I read that  “Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region have claimed a resounding victory in a “self-rule” referendum, saying 89% voted in favour. In Luhansk, another eastern region, the results – also expected to show a strong backing – will be released soon. BBC reporters at polling stations spoke of chaotic scenes, no voting booths in places and no electoral register.”

Gosh, that comes as a surprise, doesn’t it? The BBC has been to the fore in downplaying the wishes of anyone in Ukraine who takes a pro-Russia sentiment. This morning, on Today, they interviewed a perfectly lucid lady from Donetsk (sounds like the start of a bad limerick!) and all they could do was quote that the PEW research group in the USA had conducted a poll that shows most Russian supporters want to be remain in the Ukraine. It’s funny how the BBC is so pro self determination unless it is in parts of the Ukraine. I wonder is it possible that the BBC is shilling for the EU, using the Ukraine as the handle?

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  1. Flexdream says:

    Could the BBC remind it’s audience of the ‘scenes’ as the new Kiev government came to power and how ‘democratic’ that was?


    • DP111 says:

      The BBC, and all control freaks, with the EU in particular, have a visceral hatred of referendums The idea that ordinary people should have control of their, and their country’s present and future, is anathema to them.

      If there has to be a referendum, the political authorities consider it legal only if they set the time, the place, and the terms of the referendum. Any other is deemed, and condemned as illegal. The EU of course go even further. Only a correct answer is deemed legal.

      In Eastern Ukraine, not only did the people have a referendum, but a referendum they set the terms of, designed, then instituted and conducted it themselves.
      Unheard of. Totally illegal. Illegitimate. How dare they? Who do these people think they are?


  2. Phil Ford says:

    It’s odd, isn’t it? I mean listening to the BBC decry the result of what appears to have been the exercising of a democratic will, describing it (several times last night) as ‘criminal’.

    Reminds one of how the BBC’s common purpose chums in the EU view that thing they still quaintly refer to as ‘democracy’ and how they only truly believe in it when it returns the electoral result they want – otherwise they simply instruct entire nations to vote again until they get the result ‘right’.

    The BBC’s reporting of the democratic vote in the Ukraine, regardless of the factions involved, is a disgrace and should offend anyone who actually understands what the democratic will is.


  3. Thoughtful says:

    Just remember that this poll was not undertaken in a fair manner, with people able to vote more than once, and the vote boycotted by those who supported staying with Ukraine, not least for fear of identifying themselves.
    The figures are far too high to be a credible representation of the real feelings of the people in the region.

    Even Putin tried to halt the vote, but they took no notice, he’s unlikely to be riding to their rescue when there’s nothing in it for Russia despite his rhetoric. Crimea has a large naval facility, and Putin needed it after his only other Mediterranean base became unsafe after war in Syria.


    • Alec Coole says:

      Dodgy polls; Dodgy elections.

      They should have called for Baron Lardarse aka John Prescott. Now there’s a man who knows how to rig an election.


    • Old Goat says:

      However, the general gist, I think, strongly supports the notion that Kiev “new” regime bad, Russians (and Russian intervention) good. Even if you remove the inadequacies and shortcomings of this referendum, it’s fairly obvious that they want to be annexed to Russia, and want little to do with their potential European “masters”. can’t blame them, really.

      The EU, it seems, is like a peristaltic wave, in that its influence is pushing east, whilst the hardcore, western end would very much like to become disassociated with it.


      • Tony E says:

        That’s not strictly true.

        Eastern Ukrainians might want more autonomy, and might see themselves a Russo centric in their world view, but that is a very different prospect to being annexed by Russia and thereby having no say over their own future past that point.


        • Richard says:

          Yes, at the breakup of the Soviet Union, both Donbas and Crimea voted to go with Ukraine. However, it is possible that in the interim they may have decided that they were keener on an independent Ukraine than an independent Ukraine turned out to be on them. As far as it is possible to tell at this remove, that is almost certainly true in Crimea, where it seems most people are happy with the new dispensation. As a human being, I am prone to the assumption that when looking north, they must in any case feel that they are now better off out of it.

          Donbas is a little more complicated. Just because people speak Russian and are well and truly Russified doesn’t mean that they want union with Moscow. Some clearly do; others don’t; the ratio is impossible to judge. But if the post-coup regime in Kiev keeps on with its present policy of winning hearts and minds with tanks and bullets, a fairly predictable outcome presents itself. After all, though protesters were occupying government buildings, they were not, as far as I am aware, killing or threatening to kill anyone.

          One way or another, the behaviour of Washington, Brussels and London is appalling and homicidal and the coverage of it in the Beeb and elsewhere is generally a disgrace.


    • Steve says:

      The results are very similar to the results of the presidential elections which took place before the Kiev”security forces” started killing people . Go and look at them.


      • Span Ows says:

        I agree. I first thought he was being sarcastic “Just remember that this poll was not undertaken in a fair manner, with people able to vote more than once…”, I was expecting, ‘…block votes, postal votes, parties with almost identical name but at the top of the polling paper, banana republic etc…but it appears he was serious.
        “The figures are far too high to be a credible representation of the real feelings of the people in the region”.

        The people of Gibraltar and The Falklands, to name but two, would disagree with you.


  4. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    With British politicians rigging the electoral system to suit themselves – small constituencies for Labour, large ones for Conservatives; and immature kids voting for Braveheart Scotland (both supported by bBBC) – this country is in no position to lecture others about their own elections.


