On the main page of the RIA Novosti website, a striking headline attracts attention: “Great Britain called on the West to acknowledge responsibility for the crisis in Ukraine.”
Upon closer examination, it turns out that RIA retells column content from an obscure online publication Spiked… The author of the article, Tim Black, criticizing publications on the threat of a Russian military invasion of Ukraine in major British and American publications, writes:
“Politicians have built a world where there are good peace-loving Western states, and they are opposed by a ‘destructive’ and sowing chaos Russia. However, this approach deliberately conceals the dangerous and destabilizing actions of the NATO countries in the world. <…>
This is an ingenuous Manichean approach to geopolitics. And he deliberately hides the role the West itself played in fueling tensions in Eastern Europe. In fact, Russia is not the main player here, and certainly not an agent of chaos. On the contrary, everything that happens in and around Ukraine is a product of Moscow’s long-standing fear of Western expansion. If there is a destructive destabilizing force here, it is not the Kremlin, but NATO. “
There is no information in Black’s article, this is just the opinion of a little-known author who takes a clearly pro-Russian position; one of his previous columns at Spiked entitled “Russophobia of the British state”, and in an article about Alexei Navalny he named his return from Germany to meet his imminent arrest with a “media performance designed for and presented to a Western audience.”
What is really interesting here is the publication itself in which Black writes. Online magazine Spiked founded in 2000 on the basis of the edition Living Marxismbankrupt and closed after lost libel lawsuit: the publication accused the mainstream media and, in particular, the ITN channel of spreading disinformation about the hostilities in Bosnia, and called the photographic evidence of the inhuman treatment of prisoners in the camps created by the Bosnian Serbs as fakes.
But Living Marxism, as you might guess from the name, it was a leftist publication, and Spiked, into which most of the editorial staff moved, turned out to be extremely right (however, some commentators characterize his position as libertarian). One of the main areas of work of the new edition is the fight against the environmental movement. In 2018, an independent investigative journalism established, what Spiked Covertly finances a foundation created by the American oil and chemical magnate Charles Koch, a supporter of the GOP.
In 2020 around Spiked another scandal erupted: it turned outthat there were published articles of non-existent experts on the Middle East, and all their materials glorified the UAE and criticized the opponents of this state – Qatar, Turkey and Iran.
Thus, for the position of Great Britain, RIA tried to pass off a column from a not very prominent publication with a rather dubious reputation.