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Live Update: Russia Invades Ukraine

The heartbreaking video looks like the images Western television viewers are receiving from the war in Ukraine: an elderly woman, wearing a thick coat to combat the cold, stands crying in front of a burning wooden house from a rocket that hit her village. “They destroyed everything!” she cried. “There’s nothing left.”

But this is Russian TV controlled by the government channel Rossiya24 and, in this report, the soldiers are attacking Her village is Ukrainian, not Russian. Russian reporters call them “nationalists”. Other reports on the channel call them “neo-fascists”, “fascists” or “drug addicts” using civilians as “human shields”.

Almost all reports of the conflict have come from the breakaway Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, specifically the two “people’s republics” calling themselves Donetsk and Luhansk, which are mainly English-speaking entities. Russia, which Russia recognized as an independent state on February 21.

Police officers detain a man during a protest against Russia's military actions in Ukraine, in central Moscow on April 2.
Police officers arrest a man during a protest against Russia’s military action in Ukraine, in central Moscow on April 2. (AFP/Getty Images)

On Russian broadcasts, the war in the rest of Ukraine, which most people in the world is witnessing, is largely ignored – the wreckage of Mariupol left behind by the bombing of Russia; the charred skeletons of houses and buildings in Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, Zhytomyr and other towns ravaged by Russian air strikes; The residential areas of the capital Kyiv, along with their bleeding residents, were fleeing from Russian shelling by their shells – almost none of this was shown on Russian TV. When it happened, of course it was blamed on Ukrainian forces. There is also no precise information about the recent military defeats suffered by the Russian army.

According to an Orwellian contact, the conflict in Ukraine can only be called a “special military operation”. Under legislation passed on March 4, it is illegal to call the war “war” or describe it as an “attack” or “invasion.” Violators can face up to 15 years in prison, as can news organizations that disseminate anything deemed “fake news” about “operations” or the Russian military.

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