Counterspin: Russian Invasion of Ukraine Is Not a “Special Military Operation”, as the party “Levica” Spins
The political party “Levica” has used Kremlin terminology that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is in fact a “special military operation”. This statement contains a spin, given that special operations are military activities carried out by specially designated, organized, selected, trained and equipped forces using unconventional techniques and modes of action. Special operations may include reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and counterterrorism operations, and are usually conducted by small groups of highly trained personnel, which is not the case in Ukraine
Author: Meri Jordanovska
The political party “Levica” on March 16 this year issued a statement that MPs Dimitar Apasiev and Borislav Krmov had a 90-minute meeting with the Russian Ambassador to the country, Sergey Baznikin. The statement, posted on the party’s official Facebook page, contains spins over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Spin: At this second official meeting, current domestic and international issues were discussed, with special reference to the special military operation in Ukraine and its consequences for the international order. Emphasis was placed on the process of denationalization and the elimination of threats from the far-right and radical neo-Nazi political movements, which are a danger to any modern democracy.
[Source: Political Party “Levica”- Facebook; date: 16.03.2022]
Counterspin: Through the term “special military operation”, the party spins, using the term the Kremlin uses for the Russian invasion, trying to relativize and justify the war. The same term in an interview with Russia’s RBC television, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described the West’s reaction to the fighting in Ukraine as “an unprecedented political, economic and informational attack on Russia.” He said the Russian “special operation” – a term used by Russian officials – would be completed and that “the demilitarization of Ukraine and its denationalization” should be achieved.
Since the beginning of the month, schools across Russia have been holding special social science classes on “war” where teachers must tell 7th and 11thgrade students about the government’s position on history and what the Kremlin considers for “special operation”. Manuals are being distributed, and one of them, published by the independent Russian media “MediaZona”, states that “the Ukrainian nation did not exist until the 20th century and in 2014 suffered a bloody coup that installed the US puppet regime.” It went on to say that after “the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine rose up against the regime, they were besieged and subjected to ‘genocide’ for eight years, which Russia is now preventing through a ‘special peace operation’.” These materials for students explicitly state that in this case there is no war in Ukraine.
And Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022, in his address just before the invasion, approved a “special military operation” against Ukraine to eliminate, as he put it, a serious threat, saying his goal was to demilitarize Russia’s southern neighbor.
Similar rhetoric to the Russian one is now used by the political party “Levica”, through its leader and Member of Parliament, Dimitar Apasiev, claiming that it is a “special military operation”.
In this case, the party spins when using this term, because it is an attack and invasion of a sovereign and independent state. In addition, the percentage of total resources of the Russian army currently engaged in Ukraine shows the opposite, i.e. a huge number of infantry, aviation, armored and artillery units are engaged. Thus, it cannot be a “special operation”, because in that case small, mobile special units would be used.
Special operations (special ops) are military activities carried out, according to NATO, by specially appointed, organized, selected, trained and equipped forces that use unconventional techniques and modes of action. Special operations may include reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and counter-terrorism operations, and are usually conducted by small groups of highly trained personnel, with an emphasis on speed and tactical coordination.
Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, in contrast, has killed scores of civilians. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says a total of 902 civilians have been killed and 1,459 injured since the start of the war, although the numbers are believed to be much higher. The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine announced on Saturday that 115 children have been killed since the beginning of the fighting, and more than 140 children have been injured. Dozens of civilians have been killed and injured in 24-hour attacks in the eastern Donetsk region alone, Ukrainian police said on Saturday (March 19, 2022). At least 37 apartment buildings and infrastructure were damaged in the attacks on eight towns and villages. All this cannot be called a “special military operation”, but a “military attack” or “military invasion”, at a time when there are civilian casualties, and in Warsaw alone, thousands of Ukrainian refugees are waiting in lines to obtain local identification documents which will enable them to move on with life.
Professor Mirjana Najcevska for the statement of the political party “Levica” stated that the application of Article 407-a of the Criminal Code should be seriously considered: “Approval or justification of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.”
Namely, the military aggression of the Russian Federation led by Putin against Ukraine has already been identified by most countries in the world as an act that violates human rights on a large scale. This condemnation was operationalized in humanitarian and military support of Ukraine, in a Resolution of the UN General Assembly, in the first suspension of the membership of the Russian Federation in the Council of Europe (in which Macedonia is a member), and now total exclusion and in the initiated procedure before the International Criminal Court (whose basic act – the Rome Statute, has been ratified by Macedonia), claims Najcevska.
MP Apasiev, as stated in the statement of his party, distanced himself from the latest controversial actions of the Macedonian diplomacy and reminded that these “uncivilized anti-Russian steps” do not express the will of the majority of Macedonian citizens, and condemned the “unnecessary sanctions of the Republic of Macedonia under pressure from the EU and NATO”.
At a time when the world is facing aggression that could lead to a world war, which is condemned by the states that are part of the international structures of which the Republic of North Macedonia is a member and based on the international documents it has ratified, any use of such rhetoric can be harmful to society, especially since it does not correspond to reality.
Hence, the claim of the political party “Levica” that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a “special military operation” is a classic spin on what is happening on the ground, where there are many civilian casualties and destroyed infrastructure, and the attacks have been going on for a month now.