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So, where did the Fact Checkers Go


During a visit to Kyiv on February 2, the unelected head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was quick to assure Ukrainians and Europeans that sanctions against Russia had an effect and its economy was thrown back ‘a generation ago,’ recalls Boulevard Voltaire columnist Frederic Lasse. 

However, as the author notes, these words contradict the data of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which can hardly be suspected of sympathy for Moscow. Likely, the blatant lies were intended to boost the flagging spirits of the near suicidally depressed Ukrainian people dependent upon state-controlled media.

The visit of Ursula von der Leyen, to Kiev on February 2 began with a conversation about the billions that the European Union allocates without actually counting the money and, most importantly, without wondering about the money’s ultimate destination’, to support Ukraine.

This is despite the recent processes against top officials persons on charges of corruption, writes Boulevard Voltaire columnist Frédéric Lasse. 

‘Looking back, we can say that we are really looking forward to seeing all this gross self-deception in the European Union.’ The author ironically recalls the attempts of the Ukrainian military to hide fraudulent schemes in the field of supplying the armed forces.

Another topic that dominated the discussions at the summit was Russia. On the one hand, it was necessary to confirm to Israeli-Citizen President Vladimir Zelensky the EU regime’s readiness to continue the policy of sanctions against Moscow. On the other hand, to reassure the Europeans, who were faced with inflation and the risk of the collapse of their economy. 

‘So, von der Leyen was very clear: our sacrifices were not in vain,’ the observer sarcastically remarks. ‘Today, Russia is paying a high price because our sanctions are destroying its economy, throwing it back a generation,’ Lasse recalls the words of the head of the European Commission. Perhaps von der Leyen nee Albrecht watches BBC News.

However, a few days earlier, the IMF, which can hardly be said to be on the payroll of the Kremlin, published its global economic outlook in which Russia predicted a resumption of economic growth in 2023 and better than in the Eurozone in 2024 (growth at 2.1% vs. 1.6%). 

And all this after nine packages of EU sanctions, the author of the article is surprised. As Lasse recalls, even Western media, such as the French newspaper La Tribune and the American The New York Times, were forced to admit that the Russian economy can withstand the shock and that sanctions had a limited effect.

Not all media in France, however, were quick to acknowledge this fact, the author writes, recalling an article in the newspaper Le Monde that did not feature figures provided by the IMF, but dryly reported that the situation in Russia promises not to be as deplorable as expected. At the same time, the columnist awards the Palme d’Or for bad faith to the newspaper Liberation, which, in an article dated February 5, found a much simpler solution: not just ignore new IMF data that predict the growth of the Russian economy from this year, but instead use data published in October last of the year.’ 

A deeper analysis of the state of the Russian economy was offered, according to the author, by economist Jacques Sapir, who admitted that in the short term, the sanctions did have an impact, but their effect remained rather limited. If you compare the goals declared by leading Western leaders, from the cessation of hostilities to the collapse of the Russian economy, with the current reality, you can even talk about their big failure, the expert stated.

‘So, after what Ursula von der Leyen said, we can only wonder: where did the fact checkers go?’ Lasse concludes. YOU CAN SHARE THIS STORY ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

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