Air raid warning in the middle of the night in Odessa, Ukraine. Nello Scavo, an Italian journalist working for the newspaper Avvenir, posts a video on Twitter from the city targeted by the Russian attack. Missiles and drones are flying. Meanwhile, most of his countrymen live in blissful ignorance of these events.
Scavo even published a book about the war in Ukraine, in which he wrote: “In my pocket with my passport, I keep a copy of the insurance bought by my newspaper, with a note – Unlimited medical expenses, including reimbursement for repatriation.” Bodies in case of death.
But this is not enough yet to prevent Italians from asking questionable questions about whether things in Ukraine are that bad. The reason is Russian propaganda and disinformation in Italy.
True government Giorgio Meloni It supports Kiev in its war against Russia, but the Russians do not stand idly by and do a lot of propaganda work through their contacts in the media.
When Italian social scientists are asked in public opinion polls about their opinion on the war in Ukraine, almost half of them prefer not to support either side of the conflict, as if they have forgotten who attacked whom. This is not a coincidence. Pro-Russian guests appear on programs ranging from journalistic to entertainment.
Head of Russian diplomacy – Sergey Lavrov He often has the opportunity to convey Moscow’s point of view on Italian television, and the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman is allowed to speak – Maria ZakharovaGet up Alexander Dugin. There are opinions that there was no massacre in Buca.
The family media, in particular, are happy to host the Russians Silvio Berlusconiego – The late former Prime Minister of Italy, who did not hide his good relations with Vladimir Putin.
Invitations to the Russians guarantee heated debate in the studio, and TV stations rely on ratings. Italian broadcasters advocate that people with different viewpoints should be allowed to speak.
– It depends on the media culture of a particular country – replies Entrea Dr. Bartlomiej Biskup from the University of Warsaw Specializing in political marketing.
– In most countries, these people would not be allowed to participate in the debate, and there would be no arguments for them to speak in the name of media freedom – says Dr. Biskup. He adds: “In this way, the Italian media legitimizes the situation, people who deny the war, the aggression and the massacre in Buca.”
In other European countries, it is unreasonable to give the antenna to Russian politicians – after all, they represent the aggressor state. There were also statements in the Italian media that this was Zelensky’s policy and that he himself was responsible for the Russian attack, and that a former member of the Five Star Movement Bianca Laura Janato She decided that Bucza was an “invented massacre.”
“No one voted for Bin Laden.”
Last year, an Italian parliamentary committee began an investigation into the alleged links of commentators appearing in Italian media to the Kremlin. For this reason, Ukrainians do not want to appear face to face with pro-Russian guests on Italian television.
The Italians defend themselves by allowing discussion on both sides of the conflict, turning a deaf ear to arguments that no one gave a voice to bin Laden.
According to research by the European Foreign Affairs Council, the effects can be seen in the views of Italian society: A third believe that Zelensky and the United States should be blamed for the war.
Denial of Russian crimes
– The Ukrainians do a good job of propaganda at home during the war, but they no longer have the means to operate on the territory of other countries. The Russians have a very broad idea about this, because they have been preparing for it for years – for example through so-called troll farms. Fake accounts are created to spread misinformation. It is enough that someone knows the language, reality and customs well and can spread fake products in a particular country – emphasizes Dr. Bartlomiej Biskup from the University of Warsaw.
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue conducted a study of social media in Italy and found that the most shared posts were those questioning Russian war crimes in Ukraine, including in Bucha.
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