MD Forman & Son Lance Forman asks what is Putin really doing in Ukraine


- Credit: Archant

With my great-grandfather, Harry (Aaron) Forman coming from Odessa and my architect, Phil Hudson, who designed Forman’s Fish Island living in Kiev for the past 20 years, I’m keeping a close eye on Ukraine.

According to Phil, things are bad but not in the way you might expect.

It’s a propaganda war, perhaps the first serious cyber war and the good guys are losing. Who are the real fascists, those Ukrainians out of the West or the Russians?

Confused? Well, forget the Ukrainians as fascists; sure there’s a right wing, but it commands two, perhaps five per cent of the electorate, much like France.

Russia celebrates the 1941-45 great patriotic war while we think 1939-45.

The missing two years are when Stalin was allied to Hitler, USSR and Germany were cheek-to-cheek.

Putin, a KGB disinformation officer, uses Hitler’s play book without shame; lost lands (Crimea, read Danzig), oppressed minorities (eastern Ukraine, read Sudeten lands), violence to his people (Abkhazia and Ossetia, read Polish invasion), invitations to invade (Crimea and now eastern Ukraine, read Austria). Putin can do this as the dark side of Russia’s history has been airbrushed so Russia operates in heroic mode.

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On May 12, the BBC reported Donetsk separatists claiming an 89 per cent vote in favour of the self-rule referendum, the same figure was reported on May 7 as instructed from Russia in an intercepted telephone call.

This shows the intercept was genuine, the claimed referendum result false and the Russian disinformation machine is ruthless rather than smart. Sadly, ruthless often trumps smart and there’s no question Putin is ruthless on the Eastern Front.

Churchill wrote of the lights going out over eastern Europe. They’re out again in Russia; first TV, then press, next the internet. Remember Goebbels and the big lie?

For weeks Putin maintained there were no Russians in Crimea, now he’s decorating them for a job well done and denying they’re in eastern Ukraine.

If it were just propaganda, then we could all sleep well, but the bear’s on the move and there’s blood on the land. It’s a faraway land and Putin is to glad-hand the old allies on the anniversary of D-Day. Sleep well.