It is rare that one gets the opportunity to document, chapter and verse, the way our flagship propaganda outlet, the august BBC, is manipulating the news. I’ll dedicate this rant to this exercise because most people still listen to that lot and believe that something is true because ‘the BBC said so’. 

First, a quick glimpse at what our MSM thought print-worthy this morning: we will be hit with an inflation of 11%, and there’s a heatwave (link). Yes, what amounts to a couple or three days of high temperatures is now a ‘heatwave’. Those of us who remember 1976 would beg to differ … As for that 11% inflation the papers say is coming: oh dear. It’s already here, as anyone who shops for groceries and petrol rather than fashion or holidays knows full well.

And so to that Lavrov interview. It must have been broadcast yesterday evening. A short video was published on the BBC website 11 hours ago (link, scroll down a bit), under the hair-raising title “Ukraine War: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov fact-checked”. I wish they’d ‘fact-check’ Miz Truss as well, and I do wonder how “we” would react if French or German MSM were to publish a ‘fact-checked’ video of selected snippets from an interview with Miz Truss. 

I would have left it at that, but this morning the very first piece to hit me when I opened the BBC site to get to their paper compilation was this one, under the headline:

“Lavrov: Russia is not squeaky clean and not ashamed – By Steve Rosenberg, Russia Editor, Moscow – Published 2 hours ago” (link)

It is a selection of transcribed quotes from that video snippet, giving Mr Rosenberg’s spin. Yes, this is what Mr Lavrov said – but he said much more which we’ll look at next. We know what he said because the Russian FO published the transcript on their site, and the interview was certainly much longer than the brief, edited piece those of us who still watch the BBC got to hear.

Also impressive is the pure arrogance of the BBC’s Moscow editor on display. He clearly believes that it’s his task to correct Mr Lavrov ‘after the fact’, and in good old BBC fashion he’s working very hard at getting a ‘gotcha’ moment or two. One which backfired is this one:

“Russia has accused Ukraine of genocide. […] I suggested that if genocide really had taken place, then the Luhansk and Donetsk separatists would have been interested in us going there. Why were we not let in, I asked. “I don’t know,” said Mr Lavrov.” (link)

Let’s leave aside the fact that the Donbas regions weren’t Russia and thus the Russian FO had no jurisdiction there. Let’s not mention at all that freelance journalists were able to report from the Donbas in all those years and are doing so now. Far be it from me to suggest that perhaps BBC ‘journalists’ are a bit frit of getting shelled themselves should they go to report from towns and cities in the Donbas. Above all, let’s not mention that Mr Lavrov had more to say on this question – more on that below.

And so to what Mr Lavrov really said. Here is the link. It’s the official site of the Russian Foreign Office. Obviously, the British MSM, never mind the BBC ‘fact checkers’, cannot go there because that would be ‘illegal’, given the sanctions. Mr Rosenberg in Moscow however can see the site for himself. He wouldn’t even need a machine translator as I have to because he speaks fluent Russian.

Taken from the top, we note that the BBC has left the important segment regarding the background to the SMO on the cutting floor. Mr Lavrov speaks of the Minsk agreements which were not enforced by France or Germany – well, that’s a long time ago as far as the BBC is concerned. We then come to the BBC’s overarching theme of ‘seven or eight civilian deaths’ not ‘justifying an invasion’ and the segment not published by the BBC:

Sergey Lavrov: I tell you again: we had no other way out. Many times, a thousand times we have explained all this. Now with your Western weapon, the Ukrainian regime is attacking civilians, cities, just as they did in 2014, when putschists came to power, when they bombed the center of Lugansk from planes, when 50 people were burned in Odessa. Does anyone remember it now?

Question: If they hadn’t attacked, there would have been no weapons from the West.

