First it was “Russia invades Crimea!!” and now it’s “Russia amassing troops at Ukraine border!!” No evidence for either, but if you question the neo-Stalinist line you will be ridiculed as a Putinbot and/or a gullible fool for Soviet, I mean Russian, propaganda.

A lego soldier minifig

Meanwhile in Russia, on the Ukrainian border …

Nonetheless, let’s look at what facts there are. Here’s Britain’s Telegraph, a vociferously right-wing publication, but even they come up empty on Russian troops on the border:

But the Russian invasion force – if it is here – is very well camouflaged. As the fog lifted, murky shapes were revealed as trees, houses and old Lada cars. No tanks emerged from the gloom, no suspicious flights of helicopters passed overhead, and no green painted trucks rumbled down the roads.

In a 200 mile trip along the border region, the only Russian armour on display in this flat landscape was of a much older vintage, and stood on plinths in town squares.

The U.S.-empire-friendly New York Times also tried to find a build up and couldn’t:

But in and around Belgorod, which sits a scant 40 miles from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city and a likely target in case of an invasion, any increased military presence is largely kept out of the public eye. In a region that appears far from being on the brink of war, life continues as normal here, and many residents [dismiss] reports of a buildup as rumors set to discredit Russia.

… ‘Show me the tanks first, show me anything here that proves all this, and then we can talk about an invasion,’ said Pyotr Kudryavtsev, a retiree walking away from the tracks near the Vesyolaya Lopan station south of Belgorod, where scores of military vehicles were filmed being unloaded on March 12. Mr. Kudryavtsev, like other locals interviewed, denied this, saying that the heavy tracks in the mud close to the rails belonged to construction vehicles.

And that “scores of military vehicles” in the video sprung on the local villager? A lie. The video shows six trucks, two jeeps and a half-dozen listless troops.

Finally, here is the other leader of the pro-war troops, the Wall Street Journal, saying in so many words that the U.S. doesn’t have a single photo showing a build up of troops near the Ukraine border:

Military officials said [Russian] camouflaging has further complicated U.S. efforts to assess the size and scope of the military forces being put in place.

‘They have moved into concealed positions,’ said a senior military official.

The official said concealment could be aimed at obscuring images taken by American spy satellites.

Once again, where are the Russian troops massed on the Ukraine border? 50,000 men and the state-of-the-art U.S. spy satellites can’t provide the public a single image? If they had one I’m sure they’d somehow manage to leak it and let us see it.

[See also the evidence provided in Comments 6 and 7 below. Thanks for reminding me, tuezday.]

Yeah, I know, it would be nice to ignore the media’s surreal Ukraine anti-reality show as just meaningless ranting. The ‘powers that be’ can’t really be trumping a mush of fact-free b.s. into a new cold war, can they? But every day the mainstream media in stunning unity keeps on shouting through its megaphone about the big BIG threat that Russia is to Ukraine and, heck, all of Eastern Europe! And I’m pretty darn sure their readers and viewers are tired of it, so they aren’t demanding this obsessive Russia-phobic coverage …

I’ve just learned that it’s always ominous when the media are incapable of shutting down their bullshit, incapable of letting go of a story that has no legs, that has no support for the narrative the media has authored. Big plans must be afoot, or big money is about to be made. Like that surreal dream of a decade-and-a-half ago that ended up in impeachment, when the media couldn’t stop obsessing on a bl#wjob no matter how angrily and often we the people told them to shut it, we didn’t wanna hear about it anymore!

Hip tat to moonofalabama’s b for the notion and links that the massing troops was a lie.

P.S. – For the greatest rant ever on any topic, read “Russophobia: the Lunatics are at the Helm:”

… And now we have a new administration full of supposed young guns, ready to take on the 21st century. Not only is the Obama administration a moral and ethical failure throughout the whole spectrum but this supposedly technically savvy and hyper-informed and educated pile of Rhodes and Constitutional scholars can’t even seem to grasp the basics of human interaction beyond that which you would find in any neighborhood sandbox. They are a bunch of kindergartners who don’t know enough to shut up and let the grownups handle things.

They are so seduced by what they continue to cling to as U.S. hegemony and power that they coast along, not even bothering to make up a story that even halfway jibes with reality. We end up with policy that is not only criminally stupid and dishonest and offensive to anyone with half a brain and half an education who’s read half a history book or even half-paid attention to current events, but it will drag the hubris-laden vessel of the U.S.—and likely a lot of the rest of world with it—to very murky depths before they’re through.

There is no need for diplomacy when you can just stamp your foot and scream and make up all of your own history and facts and information and have the sails of your stupidity belled out by the hot air blown in vast and steaming amounts by a slavish corporate media intent on selling lies that will buoy their bottom lines for the next quarter.

Photo by Josh Wedin released under a Creative Commons license.