Ukrainian community protests Russian propaganda airing on Australian TV

March 19,2024 511
Ukrainian community protests Russian propaganda airing on Australian TV

The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) has joined the Ukrainian Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, in condemning the airing of a pro-Russian “documentary” episode on the Australian television’s Four Corners program.

On March 18, the program aired materials depicting the “other side” of the war in Ukraine, including interviews with Russian soldiers. The AFUO emphasized that Four Corners provided a platform for Russian propaganda and gave occupiers the chance to justify their cruel and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

In a series of unchallenged interviews, viewers see stomach-turning images of Langan fist-bumping, handshaking, hugging and smiling alongside Russian soldiers, and listening to gross lies, hate and genocidal intentions.

“It is nonsense for the ABC to pretend this was fearless journalism, bringing us ‘extraordinary access’ to the ‘other side’. It was a stage managed, Kremlin controlled media exercise. The Russian media is not free. It is plain as day that a British journalist, accompanied by a fixer endorsed by Russia’s foreign ministry, was going to be a pawn to promote Moscow’s rhetoric about its war in Ukraine,” said Stefan Romaniw, the UWC First Vice President and Co-Chair of the AFUO.

Australian media ABC fell under the influence of Russian propaganda, which is showcased on television at the expense of taxpayers, emphasized Romaniw, reminding that pro-Russian media outlets such as Russia Today and Sputnik have been banned in the country.

“The documentary could have done so much more to set in context the absolute horror and carnage Russian troops have brought to a peaceful, independent and modern neighbouring country. Russian forces are accused of committing around 122,000 war crimes and human rights violations since the start of the full-scale invasion. This includes wilful killing, rape, systemic torture and the kidnapping of at least 19,000 Ukrainian children,” Romaniw said.

The AFUO calls on the ABC to apologise for the editorial oversight which allowed for this program to be aired in Australia. “The program was grossly out of touch with Australian views about Ukraine. Research commissioned by the AFUO last month showed that an overwhelming proportion of Australians (82%) agree that Russia should cease its invasion and exit Ukraine,” Romaniw said.

On 19 March, the Ukrainian community in Sydney also held a protest outside the building of the ABC television channel.