Russia wishes Europe a miserable Christmas

December 26, 2022 • 9:25 am

The article and video below were published in both Newsweek and the New York Post, so I think you can take the video, put out by RT News, as genuine. And it’s pretty horrible, as it’s a Russian-made video telling Ukrainians (and Europeans in general) what a lousy holiday season they’re going to have after the Russians keep bombing them. It’s really a piece of propagandistic blackmail.

First, what is “RT News”? Wikipedia describes it as

RT (formerly Russia Today or Rossiya Segodnya (Russian: Россия Сегодня) is a Russian state-controlled international news television network funded by the Russian government. It operates pay television and free-to-air channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, as well as providing Internet content in Russian, English, Spanish, French, German and Arabic.

. . . RT has regularly been described as a major propaganda outlet for the Russian government and its foreign policy. Academics, fact-checkers, and news reporters (including some current and former RT reporters) have identified RT as a purveyor of disinformation and conspiracy theories. UK media regulator Ofcom has repeatedly found RT to have breached its rules on impartiality, including multiple instances in which RT broadcast “materially misleading” content.

That, then, is the source. Click below to see the Newsweek report and then the dreadful video.

An excerpt:

Russian state TV released a Christmas message to Europe recently amid Moscow’s faltering invasion of Ukraine.

The video, released by Russia Today (RT), comes as the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 10th month on Christmas Eve. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military has struggled to achieve substantial goals in Ukraine throughout the war, with Ukraine’s spirited defense—bolstered by aid from the West—blunting military gains. Throughout the fall, Ukraine retook thousands of square miles of formerly occupied land.

Most of Europe rallied around the Eastern European country, providing humanitarian and military aid to Kyiv, much to Putin’s dismay. Many European countries have also issued sanctions against Russian businesses, including oil. Russian oil has long been used across Europe, and these sanctions have been attributed to rising energy costs in several European countries.

RT highlighted the rising cost of oil in a new propaganda video, which aimed to illustrate the effects of rising energy prices on Europeans.

The video—first reported by BBC’s Francis Scarr on Twitter on Friday—starts off by showing a scene from Christmas 2021, in which a young girl received a pet hamster wearing a bow for Christmas, while the holiday classic “Silent Night” plays in the background.

One year later, the girl’s father is seen creating a contraption for the hamster to generate electricity for the family, presumably because the cost of powering and heating their home has become too expensive due to sanctions against Russia. The hamster, running on a wheel, creates energy to light the Christmas tree as the family sits on a couch, dressed in coats and earmuffs.

The video then cuts to Christmas 2023, when the family, now appearing to live in poverty, is eating their Christmas dinner when the father finds the hamster’s bow in his soup, implying they were forced to cook the pet for a holiday meal.

“Merry ‘anti-Russian’ Christmas! If your media doesn’t tell you where this is all going, RT is available available by VPN,” text displayed at the end of the video reads, revealing it as an advertisement for the Kremlin-tied news outlet.

The video was met with mockery on social media, where Twitter users largely ridiculed its hyperbole and fear-mongering.

Journalist Dave Keating tweeted on Friday: “Russia not even trying to disguise its energy blackmail any more.”

This is pretty Nineteen Eighty-Four-ish: a mean-spirited holiday message that says, “Give up now or you’ll soon be eating hamsters in the dark.”  I imagine it would only further energize the Ukrainians!

h/t: David

16 thoughts on “Russia wishes Europe a miserable Christmas

  1. When my nephew got his hamster, he was told they have a life expectancy of two years. Sure enough Snuffles lived for almost exactly two years.

    The one in the video probably died of natural causes.

  2. RT has enjoyed the regular services of such western notables as Julian Assange, Chris Hedges, Alex Salmond, and George Galloway. Putin regime propaganda, illustrated in this RT Christmas message, pumps up an attitude toward Europe that has long been at the core of Russian nationalist culture: resentment.

    1. Unless I am mistaken, both Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald have written for RT as well. But you dont have to look only to Russia; just read The Nation, The Intercept,
      watch Democracy Now!, Real News, Redact….all Russian/Putin mouthpieces. Plus some individual bloggers on the internet. These apologists for war criminals are mustering everyone and every publication they can to promote their anti American views. Somehow Russian crimes and criminals (like Stalin) of the recent past get overlooked, but not those of the USA. Oh, I almost forgot Abby Martin and her
      Empire Fi\les. After Chavez died there was no one to support the blog in Latin America so she moved up here. Thankfully we have some truth tellers: Timothy Snyder, Anne Applebaum, George Packer, The Atlantic.

    2. Several authoritarian regimes have been pretty successful at exploiting the West’s espousal of free speech to promote their agendas. British right-of-centre newspaperThe Daily Telegraph took Chinese government cash for years to publish state propaganda to its readers. Iran’s Press TV has broadcast programmes featuring interviews with Jeremy Corbyn (who later aspired to be prime minister of the UK) and “Gorgeous” George Galloway . As others have noted, plenty of western politicians have been happy to take Moscow’s gold to appear on RT or its earlier incarnation Russia Today.

    3. I used to admire George Galloway because of his anti SNP (Scottish National Party) stance. Gave him the thumbs up from my car once during a campaign near Edinburgh. He noticed and mouthed a “thank you”.
      I’m sure he’s fundamentally decent, but he’s crossed a moral Rubicon. I’m totally disgusted by his unwavering support for Russian fascism.

    1. Resentment of the West, due to the mere possibility of Novgorod’s signing a treaty with
      Lithuania and Poland, was the ideology of the Duchy of Muscovy under Ivan III in 1470. Some things change very little, it appears. But there has been some change. Back then, I don’t think the Russian state, which Ivan III’s conquest of Novgorod brought into being, threatened to cut off export of sable furs to the West.

  3. I thought the video was kind of funny.
    They could have made it to illustrate what happens when you decommission all the nuclear plants and build windmills instead, or even the slow progression of a zombie apocalypse.
    I am totally on team Ukraine here. I lived in the USSR, and we don’t need that coming back, any more than the Mongol empire or the Sarmations.
    It is perhaps not the wisest move to rely on a likely rival nation for your energy needs or food supply.

    1. There were many warnings given when the pipelines were built to supply Europe with Russian gas. The West’s leadership is pathetically weak.

      1. It was strong leadership as the pipelines were built with good intentions. And now we tear them down due to Russian barbarism, also a sign of strength.

    2. “All the world wonder’d”.
      –Tennyson.
      Trouble is, it didn’t. “Seemed like a good idea at the time, let’s copy it,” might be closer.

  4. Meanwhile, a Ukrainian drone was shot down near a Russian airbase and three Russian servicemen were killed by falling debris. And at least one aircraft was slightly damaged. Or so the Russians claim. Seems to me that shooting down near an airbase would imply that the Russians got it before it could do damage and so if anyone was going to be killed by falling debris, they would be much more likely to be non-military. Also, how do you wind up inflicting some damage on an aircraft if you shot it down before reaching the airport.

    Seems more like Russian lying and damage control to me.

    All the more reason to think that P*tin’s days are numbered. One is a nice number.

  5. Over last hundred years and probably longer, as well as currently, significant number of Russians lives at the brink of hunger, without heat, without indoor plumbing. Significant number of Russians lives in circumstances equal or worse to third world countries. Significant number of Russians lives much, much worse than most of Europeans would live if they never again import anything from Russia.

    Russia has so much wealth and resources, they could be one of the countries with the highest standard of living in Europe, but their leadership instead excels in propaganda oppressive politics and most recently in making fun of others to feed the Russian soul.

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