    • Flexdream says:

      Don’t forget either – Scots and Irish MPs voting on England & Wales legislation, our abysmal checking of postal votes, a House of Lords containing unelected unaccountable lawmakers, our hereditary Head of State and the supremacy of the unelected unaccountable ECHR over our own Parliament. Yes we have a great democratic system don’t we.


  5. Elena 'Andcart says:

    Strange how they manage to avoid mentioning the Oil – I was just reading this:


  6. Roland Deschain says:

    I’m not really sure I see your point, David. Is the BBC supposed to treat it as a serious poll when no-one else is?


    • dave1east says:

      the EU’s intervention in ukraine has destabilised a volatile region and strengthened the hand of comrade putrid.

      it will end with the resources of east ukraine being absorbed into russia and a needy western ukraine rump being baled out by eu membership.

      why talk about that when you can drone on about some deficiencies in a poll that is quite obviously representative of the east ukraine’s people’s views?


      • Richard says:

        Yes, an accurate quick summary and a plausible scenario.


      • MeM says:

        On what basis do you think it is representative of the views of eastern Ukranians? By no poll I have seen is it representative, nor anecdotally based on the people I know there.


  7. Roland Deschain says:

    I quite agree with you regarding the EU’s cack-handed intervention, which has been grossly downplayed by the BBC. But whilst the poll may be representative of the views of those who voted, is it representative of East Ukraine’s people as a whole? Those opposed would simply not have voted in a poll they didn’t recognise as valid.


  8. Hexhamgeezer says:

    Wonder if the Beeb were worried about any postal voting?


  9. Tony E says:

    Quite clearly, the poll is not reliable. In this the BBC is probably absolutely correct.

    However, at least John Humphries did address a few comments towards the similar legitimacy issues that the ‘interim’ government in Kiev also suffers.

    The problem for them is that at the beginning they acted as a cheerleader for revolution in support of EU actions to draw Kiev into its sphere of influence. We who take a generally liberal economic approach gladly accept that trade is the best way to open up prospects for a population – but the EU went much further than that, it was attempting to start a process which would, or at least could, lead towards membership, which was always a position that would have consequences for Russia.


  10. stuart says:

    i have never understood this conflict betreen russians and ukrainians in ukraine till i met this russian student in a pub at the weekend,he told me that it has nothing at all to do with religion because both russians and ukrainians are christian and slavic brothers,what he did say that it would be like the same if the scottish and english fell out and started fighting about whos land it at the end of the day is is a fight about land betreen fellow slavic brothers,his final word was he wished russia and the eu would keep there noses out of this conflict in ukraine and let them sort it out in there own way which at the end of the day they will.i agreed with him on that.


  11. RJ says:

    I might have missed this – but has the BBC ever explained why it was so urgent for the pro-EU faction in Kiev to overthrow the elected president? There were presidential elections scheduled for 2015 when he could have been voted out. If that had happened Putin wouldn’t have had any excuse to retake the Crimea, nor would the eastern Ukrainians have had an excuse to revolt – it would have been an open invasion and an anti-democratic uprising.

    Given that a pro-western coup in Kiev would (to say the least) annoy Putin and the eastern Ukrainians who had voted for the deposed president, what was the desperate need to move this year?

    The only reference to this that I’ve heard on the BBC is that the deposed president was going to sign an agreement with Russia, but nothing as to how this provides sufficient justification for a coup to depose him.


    • Richard says:

      I’m pretty sure they haven’t explained it – nor has anybody else. There is no explanation. As you rightly ask, why the urgency when elections were due in a year or so anyway?

      Then, of course, we get the usual tripe about ‘massive corruption’, ‘shags his secretary’, ‘tortures puppies’, ‘hates poofters’ and so on – some of which may be true. But any of it that is true was, of course, just as true when he was thinking of signing an agreement with the Fourth Reich … er, sorry, the E.U. It didn’t seem to matter then. But Russia made him a better offer and, like anybody else sane, he took it. Then comes the coup and the hatchet job on him. I think it is a fairly safe assumption that if he’d kept on the E.U. track, he’d still be in position now.


  12. chrisH says:

    The idiot hack there in Donetsk called it a “rebel referendum”.
    Very much the same kind that we`re in dire danger of getting if we get UKIP and can bin the liberal elite that prevent it.
    No wonder the BBC hate referendums unless its for British breakup…which the EU back-so goes the Beeb.


  13. DJ says:

    Yep, the BBC isn’t sure if people who blow up crowded buses are ‘terrorists’ or not, but it’s quite certain that a mob evicting an elected government is just democracy by other means.

    It’s all about setting the terms of the debate. The BBC’s supposedly impartial position is only impartial if you ignore how the current government in Kiev came into power in the first place.


  14. MeM says:

    Oh come on guys. Usually I am right behind this website but you’re really going to take a pro-Putin view on Ukraine? The BBC has been trying its best to show both sides of the story but if anything has been overemphasising the divisions within Ukraine.
    Some people on here have said that despite the faults the ‘results’ of the referenda match what the people there think. I really don’t think so guys. People there want most of all to put food on the table and don’t really care about politics. Those that do overwhelmingly favour a united Ukraine, albeit with concessions to the East. This has been shown in poll after poll from people like Gallup.
    I was disappointed to see this sort of thing on this website. It’s been bad enough on UKIP sites (why on Earth a libertarian would support Putin is beyond me) but if anything the BBC has been slightly bias toward Russia.
    Of course the reason that people might think otherwise is because they put Russia Today on one side and the BBC on the other. But compared to RT, the BBC is a model of independant journalism.

    Again guys, please don’t do this. Stand up to Putin’s agression over Ukraine or else bit by bit he’ll be taking Europe like Hitler did before him.