“You should heat your house with your newspaper”: Maria Zakharova replies to Italian journalist Maurizio Molinari

This text was originally published on the webpage of the Russian Embassy in Italy. Of course, some will feel that they can dismiss the text outright for the simple fact that it originates from a Russian State institution. The text, however, methodically deals with a number of the cliches and tropes constantly recurring in Western media, and in this respect it deserves credit and attention. 

I read with enthusiasm your article, Dr. Maurizio Molinari, on La Repubblica. It had been a long time since I saw such delightful nonsense.

I understand why no one in your editorial team signed it and you personally took responsibility for this shameful mission. No self-respecting journalist would want his name under the title “Tanks and migrants: Putin’s grip on Europe”.

Let’s go in order.

The article says: “… we have seen the arrival of Russian military units on the border with Ukraine: we are talking about at least 90,000 men with their armored vehicles and artillery … the army has established a base in Yelnya, 260 km north of the Ukrainian border “.

Probably, Dr. Molinari, you have listened to US claims that Russia is concentrating troops on the border with Ukraine, but you have not read the official statement from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, which disproves US phobias. By definition, you are clearly ignorant of Moscow’s position. And why should you, when you can write about the “creation of a base with armored vehicles and artillery in Yelnya” without any fact-checking. There is no basis. In our country there are no military bases at all. There is the dislocation of units of the Russian armed forces on our national territory. And this is absolutely our sovereign right, which does not violate our international commitments and belongs, as, among others, NATO likes to say, to “routine activities”.

But your rant about Russian realities does not end there. You write that Yelnya is 260 km from the Ukrainian border. And therefore our tanks are on the border with Ukraine or 260 km from it? If the director of Repubblica has a confused idea of ​​where Yelnya is (although I don’t think so, since he has dedicated an entire article to it), perhaps he will be more informed about the placement of Switzerland between France and Italy. And the distance is even less than 260 km. But tomorrow La Republlica won’t write that Bern is one step away from attacking Italy and France at the same time, given that all Swiss troops are closer to the borders of these countries than Yelnya is to Ukraine, or will it?

Doesn’t the flaw in this logic seem obvious to the readers of your newspaper La Repubblica? What you allow yourself to do is not worth of a respectable journalist.

The Russian army is on the Ukrainian border, says the US.

“… In 2014, Russia intervened after the defeat in the Ukrainian presidential elections of the candidate she supported…. Now the threat of invasion aims to keep the new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in check ”- the article continues.

And who would be the “candidate of Russia” who lost the elections in 2014? Are you referring to Yanukovych? This candidate is not from Russia, but from the south-eastern regions of Ukraine. And he did not lose, he won, and not in 2014, but in 2010. Moreover, he had won the previous elections, in 2004. But to prevent him from coming to power then, the Ukrainian opposition, supported by its Western protectors, came up with a inconceivable procedure, a parody of democracy – a “third round” of elections, and fomented an “orange revolution”, dragging Victor Yushchenko to the presidency of Ukraine. And in 2010 Viktor Yanukovych won again, with broad support from the southeastern regions of Ukraine, but the West had no chance to overturn the Ukrainian people’s choice again. The US and the EU have decided to postpone the putsch to a more favorable moment. A moment that occurred in 2013, when Viktor Yanukovych suddenly became undeserving, postponing the signing of the association agreement with the European Union. Within a couple of months, another “Maidan” was held in Ukraine under US leadership, with US Undersecretary of State Nuland handing out money, sandwiches and pledges of unconditional support to the “revolutionaries”. And in 2014, dear Director, Viktor Yanukovych did not candidate. He left Ukraine because if he had stayed there, he would have been killed by Ukrainian radicals who shot, beat to death and burned hundreds of their compatriots.

Your lack of knowledge of the substance of the matter is surprising.

Although I really liked the expression “keep him in check” that you use in reference to Russian politics in Ukraine and personally to Vladimir Zelensky. First of all it is a beautiful expression. Secondly, I don’t think chess is banned, is it? Or just if the Russians don’t win?

The only problem is that there is no king in Ukraine now, in fact pawns can only turn into queens.

Russia’s policy towards the sovereignty of Ukraine since its independence has had the sole aim of building good neighborly relations. What happened in 2014 in the Crimea is something that we continually explain, but which in the West is constantly ignored. Any attempt to expose the facts collides with “articles” similar to yours, which distort the perception of reality.

But I will repeat it once more. In 2014, after the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine, yet another result of Western interference in the affairs of a sovereign state, the people living in Crimea made their historic choice, escaped rampant nationalist and illegal extremism by holding a referendum that previously he had tried many times to organize, but that had always been forbidden to him.

The next time something about the “illegitimate will of the people of Crimea” appears in the pages of your newspaper, please be so kind as to remind readers that there was absolutely no referendum in Kosovo, but Western countries, including Italy, they recognized its “sovereignty”. And this despite United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, which explicitly indicates the territorial integrity of Serbia, meaning Kosovo as part of it.

