Ukraine Again The Focus Of International Attention. Marta Dyczok on media coverage of the crisis
A flurry of high level diplomatic meetings in Kyiv, Moscow, Munich, and a series of phone calls between key international leaders focused the world’s attention on the war in Ukraine
Much of the reporting was about the possibility of the US supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons. Many experts were consulted, and opinion was divided. Relatively few Western media outlets asked experts from Ukraine to comment. Some treated Ukraine as an object rather than a subject of international affairs. American International Relations professor John Mearsheimer had an op ed in the New York Times on February 8. He wrote, “What advocates of arming Ukraine fail to understand is that Russian leaders believe their country’s core strategic interests are at stake in Ukraine… Great powers react harshly when distant rivals project military power into their neighbourhood.”
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s speech at the Munich Security Conference was widely reported. Including the fact that the audience laughed when he said, “What happened in Crimea was the people invoking the right of self-determination. You’ve got to read the UN Charter. Territorial integrity and sovereignty must be respected.” Last March media treated Lavrov as a respected commentator on events in Crimea.