Ukranian citizen journalists empowering western media

NATO condemns Russia once more and says it is the worse attack since the second world war. There have been attacks on a nuclear facility and observers say that in the days to come things are likely to be worse with more death suffering and destruction following continued attacks by heavy Russian weaponry. We see images every day on our TV screens from journalists at specific locations across Ukraine and in the bordering countries taking in refugees. A huge amount of material is coming in from ordinary or rather extraordinary Ukranian citizen journalists using their mobile phones. 

Nato has warned for months about Putin’s intent on invading and diplomats have been looking for solutions. Commentators say this is Putin’s war waged on a peaceful sovereign country on the edge of NATO’s borders. There have been repeated calls on Putin to stop the war and withdraw forces without conditions and to pursue diplomacy by engaging now.

NATO has repeatedly said that it is not seeking war with Russia. There is speculation that Putin will not negotiate even if Ukraine gives up territory. The ceasefire has not been implemented fully and the agreed humanitarian corridor for evacuation has not been able to be successfully implemented.

The options open to Ukraine and the rest of the world are complicated. Sanctions are not powerful enough to stop Putin. The protection of Ukraine through a no fly zone is not possible because of fears of repercussions and an escalation of war between Nato countries and Russia. Ukrainians say that Putin will not stop at Ukraine and that he will move on to Europe. There are murmurs of Finland’s population wanting to  join NATO with Putin once again threatening military and political consequences if they did.

Putin is being portrayed as a man with serious psychological issues and someone who may have health problems, which may also be contributing to his unstable and unbalanced presence. Images show him seated at long tables and there are reports of Putin insisting on a regime of testing before he meets people.

Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The media in Russia have remained entrenched in pro Kremlin rhetoric. The state TV doesn’t mention war or invasion but refers to the war as a special military operation and they are managing what Russians, see, hear and think. Western media has been withdrawn following the announcement by the Kremlin that any reporting opposing the Russian line will result in jail sentences.

The BBC’s John Simpson has been one of the most interesting journalists to listen to in recent days as he visited Finland and spoke to a number of BBC correspondents. As always he comes across as intelligent calm, searching, thought provoking, open and relaxed with a strong base of informative research.

He provided an insight into how the West might be monitoring the mental state of Putin through intelligence and psychological profiling. Putin is portrayed as a man with a small circle around him having been isolated for two years. He is described as isolated, angry and unpredictable

The greatest threat is that of a nuclear war or a nuclear explosion at one of the many nuclear plants across Ukraine. The west will be monitoring any military movement, or changes of behaviour amid very dark days across Europe.

While some search for the logic and reasoning for Putin’s war on Ukraine the complete absence of such plays out on our TV screens as over 1 million people are displaced with many hundreds of thousands of people still stuck in Ukraine. Young people are acting as citizen journalists and are empowering mainstream media such as the BBC by providing eye witness testimonies and evidence via their mobile phones. We see a fraction of what people are actually putting on social media channels and a far more sanitised version of events unfolding within cities across Ukraine. Many are in ruins with a subterranean population slowly being starved of food, water and power. Those images may become gradually more gruesome as the full might of the invading Russian forces unleashes its deadly arsenal of weaponry upon innocent civilians who are unable to leave for areas of safety.

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