Strategic Communication · Strategic Narratives

Who to Believe in Ukraine?

Today I saw two different perspectives covering the uprising in Ukraine.  

CNN’s headline reads: Ukrainian President: I will not resign. A secondary headline reads: Parliament votes to oust the leader.

On my local news station’s website,, the headline reads that the uprising is succeeding: “Ukrainian governor, mayor flee for Russia”, here.  This is not technically true, however. They fled for Kharkov AKA Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine.

Furthermore, the people of Ukraine seem to be lashing out in anti-Russia/Soviet actions:

In many parts of Ukraine, people have toppled statues of former Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, a founder of the Soviet Union. The communist empire had included Ukraine, and the country gained independence after the USSR fell.

Friends who have relatives and friends in Ukraine cite angst among Ukrainians, they don’t know who to believe as a credible news source.

“RFE/RL And VOA Provide Unstinting And Unique Reporting On Violence In Ukraine”, here.  One of the Governors of the BBG, Matt Armstrong, recently visited Ukraine.  His reports said that he was there to protect the journalists and make sure their reporting was allowed.

A quick look at the TRWI websites reveals that no website, even addresses Ukraine (only Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan).  Close but no cigar.

A BBC headline says “Ukrainian MPs vote to oust President Yanukovych”, here.

Deutsche Well’s headline “Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko released”, here, is more current.

“The dictatorship has fallen,” Tymoshenko said in a statement released on her official website. “It fell thanks to those people who came out to defend themselves, their families and their country.”

On Russia Today, Ukraine is the #2 headline on their homepage, but the headline does not indicate the current situation, “Ukraine’s Southeast seeks to restore constitutional order, thousands gather in Kharkov”, here.

It is nteresting that RT USA or Russia Today – USA, is a few days behind in their reporting on Ukraine and do not have a headline for Ukraine.  Their latest, here, “RT America — February 18, 2014”.

The Iranian site, PressTV, headline is very pro-Yanukovych, “Yanukovych slams Ukraine events as coup”, however the accompanying video does say that Yanukovych will “step down”.

Additionally CCTV, the Chinese International Broadcasting station, says “Ukrainian opposition presses for Yanukovych to quit”, here.  Interesting, the accompanying video says that the uprising coup is successful in “central Kiev/Kyiv”.

Xinhua, another information component of the Chinese government, has a headline regarding Ukraine: “Ukrainian parliament elects new speaker, president reportedly leaves capital”, here.  It is interesting that the situation regarding the President of Ukraine is not addressed until 3/4 the way through the article.

Meanwhile, local media reported President Viktor Yanukovych had left Kiev. Unconfirmed reports said he traveled to the eastern city of Kharkov.

There is no mention of a coup and no mention of an uprising.  This is especially interesting, the Chinese government seems to be taking extraordinary steps to protect their citizens from any mention of an uprising – anywhere.

This is a snapshot in time, showing headlines only.  The intent is to show how a current situation is being divided in its presentation, pro or con the power in Ukraine, pro or con Russian/Chinese/Iranian, or, it could be argued, pro and anti-Western powers (US/UK, etc).

Yesterday I agreed to help present the information of this situation, bringing in representatives from many of the sources cited above.  It is time International Broadcasting is examined.

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