The Evening Standard's editorial on Ukraine of 16 April 2014 is a classic example of both British muddle, and the innate ability of journalists to call big issues, not by events, but their perception of the facts.
Ukraine on the brink
The advance of Ukrainian troops into the dissident eastern city of Kramatorsk marks a new phase in a conflict which, as President Putin unhelpfully remarked, brings Ukraine to “the verge of civil war”. It is however a necessary move; it would be quite intolerable for any government to see entire cities and regions fall under the control of dissident groups with absolutely no democratic mandate.
It is only a matter of weeks of course since the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown, with the eager connivance of the British government and the European Union. Central to that overthrow were the actions of dissident groups on the streets of the capital city Kiev, where there was vicious fighting.
To add insult to injury, the Evening Standard editorial continues:
Indeed, it may be the case that some of the thugs demonstrating against the Kiev government and in favour of Moscow are deployed by corrupt local oligarchs, anxious to preserve their preferential tax status.
For the record, the Standard (like the Independent and the i) is owned by the Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev, son of Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev. As with many oligarchs, Lebedev made his fortune in the years of Russia's post-Soviet decade of gangster capitalism. Like Putin, he is ex-KGB. The Evening Standard should not have to look too far if it wishes to investigate the relationship between oligarchs and the political process...........
Those with strong stomachs can find the full Evening Standard editorial here. Please beware, you do have to wade through an arslikan piece on Prince George before you get to it.