Upper house

EDITORIAL: Your lying eyes

“Everything faded into a haze. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”

–1984

Western media are numerous in Ukraine. The national evening newscasts are based there at the moment. Even newspapers put videos on their websites showing the consequences of the withdrawal (regrouping?) of the Russian army from the streets of central Ukraine. But never fear, the Russians can explain all the corpses. The tied up corpses. Especially in the town of Bucha.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, “not a single local resident suffered any violent action” in the town of Bucha, at least not while Russian forces controlled it.

It’s a miracle. For the first time in recorded history, and even before that, an occupying force controlled an area without one of its soldiers committing a crime against a civilian. Not against a single local resident, mind you. Russian forces are more disciplined than the world thinks.

When it comes to images of corpses, who are you going to believe? The Russians or your lying eyes? Russian diplomats claim the bodies in the streets are actors, pretending to have holes in their temples. It’s all part of a hoax, you see, designed to discredit Mother Russia, staged by Ukrainians, and swallowed hook/line/lead by Western media.

The actors must be good, as the mayor of Bucha said his people dug up 270 people buried in two mass graves. A Washington Post photographer saw several people placed in body bags, some of whom had their hands tied behind them. But the deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament said of the videos and testimony: There was “no doubt that it was staged”.

Without a doubt. Whatever.

This is a categorical position for someone, especially when this person is far from Moscow. But said vice president probably knows what’s good for him. And took the Party line.

The Associated Press reports that the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into possible war crimes. Who else has opened investigations into the atrocities in Ukraine?

Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, France, Slovakia, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. To name a few at press time.

Right now, however, it’s important to document what happened. It’s important that the photos are taken and get out of Ukraine and into the Western press, where they can’t be swept under the rug. It is important to interview witnesses and put them on the record. Because one day a court will be able to ask for evidence. And that day might not be too far in the future.

According to the AP: “Negotiations are underway on how to set up such a tribunal so that it has broad legitimacy, either through an international body like the United Nations or under the auspices of a collection of individual states. The Nuremberg Tribunal was established by the Soviet Union, United States, United Kingdom and France to hold Nazi leaders to account after World War II.”

Let’s go back to the present day: “You feel that something is moving,” said a professor at University College London. “And I think that’s how the law works. The law doesn’t lead. The law follows, and it follows realities and images and stories, and that’s what makes things happen.”

What we say to our colleagues in the press in Ukraine: Go get them. You lead, with your missions, and the law will follow. Or damn well should.

Because state media in Russia is tightly controlled by the Kremlin, many people in Russia have no idea what is going on. But the Washington Post published an article last week in which the Russians received proof of their government‘s actions, and they still didn’t believe it.

For example:

“I saw the video footage yesterday,” said a man who only gave his first name. “It’s so horrible, I can’t believe it. I refuse to believe it. The Russians couldn’t have done that.”

He added: “I understand that there can be civilian casualties in any war. But what I saw in Bucha’s video is beyond common sense. I don’t know who did it. If it’s not wrong, my brain refuses to accept this.” He could be one of the good Germans. Uh, the Russians.

The dead are beyond this world now. But those of us who are still there need to document, document, document. And give prosecutors more than they need in the years to come.

Those of us who are still of this world, we must think of our souls.