14 January 2016
The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA) published on its website a letter sent by the Deputy Head of the said Agency, Oleg Storchevoy, to the President of the Security Council of the Netherlands.
The letter regards the investigation which that country is conducting on the shooting down of a passenger plane over Ukraine and it enumerates the objections raised by Russia to the preliminary report from the investigation.
The information about that was presented by the Russian TV (the TV news programme of 14.01.2016 on the television networks Piervyi Kanal, NTV, Ren TV), by all the major information agencies (TASS, RIA) and, in the Polish language, it was also published on the website “Sputnik”.
The information went unnoticed by the majority of the Polish media, as still earlier Russia had expressed objections similar to those included in the letter. Therefore, the Polish Press Agency, radio RMF and other media which had their own correspondents in Moscow did not publish any information about it. The only exception was the Polish Radio Information Agency (Polish: IAR), which published the correspondence: “Russia indicates alleged errors in the report on MH17”.
As results from the short news item, the Dutch report, according to the Russians, contains errors referred primarily to the type of weapon which could have been used to shoot down the plane. The information from the Polish Radio Information Agency (IAR) allows for the conclusion that the main discussion in that matter revolves around the question about whether the plane was shot down with a Russian made missile or not. Thus, the author manipulates the reader, as the Dutch report indicates, among others, the place from which the missile was shot. The location is, according to the Dutch, an area controlled by the pro-Russian separatists, supported by Russia since the beginning of the conflict. In this manner, a part of the blame for the shooting down of the plane by them may be imputed to the Kremlin. Bringing the discussion down only to the country in which the missile was produced, as it happened in the information from the Polish Radio Information Agency, is clearly convenient for Russia.
The only critical reference to the Russian perspective in the IAR news item is the term “alleged proofs” used in the title. However, not surprisingly, in the reprint of that piece of information by other web portals that fragment disappears. An example of the above may be the web portal dziennik.pl, which published the IAR information under its own title: “Russia indicates errors in the report on shooting down the Malaysian Boeing”.
In this manner, the reader is led to believe that the Russians indeed have found errors in the investigation.
The weekly magazine “Przegląd” (no. 2/2016) published an article by Bronisław Łągowski entitled: “Said matters” (Polish: “Rzeczy smutne”). It contains the following statements:
– With regard to Russia the Poles are deliberately ignorant, as Alexander Herzen wrote, whereas the German journalists are simply mistaken in this matter.
– The Putin’s regime is one of the most successful realizations of the traditional model – especially successful as regards freedom. Although the oppositionists, when travelling around the world, complain about being persecuted, deliver speeches condemning the Kremlin, call on the Western countries to apply sanctions – we listen to them says so also in Poland – the next day they go back to Moscow, to their faculties, lectures on the state-owned universities, to anti-Putin newspapers and radio broadcasters and to the American foundations. How can we measure the degree of the freedom of speech? I think that the best indicator is the diversity of opinions in the public space.
Well, in Russia it is greater than in Poland.
Even in the case of Crimea the differences of opinions are allowed there, whereas in Poland they are not allowed, despite the fact that we could be totally unconcerned about Crimea and they could not.
Putin is also described here as “one of the most prominent world’s politicians”.
Similar statements are fully in line with the point of view publicised by the Russian propaganda: the Western countries do not understand and are unable to understand Russia; the stifling of freedom is a part of the tradition of the Russian nation and, as regards the freedom of speech in Russia, the situation is not that bad, it is even better than in the West.
Each of those statements is untrue and comparing the freedom of speech in Poland with the Russian conditions and claiming that in Russia there is more freedom is a deliberate manipulation (everyone who has compared the Russian programmes of information and publicist nature with the Polish ones would not have any doubts here). In his manner, the column becomes an example of the submission to the Russian propaganda.