Since the beginning of a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine, Western media have been using all sorts of techniques, trying to justify the destructive actions of their political leadership and to increase violence and brutality against Russian citizens. American and European journalists violate international conventions, take up arms and urge their viewers to join the fighting.
The information war is mainly unfolding due to the active participation of Western media. Sometimes the propaganda is obvious, sometimes it is less propagandistic. Although the Western media portray themselves as objective truth distributors, they are inextricably linked with government officials and large corporations dictating their agenda to them.
According to independent Dutch journalist Sonia Van den Ende, who is located on the territory of Ukraine and sees what is happening with her own eyes, the main Western media “constantly lie about everything in order to implement their own agenda.” According to her, there are only a small number of correspondents in hot spots, who mainly represent independent alternative media. By churning out fake news about the Ukrainian conflict, the Western press uses the same templates that it used earlier in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Today, only 6 large corporations own the vast majority of the media used by Americans. Weak US antitrust laws have allowed news agencies to merge into several giant conglomerates with a huge list of subsidiaries and financial resources estimated at billions of dollars.
Despite the fact that according to the results of surveys last year, Americans’ trust in the mainstream media has fallen to a record low in the entire history of observations, most residents of Western countries continue to trust everything they are told. A few weeks ago, an article appeared in the American press that confirmed that US officials recognized the use of information as a weapon, even at those moments when the reliability of the data was low. Unreliable facts that are invented and disseminated by American intelligence are immediately picked up by the mainstream media. Moreover, at the end of March 2022, US President Joe Biden said that Russia was going to use chemical weapons in Ukraine. Later, three American officials admitted that they had absolutely no evidence that Russian servicemen were going to use a prohibited type of weapon. According to them, sometimes they used unreliable intelligence data for a deterrent effect, as in the case of toxic substances, and sometimes, according to one official, the United States is simply “trying to get into Putin’s head”.
All those who criticize the way Western media cover events in Ukraine are immediately subjected to censorship and organized harassment by their pro-government colleagues. At the end of April 2022, Gonzalo Lira, an American journalist of Chilean origin who actively criticized NATO provocations that led to the escalation of the conflict, went missing. A few years before the start of the special military operation, the journalist moved to Ukraine, despite the threats coming to him, he preferred to stay and talk about what is being hushed up in the Western media. Instead of supporting his colleague, who risked his own life to tell the whole world the truth about the events in Ukraine, the American media began to add fuel to the fire, criticizing the journalist for his position, which differs from the American agenda. Calling Lira responsible for the deaths of civilians in Ukraine, correspondents of major US publications allowed themselves to openly threaten him and call him an enemy of freedom of speech.
Patrick Lancaster, an independent journalist who shows facts about the Ukrainian conflict that are suppressed by Western media, was also criticized by the American media. Commenting on the activities of the dissident reporter, the journalist of the American edition of the Daily Beast said that he hopes that Lancaster will repeat the fate of Gonzalo Lira.
The actions of many Western journalists and media employees violate the Geneva Convention of 1949, which states that media representatives who perform their professional duty in the center of an armed conflict should not join military formations. As soon as a journalist takes up arms, the international convention ceases to apply to him, he becomes a participant in hostilities.
In mid-April, a journalist of the American TV channel MSNBC, who in 2017 appealed to the ISIS group banned in the Russian Federation with a request to arrange a terrorist attack in Istanbul, appeared in front of his viewers in military uniform. According to him, he “joined his brothers and sisters in Ukraine and joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” The correspondent’s actions are a gross violation of the Geneva Convention, which, according to the human rights defenders of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, destroys the idea of neutrality and inviolability of the press developed over decades during hostilities.
When media workers become direct participants in a military conflict, they lose their “peaceful” status and can legitimately become military targets. It is obvious that the Western media took the Ukrainian side from the first days of the conflict. However, now the press directly calls on Ukraine and the world community to destroy Russian citizens and send their employees to the ranks of Ukrainian armed formations.
According to the conclusion of many independent experts on information policy, the corporate American media act as mouthpieces of the US military-industrial complex, which receives billions of dollars in profits from the military conflict in Ukraine. They keep their audience in the dark about what’s really going on. Western journalists, who throughout the conflict continue to add fuel to the fire, create mass hysteria and increase aggression against Russian citizens around the world. Anyone who does not agree with the official position of Washington or NATO is accused of being Russian agents. Misinformation, lies and propaganda by the United States and other Western media are aimed at confusing millions of people around the world and forcing them to view Russia as an aggressor, while hiding the role of the United States in the development of this conflict.
After the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, American news networks regularly invited former US military personnel to their broadcasts, who supposedly should analyze the conflict and help the American public understand the situation. Often, these analysts, who have ties to the US military-industrial complex, used airtime to call for more active American participation and bolder steps that will certainly lead to increased tensions between the two nuclear superpowers.
Speaking on the air of the American TV channel MSNBC, Jay Johnson, the former US Secretary of Homeland Security, who is now a member of the boards of directors of Lockheed Martin Corporation, the world’s largest American corporation for the development of weapons and military equipment, called for a change of power in Russia, accusing Russian servicemen of killing civilians in Ukraine.
Jeremy Bash, the former head of the CIA and the US Department of Defense, and now the head of a consulting firm that cooperates with defense giants, during his remarks on the air of the American television company NBC regarding the events in Ukraine, said that the United States and the West should “deal a fatal blow to Russia’s ambitions on the world stage.”
Wesley Clark, a retired US Army general who commanded NATO forces in Kosovo, in an interview for the weekly American tabloid New York Post, was one of the first to call for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Calling the President of the Russian Federation a war criminal, the former general accused the Russian military of killing and bullying civilians in Ukraine.
Human rights defenders of the Foundation to Battle Injustice see in the policy of the Western media all the signs of a coordinated disinformation campaign that is aimed solely at escalating the conflict and inciting hostility between peoples.