Two TASS Reports

Source 1: Russian diplomat urges US to reveal information about activities of labs in Ukraine.

Source 2: Russian Defense Ministry publishes Kiev’s secret order for offensive against Donbass.

TASS is the official state newspaper of Russia and one of the largest news agencies in the world. Two items in TASS caught my attention today.

The first concerns the existence of U.S. Department of Defense biolabs in Ukraine. Rumors of this possibility began circulating on the Internet almost as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine. The rumors were often dismissed as pro-Putin propaganda. Until yesterday, when Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland confirmed the rumors.

https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=E579E02B-3BA3-4FED-A515-A175384AD9D0

This is a propaganda scoop for the Russians. Just as we used Weapons of Mass Destruction as a pretext for invading Iraq, Russia can now plausibly claim that biological WMD were a valid pretext for invading Ukraine.

The second item is almost as significant as a propaganda ploy. It concerns the publication by Russia of secret Ukrainian military orders for an invasion of the Donbass region. From Russia’s point of view, the planned invasion, if real, would be a legitimate excuse for Russia’s own preemptive invasion of Ukraine.

Caveats and nuances obviously apply to the second item. As propaganda, though, it is easy to see how publication of the Ukrainian orders could bolster public support for Putin within Russia.

My point in all of this is to make clear that Putin is not likely to be weakened by public opinion in his own country. Also, I recommend learning a lesson from these two stories: Don’t believe everything you learn from media.

61 thoughts on “Two TASS Reports

  1. If it is true that Ukraine was preparing to crush the ethnic Russian separatists in Donbas, and Russia knew of it, then they should have published it before, or immediately after, a preemptive invasion. Had they done so, it would be hard to claim the invasion was unjustified.

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        1. If they had information that it was going to happen, then they should have shared it with the world which would have, more than likely, PREVENTED it from happening.

          Embarrassment is a useful tool to prevent atrocities. Especially for a county that has all of its motives questioned.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You might notice that in the first post I wrote that the Russians, if they had that information, should have released it before or immediately upon taking action.

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          2. I credited you with that in another post in this thread. All I am saying is that if they HAD released tat information, it could have precluded the “need” for an invasion.

            And if it were only to been attempt to “save” ethnic Russians (and insurgents), why invade the entire country?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Why invade the whole country?

            More than one reason I can see.

            To compel Ukraine to abstain from joining NATO.

            To avoid having to invade the Donbass region over and over to push Ukraine out.

            To take the battle to a location other than where the people you are trying to save live.

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          4. You missed one reason:

            To bring it back under the control of the Kremlin. And to put offensive weapons on the border with NATO (a defensive alliance, not offensive).

            “To avoid having to invade the Donbass region over and over to push Ukraine out.”

            It is Ukrainian territory. Sovereignty be damned!

            “To take the battle to a location other than where the people you are trying to save live.”

            So take it to the place where people were living peacefully and destroy them instead of those you are trying to “save”.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. “ To compel Ukraine to abstain from joining NATO.”

            So if Russia wins, should Europe attack Ukraine to prevent It from joining the Russian empire? Same logic. What right does Russia have to attack a sovereign nation? None.

            “ To take the battle to a location other than where the people you are trying to save live.” Really? Think about that. The Russians invaded Donbas in 2015 and didn’t sweat casualties. 14,000 dead spread among Russian soldiers, mercenaries, separatists, Ukrainian defenders and civilians.

            “ To avoid having to invade the Donbass region over and over to push Ukraine out.”

            After 8 years, they still haven’t “pushed” them out. Why not? Because it is part of Ukraine and Ukraine has a right to defend itself.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. “You might notice that in the first post I wrote that the Russians, if they had that information, should have released it before or immediately upon taking action.”

            Personally, I took that as you admitting that they had no such information because not only SHOULD they have released it, but also because they WOULD have released it.

            But now you argue that the DID have such information so they could not wait for the “slaughter” to take place and just had to invade Ukraine from every possible direction?

            Liked by 1 person

  2. The idea that we would find the need to do biological weapons research in a shaky foreign country is laughable on its face. Our government flatly denies it. It is obvious nonsense, and we deny it, that is good enough for me. But then, I do not hate this country.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-demands-us-explain-biological-programme-ukraine-2022-03-09/

    The statement by Ms. Nuland does NOT confirm any of the biological WMD weapon nonsense being spread by Putin.

