This week an extremely unpleasant spin rocked the Ukrainian media space. Namely, the Novoye Vremya ezine published a piece covering the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, claiming that the state secretary allegedly said the following: "Crimea is lost. World players realize this. Ukraine gave away Crimea, while Russia is not someone from whom anything can be taken back."
The statement went down rumbling across media platforms in Ukraine as news outlets frantically shared and rewrote the sensationalist piece by NV. The breaking report was also naturally picked up by Russian propaganda media, who were happy to have another round of self-assertion on narratives of Russian greatness and the recognition thereof in the White House.
But the story didn't end there, as it turned out. Emine Dzheparova, who personally attended the meeting with Pompeo, described by NV, stood up on Facebook to refute the report she directly branded as manipulation. Also in her post, she wandered who might have become a source of such misinformation, given that it was she who brought up the Crimea issue at the Pompeo meeting.
Actually, Novoye Vremya, in its attempt to create a perfect storm, once again made its reputation even more ambiguous, while also passing a ball to Ukraine's hybrid adversary on the media pitch. However, I'd like to remind you of another similar story rather than dwell on this shameful incident.
But at the same time, not a single media outlet, not a single journalist with any self-respect noted the fact that the source of this scandal was BuzzFeed News referring to certain sources that they never named, although claimed as trustworthy. At the same time, it must be born in mind that BuzzFeed News is in fact a legit info garbage dumpster, which has more stories about cats than about politics. The peace about Trump was authored by Alberto Nardelli and Julia Ioffe, a Russian woman for whom that article was her first ever piece for BuzzFeed!
That story boiled down to not a single official source confirming what Trump allegedly said anything lioke this during the dinner. Moreover, not one of those attending that dinner expressed indignation over what they might have heard. After all, taking into account the U.S. president's behavior, they could deliver a fairly decent collective blow to his position, real pro-Democrat guard dogs as they are. But it turned out that this fake story was fed to its precise target audiences, that is, in Ukraine and Russia.
And now, the situation with the Novoye Vremya ezine with their Pompeo Crimea story has a striking resemblance with the dumpster outlet BuzzFeed's garbage report claiming Donald Trump allegedly acknowledged that Crimea is part of Russia. However, until recently, I couldn't call NV a dumpster. Although, the fact that BuzzFeed News is affiliated with the FSB also became clear only recently. There's only one question left unanswered: how short is this path, from being a media dumpster to becoming affiliated with the FSB? Or is it even necessary to walk this path at all?
For example, yesterday chief editor of Military Times, Howard Altman, tweeted that the fake news by NV has a trace of Russian intelligence. He wrote, citing a source in Ukraine, that deputy editor at NV, Ivan Yakovina, is not only a citizen of the Russian Federation, but also a Russian GRU operative.
For example, in 2013, Russian journos were allowed to interview the father of Vladislav Surkov, Yuri Dudaev, a former staff officer with the Soviet GRU. One of those journalists was former correspondent of Russia's Izvestia newspaper, Yuri Matsarsky. He took that interview alongside his colleague Sergey Galyandin, with whom he now works in Ukraine on the ATR TV channel.
Interestingly, Yuri Matsarsky had for many years worked in Moscow and won praise for his reporting from hot spots across the globe, including during his long deployment in Iraqi Kurdistan, at the very height of the coalition’s confrontation with ISIS. Now, having settled for a new job in Ukraine, he starts publishing pieces about the "recruitment of terrorists" in Ukraine!
For example, in his interview with GORDON on April 5, 2017, he bluntly states: "In Ukraine, militants are actively recruited for participation in the war in Syria." However, Mr Matsarsky didn't specify how many Ukrainians were recruited by ISIS, while international monitoring organizations can't confirm Ukraine ISIS recruitment either. At the same time, perhaps even deaf and blind have heard multiple reports of thousands of Russian nationals in the ranks of this terrorist organization. But let's not distracted and return to our main storyline.
Journalists are guard dogs for democracy. This phrase has long become common. But it seems that massive-scale degradation in the profession leads to some journalists turning into brainless mongrels of the occupation regime.