Despite First to Give Lethal Aid, CBS Claims Trump Hurt Ukraine’s Survival

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With “U.S. military aid to Ukraine [being] at the heart of the impeachment battle here,” as the CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell noted on Tuesday, they sent a reporter to Ukraine to see how important that aid was. But while foreign correspondent Holly Williams was busy suggesting President Trump had harmed Ukraine’s ability to fight Russian-back separatists, she completely ignored the fact he was the reason Ukraine had received lethal aid at all.

A scandal over U.S. military aid to Ukraine triggered the impeachment hearings, but here American aid isn't about politics, it's about survival,” she reported earnestly. “Ukraine's been fighting a war against Russian-backed separatists since 2014. The conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives.”

Williams continued to impress upon viewers how important U.S. military aid was to the embattled country: “American military aid helps Ukraine defend itself against Russia, but it also discourages Russia from using the same tactics in other countries, and, arguably, makes the world a safer place. U.S. military aid to Ukraine also includes antitank missiles and training for front-line soldiers.”

Bringing things back around to impeachment and accusations Trump withheld military aid for personal gain, she lamented, “Whether they're impeachable or not there, the people affected here, say the American president's actions can have devastating consequences.” But while CBS was suggesting President Trump was hurting Ukraine, he was the real reason they were getting that lethal military aid from the U.S.

When the crisis stemming from the Russian annexation of Crimea began back in 2014, the Obama administration refused to send Ukraine any lethal aid. President Obama instead opted to just send money, medical supplies, night vision devices, unmanned aerial vehicles, and counter-mortar radars among other things.

 

 

But when Trump took office, he started having the U.S. send weapons such as sniper rifles and the highly coveted Javelin anti-tank missiles, which made short work of Russian armor.

Ironically, Williams actually showed off a former U.S. Coast Guard ship that was now part of the Ukrainian Navy as of October. “These patrol boats once served the U.S. Coast Guard, but in October, they were given a second life in the Ukrainian Navy, guarding Ukraine's Black Sea coast against incursions by Russia,” she reported.

“But guns are only one of Russia's weapons,” Williams declared as she began to speak with a Russian propaganda “expert” about how Trump was playing into Russia’s stereotype of the U.S.:

LIUBOV TSYBULSKA: Basically, it's about manipulation of information.

WILLIAMS: Liubov Tsybulska is an expert on Russian propaganda. She says Russian media frequently portrays America as devious and hypocritical. President Trump's alleged wrongdoing undermines U.S. influence in Ukraine, she says, and makes other countries nervous.

TSYBULSKA: They feel that the same things can happen with them. They feel that they are most reliable partner, I mean, U.S., can abandon them in the crucial moment.

It’s interesting that the propaganda expert was talking about the “manipulation of information” just as CBS was omitting key details of the U.S.’s history of giving military aid to Ukraine.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
December 10, 2019
6:42:59 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Tonight, Ukraine and Russia are a small step closer toning their more than-five-year conflict after agreeing to a cease-fire by year’s end. U.S. military aid to Ukraine is at the heart of the impeachment battle here. So, we sent Holly Williams to Ukraine to see how your money is being spent.

[Cuts to video]

HOLLY WILLIAMS: These patrol boats once served the U.S. Coast Guard, but in October, they were given a second life in the Ukrainian Navy, guarding Ukraine's Black Sea coast against incursions by Russia.

(…)

WILLIAMS: A scandal over U.S. military aid to Ukraine triggered the impeachment hearings, but here American aid isn't about politics, it's about survival.

Ukraine's been fighting a war against Russian-backed separatists since 2014. The conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives.

Admiral Ihor Voronchenko is the commander of the Ukrainian Navy.

If you can't stop Russia in Ukraine, will it use the same tactics in other countries?

"Russia's like an octopus," he told us. "It spreads its tentacles everywhere."

American military aid helps Ukraine defend itself against Russia, but it also discourages Russia from using the same tactics in other countries, and, arguably, makes the world a safer place.

U.S. military aid to Ukraine also includes antitank missiles and training for front-line soldiers. But guns are only one of Russia's weapons.

LIUBOV TSYBULSKA: Basically, it's about manipulation of information.

WILLIAMS: Liubov Tsybulska is an expert on Russian propaganda. She says Russian media frequently portrays America as devious and hypocritical. President Trump's alleged wrongdoing undermines U.S. influence in Ukraine, she says, and makes other countries nervous.

TSYBULSKA: They feel that the same things can happen with them. They feel that they are most reliable partner, I mean, U.S., can abandon them in the crucial moment.

WILLIAMS: Whether they're impeachable or not there, the people affected here, say the American president's actions can have devastating consequences. Holly Williams, CBS News, Odessa.

NB Daily Events Trump Impeachment Foreign Policy Europe Ukraine Bias by Omission Broadcast Television CBS CBS Evening News Video Holly Williams Donald Trump Barack Obama

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