Can we trust the mainstream media on any of this?
One thing that annoys me about social media is the facile way in which people just comment on any issue that’s going on. So now you see people all over posting Ukrainian flags, or Putin-is-a-vampire memes, but do they actually know what’s going on? But also in the Western mainstream media, you see the same thing now, they just repeat the same superficial stories as some form of hypnosis.
With Covid, anything that was not the official narrative was just dismissed as “misinformation” or a “conspiracy theory”, or simply censored. I don’t think I saw so much censorship before. Even Youtube removed a lot of videos that simply presented a different opinion.
Now, whenever I want actual information, I rarely go to the mainstream media, because there’s nothing there. But then, how can we learn more about what’s going on in the Ukraine?
Well, for one, Putin’s February 24th speech is pretty good and explains some of the reasons behind the Russian operation in Ukraine (from the Russian point-of-view, sure). The Saker (a very pro-Russian blogger) provides some of his own comments on that site too.
Diane Johnstone, who is a left-wing American journalist, has a very interesting article about the US and NATO poking the Russian bear and how it lead to the current disaster. Pepe Escobar — who is a Brazilian journalist who started writing about pop music but now specializes in geopolitics — wrote something along similar lines (and even a similar title).
There is a blog describing the military advance of Russian forces, it appears to be written by someone on the front in Donetsk. It is in Russian, but Google translate works fine. No deep analysis there, just information about what’s happening on the ground.
The Off-Guardian did a good coverage of otherwise ignored Covid stories; now the editor Kit Knightly has an article recapping what happened in Ukraine since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
On the Ukrainian side, I couldn’t find much, but this explanation with illustrated maps of how Ukraine expanded its territory during Soviet times is interesting. I will see if I find more things from the Ukrainian side, especially civilian reports.
Luckily, civilian casualties appear to be very low, and even military casualties are not that numerous for a conflict of this magnitude. However, today an apartment in Kiev was on fire, apparently because of a Russian missile that was shot down before reaching its target (a military base). So far the combat has mostly spared civilian areas. However, Russian troops are approaching Kiev now, so things might get worse.
Hopefully this war will not last more than a week, I don’t see it dragging for too long, but one never knows…