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OpinionTales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: CyBC losing its shine as Russian mouthpiece

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Sign outside the Russian embassy proclaiming Putin as a great leader among other things

STATE broadcaster, CyBC, has always sounded like a subsidiary channel of Russia Today, featuring glowing reports about Moscow’s action and, as a matter of policy, portraying Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov in a blindingly heroic light whatever the circumstances.

And living up to its role as an RT subsidiary, it has always exposed the hypocrisy and double standards of the West which it regards as the source of all Kyproulla’s woes, with special mention to the Anglo-Saxon axis of evil which incidentally is often brought up by the Moscow spokeswomen in their briefings.

Russia’s brutal attack on the Ukraine has shaken up the pro-Moscow culture at Rik, which has been forced, grudgingly, to adapt to the changing public mood. Its coverage of the war has been pretty balanced, which might cause it to lose the RT franchise.

If it does not, it would be exclusively thanks to the reports of its Moscow correspondent Thanasis Avgerinos, who treats Moscow’s propaganda about the war as gospel. The previous week on the Trito radio show he was at pains to justify the invasion using all Moscow’s propaganda as incontrovertible proof. The show’s presenter to her credit put him in his place.

This however did not stop him from dismissing Russians protesting against the war as professional protestors who were regularly arrested by the police. He saw nothing wrong with peaceful protestors being arrested.

 

ON THURSDAY morning Putin’s propagandist, paid by the Cypriot taxpayer, was on CyBC’s morning TV show to inform us that the bombing of a children’s hospital in the besieged town of Mariopol was fake news. At least this was what Moscow said and he was a believer.

The hospital had been evacuated days before the attack and had been taken over by extremist Ukrainian soldiers, said Avgerinos, parroting the Moscow line. The TV presenter informed him that he probably had not seen the videos of the destruction and the patients being led away, as these were not available in Russia.

Avgerinos admitted that he had not seen the film footage and that he was not present, pointing out, however, that “in the past we have seen fake videos being made.” The bombing of the hospital must have been a fake video made by the extremist Ukrainians using actresses in the role of patients.

This was not as bad as what member of the Duma, Maria Butina, told the BBC’s Today programme on Wednesday, that “we have evidence that Russian army does not bomb civilian population.” She admitted she had no evidence, but insisted that “we just do not do this (bombing civilians),” which meant it was the Ukrainian army that had been bombing Ukrainian cities. It is also the Ukrainian army that invaded the Ukraine, as a provocation. Just ask Avgerinos.

 

IN MOST countries people stage protests and demonstrations against war. In Nicosia on Saturday, we became trendsetters by staging a pro-war demonstration in support of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. A few dozen people gathered outside the Russian embassy, brandishing Russian flags and urging the Russian army to carry on the bombing and killing of civilians.

I do not know what nationality the ‘give war a chance’ campaigners were, but one poster they had placed on the railing of the embassy had the following slogans, in Greek: ‘Russia save the planet; Russia save us from fascism; Putin great leader; Putin save us from fascism; We support the actions of Russia; Russia tells the truth; Russia we are with you.’

Was ambassador Osadchiy the organiser of this anti-peace protest or the Pancyprian Peace Council?

 

I WOULD like to apologise to Mrs Philippa Karsera for mistakenly suggesting in last week’s Coffeeshop that she would be answerable to Louis Tilemachou who had been made director of her expanding personal empire the General Directorate of Foreign Affairs, which had been gifted to her by her other half when he was foreign minister.

Mrs Karsera was not obliged to suffer the indignity of becoming the second-in-command of the directorate she imperiously ruled for several years, as we had reported last week. In fact she was made head of the foreign ministry’s Crisis Management Department, an irrelevant department that deals with humanitarian issues.

It is a demotion for someone who was practising high politics, handling our relations with the European Commission and issuing orders to all ministries, but she should thank the Lord she was not posted as our ambassador in Riyadh, despite the fact that an overseas posting has been five years overdue.

 

I AM SURE the latest opinion poll, published by Reporter website last Sunday would have cheered her up, as it showed that her hubby remains the most popular politician. The poll also showed that average intelligence is below average, but that is another matter.

To the question, ‘if we had elections next Sunday, who would you vote as president of the republic,’ 36 per cent backed the smiling Paphite out of 14 possible candidates. Averof was second with a meagre 11 per cent. Most of the 14 ‘candidates’ will not be standing, while one of them I have never heard of before.

The poll also included three separate questions along the lines of, ‘which candidate do you consider the most suitable for governing the country, managing the economy and handling the Cyprob’ and the smiling Paphite topped them all with more than 30 per cent.

That 33 per cent of the population believed he was most suitable candidate to manage the economy, about which he seems to know as much as the late comrade Tof, is a sad illustration of the unsuitability of the voters.

 

MORE depressing was that 38 per cent considered him the most suitable to handle Cyprob. This was the guy who assured us that Turkey was bluffing when threatening to open the fenced off area of Famagusta.

It’s the same guy who claimed he had persuaded the EU to impose sanctions against Turkey for violating our EEZ and who upgraded our regional significance so much, our trilateral ally Israel is now in talks with Turkey about building a pipeline to take east Med natural gas to Turkey.

What saves him, despite this record of abject failure, is that for our voters, words speak louder than actions, especially when delivered by a pretty face. The only thing now standing in Nicos’ way, is the possibility the EU will bar candidates that are at the beck and call of Sergey Lavrov from standing in elections.

 

EPIDEMIOLOGISTS and other members of the scientific star system do not seem to be very happy about their return to obscurity after two years of mega-celebrity status. Media exposure is a drug that even scientists get addicted to, especially after a life holed up in pokey labs caressing test tubes.

The scientists have been replaced by the ‘internationologists’ in the news, but the head of the scientific team Dr Constantinos Tsioutis made an attempt to return to the limelight on Saturday by giving an interview to local Tass News Agency. We have not heard from Dr Zoe Dorothea Pana for a few weeks and we miss her, but I am sure she will make a comeback now that infections are on the rise.

Dr Tsioutis said it was a mistake to think that the appearance of the Omicron strain indicated that the virus was nearing its end. All forecast models, however, had been overturned “as we have an extremely contagious strain while we are introducing relaxations,” he said.

He also tried to revive project fear. “Unfortunately, we see the virus reaching people that have a higher probability of going to hospital or dying,” he said pointing out that 25 per cent of Covid deaths were recorded this year.

You can always rely on the scientists to cheer us up. That’s why he did not mention the dramatic fall in hospitalisations despite the increase in cases.

 

FROM Monday the test to stay scheme will also apply to public and private school teachers, the education ministry announced, without any irony. Teachers that were contacts would be able to have a rapid test every morning, for seven days, and go to their classroom if it is negative.

While this could work at private schools, the chances of it working at public schools are less than zero. Just think about it – a lazy public, school teacher has the opportunity to stay at home for 10 days on full pay because he came into contact with a case, so what is the likelihood he or she would go for a test every day in order to be in the classroom?

It is after all, up to each teacher to decide if they will isolate or test to stay. When they have a choice between going to work or staying at home, is there anyone who would choose the former? If there was a ‘test not to stay’, they may have taken it, but to stay, never.

There is no incentive for them, as the idiots at the education ministry have decreed that even when they test negative and go into the classroom, once they leave school they would have to isolate.

The decree does not make clear whether they can stop at the periptero on the way to isolation.

 

SORRY for re-introducing a little Covid into our establishment, but we felt we had neglected it for a bit too long and it might start feeling unloved like the epidemiologists, who do not deserved such shabby treatment after everything they have done for us.

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