Around the Globe
UKR | Feb 25, 2023

Why have we forgotten the Russo-Ukrainian war?

Zemelyah Shaw

Zemelyah Shaw / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which sprung into the worldwide consciousness last February, have been one of the most significant geopolitical issues of the past decade.

However, it is alarming how little attention the media has paid to the conflict in recent months. Even worse, many people seem to have already forgotten that the invasion and war that started a year ago remain ongoing and show no sign of improvement.

The roots of the conflict can be traced back to Ukraine’s decision to move closer to the European Union in 2014, a move that was met with disapproval by Russia. This led to protests and the eventual annexation of Crimea by Russia. The situation escalated, and the conflict soon turned into a full-scale war in eastern Ukraine, with both sides suffering heavy losses.

The conflict has continued to simmer over the following months, with numerous ceasefire agreements failing to bring a sense of lasting peace.

The situation has been worsened by Russia’s continued support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, who have been accused of committing atrocities against Ukrainian citizens. The conflict has also taken a heavy toll on the Ukrainian economy, with large parts of the country’s industrial heartland damaged or destroyed.

Despite the severity of the situation, and with the media’s focus on the invasion appearing to wane, there has been little public pressure to find a lasting solution to the conflict, and the situation has been allowed to worsen.

One of the reasons for the conflict receiving relatively little media attention is that it has been overshadowed by other global issues, as well as the fast-paced nature of the internet. The rise of populist movements around the world, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the latest goings-on with Tiktok trends have dominated the headlines. However, this does not excuse the media’s failure to maintain its focus on the conflict in Ukraine.

Another reason for the lack of coverage is the difficulty of reporting from the conflict zone. Both sides have been accused of committing atrocities, and it is often difficult for journalists to get accurate information about what is happening on the ground.

Nevertheless, how does this affect the war and has the wave of coverage contributed to the advancement of the conflict?

When a conflict is not given the attention it deserves, it is easy for it to be overlooked, and the parties involved might feel emboldened to continue with their actions without fear of international scrutiny and in the case of the Russo-Ukrainian war, the lack of media coverage may have lead to an escalation of the conflict.

Additionally, due to the lessened attention, a lack of understanding of the situation by the general public makes it easier for leaders to manipulate public opinion in their favour, by presenting a biased narrative or withholding information.

When the public is not informed about the situation, they may not fully understand the consequences of the conflict, and may not feel compelled to pressure their leaders to seek a peaceful resolution.

It is essential that the media ramp up its attention on the conflict in Ukraine. The situation is not only a humanitarian disaster but a significant geopolitical issue that continues to have serious consequences for Europe and the rest of the world.

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