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Change of Tone in the Media About Corruption in Ukraine?

The issue has so far been swept under the carpet

Criticize vaccine and mask mandates and you will be branded a conspiracy theorist; criticize Ukraine and you risk being called “pro-Russian”, or even “pro-Putin”. At least that is what was reflected in the media coverage until Wednesday. That day, a left-wing network dared to raise the question: should Western governments be concerned about rampant corruption in Kyiv?

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s dismissal of senior officials is casting an inconvenient light on an issue that the Biden administration has largely ignored since the outbreak of war with Russia: Ukraine’s history of rampant corruption and shaky governance”, NPR wrote in its July 20 edition.

Tons of freelance journalists and bloggers pointed out the problem a long time ago, but they were crucified by the mainstream media (MSM). We all know the ritual: challenging MSM’s narrative earns you social castration.

The question of the origins of COVID-19 will be remembered: many of us were quick to point the finger at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but the media conglomerates preferred to line up behind the scientists who said that the Chinese had nothing to do with the emergence of the virus. But when one of their own, New York Magazine, published an article on January 4, 2021, about the possibility of a lab leak, the tone changed in newsrooms. As for Ukraine, we are still in the propaganda stage, despite NPR’s article, but things might soon change.

The United States has handed over 50 million to Kyiv so far, which is asking for more. Canada, under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, whose family is originally from Ukraine, also showered this Eastern European country with greenbacks to save its “honor”.

Everyone seems to have forgotten that at the end of 2021, the Biden administration had called out the Ukrainian regime for its inaction in the face of corruption. It was the time when we learned that Volodymyr Zelensky had appeared in the Pandora Papers scandal on tax havens. The case concerned in particular the “secret commercial dealings of the president’s entourage […], luxury real estate in the heart of the British capital, and companies that concealed business in Crimea”, Le Courrier international revealed last October.

According to Transparency.org, “the Zelensky regime comes in at number 122 — tied with Swaziland and right between Algeria, Gabon, Mexico and Zambia”, on its Corruption Perceptions Index. This fact has never been mentioned in the mainstream media since the beginning of the conflict.

But it’s not just about corruption. From the start of the Russian invasion, people in Kyiv said they feared Ukrainian thugs more than Russian soldiers. A source quoted by TNC showed pictures in which we can see corpses piled up on the side of a street in Kyiv. Those pictures reportedly depict members of “a family that got killed when they were mistaken for a military vehicle”. The same source shared two videos on social networks showing what was described as “armed citizens […] just questioning and in one case shooting people they deem suspicious”.

A war reporter, Anne-Laure Bonnel, was one of the few to show us the other side of the coin in an interview on the French network CNews. “Here, since 2014, it is Ukraine that has been bombing and killing thousands of civilians”, the reporter said. These civilians in question are of Russian-speaking origin, she added. Because of her reporting, Bonnel has seen her Twitter account censored.

Sources

Eric Pilon, Free West Media, Intelligencer, NPR

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