Russia-Ukraine Conflict: WWIII or Media Extrapolation

Pierce Browning

If one has been following the news in the Western World for the past couple of weeks, they have heard about a debacle occurring between the countries of Russia and Ukraine. Words like “invasion” and “orchestrated coups” are quite a common theme. Media threats implying a second Cold War and even World War III have even surfaced among the superstitions. All of the phrases heard are sure to give the viewer a chill or two, but with all of the chaos that has been said, how much of it is true? 

The situation is a border dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the governance of a peninsula, known as Crimea, that borders the two countries. This is even farther than many sources have gone, as most mainstream ones have stopped at saying “Ukraine” or even tell it as if there is a ground invasion all the way to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. There is much of a spat over who gets that country, as the border has been flimsy ever since the dissolution of the USSR, which housed the two countries.

The peninsula is most closely bordered by Ukraine and Kyiv’s 1992 constitution claims Crimea, however, the identity of the landmass is largely Russian, as it is the largest ethnic group and even the language that is spoken; even in the places where Russian heritage is lowest, the percentage still never falls below 50%. Not only this but there was a vote in 2014 after the Ukrainian revolution as to which country the Crimean people wanted to be annexed. The votes tallied up to 97% voting in favor of Russian occupancy with an 89% voter turnout, including the Sevastopol province, another controversial region in Crimea. 

Despite this, the action for Moscou to annex Crimea has never been fully carried out due to delays with the European Union’s interest in Kyiv. The newest events that have sparked the media attention are because of a further military mobilization into the peninsula by Russian forces, which many have said to be a delayed inevitability, however a frightening one in the way that it is being executed. 

Amid these statistics, there has been much agenda-driven disinformation in the midst of multiple sources reporting on the issue, including private, public, and independent journalists. Many are treating the conflict as if there is a military occupation, leaving the entire subject of Crimea out of the picture, and only using titles that insinuate that the entirety of the sovereignty of Ukraine is under threat from the Kremlin.

Above are the first results that surface when you type in the keywords “Russia” and “Ukraine” in the United States, as of 11:31 AM Central Standard Time. 

Another common accusation is that the Kremlin is supposedly orchestrating a coup in Kyiv; ironic, as the European Union was in full support for the revolutionaries that wanted EU integration in the Ukrainian coup of 2014, as opposed to the Ukrainian government at the time that wished to deviate from the union. All things considered, it is still rather suspicious in the buildup of Russian troops around the Western border, by Ukraine, despite Russian president, Vladimir Putin’s, claims that no Russian invasion is “imminent,” as well as Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky’s, seeming agreement with the statement.

Above is a post from Russia Today’s Instagram, poking fun at the inconsistency of American media companies with CNN reporting on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, calling it “Russia”.

 

The situation remains a polarizing subject, and one that is a chore for the average citizen spectator to research and separate fact from fiction. While the gravity of the situation is not seemingly radical, it certainly has kept everyone on all ends of the spectrum biting their nails, waiting for what may happen next.

 

Sources:

http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2014/3/map-russian-the-dominantlanguageincrimea.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Crimean_status_referendum#Choices 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foxnews.com/politics/ukraines-zelensky-to-discuss-us-security-commitments-at-meeting-with-biden-report-says.amp 

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/27/politics/biden-zelensky-call/index.html