    “Nuland: There is no doubt in my mind, Senator. And it is classic Russian technique to blame on the other guy what they’re planning to do themselves.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “The idea that we would find the need to do biological weapons research in a shaky foreign country is laughable on its face.”

      If you say so. BTW, I provided a link to Nuland’s Senate testimony in my post. The relevant exchange is this:

      Rubio: Let me ask you, does Ukraine have chemical or biological weapons?

      Nuland: Ukraine has biological research facilities, which, in fact, we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of. So we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces, should they approach.

      The question that demands an answer is: If Ukraine’s biological research facilities are not conducting bioweapons research, why is our State Department worried that they might fall under Russian control?

      In other words, Nuland did not deny that Ukraine has biological weapons and she confirmed that Ukraine’s biolabs are known to DoS and dangerous enough to be concerned about.

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      1. “… Nuland did not deny that Ukraine has biological weapons…”

        She did not say that at all. “Biological research facilities” are how we created vaccines, among other non-nefarious research.

        In addition, using bio weapons in your own country is truly stretching credulity. Now it may be that there is some research into dangerous bacteria. But the main concern was the trumpeting of biological warfare as a pretext to blaming Ukraine when the Russians employ them.

        But it still amazes me how you are constantly supporting and spreading Russian propaganda and denigrating Ukraine’s efforts to repel the Russian takeover of their sovereign state.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. RE: “She did not say that at all.”

        Read her own words. I gave them to you.

        RE: “But it still amazes me how you are constantly supporting and spreading Russian propaganda and denigrating Ukraine’s efforts to repel the Russian takeover of their sovereign state.”

        I want the war to stop and I want the lies about it to stop, too. Why do you repeat the false narrative that Zelensky is a hero and Russia wants to absorb Ukraine?

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        1. “Read her own words. I gave them to you.”

          I did read them. Did you? She said nothing about weapons. She said nothing about it being American financed. Those were the two main elements of the Russian LIE.

          False narrative?
          That is pure nonsense.
          Whether you agree with his decision to fight or not, Zelenski is behaving heroically. And it is beyond obvious that the Putin goal is to return Ukraine to its status under the USSR – effectively part of Russia.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “And it is beyond obvious that the Putin goal is to return Ukraine to its status under the USSR – effectively part of Russia.”

          It is only beyond obvious to sheep who want to believe what they are told. I challenge you to provide any evidence that Putin wants Ukraine to be “effectively part of Russia.”

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          1. “ I challenge you to provide any evidence that Putin wants Ukraine to be “effectively part of Russia.”

            You really are enamored with Putin.

            You may be right. His military and saboteurs are trying to take Kyiv because he likes the art. His bombing of residential areas is part of urban redevelopment. Mariupol needed a new maternity hospital.

            Liked by 2 people

        3. “False narrative”.?

          You just parroted what Putin has said (after probably screaming at his generals.)

          Look, just because your hero has lauded Putin as a “genius”, “savvy” and the invasion was “wonderful” doesn’t make it true.

          Putin was smarter than our last president, however. While helping him divide the country and then watching Trump’s efforts to weaken NATO by threatening to leave and insulting the leaders, Putin was reaping the benefits of election interference (spasibo tovarishch Mr. Manafort for your polling information).

          I am an American citizen and proud of my country. I trust Western media over TASS. I don’t think you do.

          IMO

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Who know whether this “secret order” to prepare an offensive against the Russian surrogates terrorizing Donbas is real or not?

    Let’s assume that it is. So what?

    Ukraine is a sovereign country, and no one has the right to violate that sovereignty. If Mexican-Americans with the help of Mexico and Mexican mercenaries seized control of southern California and proceeded to terrorize and murder non-supporters, I promise you we would do everything in our power to take California back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Ukraine is a sovereign country, and no one has the right to violate that sovereignty.”

      Ukraine is a sovereign country that has been killing its own citizens in Donbas for almost a decade. I don’t like Russia’s invasion, but I don’t see sovereignty as an issue.

      To use your analogy, if the U.S. Army attempted to cleanse southern California of Hispanics, I might understand if Mexico declared war.

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      1. “I don’t like Russia’s invasion, but I don’t see sovereignty as an issue.”

        How is that? Seriously? How is the sovereignty of a country not an issue when another invades it based on probable disinformation and lies?

