Fact Checking the "Fact Checking of Vladimir Putin's speech on Crimea"

Fact Checking the Fact Checking:

The referendum was rushed, political opposition was squelched, and the choices did not allow for a "no." (The options were either joining Russia — what the ballot called "reunification" — or remaining part of Ukraine with greater autonomy, effectively making the region independent in all but name.)

Source: Fact Checking Vladimir Putin's speech on Crimea

The point is that it is Russia's legal view that there was an illegal coup to such a degree that the Ukrainian Constitution was effectively rendered null and void, meaning Crimea no longer was bound to remain under it.

In addition, there was an 82% turnout by the voters, which also makes the Washington Post's point moot. Perhaps 18% would have voted "no" to either choice on the ballot. Those who wanted neither choice who did go in to vote and discovered no third option were under no obligation to mark either choice available. How many did that, a handful if that?

That said, it would have been better to have included that third option though the outcome would have been no different.

Moving on to the WaPo's next "point," it is missing the larger point of Mr. Putin's address. He isn't standing upon technicalities concerning Khrushchev's move to give Crimea to Ukraine. His whole address points to his view that the Bolsheviks were wrong in general.

The WaPo, propagandistically, leaves out Mr. Putin's next sentence: "Naturally, in a totalitarian state nobody bothered to ask the citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol."

As for Vladimir Putin saying that "Crimeans say that in 1991, they were handed over like a sack of potatoes," this is in the context of the dissolution of the USSR. With Russia economically collapsed, a Crimea vote "on whether to join Ukraine after the Soviet Union collapsed" is hardly a refutation that Crimea was as a sack of potatoes. The Russians there certainly must have felt as Mr. Putin described. This is hardly a fact that Glenn Kessler checked. We are talking about the view of some Russians in Crimea at the time. Did Mr. Kessler actually ask them? No.

"They [Ukrainian revolutionaries] resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day."

A coup d'état is obviously in the eye of the beholder, but Putin, without meaning to, actually is describing the role of the former Russian-backed government when he refers to terror and murder during the uprisings.

No proof for this is given.

See also: "Svoboda and the History of Ukrainian Nationalism" in 2 Parts

... Putin confirms Russian armed forced entered Crimea. But his math is in dispute. The Ukrainian government says the terms of the 30-year lease with Russia limits the number of Russian troops in Crimea to 12,500. But other accounts say the lease allows up to 25,000.

That's not fact checking. Fact checking is checking the lease document and reporting what it really says. Doing what Kessler has done here is US false-propaganda against Russia. That's a fact.

As for the Kosovo analogy, Mr. Kessler's supposed refutation of Mr. Putin is so lacking that I haven't the faintest idea of where to begin to refute Mr. Kessler on it. Mr. Kessler's statements about the analogy are completely irrelevant as to whether the analogy holds up, which it does, as do analogies concerning many other people's declaring their secessions and joining themselves to others.

If Mr. Kessler had wanted to make a point, he might have brought up Chechnya, though there, the issue of Islamic terrorism would still pertain.

See: Must watch: "Western objection to Crimea referendum falls against many precedents" - YouTube

I would like to reiterate that I understand those who came out on Maidan with peaceful slogans against corruption, inefficient state management and poverty. The right to peaceful protest, democratic procedures and elections exist for the sole purpose of replacing the authorities that do not satisfy the people. However, those who stood behind the latest events in Ukraine had a different agenda: they were preparing yet another government takeover; they wanted to seize power and would stop short of nothing. They resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day.

The new so-called authorities began by introducing a draft law to revise the language policy, which was a direct infringement on the rights of ethnic minorities. However, they were immediately 'disciplined' by the foreign sponsors of these so-called politicians. One has to admit that the mentors of these current authorities are smart and know well what such attempts to build a purely Ukrainian state may lead to. The draft law was set aside, but clearly reserved for the future. Hardly any mention is made of this attempt now, probably on the presumption that people have a short memory. Nevertheless, we can all clearly see the intentions of these ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler's accomplice during World War II.

It is also obvious that there is no legitimate executive authority in Ukraine now, nobody to talk to. Many government agencies have been taken over by the impostors, but they do not have any control in the country, while they themselves – and I would like to stress this – are often controlled by radicals. In some cases, you need a special permit from the militants on Maidan to meet with certain ministers of the current government. This is not a joke – this is reality. [Source]

Okay, so there's some degree of hyperbole (transparent, exaggerating propaganda) there, but it is vastly less hyperbolic than your average US politician's claims against Russia.

For the most part, Mr. Putin's speech was extremely logical and well-founded. We don't agree with his glorification of militarism, but that's another issue altogether, as the US is hyper-militaristic itself.


Tom Usher


The following should appear at the end of every post:

According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
  • Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
  • Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
  • Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
  • Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office

Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

  • Subscribe

  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 – present, website developer and writer. 2015 – present, insurance broker.

    Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration.

    Volunteerism: 2007 – present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.