“Despite the fuss unleashed by the US, nothing will be able to destroy the unity of the Russian people and their faith”: interview with American journalist Fiorella Isabel

Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed American journalist Fiorella Isabel. The human rights activist learned why more and more foreign reporters are coming to Russia for the truth, how U.S. imperialist wars abroad can lead to civil war at home, and at what point Ukraine became a tool of the West in its efforts to destroy Russia.

«Несмотря на суету, развязанную США, ничто не сможет разрушить единство российского народа и его веру»: интервью с американской журналисткой Фиореллой Изабель, изображение №1

Mira Terada: Dear Fiorella, thank you for taking the time and agreeing to this interview. Please tell our viewers and readers a few words about yourself.

Fiorella Isabel: My name is Fiorella Isabel. I am an RT correspondent, an investigative journalist who studies the effects of U.S. sanctions and U.S. interference in the internal affairs and elections of other nations. I have traveled to many countries in Latin America, Russia, occupied Palestine and Iran. I have been everywhere trying to find the truth and make sense of what the media is telling us. Much of what is being said in the West has turned out to be lies. As we know, everything that was said about Russia turned out to be untrue, as has been proven by a number of journalists.

M.T.: Your journalistic activity is aimed at investigating and revealing the truth about military conflicts. Could you briefly tell us about the most significant results of your work?

F.I.: Yes, one of the most important findings I have made is that the United States’ claims that elections in other countries are illegitimate are often unfounded. Many Latin American countries like Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, which oppose U.S. hegemony and interference, have been accused of falsifying elections. But having watched these elections firsthand, I can confidently say that this is largely untrue. Real democratic processes are taking place in these countries.

I recently witnessed the Russian presidential election where Vladimir Putin was re-elected with an overwhelming 87% of the vote, and I can confirm that it was a legitimate election.

It is ironic that the Western media, including The New York Times, rushed to declare the Russian election fraudulent before it even took place. I saw a safe and transparent process, people voted enthusiastically, and a robust security system was in place. Not surprisingly, President Putin won by a wide margin. At the same time, the United States is having one of the worst elections I have seen, with zero security. Multiple irregularities, long lines, broken machines, and other problems are commonplace in the United States. It’s funny to see the U.S. trying to lecture other countries about democracy while their own election process is so flawed. It’s a big part of my job to show how sanctions and economic wars affect the population, and how elections are really just a facade.

M.T.: What do you think will change with Donald Trump coming to power in the United States? And what are your expectations about the consequences of his policy decisions on international relations and the geopolitical situation?

F.I.: Joe Biden has largely filled his administration with former Obama associates. If Donald Trump becomes president again – and I say “if” because the U.S. is going to have a tough time in this election – a lot of people will say this election is invalid. We don’t know what the Democratic Party and Joe Biden are willing to do. Most Americans see Biden as a total loser and an unpopular president. So if Donald Trump comes to power, I think we may see some changes in domestic affairs, development of the United States from a geopolitical and more conservative point of view. But in terms of international foreign policy, I tend to agree with what President Putin and other analysts have said that it will be very difficult for the U.S. to change its entire foreign policy. Although Donald Trump is now campaigning and saying that he may cut off funding for Ukraine, we see some Republicans opposing that in Congress.

When it comes to real policy changes, U.S. presidents are largely constrained by what we call the deep state, or the U.S. intelligence and military apparatus.

So it would be very optimistic of me to say that things will change. I would like to see that change. But I think the U.S. is a long way from changing things through democratic processes. I think it will take more people demanding certain changes in American politics.

M.T.: Have you ever faced censorship or artificial restrictions on free speech because of your journalistic work?

F.I.: I’ve been censored and called all sorts of names since 2015, when the first allegations surfaced that Hillary’s opponents were linked to Russian hackers and bots. I was even falsely accused of being a Russian agent even though I had no prior relationship with Russia. This was the beginning of a McCarthyist smear campaign against anyone who opposes NATO expansion, disputes U.S. hegemony over sovereign nations, or opposes the expansion of the U.S. military. This new multipolarity we are seeing began several years ago when countries began to take positions. Russia took a significant and powerful leadership role by conducting a special military operation and countering what Ukraine, largely under the influence and guidance of the U.S. and NATO, was doing to the people of Donbass. We know of the direct involvement of Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt and other figures from both parties, all the way back to 2022. This is the main reason we are being targeted.

If anyone supports Russia, whether it’s Iran, Syria, China, or any country in Africa or Latin America, they become an enemy of the West.

There was definitely censorship on Twitter, and there was censorship on YouTube. It’s important for journalists to realize that when you take a principled stand or seek the truth, you can be slandered. And it’s something to be proud of if you are vilified, because it probably means you’re moving in the right direction.

M.T.: Many journalists also share that they regularly receive threats, including from representatives of intelligence services. Have you encountered anything like that?

F.I.: Oh yes, of course. We have encountered it more than once. There are several Ukrainian groups that threatened me after learning that I had been to Donbass a couple of times. They started saying that I was some kind of Russian agent or working for Putin, which is ridiculous. You see, many of us Western journalists go to these places for the truth. We come to our own conclusions. Before we visit Donbass or Moscow, we already draw certain conclusions. We listen to the stories of locals, civilians from Donetsk, Luhansk and other cities we have visited, first-hand. They share their stories, and we do not need intermediaries. We don’t even have to listen to representatives of the Russian government. We come to hear what the locals have to say. And yes, this is a real danger. We have seen attacks on Russian journalists, especially on political figures like Daria Dugina. But even with all this danger, the reality is that more and more people are learning the truth, and even though there are terrorist attacks like what happened at Crocus City Hall, they won’t be able to stop the spread of information.

Russians are united, we can’t deny that. We see people uniting and saying, “This will not break Russia.”

