The Washington Post has a new article out titled “Intelligence points to heightened risk of Russian chemical attack in Ukraine, officials say,” and I challenge you to find me any Russian state media with two opening paragraphs that are more brazenly propagandistic and bereft of journalistic ethics than these:
“The United States and its allies have intelligence thatRussia may be preparing to use chemical weapons against Ukraine, U.S. and European officials saidFriday, as Moscow sought to invigorate its faltering military offensive through increasingly brutal assaults across multiple Ukrainian cities.
“Security officials and diplomats said the intelligence, which they declined to detail, pointed to possible preparations by Russia for deploying chemical munitions, and warned the Kremlin may seek to carry out a ‘false-flag’ attack that attempts to pin the blame on Ukrainians, or perhaps Western governments. The officials, like others quoted in this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter.”
So Russia is preparing to stage a chemical attack, and also the Russian chemical attack might look like Ukrainians or western governments committing a chemical attack, and also the evidence for this is secret, and also the details are secret, and also the government officials advancing this claim are secret, and also Russia’s military offensive is faltering. Gotcha.
The third paragraph is even better:
“The accusations surfaced as Russia repeated claims that the United States and Ukraine were operating secret biological weapons labs in Eastern Europe — an allegation that the Biden administration dismissed as ‘total nonsense’ and ‘outright lies.’”
This paragraph is awesome in two different ways. First, it’s awesome because The Washington Post goes out of its way to inform readers that Russia’s claims have been dismissed as “total nonsense” and “outright lies” after having literally just reported completely unevidenced claims by anonymous government officials with no criticism or scrutiny of any kind. Secondly, it’s awesome because at no point during the rest of the article is any mention made of Victoria Nuland’s incendiary admission before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Ukraine has “biological research facilities” that the US is “quite concerned” might end up “falling into the hands of Russian forces”.
Over and over again throughout the article The Washington Post takes great care to inform readers that Russian claims about biological weapons are not to be trusted, with allegations from Moscow described as “unproven accusations” made with “no verifiable evidence“, “absurd and laughable“, “outrageous claims”, “utter nonsense”, “sinking to new depths” and “baseless“.
This, again, after uncritically reporting completely unsubstantiated allegations by government officials and sheltering them from any accountability by granting them the cover of anonymity. Unproven claims by the Russian government are laughable absurdities presented without evidence; unproven claims by the US government are just The News.
The Washington Post also refers to past Russian dismissals of alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria as false flags used to frame Damascus, while of course making no mention of the mountains of evidence that this has indeed occurred. It also says the UN human rights office “has received ‘credible reports’ of Russia using cluster bombs” which “could constitute war crimes”, making no mention of the USA’s abundant use and sale of these same munitions.