BBC’s crocodile tears over ‘mass graves’ in Mariupol are a sick farce

Another example of the way that fabricated ‘news’ aims to baffle rather than inform, and to get workers onside for the imperialist war drive.

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The video above shows footage filmed by independent journalist Eva Bartlett at the cemetery that western media claimed to be a ‘mass grave’ of Mariupol citizens.


Navigating to iPlayer to watch the BBC’s latest documentary on Mariupol, you’ll find it sandwiched between their other documentaries Hong Kong’s Fight for Freedom and Iran: Women Rising, so you can be sure to know what to think on those British foreign policy directives also.

The Hong Kong ‘freedom fighters’ are almost exclusively funded by foreign powers and run by the National Endowment for Democracy (a CIA cut-out). (The NED strikes again: How neo-con money is funding the Hong Kong protests by Mnar Adley, MintPress News, 9 September 2019)

The Iranian protests, similarly, are funded by the CIA. (Is the CIA supporting another colour revolution in Iran – like the one that installed the shah in 1953? by Jeremy Kuzmarov, Global Research, 11 October 2022)

Nevertheless, upon viewing the documentary you’ll be greeted with disinformation, sad music and egregious lies to tug at your heartstrings.

‘Mass graves in Mariupol’ – another MSM fake

The claim of ‘mass graves’ in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol was started by Ukrainian officials and parroted without question by western media, which, from the start of the war, have parroted everything the Ukrainian government has said with no critical eye. The rumours were started by Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichecko, who branded the city the “new Babi Yar” – a reference to a ravine outside of Kiev where 33,000 jews were massacred by Nazis in 1941.

Boichecko claimed: “The invaders are concealing evidence of their crimes. The cemetery is located near a petrol station to the left side of a circular road. The Russians have dug huge trenches, 30 metres wide. They chuck people in.”

It is cruel irony for an Azov-supporting mayor to be rewriting history so as to present World War 2 Nazis and their collaborators as heroes of the Ukrainian nation. Eva Bartlett was able to visit the supposed ‘mass grave’ site, where she found 400 individual plots including 100 empty ones. (Western claims of Russian mass graves near Mariupol another fake news hoax – I know, I went to see by Eva Bartlett, 24 April 2022)

This is contrasted to the nonsense the Washington Post reported:

“The Mariupol city council said in a statement on Telegram that officials believe up to 9,000 civilians could be buried in the mass grave, where authorities said Russians forces ‘dug new trenches and filled them with corpses every day throughout April’. The council added that it has information indicating the bodies were ‘buried in several layers’. There was no immediate independent verification available of those claims.” (New mass grave points to war crimes in Mariupol, Ukrainian officials say by Paulina Villegas, Washington Post, 21 April 2022)

At least the Washington Post was honest enough to admit it could not verify the claims. Because, in fact, they are lies that its editors are only too willing to reproduce in service of the Ukrainian junta.

In her video, Eva Bartlett spoke to one of the gravediggers at the cemetery.

“According to them, they bury each person in a coffin and separate grave, details are logged in the morgue, and when any documents regarding name and age are given, the plot is marked with a placard containing those details. Otherwise a number is used.

“Interestingly, they also noted that a section of the new graves included buried Ukrainian soldiers. ‘They’re human, too,’ one of the men said.” (Here’s what I found at the reported ‘mass grave’ near Mariupol by Eva Bartlett, Monthly Review, 2 May 2022)

Debunking imperialist lies against China

Much of the western media narrative relied on supposed ‘satellite imagery’ to ‘prove’ that mass graves had been dug in Mariupol. Similar propaganda tactics have been used by the imperialist lie machine in its reporting on Xinjiang in China to justify western support for its jihadi proxies of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. The west supports the ETIM because it wants an independent state severed from China called ‘East Turkestan’.

To manufacture its narrative about ‘genocide’, ‘internment camps’ etc, imperialist media have made much use of alleged ‘satellite’ imagery, using grainy pictures of nothing in particular as a justification for endless and baseless speculations about buildings being used as ‘concentration camps for Uyghurs’ etc.

