Thin-skinned hater of science and logic Robert Kennedy Jr. was hosted on Fox News Tuesday night as part of the right’s ongoing scheme to turn this dingus into a spoiler in the 2020 election. In between spewing his numerous indefensible, fact-averse positions, Kennedy took time out to give his insight on the illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
As might be expected, every single word of it is wrong.
He’s not right about what happened. He’s not right about why it happened. He’s not right about when it happened. And he’s definitely not right on what happens next. But there is one thing he gets absolutely right: When it comes to repeating Russian propaganda, RFK Jr. really nails every talking point.
This clip is less than two minutes long. Even so, it manages to squeeze in so much disinformation that it’s in danger of collapsing into an anti-fact black hole.
According to Kennedy, the United States “pushed Ukraine into the war.” That would be the war that began when Russian dictator Vladimir Putin sent thousands of tanks and hundreds of thousands of troops across the Ukrainian border to destroy cities, flatten towns, and murder children in their homes.
Then Kennedy goes on to say that the Minsk accords were agreed to “in 2019,” and that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ran on one issue: “signing the Minsk accords.” Only after the election, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland—a frequent subject of hate on Russian television because of her vocal support for the Maidan protests in Ukraine—told Zelenskyy “he couldn’t do it.”
The problem with this is … everything. The Minsk II agreement was written and signed in 2015. Russia immediately violated that agreement, which called for constitutional reform and to “start a dialogue on interim self-government for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in accordance with Ukrainian law”) by occupying those areas, providing weapons to anti-Ukraine rebels, and setting up pro-Russian separatist governments.
Zelenskyy didn’t run on support for the Minsk agreement. In fact, he more than once called implementation of the agreements impossible as long as Russia was occupying parts of Ukraine.
In fact, the Servant of the People party platform from 2019 is still available. It contains a 16-point plan, none of which involves implementing the Minsk agreement. Zelenskyy ran primarily on eliminating corruption in the government, including in the military. The only statement in his platform that comes close to dealing with Russia is a promise to greatly increase defense spending and institute more training for the military.
This is what Zelenskyy’s platform called for when it came to Ukraine’s dealings with the rest of the world:
Adopt the legislation needed to implement the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and expand cooperation with the EU and NATO
Neither Russia nor the Minsk agreements appear in the platform. Kennedy isn’t just wrong: He’s so wrong that, as with everything else in his statement, it’s clear that he’s being deliberately deceitful. These are not mistakes. He’s using his time on Fox News to hammer pro-Russian propaganda that is intended to make the United States the villain in a story where Putin has initiated torture, mass murder, wholesale destruction, displacement, and kidnapping of children on an industrial scale.
Kennedy then says that Putin sent “40,000 troops in.” This is a fraction of the force actually sent into Ukraine. The estimated number of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine right before the invasion was between 160,000 and 190,000. Additional Russian forces pushed into Ukraine soon after. The number of Russian troops easily exceeded 200,000 on its way to 300,000 following the mobilization of additional forces.
Kennedy then says that what Putin wanted was for “somebody to come to the negotiating table” and that “Zelenskyy came to the table in 2022 and signed a new agreement, that was the Minsk accords II.” Again, the Minsk accords were signed in 2015, not 2022. This is a completely fictional account of events with not even a passing relationship to reality.
Kennedy, continuing this completely fictional account, says, “Putin signed it, Zelenskyy initialed it, and then Putin in good faith began withdrawing troops from the Ukraine.” This never happened. None of this happened. Presumably Kennedy is creating some kind of alternative universe explanation for why Russian forces lost the battle of Kyiv, or possibly why they were pushed back in the Kharkiv offensive. It’s hard to tell because all of this is so divorced from events on our Earth that it’s hard to make any connection. Also, note that Kennedy always says “the Ukraine,” a construction favored by Russia which is meant to make it seem like Ukraine is a breakaway region rather than an independent nation.
And then he claims that “we sent Boris Johnson over there to torpedo it.” Which … Who knows? Kennedy apparently thinks that former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson works for Joe Biden. “Because we don’t want peace,” says Kennedy. “We want war with Russia.”
All of this is said within one minute and 30 seconds. None of it gets any pushback from Fox News. In fact, when Kennedy sits back from delivering this Russia promo piece, the audience behind him breaks into hoots and applause.
It’s nonsense. But it’s not just nonsense.
It’s a parade of lies intended to erode America’s standing, to demean Ukraine’s role as an independent nation, and to promote Russia’s cause in a war where the country is actively, purposely attacking civilian targets on a daily basis in an effort to maximize human misery. Russia is blocking grain that’s needed to feed the world, bombing grain-loading facilities, and attacking neutral ships in port. Russian forces are leveling villages, towns, and cities in a military strategy that is built around causing the greatest harm.
Russia is taking stolen children and parading them on Russian television as trophies—and all these folks who are supposedly concerned about some kind of international child trafficking just don’t care.
What Kennedy is, first and foremost, is a tankie. That’s a peculiar form of Russia supporter who claims to be against imperialism, but believes only the United States can be guilty of imperialism. Tankies are so determined that Russia is always right and the United States is always wrong that they will go to any lengths to prove it.
Lying isn’t a problem for a tankie. Lying is just a start.
In his disgusting fantasies, Kennedy shows that while he will never be president of the United States, he can lay legitimate claim to the title of King Tankie. Nothing he says about Ukraine or America is true. He knows that. So does Fox News. But then, this is who watches Fox News:
After the thunderous applause over his anti-American fairytale dies down, Kennedy reassures the audience that Russia can’t possibly lose.
Thank God he’s also wrong about that.