Top Ukrainian official slams Western media
American mass media has spread fake news about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, hitting the country worse than any purported disinformation on Moscow’s part, a close ally of the Ukrainian president has said.
David Arakhamia, the parliamentary faction leader of Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, told NV on Tuesday that he thought recent panic about an invasion would fizzle out in a few weeks, and blamed American outlets for needlessly stoking fears.
“I think that in two or three weeks, when this phase vanishes, we should do a retrospective analysis of how giant, extremely well-known media outlets began spreading information worse than [Olga] Skabeyeva and [Vladimir] Solovyov,” Arakhamia said, referring to two Russian TV hosts known for their support of the Kremlin, whose shows are prohibited from being broadcast in Ukraine on the grounds that they spread disinformation.
“Blatant fakes in CNN, Bloomberg, the WSJ… we should study this, because these are elements of a hybrid war,” the politician went on.
The politician claimed that Ukraine has become a platform for a new European security agreement, but said that the publication of allegations about an incoming Russian invasion is costing the country “two to three billion dollars every month.”
“We can’t borrow in foreign markets because we have simply insane rates,” he explained. “Many exporters are turning us down. We consider every day to be a loss for the economy, and then we share this information with our partners through the Foreign Ministry, because they must understand it. When somebody decides to move their embassy to Lviv, they should understand, that this sort of news costs the Ukrainian economy several hundred million dollars.”
Western leaders have been warning for months about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, and fears reached fever pitch in recent days when some outlets reported that the attack was planned for Tuesday or Wednesday. On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Washington was relocating its embassy in Kiev to Lviv, in western Ukraine, farther from Russia. The Wall Street Journal reported that officials had said staff destroyed computers and other hardware on their way out, fearing they could fall into the hands of Russian forces.
Moscow has denied that it ever had any aggressive intentions. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense announced that it was moving some of the forces it had deployed near the Ukrainian border back to their bases.