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Media and the Ukraine Crisis

Hybrid Media Practices and Narratives of Conflict


Mervi Pantti

How are media and communications transforming armed conflicts? How are conflicts made visible in the media in different national and transnational settings? How does the media serve as a means by which
various actors manage and communicate conflict?

These are some of the questions addressed in this book. Using a variety of disciplinary perspectives and analytical approaches, contributors discuss the complex, multi-level Ukraine conflict as it is imagined and enacted in and through various media. Covering a wide range of media forms and content, including television news, newspapers, PR campaigns, and social media content, they offer new, empirically grounded insight into the ways in which traditional mass media and new media forms are involved in narrating and shaping conflict.

This book is suitable for students of conflict and media courses in journalism, media and communication, politics, security, and Russian and Eastern European studies.

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Chapter Five: European Integration as Imagined by Ukrainian Pravda’s Bloggers


European Integration AS Imagined BY Ukrainian Pravda’s Bloggers


The “Revolution of Dignity,” which Ukrainian Pravda (UP) actively supported, started in Kyiv on November 21, 2013, when protesters expressed their disapproval of President Viktor Yanukovych and the government of Ukraine for refusing to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU). The events that followed are well-documented: the dispersal of demonstrators by police special forces, the escalation of the confrontation, violent clashes, human casualties, Yanukovych leaving Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea by Russia, an anti-Maidan insurgency in the east of Ukraine and the Ukrainian army’s actions against Donbas “terrorism.” From the onset of the “antiterrorist operation” in mid-April 2014 to the middle of September 2015, about 8,000 combatants and civilians were killed in Eastern Ukraine; at least 17,811 were injured (United Nations, 2015b), and more than 900,000 people had been “internally displaced,” with over 600,000 Ukrainians having “fled the country” (United Nations, 2015a).

The idea of European integration, pushed forward by the Maidan, was not unanimously accepted throughout Ukraine. Regional differences were very sharp: While 82% percent in the West and 57% in Northern Ukraine supported it, 63% in the East preferred the Eurasian Custom Union led by Russia (Kull, Kelleher, Ramsay, Lewis, & Pierce, 2015). In February, when Kyiv was already in flames and people were dying in its streets in the name of Euro-integration, the support for this integration across Ukraine was no higher than 41%...

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