We make this media review every week in partnership with the Ukrainian source Mind.ua. We make it for you to help you form an idea of the image of Ukraine in the European media space.
This week three Ukrainian foreign affairs’ representatives were able to form a one-time agenda of the European whether media or think-tank: while the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba participated in the Monday Talk of the Brussels based Vocal Europe, Ambassador of Ukraine to Italy Yevhen Perelygin wrote an exclusive article on the issue of the occupation of Crimea by Russia for a not a mainstream but certainly specialized media Diplomatic Journal, the President of Ukraine published his article in the Spanish El Pais “Ukraine takes steps to avoid bankruptcy” with the subtitle put by the EL Pais “The country’s president calls for international solidarity”. The French news blog Agoravox picked the article by the President to state: “Zelensky begs West for help to avoid the bankruptcy of Ukraine”. The author criticizes post-Maidan Ukraine. But Agoravox itself is a propagandist source that amplifies a pro-Russian source Donbas Insider. Another example of Agoravox article like this is “Zelensky lost the right to speak about the territorial integrity of Ukraine” after the President signed the new “Land Law”.
“EU should consider ‘flexible’ Russia sanctions over Ukraine: report” is the title of the Euractiv article that aims at outlining the report of a Brussels based International Crisis Group. The report suggests granting Moscow access to certain capital markets or limited technologies in the oil sector in exchange for success on Russia’s part in pressuring its proxies to honour a ceasefire and provide access to monitors. The author of the Euractiv article Vlagyiszlav Makszimov has approached one of the key MEPs for Ukraine-matters Andrius Kubilius who chairs the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. According to the MEP, “there is only one and very clear way to consider lifting sanctions – if Russia ceases its intervention and aggression against Ukraine”.
„For the first time in two years, the foreign ministers of Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and France are talking together again about Europe’s last war“ reads the article of the German Stern “Maas is pushing for a new ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict”. “For this ceasefire, both Ukraine and Russia are equally responsible”, said German foreign minister Heiko Maas in the video-conference.
While Russia is waging an illegal invasion into Ukraine, Amazon is profiting from the symbols of that conflict, such as the banners that represent Russian proxy forces
Belgian, Dutch and German media platforms wrote about Bellingcat’s finding: the Russian General Andrey Burlaka was involved in shooting down of the MH17 on the territory of Ukraine. It shows that “Russian domestic intelligence steered the military operations in Donbas and the senior leadership of the FSB itself was involved.”
Amazon’s ambivalence is helping support for Russian forces and their proxies in Ukraine by Euronews states that we unwittingly support the war between Russia and Ukraine every time we buy products from Amazon. “While Russia is waging an illegal invasion into Ukraine, Amazon is profiting from the symbols of that conflict, such as the banners that represent Russian proxy forces”– the article reads.
This week’s mentioning of Ukraine was also dedicated to the commemoration of Chornobyl catastrophe. Stories about “flowers of Zelenskyy” and “3-weeks fires” around Chornobyl were written by almost all European media. At the same time, the German TAZ in its “Wenn die Heimat strahlt” which means “When the home sparkles” focused not on the news but on the human story – on the people who decided not to leave their homes in Narodychi near Chornobyl or those who came to live nearby after the nuclear disaster in 1986. “We come from the Donbas coalfield, so Chernobyl does not scare us,” says one of the article’s heroes Galina Kucharewa. “We grew up with hard coal in the industrial area, right between coal mines and coal factories that made our city sick. We didn’t know that the sky is blue somewhere else and the air you breathe is not black. It can’t be worse here than there”.
“Ukrainian businessmen demand to ease of lockdown and government support”, – Euractiv informed its readers. “The government, which last week extended the lockdown until 11 May, has said it expects the epidemic to peak early next month. Though it has said it is too soon to end the lockdown, it has allowed supermarkets, some hardware stores, car services, and pharmacies to operate. Shmygal said food markets would also be opened. The government has allocated 6 billion hryvnias ($222 million) for payments to the unemployed, and has increased its forecast for the unemployment rate this year to 9.4%”.
Ukraine: a TV series, a lifesaver for distressed teens in the French La Croix tells the story about the series “Early swallows”, devoted to the problems of adolescence. Watched by more than 3 million Ukrainians, the series launched in November tackles subjects such as school and family violence but also homosexuality and the problem of suicide, themes which are largely taboo in this former Soviet republic. “One of the poorest countries in Europe, Ukraine, whose social services suffer from a chronic lack of funding, nonetheless adopted in 2018 a law against harassment at school, which resulted in some 200 convictions”, – reads the story.
Thirty to forty French couples, who have had recourse to a surrogate mother in Ukraine, cannot go to this country to attend the birth of their children
La Croix also shared a story on how the lockdown made GPA babies in Ukraine deprived of their status. Since March 17 and the decision of the European Union, borders have closed around the world. Among the unexpected consequences, thirty to forty French couples, who have had recourse to a surrogate mother in Ukraine, cannot go to this country to attend the birth of their children. These children remain without identity and nationality. In order for them to gain a civil status, parents must be physically present before the competent authorities. These babies are not at all in the same situation as children adopted internationally, for example. The latter is still, pandemic or not, child protection in their country of origin. They are accommodated in orphanages where the adoption project is being worked on. They have a status, an identity, rights until the arrival of their adoptive parents. With surrogacy, it’s very different. It is a simple private law contract between adults: the intended parents and the surrogate mother. But neither she nor the agency that mediates has responsibility for the child.
And the last but not least, Wolfgang Benz of German Sueddeutsche in his article When the children weren’t allowed to cry promoted a book by Boris Zabarko, Margret Müller and Werner Müller who have collected numerous shocking reports from survivors of the Nazi war of extermination from Ukraine. Margret and Werner Müller are jointly responsible as editors for the almost 200 reports in the German edition. They have been traveling with the Maximilian-Kolbe plant in Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine since 1994 in order to secure memories of survivors from ghettos and concentration camps in personal contact.