I wonder? Just two months ago they were like normal people. After all, all those who today lie so desperately, so passionately, could not have been completely reborn in one month.
It is well-known that a human being, when put into situations where they have to lie and act deviously, will try their hardest to avoid cognitive dissonance–and will try their hardest to gather evidence that would help them to justify themselves, to prove to themselves that they do not lie and do not act deviously. Rational thinking has nothing to do with this: all is decided by emotions. Liars and scoundrels cannot live while considering themselves as such. So they convince themselves of their own version of the truth. That other people lie. That they are just defending themselves and their side. And that thus they are in the right. Their position is vulnerable, fragile, and any support is important for these liars and scoundrels: after all, in their childhood, others were trying to raise them as good people, and now they have a hard time. Any praise, any recognition is important to them.
And so we read now: Vladimir Putin has awarded orders to more than three hundred journalists for “objective coverage of the events in Crimea.” And generally in Ukraine. Orders and medals–for correspondents, show hosts, showmen, chief editors… “Alexander Nevsky,” “For Merit before the Fatherland” and “Order of Merit.” OK, for correspondents, fair enough–they went into hell while following orders. But what did Kulistikov and Soloviev get them for?
The first thing that comes to mind is that these are not labour awards, but combat awards. Allegedly now is wartime, thus there are enemies on the other side, and so the pen must be equalled to the bayonet. À la guerre comme à la guerre.
And then, you wonder: who started this war? Who conjured up Banderas and fascists, UNA-UNSO, who fanned hysteria among the Russian-speaking Ukrainians and Ukrainian Russians, who spent half a year telling them about a massacre in Lviv for breakfast and hangings in Kharkiv for lunch? Who turned the “Right Sector” from a bunch of street misfits, who did not even have a proper name before, into the central force of Ukrainian nationalism? And who, most importantly, pumped this nationalism full of steroids, by pouring lies all over Ukraine month after month?
Now–yes, it’s war. Now there are dead on both sides. Now there are no more right or wrong. Now the ant hill has been set on fire, you can shake off your hands, stand back and stare while taking “an impartial stance.”
Now then: you guys set this up. The Kremlin dreamed this up, and it was set up by you. Every one of you, who did not want to change jobs. Who was afraid of a lower salary. Who simply did not know how to argue with their boss. Who convinced themselves that they are in the right.
The “polite people”–GRU Special Forces–maybe did not kill anyone. But you did. You will not find this easy to live with. Better to lie to yourself as well, like you lied to others. Better to take the drug and forget about it.
Your medals are not awards. It’s Putin distributing morphine to you in syringes.
Rinse them today. And spare a thought for the dead.