When it comes to opinions on Russia in general, German media has never been one to mince its words and has always tried to state things how they are rather than being too diplomatic in their language. Ever since the crisis in Ukraine and the recent intervention in Syria, German reports on Russia have been filled with hate, demonizing President Vladimir Putin and the country as a whole.
German media and its smear campaign
Sputnik news has claimed that the German media is doing its best to portray the Russian government, the president and even its general population as the bad guys and aims to discredit the whole country in general and label it as a place where only bad things can happen. This smear campaign is something that has played a big role in destroying global opinion on Russia.
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For instance, there was one event occurring inside Russia that really affected the country’s popularity on the globe. Members of the Russian feminist group, Pussy Riot, were behind a scandalous performance in the church and in accordance with the law, were punished for their antics. However, rather than admitting the wrongdoing of the controversial group, Putin was globally accused to opting authoritarian and undemocratic policies even though it is clear that had the activists done the same things in another European country, they would have faced the same penalties.
The same can be said about the raging issue of homosexuality. Earlier this year, when the Moscow State Duma passed a law that prohibited display of such practices in front of children, Russian authorities were severely accused of homophobia and no one took into account that this was no longer a criminal offense like it used to be during the Soviet Union’s time or that in some countries, homosexuals still face capital punishment.
During the conflict in Ukraine, German media took the lead of global criticism of Moscow and accused it for being behind the whole conflict and even blamed it for MH-17 plane crash way before an investigation was launched on the tragedy.
Now, German media is following a similar smear campaign after Russia started its military operation in Syria. Successful attacks on ISIS and other Islamist militant groups looking to topple Bashar al-Assad’s government are being considered extreme measures while Americans are being made to look like the good guys despite their obvious failures in the country according to top scholars in Russia.
According to Russian journalists, Germany is hell-bent on gathering momentum on its one-sided propaganda in a bid to destroy the image of the country and showcase its leader Vladimir Putin as an evil person who wants to wage war against the West and is least bothered about the consequences.
However, despite facing a lot of backlash for his actions in Syria, Vladimir Putin is reportedly not against a joint coordination with USA in a bid to bring peace to Syria.
While speaking to reporters, Foreign Office Spokesman, Sawson Chebil said that Germany welcomes Russian attempts to de-escalate the situation in Syria but also stressed that the recent activities conducted by the Russian military do not speak volumes of Russian ambitions to bring peace to the region.
“We can only welcome steps that may lead to a de-escalation of the situation,” Foreign Office spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli told reporters.
However, European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker is of the opinion that it is essential for Europe to improve its relationship with Russia. Along with the United States, The European Union had imposed sanctions on Russia last year over the annexation of Crimea and tightened them further after a rebellion was launched by the separatists in Ukraine in an operation that had Russian backing.
However, Juncker feels that tensions needs to be eased despite admitting that it will not be a very popular decision.
“We must make efforts towards a practical relationship with Russia. It is not sexy but that must be the case, we can’t go on like this,” he said at an event in the southern German town of Passau.
And Juncker also feels that Europe should adopt a different approach to the one that has been adopted by US. “Russia must be treated decently,” he said. “We can’t let our relationship with Russia be dictated by Washington.”