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    Media versus the war in Ukraine

    The war in Ukraine arouses many emotions. However, it is worth starting from square one. The Russian president’s speech on 21 February was initially very difficult to listen to because among Polish media only the Telewizja Republika was broadcasting it. Such an important speech as the one in which Putin describes and announces the “military operation” against Ukraine should be available on every platform and all over the TV. However, the public was still sceptical and believed that Russia would not invade Ukraine after all because we live in the 21st century, and the media reassured people about this belief.

    Vladimir Putin announced a “military operation” against Ukraine and moments later ordered to attack. The public seemed surprised and terrified by this fact. The development of events and the lack of information in the media about the attacks in Syria, and the incursion into air defence in Taiwan in turn, show how much the topic of war blinded everyone’s eyes. For the first month of the war, the media only reported on the situation in Ukraine and how Russia is failing at the front. But is this true? Analysing the course of the whole situation, one can see that Russia is step by step executing its plan. The media, providing information about huge losses of the Russian army (it is worth mentioning that in 2018 Russia had over 1 mln soldiers), have informed people that they are hopeless, and each subsequent “victory” of this army in different cities was another surprise for the society. Russia, admittedly severely weakened, pursues its goal. Step by step it is occupying city after city and committing mass murder. 

     

    However, many columnists note that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a perfect cover for other situations that the media do not provide or provide after time. Even at the very beginning of the “military operation,” those pointing to a possible Chinese attack on Taiwan were ridiculed. Last Thursday, however, there were reports that China had been stepping up its military operations in that area for quite some time. Once again, Taiwan’s air defence zone has been breached from the southwest, and additionally, as PAP (Polish Press Agency) reported back in April, there are currently exercises involving a Chinese aircraft carrier in the waters surrounding Taiwan. This raises the important question of who really is or will be the winner in this war. If China succeeds in taking control of Taiwan, then the winner is obvious. 

     

    Society watching or reading the news only after more than 100 days of the war in Ukraine began to notice that the situation is not as colourful as it is reported in the media. Ukraine is bravely resisting the invaders, which is surprising according to Russia’s history and its capabilities, but every day, Russia takes control over more Ukrainian cities and regions. It is worth looking at the whole situation more broadly, not just from the level of Ukraine or Russia. After all, not so long ago, the French president spoke out and made it clear that “we must not humiliate Russia so that the day the fighting stops, we can build a way out through diplomatic channels.” Hungary clings to Russian gas and supports Patriarch Kirill, Putin’s close man. Germany, on the other hand, despite stopping Nord Stream 2, has shown no desire at all to support Ukraine joining the European Union, and the United States fears a Chinese takeover of Taiwan. All these tensions, which we often do not learn about from the evening news, but arise in various other countries, can have a huge impact on the geopolitical situation. The media perfunctorily provide information about these situations, and often do not even present the connections between them. It is worth looking at the situation more broadly and “connecting the dots.”

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