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Read this: The Information War in Ukraine

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The Information War in Ukraine…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 hello Russia's invasion has brought war to Ukraine and it's brought an information war as well two parallel narratives and our competing across the media from Russia to Ukraine to all of us watching on the journalist in Ukraine and assess their role in how we all seeing this war and will consider who else has the power to shape how the war is seen it matters because of course accurate information does at a time of War but also because how this conflict is perceived may impact how long it lasts Let's Begin evancho editor-in-chief of Medusa and independent Russian news outlet which publishes via Latvia even thanks for joining me on the media show I wonder if you can tell me where you are now.

Hi, I can tell you unfortunately I am I because I'm driving and I can't disclose this information due to security reasons and while travelling even can you still publish Medusa yes sure you know we are we have remote office entirely remotely during last 2 years as many Media outlets in the world gas and it was based in Riga Latvia but it is the russian-speaking media outlets and probably the biggest Russian independent Media so far and we working from so many serious you know from different countries, so it is possible and in the week.

That's passed since this invasion happened.

Have you still been able to reach your audience in Russia yes?

ok unlike many of our colleagues, but I think that we are about to be blocked on the theory of Russian Federation so we've got to have seen a lot of bad signs during this week right after the Invasion Russian authorities said that the media outlets have can't use actually the word the word to use this Special Operation prayers to describe what's going on in Ukraine Ulster said that the media cover the events in UK are based on the official sources and those official sources are the stage agencies that lying and manipulating an audience Russian Ministry of Defence

Which is also do not disclose trustful information and it's not it's not it's not the only problem with rushing me right now because during the week Russian authorities started looking independent Media outlets including very important and huge.

They have blocked the last in the only independent independent TV channels TV broadcast on you but also the resins that the authorities are going to block YouTube in Russia and what you're describing is an escalation in the restrictions on media within Russia will continue to talk to you about this through this edition of the media show event from Medusa thank you very much.

Let's bring in Luke Harding

Senior international correspondent at the Guardian in Ukraine I don't know how much you want to tell us about your location.

Well, I'm currently in love even in the West Country Amazon fly invasion started last week and the the bombing began that you know it's you.

Just got this is an informational war and I do think when reporting obviously have got to warn formation and try and verify and confirm with her and saucers make my phone beautiful and so on but when I said I was in a basement of my hotel with Ukrainian families and children has some creation to take out military targets now.

We seen an officer killed in the last couple of days and half kids in Kiev and elsewhere including a journalist the first journalist that was yesterday.

I mean lead singer's name is called he was a TV cameraman for Key Of Life it was hit by the second missile strike the TV channel yesterday now.

That was not a minute.

You can stay here and here and for other people were killed so the rationality is there are no siblings dying.

There's nobody that's clearly on true and I think we have to treat the claim is untrue and Report actually to the best and he was having an underground.

Thank you for the moment Luke and yes the issue of War times has been repeatedly by the Ukrainian president president selenski by the European Union we had Boris Johnson razor in prime Minister's Questions next let's bring in a journalist at BBC Ukrainian all your based in London you also of course have colleagues in Kiev and across the country Help Me Understand how BBC Ukrainian is come in this terribly difficult story for you.

Thank you very much for having me here and obviously it is God cards for all of us because we have our family something crowns and all of our colleagues in Ukraine do is there was trying to do that best to discover it's because we understand that this is basically the only thing we can do right now and we're trying to do our best but because of the extremely difficult security reasons for our colleagues in carraroe.

We're trying to take over as much as possible here in London to because our colleagues and key of quote and are not able to report to because either they are selling or they have been implicated as he might have held we have before before the active phase of invasion headbands.

Where was supposed to do from London to be programmed to ability which was taken Barlow Ukrainian to the partners.

Obviously, we're taking over the webpage as well as much as we can so we are trying weight increased our support as well because we know that our colleagues and copy from other media are there to the channels and able to provide the same amount of coverage of they were doing before so we're trying to increase our Cambridge from London as much as possible and we are hearing a very good response from the audience is obviously able to respond to us and jumps off emotional challenges, which way although I have is you obviously is you understand it is difficult BBC Ukrainian temperature should have quite a lot of experience of covering and war on Ukraine and soul because so I will because the first invasion happened in 2014 Swindon station of Premier vans and with long is how to be Imposter and not by us to when we're doing our coverage and how to provide.

To verify all the concert we are getting so even on Friday night Friday morning when I was on my way to the studio to be a presenters France for the BBC world and I got this message from my family's at our house was bombed.

I'm sorry for my neighbours and then I tried to get in touch with my family to double check that I couldn't just say that it was my house so I could recognise it, but I I went to the official sources to others also used to verify the picture and only when I go to confirmation that there was definitely that address and when I got confirmation from the official UK emergency services and also when I saw the same footage from my neighbours.

I was able to say that that is so I'm just to let you know that.

Is the same for all our BBC Ukrainian journalists, so we're even if we emotionally know that so that object was targeted all that person was targeted importantly we verified from several sources and we do not report anything emotionally we are double checking everything before we broadcast I'll put it on our website.

