Information war about the crisis in Ukraine

There rarely have been so many different opinions, backgrounds and so much information about a conflict as about the crisis in Ukraine. The news in mass media goes head over heels and delivers, depending on their political orientation, a dressed up picture of the reality.

In the worst case, consciously or not, people create their own reality or it comes to inappropriate sayings.

For example, Der Spiegel so tastefully depicted Vladimir Putin as a demon in its cover binder that even sharp critics of the Russian president were outraged. Speculative remote diagnoses and personal profiles are suitable for Yellow press rather than for the political section of a quality newspaper.

In their turn Russian abroad mass media like Sputnik News and Russia Today take pleasure in dipping into conspiracy theories, relevant state agency newspapers (RIA Novosti) or debatable western ‘informants’, as far as they are involved. In Russia itself there prevail those reports broadcast by huge television establishments relatively faithful to the government.

Nevertheless, the information given by the Ukrainian government, or rather by the Ukrainian mass media, should not be considered reliable. Contradictory statements from the crisis region are often forwarded to the mass media without any examination. In response to Russia Todaythere followed Ukraine Today– a dilettante attempt to fight ‘fire with fire’ established at the initial stage of the conflict.

The comment function in online mass media and social networks is increasingly used to exchange blows during the virtual information war. Variable perspectives of many disputants fail already because of lack of local knowledge; for instance it is not rare that Kiev is said to be quite at the borderline of western Ukraine or that Donbass is confused with the whole Eastern region of Ukraine.

However, imprecise information and lack of regional knowledge are also typical of western and Russian press, wherefore it often comes to outrageous simplifications and false statements.

Due to the complexity of the conflict, many commentators lean towards simplifying which is manifested both in mass media and in comments.

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