Los Angeles Times and Crimea’s “unsettled history”

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Los Angeles Times and Crimea’s “unsettled history” 1

“Crimea’s history is long and tangled. It is today under Russian control, as it has been — sometimes as an autonomous region, sometimes as a part of the Soviet Union — since 1783”, – writes Jeff Opdyke for the Los Angeles Times. A man who is hard to put a pin in. His Twitter says that he is a “global traveling screenwriter”, his website tells a different story – he is a “geo-political & geo-economic analyst.” Well, at least he doesn’t claim to be a historian.

According to him [and Russian propaganda verbatim], Nikita Khrushchev gifted Crimea to Ukraine in the 1950s as a symbolic gesture. At the same time, he fails to mention that the word “gifted” is as relevant here as the word “geopolitical” anywhere close to his credentials. The truth is that Crimea was exchanged for the Ukrainian territories of the comparable size [not that Crimea wasn’t once Ukrainian, because it was], also it was in dire condition when it was “granted” to Ukraine. And, finally, it was not Khrushchev’s decision, nor it was his to make.

But the nonsensical claims do not end there. Jeff believes and writes that “Ukraine as a country did not exist” then, instead, it was “just another state in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” The truth is that the Soviet Union wasn’t built like the U.S. if the author implies any analogies. Among other things, Ukraine was the co-founder of the UN way back in 1945. But don’t take my word for it.

“In 2014, Russia wrested Crimea from Ukraine, now an independent country”, – insists the author, trying to push Russian narrative a little bit further. Yes, Ukraine now is an independent country, like Poland, like the Czech Republic, like East Germany, like the U.S. or India for that matter.

But Opdyke doesn’t stop there. He tries to whitewash other Russian lies. Like “predominantly Russian population welcomed the return”. It is another Russian narrative that is not supported by any reliable data. Some other lies like “Crimeans insist that they are better off than they were five years ago” and “new investments in infrastructure that have made it Russia’s fastest growing economic region” are mentioned, but yet again nothing exists outside the Russian information bubble to support those claims.

I was thinking when I read the piece, – “Did he enter Crimea from the Ukrainian side, as the law obliges, or did he take the “shortcut” undermining the law, the luxury of which supports him spreading bullshit in the Western Hemisphere?”

And then I saw it. The best way, according to the author, is to take the flight to Simferopol. Don’t mind international law, nowadays it is just a nuance to avoid. He shyly adds in the parenthesis that it is a ‘change of planes’ flight through Moscow. The last one but not the least, to enter Crimea [Ukrainian occupied territory] – “You’ll need a visa for Russia”. Well, that one is true, unless you don’t want to support Russian aggression/occupation and just skip going to Crimea in the first place.

I understand that the “Global traveling screenwriter”, as the author calls himself on Twitter, may not be the smartest “Geo-political & Geo-economic Analyst” as he calls himself on his very own web-site. But I do believe that The Los Angeles Times is obliged to check its sources and who is writing for them, especially when the topic presented concerns something outside the City of Angels.

“I’m convinced that Yalta is the Santa Barbara [or maybe La Jolla] of Russia,” Opdyke writes. Yes, the same as I am convinced that Jeff is just a hired gun pen for hire, and not very expensive either.

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