The analyst tells Freddie Sayers that the media is giving a misleading picture
Getting an accurate picture of who is winning the war in Ukraine has become increasingly difficult in the information age. Log onto Twitter and there are images of burnt out Russian tanks being towed away by Ukrainian farmers and hostage-style videos featuring Russians POWs expressing regret over the invasion; meanwhile, Western news outlets are littered with tales of doughty Ukrainian protesters sending the Russian enemy into retreat and Kyivans discovering a newfound unity in the face of war.
But is this a fair depiction of what’s really occurring on the ground? As Bill Roggio, a leading military analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, tells Freddie Sayers, there has been a lot of boosterism for Ukraine in the media, which he says is creating a misleading picture of events. While it is understandable for Western media to be focusing on pro-Ukraine stories, it risks creating an illusion of success before such success is real — something that occurred last summer in Afghanistan. “We have to be careful not to fall into a situation where our coverage matches our desires,” Roggio says. This is especially difficult when information coming from the Russian side is so tightly controlled.
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It is only by looking at the maps of territory, Roggio argues, that we can track the Russian advances with precision. Here, it becomes clear that the Russians are making progress, albeit slowly, and taking over significant terrain on all its fronts. Currently the Russians have forces building around Kiev and are building inroads into the Luhansk Oblast and Mariupol. Even though the Russian strategy may be difficult to understand, we should be careful before saying that it is failing…
Watch the full interview above.