This week Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) deported Anna Kurbatova, a journalist working for Russia’s state TV Perviy Kanal (Channel One) and banned her for three years amidst accusations of biased coverage. According to SBU spokeswoman Olena Hytlianska, the decision was taken because Kurbatova’s “actions harmed Ukraine’s national interests”.
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir called the move excessive and said such actions on respective authorities to “affect the free flow of information and violate OSCE commitments on freedom of the media”.
What were Kurbatova’s reports really about? StopFake looked at her last story and uncovered fakes, alternative facts, manipulation and hate mongering.
Kurbatova’s report about Ukrainian Independence Day is filled with Kremlin propagandist clichés about Ukraine. She calls the military parade a ‘march of dependency’, mocks the soldiers’ uniforms which she says are similar to NATO uniforms and claims they were marching out of step. She calls the war in Donbas a civil war and bemoans the sorry state of Ukraine is in, pointing out this is all the result of the Maidan protests. The country is in a deep economic crisis and the IMF is really calling the shots in Ukraine, Kurbatova avows.
Kurbatova enlists Mikhail Delyagin, the director of the Institute of Globalization Problems, an institute that has only one expert, Delyagin, who is also one of the authors of Novorossia rising from the Ashes, an anthology of radical Russian political views in which he claims that Crimea and the occupied eastern Ukrainian territories have a great future in Russia. Delyagin calls Ukrainians aborigines to whom only rum and shiny objects can be sold and not first class weapons. Kurbatova’s report also features the leader of the now banned Communist Party of Ukraine Petro Symonenko who claims Ukraine is advocating policies of hate towards Russia and propagandist Yuriy Kot, the former National Lottery presenter who fled to Russia. Kot announces that Ukraine’s new visa free travel arrangement with the European Union is a sham.
Continuing her report about the failure of Ukraine’s independence and how miserable Ukraine is without Russia Kurbatova claims that Ukraine destroyed its aviation industry just to cut its ties with Russia and has resorted to building cheap spectacles and umbrellas for the EU. She is referring to Ukraine’s Antonov aviation company, which Russian media regularly report is closing, but which continues to build airplanes. Kurbatova also buries Ukraine’s Yuzhmash rocket company, claiming it is shut down, the company however continues to operate.
Kurbatova also claims that the average Ukrainian salary is less than 170 dollars per month, when in fact it is $300 according to Ukraine’s Statistical Service.
In an earlier report Kurbatova interviews a Kyiv resident who tells her that she barely makes ends meet with her small pension, what she fails to mention is that people like the pensioner interviewed are eligible for state subsidies to offset utility costs.
Russian Channel One’s program devoted to Kurbatova’s deportation was no less propagandistic.
Entitled Why is Ukraine Afraid of Journalists, the show, among other things, claimed that Russian journalists can’t get accreditation in Ukraine. This is complete nonsense as Ukraine abolished accreditation for foreign journalists in 2011.