Gulnoza Said, The Committee to Protect Journalists - How the war is being reported in Ukraine and in Russia.

Gulnoza Said, The Committee to Protect Journalists
How the war is being reported in Ukraine and in Russia.


There are fools who study history believing it will show them how things will be years later.  You know, like the French generals and politicians who believed in the Maginot Line for one war too long.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has reveled in the history of his successful land seizures in 2014 and ’15 in Crimea and the Donbas in southeastern Ukraine. And, foolishly, he seems to have assumed a repeat of his easy win, as if nothing had changed over the past six to seven years. Clearly, the ongoing broad-scale, deeply committed Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invaders has caught Putin and his planners by surprise. There was nothing like this in 2014 or 2015.

Here’s probably the biggest reason for the change: almost everyone in Ukraine knows perfectly well what life would be like for them under a Russian-run regime.  Even though the front lines of the seized territories, in Donetsk and Luhansk and Crimea have been militarized and crossing them can be difficult, ties of family and culture make that pseudo-border porous.  So, most people on the Ukraine side of the line are well-informed on life in puppet states, and their dominating gangs of professional criminals and primitive thugs.

The information comes from friends and former neighbors and relatives who stayed behind and from a galaxy of news sources — in print, on TV and online — that has gone SuperNova since the Maidan revolution pushed Putin protege’ Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych out of office and out of the country to Russia.

For many of these new news services, their first big story focused on the ludicrous stash of swag, of luxurious waste, the fleeing Yanukovych left behind in his Dnieper Riverside palace.

Putin’s military capture of Crimea came just months after Yanukovych moved out of Kyiv.  There was nothing like an outburst of post-regime change news coverage in Crimea to compare with the journalistic renaissance in Ukraine.

What Crimeans under Russian rule got instead is exemplified by the case of Vladislav Yesypenko, a freelance video journalist, recently sentenced to six years in prison, his boss says, for “nothing more than reporting the facts.”



Gulnoza Said is Europe and Central Asia program coordinator for The Committee to Protect Journalists. Said is a journalist and communications professional with over 15 years of experience in New York, Prague, Bratislava, and Tashkent. She has covered issues including politics, media, religion, and human rights with a focus on Central Asia, Russia, and Turkey.




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