By Ollie Richardson
On 31st January, 2017, the BBC’s Kiev-based correspondent Tom Burridge filmed a video report from the city of Avdeevka in Donetsk. At first – two important facts: 1) Avdeevka is Kiev-controlled territory, and has been for some time; 2) the BBC is a British state-funded agency. Further information about the BBC can be read here and here. Moving on to the actual report – here is a list of observations:
- The phrase “Europe’s forgotten war” is totally meaningless. Forgotten by whom exactly? Western media? It’s a bit like how Aleppo was “forgotten” after the Eastern half was liberated, as well as the water crisis in Wadi Barada (Damascus – “moderate rebels” took the local towns hostage and poisoned the water supply), as well as the besieged by ISIS city of Deir Ezzor. Here the BBC is trying to pretend that there is segregation between Europe and Britain – I.e. our innocent little island has nothing to do with this conflict, it’s a European squabble. In addition, the BBC is trying to tap the viewers subconscious to make them forget the war, and London’s support for fratricide in the process.
- The interview with the woman is missing one important question – who is shelling? Of course, this would be extremely inconvenient for the narrative, so instead the interview is edited to be as neutral as possible.
- There is absolutely no mention of who is shelling by Tom himself. Who is the defender, who is the aggressor? Who violates the ceasefire thousands of times per week? The report bases its military perspective around the Ukrainian Armed Forces, so already the bias is overwhelming. Tom’s supplementary tweets don’t mention about the civilians the UAF recently shelled (see here, here, and here), but of course demand tears for Poroshenko’s “innocent” thugs:
#Ukraine says 2 more soldiers dead in war vs Russian-backed forces in east – so a total of 7 soldiers killed in past 2 days
— Tom Soufi Burridge (@TSoufiBurridge) January 30, 2017
- Tom himself says “I’ve rarely witnessed such a presence from the Ukrainian military”. Is this helping the UAF look like the defenders, or like the aggressors that they are? Of course, to the layman, it’s not easy to decipher, but to the informed it’s a blatant faux pas.
- He has the audacity to briefly show an ambulance in the footage. Will he be tweeting about the one shelled by the UAF? A rhetorical question naturally.
- Anna with the baby kitten is being used as what can only be described as a hostage. The Ukrainian army was obviously ordered to start an offensive and further occupy Adveevka. If Poroshenko is “fulfilling Minsk”, as he so claims he is, why on earth are tanks in the city – a direct violation of the Minsk Agreements?!? Does the BBC even care?!? Furthermore, an OSCE representative is STOOD NEXT TO THE TANK!!!
We met Ukrainian troops and tanks in #Avdiivka who seemed ready for action – and we could hear that there is no ceasefire here #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/9HGDrNAkWJ
— Tom Soufi Burridge (@TSoufiBurridge) February 1, 2017
- Tom puts the cherry on the cake at the end of the report: “a Russian-backed enemy”. This is said whilst trying to get the viewer to shed more tears for the ATO cannon-fodder.
The parallels of the current phase of the battle of Donetsk and the battle of Aleppo have become staggering. Aleppo was split in half – with US-backed jihadists and pseudo “moderate” opposition controlling the East side, and the government and allies holding the west. The mass media every single day invented the narrative that Assad was besieging the East, and that the civilians were being “barrel bombed” by Assad and Putin. Once Russia sent Admiral Kuznetsov to the Syrian coast, and East Aleppo was liberated, the media dropped the “care” for Aleppo like a hot potato. The narrative was finished. Al-Nusra flags were found in every “moderate”-occupied building in the East, the White Helmets were no where to be seen, Bana had fled, and the hell cannons the terrorists had been using to shell West Aleppo were found, along with enough ammo and supplies for another year of terror.
In Donetsk, roughly-speaking, and using the airport as the central point, the western part is held by the Ukrainian army, and the eastern part by the Donetsk militia. Avdeevka resides in the Northwest, near to the airport. The town of Makeevka, which the UAF regularly shell from positions to the west of the airport, is on the eastern side of Donetsk. Western media propagandists such as the BBC are now recycling the procedure – one geographical side is depicted as good, and the other as bad. The fact that the UAF uses their own equivalent of hell cannons, also receives ammo and supplies from the West, and can massacre civilians under the cover of the media shows that Avdeevka has become the new East Aleppo. Fortunately, this means that the same fate awaits the aggressors in Kiev and their handlers – defeat, in both the military and informational spheres. Did the BBC care about Adveevka last week? Last month? Last year? Ever? Send these questions to Tom on Twitter, and watch the cyber tumbleweed roll…
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