Sergey Lavrov: We didn’t attack anyone. Attacked Russians in Ukraine. […]

Question: I called you the numbers. Eight dead last year, seven…

Sergey Lavrov: I explain to you that the Ukrainian regime is bombing its own population. And you sell him weapons so that he can continue to do it.” (link)

No, history is not ‘a thing’ for the BBC, not when they aim to paint Russia as land-grabbing tyrant. Next is a lengthy segment about NATO and NATO troops in Eastern Europe which, according to the BBC, only came about because Russia had ‘invaded’ the Crimea in 2014. No, Mr Rosenberg doesn’t listen to what Mr Lavrow says. That’s not how a BBC interview works! You might like to read that segment for yourselves.

Mr Lavrov isn’t letting the BBC off the hook though. There’s another lengthy segment in which the BBC quotes the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, mentioning Bucha. This is the context which the BBC left out when creating the headline quoted above:

Question: So Russia is “white and fluffy”?

Sergey Lavrov: Russia is neither white nor fluffy. She is what she is. We are not ashamed to show ourselves as we are. May I ask you to understand the policy of your media about the tragedy in Bucha. Did you report it? They probably said that Russia did it. Right? The Guardian newspaper, published in London, then received the results of a preliminary forensic examination, which showed that the vast majority of people whose corpses were shown on all television channels in the world were injured by an artillery shell explosion.

Question: The purpose of your question? We don’t have much time.” (link)

Ah yes – whenever the going gets rough and the interviewee asks about BBC ‘journalistic’ practices, the BBC ‘hasn’t got much time’. When the interviewee gives an unsuitable answer, well, that can be left on the cutting floor. Next, here’s Mr Lavrov’s complete answer regarding  BBC ‘journalists’ not being allowed into the Donbas regions. The BBC cut this off at ‘I don’t know’. This is what he said in addition:

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know why you weren’t allowed in. Our journalists worked there 24/7 and showed the results of the bombing of Kiev battalions. You would go to the Ukrainian side of the “line of contact.” They don’t have such destruction there.” (link)

Ah. And immediately Mr Rosenberg deflects, asking about what Putin said about Peter the Great. Next, the inevitable segment about those Brits having been given the death penalty by a Donbas court. Mr Lavrov’s patience is running out:

Question: In the eyes of the West, Russia is responsible for the fate of these people. You don’t think this death sentence…

Sergey Lavrov: I’m not interested in the eyes of the West at all. I am only interested in international law, under which mercenaries are not combatants. So it doesn’t matter what’s in your eyes.” (link)

I also have to leave the following segment about mercenaries and impartial courts on my cutting floor, sorry.  However, as Mr Rosenberg harks back to ‘civilian deaths’, Mr Lavrov’s answer is significant but is of course not mentioned by the BBC:

Sergey Lavrov: And I told you that these people are killed by neo-Nazis. I ask you, do you show the results of the bombing of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of settlements? Or don’t you show it in your reports? You don’t show it. Right? Therefore, you now need to pull out of me some words of regret about what is happening in order to send a report to London and use my words to confirm the false version of what is happening in Ukraine, which you constantly broadcast.

Question: You’re wrong about that.

Sergey Lavrov: Being in Moscow, you can’t help but see what journalists show in Donbass, what happens as a result of the bombing of peaceful settlements and citizens. Do you report it or not?

Question: I want to ask you…

Sergey Lavrov: So you don’t report it.” (link)

Indeed neither the BBC nor the rest of our propaganda outlets report this. That is the reason why so many of us are getting our information from other sources, even though our government and indeed our internet providers have made it very difficult. 

No apologies for the lengthy quotes: many of you won’t be able to access this transcript. Even so, I had to “do a BBC” and leave many important segments out. If you can, go to the site and read for yourselves.

Later today there will be a most important speech by Mr Putin. We won’t be able to watch it on our news channels so we’ll have to go to alternative ones. There will be a proper transcript which I hope to bring you tomorrow.

Enjoy the ‘heatwave’ while it lasts … winter will come soon enough.

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