On further investigation, these ominous buildings were found to be administration buildings, nursing homes, logistics centres or schools. (Xinjiang offers real-site photos to debunk satellite images ‘evidence’ of ‘detention centres’, Global Times, 27 November 2020)

But, as the saying goes, a lie can travel halfway round the world before the truth has got its shoes on. By the time these claims were disproved, the corporate media narrative had already played its part in disseminating its dehumanising atrocity propaganda – lies which will eventually be used to justify a world war against China.

Many of the claims about Xinjiang were laundered through a CIA-sponsored far-right organisation called the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. (‘Forced labour’ stories on China brought to you by US gov, Nato, arms industry to drive cold war PR blitz by Ajit Singh, The Grayzone, 26 March 2020)

The general formula used by such agents is to find some far-right nutcase, whether it be Adrian Zenz for the Uyghurs or a neo-nazi mayor in Ukraine, to make some ridiculous and far-fetched claim. The western propaganda machine will then do the work of endlessly repeating those claims until they are transformed into unquestioned ‘facts’ that ‘everybody knows’.

Atrocity propaganda – a western forte

In order to maintain the systems and governance of imperialist oppression, the imperialist media machinery needs to act as a tool of manipulation on the unsuspecting public. The favoured technique is to insist that it is beyond doubt that the ‘enemy’ has committed the most heinous of crimes – painted in the most lurid colours possible. This is followed with a chorus of insistence that ‘something must be done NOW’.

Time is the enemy of these propaganda blitzes, because if anyone is allowed time to investigate, question or think critically, the stories start to fall apart, and the agents of imperialism are unable to achieve their foreign policy objectives.

We saw this on full display in the case of the supposed ‘gas attacks’ in Douma, Syria. The claim that the Syrian government had gassed its own people in Douma was quickly used as justification by western governments to bomb the country. (Theresa May wins second vote on Syria action as Jeremy Corbyn demands new war powers law by Joe Watts, Indepedent, 17 April 2018)

It did not matter that a year later a BBC producer would denounce the Douma hospital scene shot by the BBC as staged.

“BBC Syria producer Riam Dalati on Wednesday claimed in a series of Twitter posts that the video footage, aired by BBC, showing people being treated after the alleged 7 April 2018 chemical weapons attack in Douma was staged. He arrived at the conclusion after six months of investigations.”( Analysis: Was ‘staged’ gas attack footage used to bomb Syria?, CGTN, February 2019)

Even the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) originally came to conclusions that undermined the allegations of a chemical attack. It was only after documents were leaked to Wikileaks that those who were paying attention discovered that those original findings had been censored and investigators booted off their teams.

The OPCW’s second report, which was released to the media and public, had been doctored to fit the western narrative, concluding the opposite of what the original inspectors had claimed: that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that a chlorine gas attack had taken place. (Corrupting science: Shunning forensic expertise, OPCW left Douma murders in Syria unsolved by Aaron Mate, The Grayzone, 6 December 2021)

Ian Henderson was a team leader on the OPCW team and detailed how his report was changed:

“The last week of June saw the incident of ‘last-minute’ unexpected modifications to the FFM interim report, contrary to the consensus that had been reached within the team. The report had been changed to reflect a conclusion that chlorine had been released from cylinders, as well as other significant changes in content.” (Ian Henderson’s statement on the OPCW Douma scandal, Ian Henderson, 18 January 2020)

Even at the time of the supposed Douma ‘attack’, no reasonable case was ever put forward as to why the Syrian government would have decided to use chemical weapons against its own people. President Barack Obama had recently insisted that chemical weapons use would be a “red line” that might pull the United States openly into the conflict.

Meanwhile, Douma itself was occupied by the Saudi-backed jihadi militia Jaysh-Al-Islam, which was coming under punishing bombardment from the Syrian army. After lots of propaganda featuring dead bodies, strange gas cylinders and bizarre BBC propaganda footage, the USA, Britain and France bombed Syria – without any international inquiry and without UN authorisation.

