UN shown preview of RT documentary ‘Journalists Under Fire’
A segment from an upcoming RT documentary about war correspondents in the Ukraine conflict was shown at UN headquarters on Tuesday, as part of Global Media and Information Literacy Week. Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, hosted the event, with the authors of ‘Journalists Under Fire’ and one of the featured correspondents joining via video link for an hour-long Q&A session.
“The West has launched a veritable information war” against Moscow, bombing its own citizens with “information salvos” just as Ukraine has bombed the civilians of Donbass with Western-supplied shells and missiles, Nebenzia stated in his opening remarks, calling the Western media “the main purveyor and customer” of disinformation about Russia.
“War correspondents are an important instrument of transparency in armed conflict,” bringing real news from the battlefield and cutting through the fog of war, he said. Nevertheless, the US and NATO have placed sanctions on some of them – Russians and Westerners alike – for doing their job.
One such journalist is Evgeny Poddubny of VGTRK, who joined the session via Zoom along with the authors of the documentary, Artyom Somov and Ruslan Gusarov. Poddubny noted that Ukraine has put him on their infamous ‘Mirotvorets’ kill list, and that Western sanctions in effect support “this barbaric practice of the Kiev regime.”
While the documentary is still in the works and should be available by the end of the year, reporters in attendance were shown a 20-minute clip featuring several war correspondents.
Poddubny is shown reporting from Kupyansk during the September offensive. Pavel Kukushkin, who was embedded with a Donbass international battalion, filmed a soldier who lost a foot when he stepped on a mine. Donbass native Georgy Medvedev documented the Ukrainian shelling of civilians in Gorlovka. RT’s Murad Gazdiev was shown dodging sniper fire in Mariupol and surviving an attack by US-supplied HIMARS missiles on a Kherson hotel where journalists were staying.
The segment also featured Semyon Pegov of the independent WarGonzo project – including the moment he was wounded near Donetsk in late October. Pegov is still recovering and was not available for the event, even though he was listed as a potential participant.
Gusarov, one of the documentary’s creators, told a story from the 2008 conflict in South Ossetia in which a Western outlet “stole” a video of Russian correspondents and then changed it to blame Russia for the shelling that Georgia actually carried out.
Russian war correspondents are now “writing the new standard for war reporting,” Poddubny said, while noting the amount of time he and his colleagues have to devote to debunking the fake news churned out by Kiev and uncritically repeated by Western media.