What's Happening In Donbas?
I’ve been almost clawing, in the way a cat does to get to a pack of meat in a shopping bag on a counter— for actual news about what I only realized was a huge story in the same moment I realized it was a Ghost Story.
Inside my mind I was thinking and feeling that this was a huge story so why was nobody talking about it?
Voices from Donbas
Search on the words “Referendum Donbass” and this is what comes up:
“Sham referendums,” or “Sham annexation polls.”
The four headlines above refuse to tell me what happened.
Or is happening.
On the ground, in the embattled regions of Ukraine under Russian control/occupation: Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk.
I really wanted to know.
So much so that I “went” to CNN, MSNBC, Drudge, even PBS, looking for any news updates. And this was when I realized it was a “Ghost Story,” my newly minted term.
This is a story of major significance that gets “ghosted—” ignored, minimized, and/or so controlled by Dom Think (“dominant thinking”) that you can’t get any facts at all, only umbrage, disgust, indignation and spin.
The entire Western media has already dismissed it as a “sham referendum.” Joe Biden has of course barked forth new sanctions against Russia. The story is somewhere between being ghosted and being hammered into submission while being ghosted.
I found one normal sounding article, at TeleSur, linked here.
It opens like this:
”At 8:00 am local time on Friday, citizens of the Donetsk People's Republic began to turn out to vote in the referendum on their territory's accession to Russia, Vladimir Vysotsky, the chairman of the electoral commission, reported.
“The Lugansk People's Republic and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions also began voting on the annexation referendum. The process, however, does not go smoothly everywhere.
“Elena Kravchenko, president of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of the Republic of Lugansk, pointed out that all 461 electoral precincts have already received ballots and the necessary technological equipment to carry out the referendum. For security reasons, however, the main electoral authorities are working outside the polling station facilities.
“Ukrainian forces are creating obstacles for people to participate in the referendum taking place in Luhansk. "They are shelling cities. Svatovo and Alchevsk were attacked," said a member of the Lugansk armed forces, as reported by Sputnik.”
Who? What? Where? When? Why?
The people in the regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk started going to the voting centers between Sept 23 and Sept 27 to cast their votes on whether they wish to be Ukraine or Russia.
They did this despite the very real danger of being blown up in the process by NATO/Ukrainian shelling.
You can find footage online, from independent journalists, like Eva Bartlett, Patrick Lancaster and a handful of others, most of whom are literally on a Ukrainian hit list that openly celebrates assassinations of any and all who would criticize the saintly Ukraine. (I’ll return to this.)
People are lining up to vote, the voting centers seem very well organized and peaceful; People have to bring their passports, or other valid ID, to vote and, their ballot boxes are transparent. They look like fish tanks.
So is it a “legit” vote?
I listened to a snobby report on Swedish State Radio, a “period piece” which went as far as to say not only are these referendums not legit, but indeed they are “war crimes.”
The person saying this was Swedish, so I guess the NATO-lusting Sverige’s Radio was unable to locate either a Ukrainian or a Russian (one of each would have been “journalism”) to address this seemingly important moment that maybe signifies a pivot point in the “conflict.”
But not to the hawks. And the hawks are literally in every inch of mind and air-space, making sure you can’t even think about wanting to understand “both sides” of the conflict, never mind the shocking, twisted history of Ukraine and the US.
And you will be too, when you have absorbed the on the ground text, photos and videos from veteran war reporter Eva K. Bartlett. You may have to go to Telegram to open them. Her account is called “Reality Theories” and the reportage brings you right to the scene, no propaganda, no staged stories.
”This is it folks. This is Ukrainian terrorism. There are no military targets here,” says Bartlett, at one point.
(I watched the footage and Bartlett’s trauma warning should be taken seriously.)
There is no longer such a thing as war reporting, unless you simply get yourself there and start talking to people. Not Reuters, BBC, AP, none of them—it’s simply not done anymore.
I must simply despise Putin, and have no questions. Seek no knowledge, or historical context.
Journalism has rendered itself quadriplegic by way if sheer snobbery and thought corsets. But if you’re willing to be a borderline war criminal, and fight hard for your scraps of fact, you can still get them.
Patrick Lancaster is a one man news organization who’s lived in the Donbass region since 2013 or so, and speaks Ukrainian. He titled this report: “Referendums To Join Russia Start in Ukraine.” I call that a news headline and if I were his journalism professor I would give him an A. Because the headline reflects that is in fact going on, like or or not. And that’s one way to define journalism: What is transpiring in this world whether you like it or not.
I like Lancaster’s work because it’s slow. He takes his time, and he lets people speak. And when you listen to them all the way through, the world outside the propaganda bubble comes into focus, and you get a feeling for the story.
A few takeaway quotes:
”The USA fights with Russia on the territory of Ukraine.”
”We know well who sponsored the 2014 revolution. whose political figures were on the Maidan.”
Trailer for Ukraine On Fire, below, a must see film that shatters are re-builds
we thought we knew
about what happened in Ukraine in 2014, and (therefore) what is happening now.
Here’s something I did not realize we had at our disposal when I began writing this. A one hour press conference with Lavrov, at the UN, from today. I listened to the whole thing and found it fascinating and full of bombshells, which I will report more on another time. I strongly recommend listening to it.
”Russia, of course, will respect the expression of the will of those people who for many years have been suffering from the abuses of the neo-Nazi regime.”
—Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of The Russian Federation
But nobody was interested in that story. And nobody is shocked by this photo.