I'm so sorry that your home that was hit and it's remarkable that you continue your journalism in that manner in these challenging circumstances all good.

Thank you for joining us for the moment through the last couple of days.

We getting in touch with some journalist who are reporting in Ukraine have been asking them to record their thoughts on covering this war one of those I got in touch with Lindsey hilsum.

Who's the international editor Channel 4 News Lindsey recorded this from a town in the east of Ukraine

Sleep and food and power and communications and fuel because we can't keep going and let's be have those thing and also the most are for working with the local produce and driver is alright, then you can only know what you've seen them on people around you have told you but I think it's tremendously important to put that into some kind of historical context because if you don't put into context this isn't it? It's just people being horrible to each other.

It's just cruel and this conflict as much as any other is about the history of it Russians about Ukrainian the position of Ukraine Ukraine as a nation all of that.

For recording that for the media showing that issue of context of seeing the whole picture is also on Roland Oliphant mind.

He's the senior foreign correspondent at the Daily Telegraph and he sent me this on Whatsapp I always tell people that war reporting and away is the easiest kinds of journalism and because in a way.

It's kind of effortless all you do go somewhere see what's happening.

Talk to people write it down back.

There's your story flip side of that which I really really really feeling this conflict is that you're a tiny tiny cock in an absolute the Enormous machine and you can see a no very little you talk about first draught of history Thomas journalist like to talk about the first draught of history.


Not if it is a very old job, you don't know what's going on.

You can only you know you'll I'm excited very limited.

I haven't seen a single Russian soldier.

I've been close to them.

I've heard them.

I haven't found out guns.

I've heard they are cannons in artillery haven't seen a single Russian often, where am I in a place all I know is that Explosions are occurring or people are Running Scared those people often don't know.

Any more than I know that's Roland Oliphant of the Daily Telegraph Luke Harding senior international correspondent the Guardian you're still with us from the West of Ukraine do you agree with that it can be very hard to see the whole picture when you're in the middle of a conflict war against Georgia in 2008 and 2014 when the next Primera and started the war in the east of the country in the Daily Star today just went to the most amazing that there was a coffee bar with Chris and I talk to people who you know about their feelings and there are expectations and just on our logistics.

It's true.

I mean half of your brain is dealing with try to get the story out as accurately as well as compassionate as possible to tell human stories and I guess the bear witness to what's going on with worrying about security about fixers about Road sitting in a constantly shifting position.

Where Russia is advancing and and a ROBLOX ok 2 hours ago may not be ok 2-hours later, so it's uniquely challenging but that I'm very glad I'm here and reporting going on Babe from international journalists like Lizzie and also first and foremost Ukrainian tennis and practical challenges.

You're describing in that it's easier to report from territory controlled by the Ukrainian government that is territory in Ukraine but control by Russian troops, but there's a separate challenge which is one side is sharing an awful lot more information than the other president zelensky is posting videos on social media the Ukrainian

Is releasing statistics even copaco from Medusa the Russian authorities and not giving us very much information at all and so that gives us a challenge to report the sorry completely in the hole.

You know it would be and leave to hold that the Russian authorities will provide some information about the country usually manipulating the public opinion through Russian state-owned or state-controlled media and this is and now during the war they doing it even more active than previously and this is a huge pressure last year on independent Media in April 2021 was marked as a foreign agent in Russia it was a very challenging time for for our editorial staff.

A lot of other media outlets for also labelled as a friend but now they are just directed blocking the websites and they are now using the real Center department of state.

So you don't trust the information coming from the Russian authorities, but I'll go from BBC Ukrainian I wonder when you are reporting this conflict and you need to understand.

What's happening in territory controlled by the Ukrainian government but also Russia control territory.

How do you get good information out of places where the troops are in control?

Well, obviously with to consider was if you shall Salter saying but will also double check that information as much as we can obviously from the other sources to help people on the grounds.

We have I will be received in there in Russia and also use user generated content as well and obviously with tried to get in touch with those people and to speak to them.

Obviously there are other challenge on BBC that's how is duty of care policy.

Which is amazing because of organisation.

We do think about the safety of those people but of course we introduce the sources which are available and also the possibility to understand better the reaction of his audience August thank you Lucan even do stay with us as well.

Let's bring into a conversation professor Sam Green is director.

The Russia Institute at King's College London thank you for joining us.

I said at the beginning that the information war has the potential atleast to influence the what's the actual war.

Do you think that's the overstated? No, I think you're certain extent.

It is even to understand it because of the reactions on or what matters reaction to what people are seeing and hearing alright.

So if you look at the reactions of European governments that the recent with a stunning decision by the by the German government beginning providing legal age to the Ukrainian that is an emotional decision and an emotional decision is driven by what people are saying on television the same story is true for decisions affecting the peace in the scale sanctions that we've seen also one of the reasons why were seeing if I was talking about earlier in terms.

The Crackdown on medium in the information space which they been they've been making it much harder for Russians to access Facebook Twitter YouTube apparently as well as bringing your expectations of accusations of treason and in trials for treason against Russian journalist to report anything I didn't and then the official line on and the reason is that the self is very nervous about the emotional reaction of people in the west.

