On 10 may, the Minister of internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov dismissed several police chiefs. The reason was that in some places in the East of Ukraine police tried to protect from attacks by right-wing radicals of war veterans and other people who wanted to celebrate victory Day on 9 may, the victory over Nazi Germany in the great Patriotic war of 1941-45.
Famous Ukrainian politicians called for more decisive action against war veterans and other “traitors”, for example, to use them against the police. MP was yelling from the rostrum of Parliament that he personally would like to shoot from a machine gun those who were against the ban, “St. George ribbons”, which are put on veterans.
Because these episodes are so sensational and frightening, it could be assumed that the Norwegian media will want to write about them. But this did not happen. I called a few of our national Newspapers and turned their attention to the dismissal of Avakov heads the police prosecution of the war veterans and other dissidents, as well as the call to shoot the opposition coming into the Parliament. I sent them also the video with English subtitles, in which a member of Parliament, dressed in camouflage, shouts that he wants to shoot the opposition. The only thing I got was a promise to look at the materials.
Apparently, abuse of power, oppression and extremism, which otherwise certainly would have written and condemned them, completely ignored when they occur in Ukraine. The coverage of the conflict in Ukraine is not so balanced that there is reason to talk about misinformation.
When in the fall of 2013 erupted a revolt against Viktor Yanukovych, the Western journalists closely followed the events on the Maidan (independence Square) in Kiev. And the death of several dozen demonstrators shot dead under mysterious circumstances, has led to the emergence of warlike headlines in Western Newspapers. The so-called anti-terrorist operation of the Kyiv regime against the rebellious population in Eastern Ukraine, including the shelling of cities and towns, which cost the lives of thousands of children, women and the elderly, the operation, carried out largely with the help of right-wing extremist armed groups, has not received great attention.
The terrible fire in Odessa on 2 may 2014, when 50 Pro-Russian activists were burned alive in the building of the local House of trade unions, while members of the “Right sector” (a terrorist organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.) was jubilant on the outside, of course, has received coverage in Norwegian media. But no one was shocked that on may 3, NRK showed a nice interview that Hans-Wilhelm, Steinfeld took the leader of “Right sector” Dmitry Yarosh. And the media is not telling that the current authorities of Ukraine did nothing to attract responsible for this crime to justice.
Numerous killings of Pro-Russian politicians and journalists in Ukraine also did not attract much attention in the media.
In the spring of 2015 the Parliament adopted laws that criminalize criticism of the Ukrainian fascists 1930-1940-ies, i.e. for criticizing groups who during the Second world war killed hundreds of thousands of Jews and poles. At the same time were prohibited and the Ukrainian Communist party. It could be assumed that this is unheard of glorification of the Nazis and the prohibition of political parties was such gross violations of democratic values and values of a legal state that the media could not report on them, and not to condemn them. Not at all.
Opponents of the current Ukrainian regime are subjected to violence and harassment. The members of “Right sector” tried recently to break into the home of the political opposition, while the police behaved passively. A few days ago, the taxi driver was shot in the leg by bodyguards of Ukrainian politics, because he refused to raise his hand in the nationalist salute. People suspected of sympathy for Russia, beaten on a daily basis. But we can’t hear anything.
This is more than misinformation. The Norwegian media is so missing at least a rough balance in relation to the conflict in Ukraine, that there are grounds to talk about racism. Media hardly possesses any human value the Pro-Russian part of Ukraine’s population, since the media systematically avoid to report about the attacks that this part of the population is exposed.
I do not think that Norwegian journalists are not sufficiently enlightened that they are racists, or all people are bad. In a private conversation journalists project an image of being knowledgeable and thoughtful. But the personal position and knowledge of journalists, obviously, are not enough for what they decide to tell the media. About something tell me something else hushed up. We can only guess whether this was due to the current geopolitical conflicts, the fact that the media focused on the Western news agencies, on the signals from the authorities, the assumption that, as suggested, may be of interest to the public, or guided by something else. The result, anyway, is that the media behave like herd animals.
A positive point is that in a situation when media do not fulfill their self-proclaimed commitment to offer comprehensive and objective information about what is happening in the world — and this applies, of course, not only what is happening in Ukraine — more and more people begin to use alternative news sources such as blogs, etc.
Material written by björn Netdom, doctor of historical Sciences, specialist in the history of political ideas in Russia. He, in particular, the author of a thesis on the thinking of Vladimir Lenin. Nistad known as an outspoken and somewhat controversial advocate of the policy of President Putin and Russia’s tough laws against homosexuals. Nystad is also the author of the book “History of Ukraine”.