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Media and the Ukraine Crisis

Hybrid Media Practices and Narratives of Conflict

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Edited By 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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The Ukraine Conflict and the Media: An Introduction

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THE Ukraine Conflict AND THE Media

An Introduction

MERVI PANTTI

It is perhaps not too much of an overstatement to describe the ongoing Ukraine conflict as one of the most startling shocks in Europe since the Cold War ended in 1989. The annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the ensuing conflict in Eastern Ukraine brought back ominous memories of contested geopolitical spheres of influence and military aggression, which had been thought a thing of the past in Europe. The seizure of sovereign land was a breach of international law and was followed by a series of economic sanctions against Russia by the European Union and the United States, as well as Russia’s expulsion from the Group of 7 (G7). Unsurprisingly, the Ukraine conflict has raised public fears about entering a new Cold War and further insecurity and instability in Europe.

In humanitarian terms, the Ukraine conflict has become the costliest tragedy that Europe has witnessed since the wars in the former Yugoslavia (1991–1999). Over 1.6 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, over 9,000 killed, over 20,000 wounded, while 5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, especially in Eastern Ukraine (European Commission, 2016). Some episodes of the Ukraine conflict, such as the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 by a missile, turned it into a global event, involving parties and victims from several countries, the Netherlands suffering the greatest loss of life.

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