On this edition of Parallax Views, journalist Aaron Lake Smith joins Parallax Views to discuss his 2018 Harper’s Magazine article detailing his trip to the Russian separatist breakaway republics in the Donbass entitled “Light in the Donbass Window”. We discuss the pro-Russian Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic seeking to break away from Ukraine and the strange mix of supporters and foreign volunteers this has brought to Donbass including tankies (hard leftists who oppose American imperialism and NATO; this came up because the article was originally titled “Tankieland”), Nazbols (National Bolsheviks, a performance art prank created by Eduard Liminov that has since turned into an ideology/movement), Duginists (adherents to the Eurasianist philosophy of Aleksander Dugin), and others. Reporting on the “International Fascist Conference” in the Donbass, Aaron met a wide variety of individuals who supported the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. But he quickly began to consider that these various individuals were caught in the cross-hairs of a spy-vs-spy style hall-of-mirrors world. In other words, a seeming proxy war between Russian and NATO. Aaron also details the rotating cast of characters in the two People’s Republics’ leadership positions as well as the deaths and mysterious disappearances of many in the middle of this strange saga. It’s a story of information warfare, cloak-and-dagger intrigues, and tankies.
In the second segment of the show, Mickey Huff of the long-running media watchdog non-profit Project Censored joined me to discuss Project Censored’s State of the Free Press 2022 (edited by Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth). We discuss the problems facing news media today including junk food news, “humilitainment”, the problems of corporate media, state-run media, censorship, how the stories for State of the Free Press are collated each year, Palestinian activists and the Canary Mission, free speech, and much, much more!