It’s no secret the western media has, since the start of Maidan, been almost unflinching in its support of ‘pro-Euromaidan’, which became, what you could call after Maidan took over Ukraine on February 22nd 2014, ‘pro-Ukraine’, or ‘pro-Kiev’. This, a BBC classic from February 19th, 2014 –
‘Police in the Ukrainian capital Kiev have launched a fresh attack on anti-government protesters as the death toll in renewed clashes has climbed to 26.’
A protest already violent for 3 months, one at which in January I’d witnessed protesters throwing multiple projectiles at a police offering little retaliation. A police tasked with enforcing law and order in the country. A law and order which precludes a violent mob taking over the centre of a capital city and overthrowing a democratically-elected government.
Yet, the western press decided to support the mob. They then flipped in Crimea, and decided to support the new Kiev regime (unelected, incidentally), over the protesters. Kept that position in Donbass, and have kept on doing almost everything they can to manipulate facts to make the ‘anti-Kiev/Ukraine’ seem a lot worse than they are, and pro-government forces, including any number of far-right, extremist elements, a lot better.
Most recently, this quite outrageous attempt of the Guardian (in association, perhaps inevitably, with the notorious Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat) use of a photo from Donbass of the aftermath of shelling by Ukraine’s military used to illustrate a ‘report’ (the use of inverted commas indicating the general standard of reports emanating from Donbass – essentially PR dossiers for western press consumption) on how ‘Russia’ was shelling its own positions.
And that’s another western press schism, of course, that it’s all ‘Russia’. It started with ‘Russia-backed separatists‘, before a convenient-for-western media/government transition to ‘Russia’, albeit one unaccompanied by any actual evidence to back that up.
So, in short, the pro-Euromaidaners/Ukrainers have been spoiled – western media has, with a few notable exceptions including the Guardian’s John Pilger, given them blanket support from the start. Yet in the last week, I was featured in the Huffington Post, contacted by the BBC, and then offered a job by Vice. I was pleased to be featured in the Huffington Post, refused to speak to the BBC as usual (I simply don’t trust them), and turned down Vice (after their relentlessly propagandistic coverage of Crimea, Donbass coverage, it’s not an outlet i want to be associated with).
Here’s just a sampling of the pro-Ukraine / Euromaidan reaction.
The first response, by a pro-Ukraine side pampered by a press always on their side, is simply not to believe their faithful western press would want to speak to a non pro-Euromaidan/Ukraine journalist –
Then, when it’s confirmed, the indignation, the rage, the relentless tweeting of said publication to try to get them not to work with me –
As it is, as an independent, freelance journalist, I’m not on anyone’s side. I like to report, and tell things exactly as they are. The pro-Euromaidan/Ukrainers have been seemingly irreversibly spoiled by a western media which has long lavished sweet spoonfuls of what they want to hear. Now, they can’t go back to the savoury of objectivity, they’ll throw their toys out the pram instead.