Supposed Russophobic Statements by US Senator Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant.
US Senator Lindsey Graham’s name has been trending on social media in recent days. As exposed in a video circulating on the internet, on May 26, during a trip to Ukraine, the Republican allegedly said that killing Russians was a good investment. Obviously, the statement generated controversy and all sorts of reactions, including state measures on the part of Russia. However, the lack of clarification on the case leaves many questions unanswered.
In the aforementioned video, the senator seems to say: “And the Russians are dying… it’s the best money we’ve ever spent.” At the time, Graham was personally speaking to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. It is known that Lindsey led an American delegation on an official trip to Kiev, in which topics of interest to both countries in the context of the current conflict would have been discussed. The meeting at which the controversial phrase was allegedly voiced took place during this trip.
There are no means to prove the veracity of the video. Some analysts have claimed that there is a media editing connecting Graham’s words. According to some experts, the mention of the death of Russians and the comment about money were not originally in the same sentence. However, as well as there is no proof to believe in the edited version that circulates on the networks, there is also no full and official version to verify what was actually said by the Senator. Therefore, there is no certainty about what happened at the meeting.
Graham responded to the allegations circulating on the networks by classifying them as “Russian propaganda“. He said in a letter to Reuters that he told Zelensky that “it has been a good investment by the United States to help liberate Ukraine”, with no mention on the murder of Russians. However, despite possible video editing, it is evident that at some point in the conversation there was such a mention, and Graham failed to clarify what he really thinks about killing Russians.
Regardless of the veracity of the video, Graham’s accusations that the case is related to some kind of “Russian propaganda” are absolutely unsubstantiated. The edited video was shared on the internet precisely by Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office. So, if there is any propaganda intent around the case, it is on the part of Kiev, not Russia. Russians just reacted to something that was posted on social media and generated outrage among netizens and ordinary people.
In addition to the strong responses on social networks, the US senator also suffered state sanctions for his possible declaration. Moscow’s authorities have added the politician to a list of wanted international criminals due to his Russophobic behavior. It is necessary to emphasize that the case comes amid a serious wave of anti-Russian intolerance fomented by the Collective West as a reaction to the special military operation on the borders with Ukraine. Moscow has done its best to combat anti-Russian mentality around the world, and, in this regard, measures are needed to sanction Russophobic hate-based behavior on the part of foreign officials.
In fact, there are two possibilities around the topic. On the one hand, it is possible that Graham was unconsciously used by Ukrainian propaganda. As well known, the Kiev regime maintains open neo-Nazi and anti-Russian rhetoric, publicly promoting every type of attack against Russian citizens. The government’s propaganda sectors, in this sense, could have deliberately edited the video, without the senator’s authorization, and published it to boost their racist campaigns and fuel the West’s Russophobic frenzy.
On the other hand, it is possible that the Americans themselves were involved in the case and consented to the misuse of Graham’s words for propaganda purposes. Considering that the politician failed to provide concrete clarification on the matter, limiting his response to vague accusations against Russia, the hypothesis of his direct involvement definitely cannot be ignored.
Furthermore, it is necessary to remember that the Graham is already highly known for his Russophobic pronouncements, having even suggested the assassination of Vladimir Putin in March 2022. Being a fanatical supporter of American interventionism, advocating the death of Russians would not be something really new for him.
So, in order to clarify the situation once and for all and enable Moscow to reconsider its decision to include Graham on the wanted list, the Republican should make a public statement denying American interest in the death of Russians. Otherwise, even if there is video editing, the accusations against him will continue to be appropriate, given his omission.
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