Italian newspaper La Stampa has denied accusations it engaged in disinformation by publishing a front page photo of a Ukrainian ballistic missile strike on Donetsk while suggesting it had been carried out by Russia.
The daily news outlet promised readers coverage of Russian attacks in Kiev and Lvov alongside a headline that read “The Carnage”.
The headline was illustrated with an image of a man covering his face in grief as dead bodies lie around him along with lines about “traumatized children in Lvov” and “Kiev preparing for the final assault” by Russian troops.
The photograph actually showed the aftermath of a ballistic missile strike on Donetsk, the capital of a pro-Russian breakaway republic in eastern Ukraine, after it was hit by a tactical Tochka-U ballistic missile that was almost certainly launched by Ukraine.
❗️#LaStampa di oggi scrive dei “bombardamenti russi” senza menzionare però che la foto nella prima pagina è scattata il 14.03 a #Donetsk dopo che gli ucraini hanno bombardato una zona residenziale. Almeno 20 civili hanno perso la vita. Ne abbiamo scritto, La Stampa invece – no. pic.twitter.com/ikomLNDjJp
— Russian Embassy in Italy (@rusembitaly) March 16, 2022
However, editor-in-chief Massimo Giannini vehemently denied in an interview that the publication had deliberately misled readers.
“The thing that bothers me most and pains me a lot is that there are also some people here in Italy, some disgraced people of the web, who amplify this and call it a case of disinformation,” said Giannini.
“Where is the disinformation?” he asked.
How about right there on your front page, Massimo?
Imagine if a Russian newspaper had published emotive front page coverage of alleged Ukrainian attacks on pro-Russian rebel areas of the country and then illustrated it with images that actually showed Russian attacks on Kiev.
Critics would immediately denounce the publication for engaging in egregious disinformation, and they’d be right.
Apparently though, amidst the ideological clamor to support the “current thing,” only Russia engages in propaganda and disinformation.
NATO powers and western media outlets are complete saints!
UPDATE: The Ukrainian government is also tweeting the same photos claiming they are evidence of Russian atrocities!
You may not understand the language, but the grief on the faces of these people is clear to everyone.
— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) March 17, 2022
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Rand Paul Calls Out Complete Lack Of Oversight On Ukraine Aid
“Didn’t someone try to legislatively mandate a special inspector general to scrutinize Ukrainian spending?”
Senator Rand Paul reacted Monday to news that the Biden administration is struggling to account for some $20 billion in aid that was sent to Ukraine, noting that both political parties ignored his call for an inspector general to overlook it.
A report from Fox News, linked in a tweet by Paul, notes that according to there Washington Post, the Biden administration inspected only 10% of 22,000 weapons the U.S. has provided to Ukraine between February and November.
It also outlines how Republicans could push for audits to determine where all the military aid is going and how much of it is ending up in the wrong hand.
“Didn’t someone try to legislatively mandate a special inspector general to scrutinize Ukrainian spending?” Paul urged, adding “Oh, that’s right, it was my amendment and most Democrats AND Republicans opposed any semblance of oversight.”
Just a fortnight ago, following the throughly debunked “Russian missile attack” on a Polish border town, which turned out to be a Ukrainian missile that had stayed off course, Biden asked Congress to provide another $37.7 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine.
The United States has already pledged more than 52 billion euros in military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the war began in February 2022 and October 3, way more than any other nation or nations combined.
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Ukraine Tells People Not To Panic As WHO Warns Of ‘Life-Threatening’ Winter
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a Monday statement that the power situation in Ukraine is so dire that it will potentially be “life-threatening” for millions of Ukrainians due to the recent devastating series of Russian air attacks on the national energy grid.
“Put simply – this winter will be about survival,” Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the United Nations’ health body, said from the Ukrainian capital. “This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine,” he added.
The attacks, the last major wave of which came this past Tuesday and continued intermittently into the weekend, are “already having knock-out effects on the health system and on the people’s health,” Kluge described.
“Continued attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean hundreds of hospitals and health care facilities are no longer fully operational,” the WHO official said. “We expect two to three million more people to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety,” he forewarned.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal last Friday estimated that half of the entirety of the country’s energy infrastructure has been disabled by the Russian attacks at this point. Millions are already without power as temperatures plunge and Kiev saw its first snow of the season starting days ago.
“Unfortunately Russia continues to carry out missile strikes on Ukraine’s civilian and critical infrastructure. Almost half of our energy system is disabled,” Shmyhal was cited in Reuters as saying.
Politico reported last week that Congressional leaders had been given classified intelligence reports detailing the expected impact of Russia’s campaign to degrade Ukraine’s power grid.
“The Ukrainian government is warning Western allies that it is anticipating increased Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure in the coming days and that Kyiv does not have enough replacement parts to bring heat and power back online if those occur, according to two congressional officials and one Western official briefed on U.S. intelligence,” the report said.
Politico detailed further that “Ukrainian officials have in recent days asked their American counterparts and more than half a dozen European countries for assistance preparing for a prolonged period with limited electricity and gas — a scenario Kyiv expects to complicate fighting on the ground and displace civilians, the officials and an adviser to the Ukrainian government said.”
Amid emergency rolling blackouts and city or regional mandates banning use of large appliances and other imposed consumption limits, Ukraine government officials are urging the people not to panic. “Denying the panicky statements spread by social networks and online media, we assure you that the situation with the energy supply is difficult, but under control,” the energy ministry said in a Saturday statement.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
AP Fires Reporter Behind False Report Claiming ‘Russian Missiles Struck Poland’
The Associated Press on Monday fired one of two reporters with a byline on last week’s now-retracted report that claimed “Russian missiles” had “crossed into NATO member Poland” and killed two people.
That report, which was widely cited across the internet and on cable news, was taken offline the following day and replaced with an editor’s note admitting the single source [a “senior U.S. intelligence official”] was wrong and that “subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.”
On Monday, the AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for that story, Confider has learned.
The piece, which was originally co-bylined with John Leicester (who is still working at the AP), attributed the information to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official,” despite the AP’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.”
The only exception, according to its statement of news values and principles, is when “material comes from an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy”—a situation that seemingly did not occur, as the report was fully retracted last Wednesday.
When reached for comment, an AP spokesperson did not comment on LaPorta’s ouster but instead wrote: “The rigorous editorial standards and practices of The Associated Press are critical to AP’s mission as an independent news organization. To ensure our reporting is accurate, fair and fact-based, we abide by and enforce these standards, including around the use of anonymous sources.”
The Washington Post blamed internal “confusion and misunderstanding” for the report:
Internal AP communications viewed by The Post show some confusion and misunderstanding during the preparations of the erroneous report.
LaPorta shared the U.S. official’s tip in an electronic message around 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. An editor immediately asked if AP should issue an alert on his tip, “or would we need confirmation from another source and/or Poland?”
After further discussion, a second editor said she “would vote” for publishing an alert, adding, “I can’t imagine a U.S. intelligence official would be wrong on this.”
But a person at the Associated Press familiar with the larger conversations surrounding the story that day said LaPorta also told his editors that a senior manager had already vetted the source of LaPorta’s tip — leaving the impression that the story’s sourcing had been approved. While that editor had signed off on previous stories using LaPorta’s source, that editor had not weighed in on the missile story.
Easton said the organization did not anticipate any discipline for the editors involved.
“She” voted to publish this bombshell report that violated the AP’s own rules on the use of anonymous sources and risked sparking WW3 because she couldn’t “imagine” a senior U.S. intelligence official could be wrong but she is not being fired — only LaPorta is getting canned.
Some great “standards” you got there, AP!This post was originally published at Information Liberation
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