In November 2013, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych suddenly changed his mind towards signing an association agreement with the EU. Later this incident was considered to be a turning point in a history of the modern Maidan Nezalezhnosti – a central square of Kiev, which from the first days of the crisis has become a battlefield, home, and a mouthpiece for all disagreeing with the former President’s policy decisions, and for ordinary civilians, who became fed up with dozens of corruption scandals with participation of the president himself and his governmental officials.

In February 2014, the riot escalated into a civil war, which still extends in some parts of the Ukraine,  and continues to be shocking by the growing number of fatalities and refugees. Further inauguration of Mr Poroshenko was viewed as a positive phenomenon for some participants of the Maidan revolution, inasmuch as the expected agreement with Europe was finally launched. Nevertheless, being the second largest country in Europe, Ukraine is very diverse in terms of culture, language, representation of nationality, and, therefore, political insights about the future of the state. Accordingly, existence of antagonistic thinking is both understandable and just, whereas the present presidential administration, that pretends to behave in the tradition of a liberal state while the majority of their newest European trade partners prefer to stifle the voices of resisting minorities through bombings and arms races, as it is happening now in Luhansk and Donetsk.

Meanwhile, besides economic and human losses, one of the major threats in this war comes from the mass media propaganda and biases that has never been so obvious since Iraq, 2003. Probably the largest information war of our century is happening right before our eyes. Here are a few examples.
On the 7th of June, 2014, BBC stated:

‘Ukraine is to blockade two major cities still in rebel hands as it continues its operation against pro-Russian separatists’

The quote itself is quite controversial though: ‘separatists’, as they called the rioters, are anything but pro-Russian. In reality they want federalization within Ukraine, not to be a part of Russia.
In another BBC article, written on the same day, journalist quotes Mykhaylo Koval – senior Ukrainian security official- who calls the antagonistic army “bandits”,  and continues:

‘violence erupted in eastern Ukraine in April, when pro-Russian separatists declared independence in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of fomenting unrest, a claim strongly denied by the Kremlin’ [2].

Reuters article for the same day duplicates the story while adding:

‘There could have been hostages among the fighters whom they’d taken in Slaviansk as a human shield’ [3].

‘Could have been’ does not sound confident enough, therefore, neither journalists, nor Ukrainian governmental officials have any competent evidence for such accusations, therefore objectivity of the mentioned media outlet must be questioned. However, it could have been the case, if Reuters was the only news channel practicing propaganda and unethical rhetoric, but the other side does the same. Consequently, it seems like biased coverage of events has become the rule of the game in modern political journalism.

Russia Today, in its turn, calls Kiev’s ‘anti-terroristic compulsory measure’ in the East none other than a human rights violation of civilians. Reporters of this international (BUT with a main office in Russia) television network argue that ordinary population in the Ukraine is being punished for having a different stance on the current presidency and altogether on the state of affairs. They convince the public of the need for a substantive peacekeeping operation and promote Vladimir Putin to be a leading figure in the mission (totally different agenda though from the two media outlets mentioned above, which have a tendency to call the Russian president – an aggressor).

Additionally, on this side of the fence, Americans don’t want any peace – all they care for is an asset grab. To summarize the RT position, Washington-led policies of Petro Poroshenko divide the country more and more, so that people in eastern regions believe that they are actually occupied by Kiev [4].

Meanwhile,  a Cold War is taking place not only in the news, but also between international bodies that are meant to be guardians of peace and democracy around the world. In this way, RT blames the Security Council for not responding to the attack on the Russian Embassy in Kiev and for a ‘tradition’ to misrepresent Russian foreign policy decisions regarding the Ukrainian crisis [5].

The purpose of the article was not to persuade you that one side is better than the other, but rather to explain that the truth is beyond our screens, and what we receive from the news splits us into two hostile camps. We need to be careful and think wisely: why do the media want us to believe in X or Z? And why are there usually only two options-just X and Z?


[1], [2] BBC News 7th July 2014.
[3] Reuters News 7th July 2014.
[4] RT News 7th July 2014.
[5] RT News 7th July 2014.

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