        Don’s take on what Russia should have done if they had information concerning attacks in Donbas (ridding insurgents is more like a law enforcement issue, but on a larger scale.), why not make it public as a PREVENTATIVE measure? Putin wanted to invade Ukraine to reconstitute the Soviet/Russian empire from pre-Berlin Wall falling. To indicate otherwise and add more and more little “possibilities” just distracts form that narrative. -IMO

        It appears to be an attempt by TASS to manufacture justification for Putin’s invasion.

        And who controls TASS? If you believe in some way that it is an independent news source, you don’t realize that Putin has ultimate control over EVERYTHING. There are Russians with family in Ukraine that do not believe what their own kin is telling them. Lavrov just recently indicated there was “no invasion”. WTH.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “It appears to be an attempt by TASS to manufacture justification for Putin’s invasion.”

          That’s exactly what it is. So?

          RE: “Putin wanted to invade Ukraine to reconstitute the Soviet/Russian empire from pre-Berlin Wall falling.”

          I challenge you to provide a quotation or a speech or any other evidence you can find that shows Putin wants to reconstitute the Soviet/Russian empire. I don’t think you can.

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          1. I posted Putin’s own article. He spend pages detailing history and using that to justify why Ukraine is Russian from 800AD on. Then lamenting Lenin’s decision to create puppet states.

            In other words, Ukraine is mine and I will get it back and restore Russia to its rightful position in the world.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. “I challenge you to provide a quotation or a speech “…

            It’s been done on more than one occasion by others. I see no need to repeat them again here.

            See Len’s post AGAIN concerning Putin’s own words.

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          3. “That’s exactly what it is. So?”

            So false propaganda to justify the unjustifiable is OK in your world view? That explains quite a bit about your apparent mindset concerning the unprovoked, illegal invasion of Ukraine.

            I also noticed that you are now dodging the sovereignty issue. Typical.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “I posted Putin’s own article.”

            Yes, you did, but apparently you didn’t read it. Putin made an argument for an independent Ukraine with favorable relations with Russia.

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          5. Perhaps you missed all the historical references. But, you will see what you want in support of Putin. Chechnya, Belarus and Georgia might have something to say about “independent states”.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. RE: “So false propaganda to justify the unjustifiable is OK in your world view?”

            Who says the propaganda is false? And what makes you think I approve of Russia’s invasion?

            As for sovereignty, my view is roughly similar to Henry Kissinger’s: Nations don’t have rights, they have interests. In the case of Ukraine, Russia has been asserting its interests for more than a decade, but no one has been listening or paying attention. Under those circumstances, moral preening over sovereignty is a waste of time.

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          7. “Where did I say that?”

            When you refer to concerns about sovereignty as being “moral preening” and asset that all that matters is “interests”, the only principle of morality consistent with those claims is that “might makes right.” And that principle is embedded in the atheistic amoral Social Darwinism that you people preach all the time.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. RE: “Perhaps you missed all the historical references.”

            I did not. But perhaps you missed the last sentence calling for an independent Ukraine.

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          9. RE: “…the only principle of morality consistent with those claims is that ‘might makes right.'”

            Hogwash. I assert that might makes agency. Besides, I am neither an atheist nor a believer in social Darwinism.

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  4. Putin, (you can take the man out of the KGB, but you can’t take the KGB out of the man) is a master of disinformation

    Just planting the seed, and his apologists will respond with. “…if it’s true…”.

    Just like Italian satellites changing votes. Nobody with a second’s thought would buy the story. Except a few who, like the game “telephone”, pass it on and it morphs and multiplies.

    Our media is not a state agency (excepting FOX, perhaps, during the last administration), and even with all its flaws, we can cruise through the internet and see a dozens of different stories and viewpoints. Not so in Russia. Especially today.

    Thank you First Amendment. Without it, the 2nd takes on an outsized, perceived value.

    Posting such propaganda as possibly plausible may be valuable from the standpoint of pointing out the bizarre at a carnival freak show…look at the two headed dog, it is obviously fake.

    But the gullible will pass it on and sell more tickets for the show.

    IMO

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BUT if it is true that Ukraine was preparing to crush the ethnic Russian separatists in Donbass, would you not agree that would justify Russian intervention? Keep in mind that the same was true in the Crimea when Russia annexed that region.

      The point being that this may not be a white hat/black hat issue as portrayed by the media and the administration.

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      1. Ukraine may have had plans to crush armed and violent ethnic Russian separatists and the army of Russian mercenaries, but that is a very different kettle of fish.

