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Russian State Media Reports the Attack on Ukraine

An armoured vehicle moves across the town of Armyansk, northern Crimea. Sergei Malgavko / TASS

As Russian forces began a major offensive in Ukraine, state-run media organizations began the morning by describing the invasion as a “peacekeeping operation” and saying that the Ukrainian army is in retreat.


Russia 24: Russian state TV channel Russia 24 broadcast Russian President Vladimir Putin’s early morning speech in which he called for Ukrainian troops to “go home” and “understand” that Russia has to defend Russian-speaking people against an alleged genocide.

Russian TV channels also ran interviews with officials from the Eastern Ukrainian separatist Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics saying the Ukrainian army appeared to be “fleeing” from the territories rapidly “liberated” by Russian-supported forces.

Russian officials interviewed by Russia 24 presented the Russian offensive operation as a preemptive strike aimed at stopping an alleged Ukrainian invasion of Donbas.

Channel One: Channel One reported that Russian armed forces were not conducting any missile, air or artillery strikes in Ukrainian cities, while showing losses allegedly inflicted by Ukrainian shells in Russian-held territory.

NTV: The third leading state TV channel ran a video with a Defense Ministry representative saying that social media videos circulating on social media showing Russian shells hitting Ukrainian civilian infrastructure are fake. The Russian military accused Ukrainian authorities of producing disinformation. However, Russian TV channels are running footage of Russian missiles and shells hitting Ukrainian military facilities.

News agencies and papers

RIA Novosti: “Ukrainian Units Are Leaving Their Positions En Masse, the Defense Ministry Claimed,” read one RIA headline. The agency also reported that the Russian Defense Ministry said it had managed to suppress Ukraine’s anti-air defenses.

The Moskovsky Komsomolets paper reported that Luhansk People’s Republic officials are considering advancing to Odessa and other parts of Ukraine not adjacent to the separatist republics.

TASS: “Ukraine Has Cut Diplomatic Ties With Russia,” read one headline. TASS also covered economic losses already inflicted on Russia by sanctions

Komsomolskaya Pravda and other outlets also covered NATO reactions to the invasion.

Vedomosti reported, “The Price for Brent Oil Exceeded $103 per Barrel for the First Time Since 2014,” and “Sberbank Ready ‘For Any Developments in This Situation’.”

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