News / Europe

Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Al Pessin

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level.  
 
Ukraine's national security spokesman gives two briefings a day, reporting advances by Ukrainian troops against Russian-backed separatists in the east, and accusing Russian troops of shooting across the border.
 
Russia denies the allegations, and blames Ukraine for the increased fighting, and even for downing the Malaysian airliner, which Ukraine and the West blame on the separatists or Russian operatives.
 
The dueling information can be intense.  But even at a Kyiv church that is sometimes a gathering place for pro-Russian crowds, most people are clear about whom they believe.
 
"Only Russian people are believing Russian media because it's special media from [the] KBG.  But our people know exactly [the] true things," said one woman.
 
"Of course I believe my president.  I believe our new government.  Of course I want to live in new Ukraine," said another.
 
But a man, who just arrived from the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, is not so sure.
 
"It's hard to tell because I'm from Donetsk.  There are only Russian programs on the television there.  Now I came see my son in Kyiv and there are only Ukrainian programs," he said. "How can I compare them?  I haven't been in the military action.  How can I say who to believe?"

There is a dizzying array of information available, much of it through traditional media but also a lot of it online and on television. 

News agent Irina works at a newstand in a commuter train station under Independence Square, site of that revolution that brought the new president to  power.  She says the revolution changed what her customers are looking for.

"Most of the people buy our Ukrainian newspapers. Russian newspapers are not selling so well. I still sell some, but fewer than before. Now, its mostly ours," she said.
 
Depending on whom you believe, the Ukrainian revolution was either the flowering of democracy or the imposition of fascism and decadence; and the Russian annexation of Crimea and involvement in eastern Ukraine are either brutal violations of international law or the noble protection of Russians and their rights.
 
"In this year and last year, we see that mass media changed the reality," said information consultant Dmitri Zolotukhin. "Who [ever] has influence on the mass media, he has influence on the reality.  If you want, reality to be like full of fear, full of hate, then you just take this mass media and change the reality the way you want it."
 
The events in Ukraine in recent months have been dramatic, but Zolotukhin says how people on all sides perceive those events will be equally important in determining the country's future - and its future relationship with its large, powerful neighbor to the east.  

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid