Russia hits out at Western ‘deviants’
A growing chorus of anti-Russian rhetoric in foreign media is part of a concerted campaign to overshadow the Winter Olympic Games, currently underway in China, with geopolitical tensions, one of Moscow's top officials has claimed.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the country’s Foreign Ministry, said that bombshell claims Moscow could be poised to start a war in Eastern Europe had been timed for maximum disruption. “Bloomberg has written about ‘a Russian invasion of Ukraine’. That same American news agency Bloomberg two weeks ago published fake stories about ‘Russian-Chinese agreements on the invasion of Ukraine,’” she wrote, saying it was designed to coincide with the major sporting event.
It’s a global informational [and] political marathon of NATO’s desires. We’ve observed many times how Westerners ruin the Olympic Games. But the current attempt was thought up by real deviants capable of anything.
Media in Western Europe and the US featured purported Russian aggression toward Ukraine as a key narrative in their headlines over the weekend after weeks of rising tensions. On Saturday, Bloomberg was forced to apologize after accidentally publishing a headline that read, ‘Live: Russia invades Ukraine’, which stayed on the homepage for nearly half an hour before being removed. Meanwhile, in Germany, Bild published an article detailing how Russia would consolidate its hold on Ukraine after an invasion. Moscow has repeatedly denied it has any plans to launch an offensive.
Zakharova also pointed out that Bild’s piece quoted an unspecified foreign intelligence service as claiming that Moscow was preparing to set up a puppet parliament and internment camps in Ukraine after conquering the country.
The comments come after Zakharova criticized the decision to illuminate an iconic World War II monument in Kiev in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Ukraine’s culture minister, Alexander Tkachenko, explained that the illumination symbolized the unity of Ukrainians amid tensions with Russia. “We’re grateful that many countries around the world support our efforts to fight the aggressor,” Tkachenko said.
Last month, Bloomberg also quoted an unnamed diplomat in Beijing, who reportedly said it was “possible” that Chinese President Xi Jinping had asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin not to attack Ukraine during the Games, which officially kicked off in the Chinese capital on Friday. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said at the time that the report was “purely made up out of thin air.”