05/02/2020

What's the Russian propaganda looking for at Exarcheia?

An article by Katerina Oikonomakou that I translated in English:

"Exarcheia* is a community established through decades of fights. It is clear that the social movements will not surrender hands down to the state. They live and fight together. Activists, refugees and the whole neighbourhood promise to resist refinement of the area and continuous police repression."

This is how Μarcel Cartier, Redfish Journalist, chose to close his report about Exarcheia. In that 15min video shared on social media 7th of December, Cartier visits Vox** to talk with a member of Rouvikona, "one of the most well known Anarchist collectives in Greece", then goes to the Immigrant's Haunt in order to chat with a young activist, meets some residents of Exarcheia, native and expats who came to our country as refugees years ago. From Exarcheia he walks to Kolonaki*** in order to see Thanos Plevris, member of the Greek Parliament and the governing party of ND.

A day before, 6th of December, Redfish had uploaded a short video titled "Greek government against Left" claiming that "The Right Greek government wants to destroy Left in Greece but people resist". Does the Greek government really want to destroy Left in our country? The way Redfish interprets Greek reality could put me in doubts about the future of press pluralism in our country if I wasn't aware of how wrong was one more of their predictions. Last time Cartier visited Athens was May of 2018. That time he made a video worrying about the fact that "the governing coalition of Syriza betrayed its supporters and surrendered to the EU and the global Capital", something that in his opinion would promote the Nazi party of Chrysi Avgi.

Redfish denies that they do any clickbait and its journalists state objective but not neutral. Not only they have covered but also supported fights "against the global system which enslaves humanity and destroys our planet". With their logo being a red fish swimming against the stream, Redfish claims to be the alternative source, telling stories against the mainstream narrative. "We are 100% independent and via our mother news agency Ruptly we provide our content to over 1200 clients in 89 countries around the globe".

How independent and alternative is a platform financed by Kremlin? Ruptly, where Redfish belongs, is a production and distribution agency of video news based in Berlin. Founded on April 2014 as daughter of RT. RT is the international TV network we previously knew as Russia Today. All of them belong to the Rossija Sewodnja which is the state news agency of Russia.

Redfish's managing director is the British Journalist Lizzie Phelan, aged 33, who used to work for RT for years, as well as for Iran's state TV Press TV. Phelan has excelled as a mouthpiece of Kremlin's propaganda  and Bassar Al Assad's regime. RT is also where Marcel Cartier started his career. The office hosting these two antisystemic journalists, serving the alternative source of news, is located at a small, cute and very expensive street at Mitte Berlin.

One thing for sure is that there's no chance to leave this place in order to continue their career in any of the big German media. The credibility of any journalist who has worked in any media and internet platform of RT and Ruptly is considered zero. On November of 2018, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published a report titled "How the Russian internet media  try to destabilise democracy". On January of 2019, under the title "The new news media of Kremlin", FAZ wrote "Moscow finances channels of propaganda targeting on Leftists and environmental activists". Redfish appeared in both publishes.

Were all these people in the haunts and the backstreets of Exarcheia aware beforehand when they accepted to appear in front of Redfish's camera that they had no antisystemic journalist in front of them but a paid guy to serve Kremlin's propaganda?

The most interesting part considering Redfish journalists and their sensitivity about human rights in the West world is that at the same time they show no such care for Russia. To be fair, in their shoes I would also prefer to cover protests in Paris and Berlin rather than in Moscow. Russia ranks 149th among 180 countries on the list for freedom of Press, annually published by Journalists Without Borders.

*Area of Athens notorious for its Anarchist & extreme left activism.
** Ex cinema now occupy at Exarcheia
*** Luxurious area of Athens

5 comments:

  1. Does anyone really take any notice of RT or Redfish?
    Maybe I'm missing the point here..,
    Best wishes, hope you are keeping well, Nikos.

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    1. Thanks for your wishes Niko, we did great handing the epidemic situation due to taking the right decisions at the right time. Pity UK didn't. I really wish you and your beloved ones are healthy and safe.

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    2. Thanks for your good wishes O. I managed to escape to Germany this week after 12 weeks of near solitude. UK is in a solo race to the bottom with it's fake nationalistic fantasies. My wife is living/working here but only just working! Is it possible that Greece now has competent leadership? I
      hope so. We plan to come in September, if the authorities will let me in!
      N

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    3. "Nationalistic fantasies". You're spot on Niko and I wish you were not. The lack of decent leaders has allowed clowns on power. Greece has surprisingly competent leadership hence we handled two major crisis (at the Turkish border and COVID19) with impressive success so far. We were so lucky to have elections before these issues arrived.

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  2. P.S. Of course let me know when you come to Greece - we can meet if possible. We are open to Germany and a few other countries that did well COVID wise by 15th of June.

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