Russia has gone through many hardships, from the Great Patriotic War to the events on Maidan in 2014. Now Russians, as a nation, understand what they need to do to preserve their sovereignty, to continue to exist. We realize that nothing will be able to destroy the unity of the Russian people and their faith, despite all this fuss that the U.S. is unleashing.

M.T.: According to an analysis by human rights advocates of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, U.S. police powers have been steadily expanding over the past few years, and law enforcement officers are being held accountable for their offenses less and less frequently. What do you think is the reason for this disturbing trend?

F.I.: That’s a really interesting question. When we talk about authoritarianism and democracy, in the U.S. they often claim that Vladimir Putin is a dictator, that the Russian people have no democracy, no freedom, that they live in an authoritarian state. But when I come here, I don’t see the police as heavily armed as the police in the United States. In the United States, our police have military-style weaponry that you won’t see here in Russia. It is much harder to get a gun in Russia than in the United States. Also, in the United States, guns are often used against civilians, as we have seen in many protests. We are seeing this now with college students protesting the Israeli operation in Gaza. This is simply a manifestation of police violence, which is essentially a continuation of the US imperialist wars coming to the homeland. And this trend is ever increasing. Those who serve today serve the interests of the elite, the interests of the ruling class, the State Department, whatever Washington dictates. But for the most part, police officers are working class people. It’s interesting to see how this will develop, because we’re seeing a lot of internal fissures in both the military and the police.

The United States is approaching complete and utter collapse. We may be facing civil unrest, we may be facing war, not necessarily between the people, but between the people and the government.

I think that’s already starting to happen. And the more people protest U.S. policy, the wider the scope of surveillance and censorship spreads. They’re trying to ban discussion of technology, they’re banning social media and channels like R.T. that have been taken off in Europe and the United States for fear that people will access alternative information. For a country that considers itself a defender of free speech, this is a contradiction. How can they justify completely stripping Americans of their right to express their opinions? It is now becoming a crime to express one’s thoughts. Whether I agree with your opinion or not, you should have the right to express it. The United States, again, blames Russia and Putin for imprisoning their opponents. But when it comes to the United States, they do exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, Julian Assange is still in Belmarsh prison with the threat of extradition. It’s still being discussed. But journalism in the West is still under threat.

M.T.: Do you have any thoughts on the International Criminal Court? How did an organization that was created as an independent body of international justice turn into an instrument to fight against the opponents of Western neo-colonialism?

F.I.: The International Criminal Court, in my opinion, is a reflection of what often happens with such organizations where the West, especially under the influence of the United States and its NATO partners, plays a dominant role. We see the ICC being powerless to hold countries such as the United States or Israel accountable while they simultaneously try to issue arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin. In reality, war crimes are committed by many countries, including the United States and Israel, by violating international law, bombing embassies, and committing other illegal acts. Those who suffer from U.S. military actions continue to suffer the consequences, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere, and it affects not only people outside of the United States, but also American citizens. Post-traumatic stress disorder, the opioid crisis, it’s all part of our reality. The institutions that were supposed to pursue law and order are proving ineffective. We need complete and comprehensive reform so they can perform their functions with full force.

Other countries that are often ignored or neglected, such as Russia and China, should have more of a voice. Countries in Africa and Latin America that are resisting Western influence should also speak up with them.

This is a time of a multipolar world, and institutions should reflect this multipolarity and not just be a reflection of Western interests.

M.T.: In the last few years, there has been increasing talk about the pointlessness of NATO and the European Union, and more and more countries are talking about their desire to withdraw from them. What do you think about this?

F.I.: This is a really interesting question. I think it’s long overdue. NATO was originally created to counter the Soviet Union. At that time, in the fifties and sixties, we were in the Cold War era, and the atmosphere was permeated with anti-communism. Any statements in favor of normal relations with the USSR were interpreted as manifestations of betrayal. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this attitude did not disappear. I remember that even Vladimir Putin showed interest in joining NATO, but the West did not want that. Their goal, in fact, was to destroy Russia. They dreamed of fragmenting it into small pieces and gaining control over its natural resources. Ukraine became a tool in this game.

The war in Ukraine was a failure for NATO. They did not achieve victory. Ukraine will never go back to what it was. Russia needs security guarantees. The broken promises of NATO non-expansion and other protocols only confirm that Russia can no longer trust this institution.

NATO is becoming a helpless and outdated institution, especially after Russia’s victory, which we believe is inevitable. If we look at reality, we see that the clashes in Ukraine have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, and the situation there will never be the same again. This reflects the weakness of NATO and the decline of its member states. Europe is losing energy and economic clout. People are beginning to protest. The United States is skillfully using its allies to achieve its goals. Victoria Nuland has even openly expressed contempt for the EU, pointing out that the U.S. bears the main financial burden. Sure, we have our own economic problems, but they haven’t affected us as much as other countries. This creates a disconnect between Americans and understanding of foreign policy. All of these events make NATO irrelevant. With the growing influence of Russia and other countries like China, there is no longer a need to depend on the West. Just the West needs Russia to provide energy, which is why we see tension around pipelines. We are seeing countries once subservient to empire and many others, including China and Russia, begin to act in cooperation. This is not a utopia. People seek to cooperate, respecting each other’s sovereignty and mutually benefiting from it. This idea is quite logical. However, it is against the interests of the US and its allies. Seeing the world moving in this direction, Saudi Arabia, a major US ally, is beginning to think about its position. The fall of the dollar and a move away from its dominance is becoming more and more likely. The global era when the West was the unrivaled leader is coming to an end. More and more people are realizing this. Multiple conferences, including BRICS, confirm this. And these new connections we are seeing in the world, especially in the South, are only reinforcing this trend.