Media monitoring done by the non-profit organisation Telekritika, the Institute of Mass Information and independent media experts shows an unprecedented number of misleading and manipulative reports in Russian media about the events in Ukraine. Last month, Russian media controlled by authorities (that is, the overwhelming majority) misinformed the Russian population and the world community about Ukrainian protests and aspirations of the Ukrainian people to live in an independent and democratic state.
After the Russian intervention in Crimea, the amount of anti-Ukrainian propaganda has increased multifold, surpassing Soviet propaganda during the Cold War.
Indeed, Vladimir Putin’s appeal to the Federation Council of the Russian Federation to authorise deployment of troops in Crimea was based on a false video footage. The report showed Russian military allegedly killed during a shootout at the Council of Ministers of Crimea in Simferopol and it was broadcasted by the Russian TV channel “Russia One”. Later analysis showed that the video had been staged.
A few independent Russian media trying to objectively cover the events in Ukraine, such as Rain TV, experience constant pressure from the Russian authorities.
Meanwhile, a wide network of Russian media is engaged in active propaganda against Ukraine. It includes, in particular, Channel One Russia, Channel Russia, channels Russia 24 and NTV alongside news agencies RIA Novosti and ITAR-TASS, and newspapers Komsomolskaya Pravda, Rossiyskaya Gazeta and other Russian news outlets and websites.
Russia Today and Voice of Russia conduct propaganda against Ukraine in English. These channels distributed outright lie and often manipulate facts while covering the events in Ukraine.
We call on all foreign journalists to avoid using the mentioned media as sources of news; to rely on Ukrainian news agencies and other Ukrainian media instead, and in any case to double-check information regarding the events in Ukraine.
We also ask that news media from around the world dispatch their correspondents to Ukraine to provide first-hand and impartial coverage of the events here. Ukrainian journalists are willing to assist their foreign colleagues in obtaining accurate and unbiased information about the current affairs in our country.
We also appeal to the Russian colleagues to overcome their fear and stop misleading the world and their own people.
We urge Ukrainian journalists to name things regarding what is happening in Crimea and avoid using catchwords created by Kremlin propagandists. For example, Ukrainian media often describe Russian troops as “self-defence activists”, “people in uniform”, “unknown troops”, “representatives of Cossack organisations”, “special force troops,” “armed squads” etc. We want to emphasise that there is no doubt today that those are military men of the Russian Federation.
We ask you to hear our voice. We want to preserve territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. Upon resolution of the Ukrainian situation peace and stability across the whole continent depends.
NGO Telekritika; NGO Commission on Journalism Ethics; NGO Center UA; NGO Institute of Mass Information; National Union of Journalists of Ukraine; Independent Media Union; INGO European Media Platform; Association Common Space; Committee Equal Opportunities; NGO Institute of Media Law; Souspilnist Foundation; Ukrainian Association of Internet Advertising; INGO Internews Ukraine
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