I quoted an everyday ordinary man-on-the-Moscow-streets in yesterday’s blog who refuses to believe Russia has committed war crimes in Bucha, and probably anywhere else. He said, “If this is not fake, my brain refuses to accept it.” Since he lives in Russia, the news he has access to probably won’t ever tell him it’s not fake. This is a person, like a Hannity viewer, who’d rather be obliviously happy and ignorant.
Russia has blocked hundreds of news and social media sites on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are blocked. Russia blocked Ukrainian news sites before the war and then crafted new legislation making it a crime to report any news the government deems fake, which is like having Kellyann Conway determine facts from “alternative” facts.
The government is also airing propaganda and lies on their state media news stations and online. Russian news consumers are being told the massacre in Bucha is staged, which is something Alex Jones would say about a school shooting. Russian state media is claiming the dead bodies are just actors, which is something Marjorie Taylor Greene would say about kids in a school shooting. Being able to find a location of an upcoming crisis to act in is a pretty amazing skill.
Chinese-owned TikTok has blocked 95 percent of posts by Russian users, citing the “fake news” law, but I guess for shits-and-giggles, it’s also blocked posts from French President Emmanuel Macron and the United Nations. Fortunately, TikTok has not blocked my account yet so my 158 followers will not be deprived of my 30-second drawing videos set to music. You’re welcome, America.
If Russians want to discover the horrors their president is having inflicted upon the citizens of Ukraine, they have to resort to VPNs and the dark web. A VPN is a virtual private network that connects through a secondary remote server that has fewer security controls and restrictions. Usually, these are in other countries like Lithuania. A lot of people, like me 30 minutes ago, aren’t aware of VPNs, or tech-savvy enough to download and install one, or willing/able to pay for them. I know there are a lot of readers in the U.S. who refuse to pay for news and complain loudly about firewalls at The New York Times and the Washington Post. I can believe there are a lot of Russians who’ll refuse to pay extra to discover their president is murdering civilians in Bucha. I pay for four news outlets and for at least half of last week, they were all obsessed with the slappy Oscars.
The dark web is where Americans usually go to plan terrorist attacks and spread conspiracy theories about deep-state Democrats using pizza parlors to sex traffic babies. You see a lot of Pepe the Frog on the dark web but it’s a place where Russians will try to learn real news, but will probably only get into a debate over whether Chris Rock did or didn’t know Jada has alopecia.
Russians are good people. There are millions of them opposed to this war. But they’re not getting information about it because Vladimir Putin doesn’t want them to hear the truth…or to see the images of the horror he’s created.
They don’t see the wreckage of bombed hospitals and schools, or the charred skeletons left behind in Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, Zhytomyr, and Bucha. In Russia, you can only hear what Putin wants you to hear about the war…except you can’t say “war.” Since early March, it’s been illegal to call the war a “war,” or describe it as an “attack” or “invasion,” and doing so can get you 15 years in a Russian prison.
What Russians are being told by their state news is that Russia is defending them from Ukrainian Nazis.
We don’t have state TV in the west. The BBC and NPR are government-funded, but government has zero control over the content. In Russia, State media is controlled and edited by the state. Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network are not controlled by a right-wing government, but they have chosen to use our guaranteed freedom of the press to act like they are. We don’t have state TV. We have Trump TV.
While Russians don’t have a choice in being ignorant about the war or buried in bullshit propaganda, many in the west have chosen to be ignorant about the war and disseminate propaganda. If you’re on Truth Social, or when they finally let you in, search hashtags for “Putin,” “War,” “Russia,” “Ukraine,” or “Bucha.” Warning: You will probably need a shower afterward.
I actually talked to someone in Russia last week who told me she didn’t know what was happening in Ukraine but knew what she was being told is a lie. She asked me not to tell her because she was actually afraid of what she’d learn. Russians know they’re being lied to and it’s horrible to find out you’re governed by liars and war criminals. Sure, we have our own experience with that, but we don’t have to support the liars and war criminals.
I hope there are people in Russia who can see my cartoons. I also hope my cartoons do a better job of exposing them to reality and the truth than they’ve done convincing MAGAts on Truth Social and other platforms.
Music note: I listened to about half of Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” album while crosshatching and coloring today’s cartoon.
Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.
Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: There are 19 copies of my book in stock, which go for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.
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