Kyiv’s lost war for “the hearts and minds” of eastern Ukrainians

One year ago, Ukraine saw a transition of power in the wake of rioting in the streets. At the time, Russian media instilled fear and contributed to laying the groundwork for the current war in eastern Ukraine.

“The situation in Ukraine is such that we could just as well talk about the end of statehood there.” Anchor Dmitry Kiselyov lowered the thumb of his right hand, and the gesture was intended to show that Ukraine was doomed. That was the beginning of the “Vesti nedeli” (News of the Week) broadcast on Sunday evening, February 23, 2014, shown on Russian state broadcaster Rossija-1. “If a state can’t guarantee the safety of its citizens, this state does in fact not exist,” said Kiselyov, with what came across as a ghoulish smile.

Ukraine had quite likely crossed the border to civil war, the prominent Russian journalist added. More blood was going to flow. From today’s point of view, Kiselyov was right in this respect. The war between pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian areas of Donetsk and Luhansk and the Ukrainian army has already claimed the lives of thousands of people. However, this war fought with guns and tanks did not begin in the eastern Ukrainian steppes but on a different battlefield. It was a “war for the hearts and minds” of the people – and how they would interpret and construe what was unfolding.
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Source News: DW