I have a sense of deja-vu, yet on a whole different level.
In 1984 I, a Soviet schoolboy, got my first transistor radio with a short wave receiver. Not long after I stumbled upon the “enemy voices” – “The Voice of America” and “Radio Liberty”. Well, the lure of the unknown and the desire to get an alternative view kept me tuning in to the oft-barely discernable audio of these stations. They were blocked and often-times it was almost impossible to get a good signal. Their programs were interesting – some music, some historic programs, some incomprehensible to the mind of a youngster, going right over the top of my head. The historic programs were probably of most interest to me, and a second opinion was important to form a complete view, but I always had a nagging feeling of a hidden agenda. Only many years later, thinking back on those early mornings (the best reception time), I came to realise that they were trying to form a nationalist world-view in the Russians. In today’s world, a nationalist Russian is known as a Ukrainian…
But despite all that, it was important to have a second point of view, and it is my firm belief that the greatest mistake the Soviet government did, was to try to block these “voices”, instead of making them a part of the official newsfront, with explanatory commentary. Take today’s Russia. On today’s “Vesti” (the News at 20:00) they devoted almost 1/3 of the air time to re-transmission of what was aired on the American TV – CNN, FoxNews, official statements from the US President, commentary of the American analysts. This way a Russian person knows exactly what is happening on the other side of the border, what is being said and though about Russia.
It shows that Russia is not afraid of the competition from the alternative viewpoint and can present it to its population.
Not so in the West, which resorts to the same fallacy and practise, that was employed by the Soviet leadership – censorship and banning.
Yesterday YouTube banned Russian media outlets in the whole world, even in those countries, which have not asked for it. Just because people in the West could still use VPN to access the alternative view, like I could in 1984 though a short wave receiver…
It is not just RT, but also Ruptly, Rossia24 (a Russian-language news channel), Gosteleradiofond (an archive of TV programs and films from the USSR era), and up to a 1000 other Russian channels that got the axe and ban from YouTube.
Thankfully, there are alternatives, and YouTube is just flagging itself as irrelevant if one cares about freedom of speech. Here are some addresses:
- RT on Odysee: https://odysee.com/@RT:fd
- RT on Rumble: https://rumble.com/c/RTNews
- RT Documentary on Odysee: https://odysee.com/@RTDocumentary:4
- Ruptly on Odysee: https://odysee.com/@Ruptly:d8
Incidentally, while I was creating an accounts on Odysee and Rumble after YouTube banned RT, I came to a live stream of a documentary on post-Maidan Ukraine. It is called “Maidan: Road to War” and is a must-watch for those seeking to understand the prelude to the final accords of the conflict, which was going on for 8 years.
This documentary goes well along with the investigative piece from Oliver Stone “Ukraine on Fire”, which was deleted from YouTube a few days ago (after being up since 2016) and then disappeared from Vimeo, but which was promptly uploaded to both Odysee and Rumble in multiple copies:
…and the second part of the above documentary, a 2019 “Revealing Ukraine”
PS: I used Odysee embed code generator to add the above films to WordPress
I would also like to remind of and recommend a documentary, which I translated in 2015: Project ‘Ukraine’. Documentary by Andrei Medvedev (with English subtitles)