At a time when Russian military were being deployed in the Crimea under the pretext of “protecting Russian citizens from Nazis and extremists”, and the UN Security Council was considering an emergency meeting to address Russia’s aggression, Spiegel published an article, the key message of which was: “Crimea is infested by Russia-hating Tatar Nazi extremists” (Krim-Krise: Nationalisten stiften Tataren zu Anschlägen an, Spiegel, 28.02.2014).
To ensure that the message reaches out to even those readers who catch a glimpse of the article accidentally, Spiegel accompanied it with provocative photos of Tatar leaders, allegedly Nazi saluting to the crowd of their supporters.
In reality, the photo above shows nothing more than a number of people trying to calm the participants of a protest, emotionally protesting against Russia’s interference in Crimea. Yet in the context of the article its author has most likely wanted the reader to draw a subconscious parallel with a Nazi salute.
What was the author of the article really trying to achieve then? Hardly to provide the German audience with a balanced account of the role in the current Crimean crisis of Tatar people, who, as Ukrainian citizens, were genuinely incensed by the Russia’s unfounded military intervention, based on manifest lies and brutal propaganda by the Kremlin.
The answer, perhaps, should be sought in the biography of the author of the article Uwe Clussman, whose career includes a ten year span of working as journalist in Moscow. For by publishing this one-sided piece of dubious journalism, Spiegel seems to have wanted to subtly justify Russia’s 19th century style invasion.
Director of Haitarma – the first Crimean-Tatar movie about the tragedy of mass deportation of Crimean Tatars by Stalin in 1944.