I think that given up early on on trying to persuade people in the US what day are very concerned about the potential for 44 Russians to see the pictures that we are seeing of the destruction to Cardiff give you a key of and other cities around around Ukraine let's talk about just that let's look at this from the perspective of the Russian Media because of course Russians are not getting the same.

Read those of us in the UK or elsewhere in the west are getting and we had just this in a recent report by the BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg his some of it like many Russians Valentina level up gets all her news from state TV and believes it in Russia televisions a powerful tool for shaping public opinion about a lot of what they say interior truth.

It's true.

How do you know?

Well, you know when I went reading in a foreign newspaper that you know rations and I know that it's not true.

I promise not to do this and they will never do this even copic offers you listen to that just explained to us how important state television is within Society in terms of forming people's view of the world.

It is it is very important the television is the most important Media when he became president who is the television was independent and it was very tough on here and in the first years of his presidency decided to clean it up and used television as a as a grounds of his power for so many years was Christ when he realised that internet is also very important source of information for rations in the around 10 years ago the authorities started destroying in the internet as well, but still Russian television is very important within the country and seems the Kremlin controls 80 or 90%

All the markets they can easily create a fake picture of reality that's why so many people in Russia unfortunately.

I wouldn't say support.

I will say indifferent about what's going on in Ukraine and this is it's it's horrible and it is also one of the results.

It is also one of the results of these you know the situation with independent media and I will be able to say that I just want I think we all have to eat.

It is necessary necessary thing to say if your Russian journalist or anyone from right now.

I want to say sorry to my premium colleagues.

I feel terrible person and I am broken and I'm angry about Russian authorities.

I think it is.

Real catastrophe pressure and I'm really sorry that we didn't stop Russian authorities from doing that ok.

Would you like to respond Elvis I would like to say thank you van and I don't remember remember me me.

See you and we go in the past before obviously sending lots of fantasy to you biggest lots of love goes to all the police in Ukraine and all the people in Ukraine and gets in our reports from the grounds notes all the Russian audience audience can go in line with what Ivan said so and that is something about a controlled in foster care listen to Yvonne painting a particularly big picture of independent Media in Russia Luke if I can.

And you're talking to us from Ukraine now, but Russia is a country you know very well.

You've reported their a great deal.

How does the severity of the restrictions that was seeing coming in in the last 24-hours in compare to previous years either the early days of Russia in the 1990s and the 2000s the Soviet Union before then well.

I think it's been seeing the slide in in Russia from from I guess my democracy the 1990s and into a dark early fruiting to what we have now which is essential to tell Darren to tell Darren Society I will argue with censorship restrictions on access to information and so on and look I mean there isn't very very another Russian colleagues.

How many brave Russian genocide and Holocaust

1620 is a difficult profession most of the basketball court as I've worked on a number of stories in the Panama papers have been forced to flee including someone recent months and we was in pressure setup on frangello.

I was the first western report writing to be friends out of Russia since the USSR in 2011 but since the BBC reporter has been reported and there's just a sense of pressure on everybody of I've almost orwellian control at the moment and I would if I had of course is a tragedy for Ukraine and it's terrible humanitarian catastrophe civilians have been killed every hour, but it's crashing Society which is just planting a further and further into a very dark place and as all of you and your different ways trying understand, what's happening and Report

What's happening Sam Green I wonder if there's a fundamental challenge at the heart of this which is the man who started this war the man who dominates Russia is not a man whose understand.

It's not a man who journalist have contacts with or contact with people close to him.

Very easily to keep people guessing as intentions.

You know I think a lot of my colleagues in the academic community very sceptical about the prospect of War certainly on this scale because it didn't make any sense is very hard to see how was Lukas saying how Russia ends up in anything other than much were the end of it and Frankie the same as is true for 4 so we really do struggle to understand what could possibly be motivating with the scissors making now and it was out what could possibly be motivating the decision she's going to make in the future is made some very robust.

About White and the Russian military might do going forward so we unfortunately are left in similar ways to what I think you know just driving in the field were left very much in the dark trying to define some sense and we'll scraps of information and unable to understand the big but I wonder if you thinking of a week's time.

You'll still be able to publish Medusa as you currently do I don't think that we have met much time left to be honest in in in the country.

I think that we going to be in in a few days.

Maybe in a few hours well, let's hope that doesn't happen.

Thank you very much for speaking to us and Luke just in a few seconds.

Are you staying in the west of Ukraine for the moment?

Yeah, I want to stay with the story as long as I can as this would be like a rock and say that we will be here for 4 months and probably I say years but all of you very much indeed for speaking to us.

We are out of time on this edition of the media show many thanks to all of my guess even editor-in-chief at Medusa and independent Russian language new the BBC Ukrainian if you speak Ukrainian you can get Samuel green director of the Russian Institute at King's College London new carding SR national correspondent at the Guardian Roland Oliphant senior foreign correspondent of the Telegraph who centres diary earlier on and in the house needed the same international editor at 4 News the media show will be back at the same time next week but for now from Ros Atkins and all of the team.

Thanks for listening and goodbye.

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