Let’s now come to migrants: “Putin creates another crisis situation in parallel by supporting the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko in the decision to bring thousands of migrants from Asia and the Middle East to the Polish border to create a new, explosive front of friction with the European Union”.

Mr. Molinari, it seems that you have read many Polish “field reports” as you repeat like a mantra all these endless accusations against Alexander Lukashenko and for some reason against the Russian president for having “created an explosive front of friction” and a “situation” of crisis “. Are you serious?

One feels the urge to send you back to the website of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, in particular to the section “Immigration statistics”. Well, this wonderful Italian website was recently updated and writes in black and white that the number of migrants being mistreated across the border by Polish law enforcement is nothing compared to the number of illegal immigrants from Africa allowed into the EU, through Italian territory alone. In just three days of November: more than two thousand people. Since the beginning of the year – nearly 60,000 (and many of them through western-ravaged Libya, which we will talk about later).

Now the question is: when will La Repubblica write that the United States and NATO countries have “created an explosive front of friction and a crisis situation in Europe” with their insane actions?

Brussels should look for the real causes of the EU migration crisis in the old statements of the leaders of the anti-Iraq, anti-Libya coalition, the heads of state and government of those countries that instigated the “Arab Spring” and for 20 years did who knows what in Afghanistan.

The article continues as follows: “it is interesting how all this coincides with the imminent inauguration of Nord Stream 2, which will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas imports, and with Moscow’s hostility to reach climate agreements”

A few words about gas, “Europe’s dependence” and about ecology, since you decided to put together more or less all the topics on the agenda (in what it calls “editorial”). Italy alone receives up to 20 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia. Moscow has never let down or deceived Rome on gas deliveries. How can an Italian journalist in conscience speak in such a vulgar tone about Russian hydrocarbon suppliers?

You personally, Dr. Molinari, don’t like Russian gas? Very good. I have a great idea: in protest, Maurizio you should heat our own house with copies of “La Repubblica”.

Who gives you the right to insult our country with sickening slander? Are you looking for a scoop? I have a super exclusive for you. Publish a sentence of truth in your newspaper: “There is no gas supplier to Europe more reliable than Russia”.

Now let’s talk about “addiction”, a word whose meaning you clearly don’t understand The life of all of us depends on a huge number of things, without which we would cease to exist: water, sun, oxygen, etc. Does this drive you crazy? As for Russian gas, the situation is much more certain than earthquakes in Sicily or high water in Venice: the gas is there, it was there and it will be there. Stop confusing readers and panicking.

Rejoice in each new day, even if everything in this world is interdependent: people depend on each other, life depends on the sun, plants on water.

Basically it makes no sense to comment on your judgments on Russia’s environmental policies: our priorities in this area (very advanced even by European standards) were set out by the Russian president in the context of the recently concluded high-level multilateral events. Please, Dr. Molinari, when dealing with the Russian agenda, at least follow the statements that are made in your country. In his video message to the G20 summit (held in Rome, Maurizio!), President Putin said bluntly: “Russia is developing the low-carbon energy sector at a rapid pace. Today, the share of energy from sources virtually carbon-free – and this includes, as we know, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar – exceeds 40% and, if we add natural gas – the fuel with the lowest carbon content among hydrocarbons – the share reaches 86%. This is one of the best indicators in the world. According to international experts, Russia is among the leaders in the global decarbonization process “.

And finally about Libya: “In the European canvas of President Putin there is also Turkey … above all for the convergence of interests in Libya in being able to avoid the elections scheduled for December 24 to elect a government”.

Here I want to remind you that the signature of the Russian representative is found under the final document of the second Berlin conference on Libya, and Russia is one of those (few, to be honest) parties that, even in the current difficult circumstances, have promoted normalization and political dialogue in the country destroyed by the West. Russia participated at a high level (foreign minister Lavrov) in the recent international conference on Libya in Paris, and agreed on the final declaration. The minister stressed several times, including during public speeches, that the main thing now is to respect the calendar that the Libyans themselves agreed a year ago, especially as regards the holding of general elections, both presidential and parliamentary. You see, I hope, that this contradicts everything that you write.

If we want to talk about the web into which Europe has fallen, it should remember how the West altered UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya. I remind you that in 2011 the UN Security Council declared a no-fly zone on Libya, which was used by some NATO countries, not to protect civilians, but to bomb them, with the consequent destruction of the Libyan state, the barbaric assassination of Gaddafi and the multi-year migration crisis in Europe, of which Italy is the first victim. You don’t? Contact me, I am always available to tell you many interesting things, including which link the UN website corresponds to.

In addition, I specifically dwell on something that does not catch the eye at first sight. You ask: “How will the EU of Macron, Scholz and Draghi react to the Russian hybrid challenge in full swing?”

The answer is short: by no means. They will not react in any way, because there is “no Russian hybrid challenge”. It is an invention, like your entire article. Stop feeding this myth to enter the good graces of russophobic politicians. Respect your readers. Italians don’t deserve such blatant lies.

Maria Zakharova

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s