It certainly would have been strange for the Syrian government to have used chemical weapons, given that it was winning the war. On the other hand, the hard-pressed western-backed jihadis had every motivation for staging a false flag attack in order to facilitate the open entry of western forces into the conflict.

These details are safely memory-holed by a corrupt western media whose aim is not to inform but to brainwash their populations.

Fake rape allegations parroted by western media

Given all the above, it should come as no surprise that workers in the imperialist countries were bombared with a slew of fresh allegations against Russia in May, this time claiming that Russian soldiers were raping “daughters in front of mothers” amongst other heinous atrocities.

As it turned out (and as almost no one who read the original headlines is aware), these stories all stemmed from a single Ukrainian official, Lyudmila Denisova. As ever, they were uncritically and endlessly repeated by western corporate media. Denisova worked as ‘ombudsman for human rights in Ukraine’ from March 2018 to May 2022. She described the alleged rapes of two 11-year-olds, a girl and a boy, and a 14-year-old. (Rape allegations against Russian troops In Ukraine were fake, Moon of Alabama, 31 May 2022)

Here is just one example of Denisova’s sensational claims that were foghorned through ‘mainstream’ imperialist media. (She was later fired for spreading rumours of “unnatural sexual crimes” and “rape of children” which could not be confirmed by evidence – another fact that most of those who blasted out the original lurid headlines never bothered to broadcast.)

“Deputy chairman of the standing committee the Verkhovna Rada Pavlo Frolov also noted that since the beginning of the war and the great suffering of Ukrainians, Denisova has hardly exercised her authority to organise humanitarian corridors, protect and exchange prisoners, oppose the deportation of people and children from the occupied territories, and other human rights activities.

“The incomprehensible concentration of the ombudsman’s media work on numerous details of ‘unnatural sexual crimes’ and ‘rape of children’ in the occupied territories, which could not be confirmed by evidence, only harmed Ukraine and distracted the world media from Ukraine’s real needs.

“After 24 February, the current Verkhovna Rada commissioner for human rights spent time abroad, but not in Russia or Belarus, where her status and powers could help prisoners, deportees and victims of the occupation of Kherson, but in Davos, Vienna, Warsaw” and elsewhere. (Ibid)

Contrast these fictitious rape stories with the grim reality that saw the Kiev junta recruiting convicted child rapists and sadistic torturers into the notorious ‘Tornado’ battalion. So vile was that battalion’s behaviour that the government had to concede: “This unit is out of control.”

Ukrainian officials and US state department-sponsored human rights reports detailed Tornado’s unbelievable sadism:

“Tornado recruited a mix of far-right fanatics and hardened criminals. Its ranks included the Belarussian extremist Danil Lyashuk, who went by the callsign ‘Mujahed’ and has made claims about converting to Islam and supporting Isis. While it is unclear whether Lyashuk actually served in Isis, he has openly emulated the islamist militia’s appetite for unhinged sadism. In one 2015 audio recording, Lyashuk proclaimed: ‘Without torture, life isn’t living.’ This became his motto.” (‘These are animals, not people’: Zelensky frees convicted child rapists, torturers to reinforce depleted military by Esha Krishnaswamy, The Grayzone, 30 July 2022)

One commentator summed it up: “With western media, you can be sure that whatever they accuse Russia of, they themselves are guilty.” (Josep Borrell’s European ‘garden’ is built on the plunder of the ‘jungle’ by Joseph Massad, Middle East Eye, 19 October 2022)

As imperialism suffers new defeats, and its propaganda machine chokes on its own lies, there are good reasons to believe that workers living in the belly of the imperialist beast will start to see who are their friends and who are their enemies. A straw in the wind is a recent poll suggesting that only 55 percent of Britons currently trust the BBC, whilst 26 percent don’t trust it at all. (Trust and interest in news falls in UK with Sun, Mail and Mirror bottom of table by Andrew Kersley, Press Gazzette, 15 June 2022)

It would be interesting to know how many Britons would trust the RT news channel – that is, if the rattled British establishment could ever feel safe enough to lift its ban.