Narrative(s) in Media Coverage of Ukraine – 20-27 June 2022

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The first step on a long path toward EU membership

  • Both ahead and in the wake of the 23 June European Council decision to grant Ukraine EU candidate status (for the Conclusions; see here), the predominant narrative of EU and international media has been one of cautious optimism.
  • On the one hand, last week’s decision of EU heads of state and heads of government has been hailed as a Ukrainian and European victory over Putin and Russia (e.g., NBC News).
  • On the other hand, there is a consensus among political commentators that Ukraine’s path towards becoming a full-fledged EU member will be a long one, with Ukraine having to substantially step up its anti-corruption efforts, among other measures (e.g., Bloomberg).
  • As mentioned already last week, though, several media outlets and think-tanks such as the European Policy Centre (EPC) have stressed the fact that Ukraine is already complying with 70% of the EU acquis.

Russia massacring civilians ahead of the upcoming NATO Summit

  • While most EU and international media outlets have continued to report on the setback of Ukrainian forces in the east, some have also pointed to the fact that they are gaining some ground in the south (e.g., Forbes).
  • Amid the euphoria of Ukraine’s EU candidate status came the news that Russia had stricken Kyiv for the first time in weeks, on 26 June (e.g., Politico).
  • And then, on 27 June, came the shocking news of the indiscriminate Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, which has so far left at least 13 civilians dead, and many more wounded (e.g., Reuters).
  • The latter attack took place while G7 leaders meet in Germany, and only a day before NATO convened in Madrid, Spain, for its Summit on 28-30 June.
  • At a pre-Summit press conference on 27 June, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg assured that further military support to Ukraine will be agreed upon, as widely reported by EU and international media (e.g., AP News).

Filip Haugland

Media Analyst, Promote Ukraine

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