Live updates: Russia invades Ukraine

The heartbreaking video looks just like the pictures western TV viewers are getting from the war in Ukraine: a grandmother, bundled up in a thick jacket against the cold, stands weeping in front of her wooden house that’s smoldering from a rocket that hit her village. “They destroyed everything!” she cries. “Nothing is left.”

But this is the Russian government-controlled TV channel Rossiya24 and, in this report, the soldiers attacking her village are Ukrainian, not Russian. The Russian correspondent calls them “nationalists.” Other reports on the channel call them “neo-Nazis,” “fascists,” or “drug addicts” who use civilians as “human shields.”

Almost all reports of the conflict are from the breakaway Donbas region in Ukraine’s east, specifically the two self-proclaimed “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, primarily Russian-speaking entities that Russia recognized as independent statelets on February 21.

Police officers detain a man during a protest against Russian military action in Ukraine, in central Moscow on April 2. (AFP/Getty Images)

On Russian broadcasts, the war in the rest of Ukraine, the war most people around the world are witnessing, is largely ignored – the wreckage of Mariupol left in the wake of Russian bombing; the charred skeletons of houses and buildings in Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, Zhytomyr and other towns decimated by Russian airstrikes; residential neighborhoods in the capital Kyiv, along with their shellshocked, bleeding residents fleeing Russian shelling – almost none of this is shown on Russian TV. When it is, it’s blamed of course on Ukrainian forces. There is also no accurate coverage of the recent military setbacks suffered by the Russian military.

In an Orwellian touch, the conflict in Ukraine can be called only a “special military operation.” Under a law passed on March 4, it’s illegal to call the war a “war,” or to describe it as an “attack” or “invasion.” Violators can be punished with up to 15 years in prison, as can news organizations that disseminate anything deemed “fake news” about the “operation” or the Russian military.

Read the full analysis here.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: The Bloggers Briefing