        It IS a black and white issue. Invasion of a neighboring country is black. The pretext you are citing does not explain the assault on Ukraine from every direction. If it really were the cause, Russian forces could have simply taken the disputed provinces. And stopped. They did not.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Do you remember Grenada?

          US citizens attending schools there were in danger from local political revolutionaries and Reagan sent the marines to ensure their safety.

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          1. You may not know this, but just because Saint Ronald did something, does not make it right. The objective then was just like Putin’s now – regime change. The students were a pretext.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “Is Russia making an effort to evacuate Russian nationals from Donbas.”

            Russia has said it is making an effort to “de-nazify” Ukraine. That means, among other things, destroying the neo-Nazi parts of Ukraine’s National Guard, which have been accused of war crimes in Donbas, even before the current conflict.

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          3. Your quoting Putin beautifully. He thanks you I am sure.

            BTW, Russia hasn’t said anything…it is all Putin, all the time.

            I believe Russia has control over the Donbas region. So Putin should go home now don’t you think. Unless he was lying about the mission.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. You are in Putin’s pocket. And spreading his propaganda. He loves that, too. It worked with the disgraced ex-president, so you are not alone.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. See, more propaganda. Sure there are probably some neo-Nazi Nationalists in Ukraine. Probably a lot less than we have here, for that matter.

            Those pond scum are in every country under various guises. Here we have militia gangs, Russia has Putin’s “wolves”.

            So for a handful of these jerks, a nation must be destroyed?

            Putin propaganda was the supposed “de-nazification” and you are spreading it. Zelensky is Jewish. You think his country would have him after a decade if it was full of Nazis?

            Try to imagine what it would be like to be chased out of your country by a dictator who has killed thousands. Chechnya, Syria, journalists, politicians and now Ukrainians.

            Again, by giving credence to Putin, you are doing his bidding. Hence, his pocket.

            Liked by 2 people

      2. Russians invaded a Ukraine in 2014. They took Crimea, then in 2015 invaded Donbas. 14,000 casualties in that 8 year Russo-Ukraine war. At least 500 were Russian soldiers. The rest divided among Ukraine military and separatists supported by Russia as well as civilians.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Russo-Ukrainian_War

        “…if it is true…”. You are just spreading TASS propaganda. Disinformation works quite well.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. RE: “Our media is not a state agency…”

      It doesn’t have to be. All media serves political interests by manufacturing consent for the ruling class. In this country, pundits have been claiming that Putin miscalculated badly when he decided to invade Ukraine. There even has been speculation that Putin may have lost his mind and might be removed from power.

      The point of looking at Tass is to see that Russian media also has the power to manufacture consent — in this case in a way that contradicts our own narratives.

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  5. “ All media serves political interests by manufacturing consent for the ruling class.”

    Even if this were remotely a broad based effort, our media runs from right to left. A discerning individual can compare and contrast WSJ from WAPO, or any number of media from both sides. Can’t do that with state media as the sole source.

    Nothing is perfect. However, the GOP has taken on the role of victim status while controlling the airways and at least half the media.

    And it shows.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “A discerning individual can compare and contrast WSJ from WAPO, or any number of media from both sides.”

      In today’s post I gave you a chance to add Tass to your comparison. How “discerning” is it to reject Tass out of hand?

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      1. Reject out of hand. No I rejected them well within my hand.

        True, it is interesting to read Russian misinformation first hand. That is what the Russian populace (and others, I might add) is fed. They have little choice since that is their only source.

        But for the rest of us who have the freedom to explore and weigh information from hundreds of sources, a truer story emerges.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “Debunked.”

      So? Russian media is reporting it to Russian audiences, just as U.S. media reported WMDs in Iraq to U.S. audiences. It may be important to you to debunk Russian media, but the reality — as I pointed out in the post at the top of this thread — is that Putin’s imaginary miscalculations in the invasion of Ukraine are not likely to weaken his position as leader of Russia.

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      1. Comparing the two might seem plausible. But I sat in the CPO Mess on TR with a buddy and we both said, especially after Powell’s UN testimony, they better be right or this is going to be bad. They were wrong (lying), Powell fell on his sward for W, and we ended up invading Iraq under false pretenses.

        You also said in earlier posts that you want the lies to stop. If you want the lies to stop, then debunk them, regardless of where they re coming from. Instead you participate FULLY in spreading them. You have Don convinced that EVERYHING coming out of Russian media is true.

        Your Putin Parrot act is old and kind of scary.

        Liked by 1 person

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