Monday, June 27, 2022
HomeNewsIn Ukraine war, Russian reporters give public a view from front lines

In Ukraine war, Russian reporters give public a view from front lines


To understand the events of the war in Ukraine, the Russian public relies on dozens of reporters who have been embedded with the armies of Russia and its separatist allies.

These embeds – who travel with Russian forces, follow military guidelines, and appear to fully support the Russian cause – offer millions of Russians their observations, assertions, and basic narratives in detailed and graphic daily reports. Opinion polls suggest that majorities of Russians increasingly trust these reports.

Why We Wrote This

Russians’ view of the war may be antithetical to that of the West, but it is not rose-colored. Russian journalists are providing the public with their front-line, detailed take on the conflict.

That doesn’t mean sanitizing the reporting. Leading war correspondent Alexander Sladkov, who intensively covered Russia’s devastating two-month siege of the Donbas port city Mariupol, spared his viewers none of the horrific destruction and gruesome scenes of a city in flames amid brutal street-by-street combat.

Anatoly Tsyganok, an independent military expert, says the aggregate work of Russian war journalists sheds a lot of light on the nature of the conflict. “You can’t get a full picture of what is really happening if you exclude what is being reported by one of the sides,” he says. “I get my information from every possible direction, and I can say that Russian correspondents … are as professional as any in the West.”

Moscow

Alexander Sladkov has been covering military conflicts for Russia’s main state TV channel for three decades. The burly, bearded, motorcycle-riding ex-military officer is considered by many to be Russia’s top war correspondent.

Now, he’s one of dozens of reporters, including several women, who have been embedded with the armies of Russia and its Donbas separatist allies to report on Russia’s war in Ukraine over the past four months.

Millions of Russians see the conflict, often in detailed and graphic daily reports, through the observations, assertions, and basic narratives formed by these reporters who travel with Russian forces, follow military guidelines, and appear to fully support the Russian cause. Opinion polls suggest that majorities of Russians increasingly trust these reports.

Why We Wrote This

Russians’ view of the war may be antithetical to that of the West, but it is not rose-colored. Russian journalists are providing the public with their front-line, detailed take on the conflict.

While a handful of independent Russian journalists, such as Meduza’s Lilya Yapparova, have produced some compelling alternative coverage by striking out on their own in Ukraine, the Russian reporters mostly offer a view of the war at odds with that of their Western counterparts. But their coverage is nonetheless more than simple propaganda; it reflects a combination of journalistic methods and a Russian understanding of the world.

“Everyone knows that I’m a person who wouldn’t report anything that I’m not 100% certain of,” Mr. Sladkov says. “I am not an information warrior – I know that there are lots of such people – but I am a reporter. These days I get a lot of time [on the premier Channel One news program] because interest is very high. Nobody tells me what to report.”



RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments