Kiev Bishop: Media Rumors of War Are Hurting Ukraine

A drone carries a Ukrainian National flag above the Independence Square to mark a "Day of Unity" in Kyiv on February 16, 2022. - Ukrainian leaders were to stage a "Day of Unity" on February 16, 2022 to rally patriotic support and defy fears of a Russian invasion, as Moscow …

The Catholic bishop of Kiev, Vitalii Kryvytskyi, has warned of negative side effects for the people of Ukraine from irresponsible news stories stoking fears of war with Russia.

“We see very different media approaches to the crisis, the various media provide different interpretations,” Bishop Kryvytskyi told the Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana. “On the one hand, some media try to tell the objective facts, others express reflections and opinions that are to the detriment of Ukraine.”

“Ukraine is already suffering: investors try to take money out of our country, the national currency is devalued ​​and prices rise, airlines stop flights into our territory, some of the embassies have withdrawn their diplomatic corps, and many people think of emigrating,” the bishop said.

“And all this because of news spread without being justified by real and objective reasons,” he added.

Ukrainian police officers march along the Independence Square in central Kyiv on February 16, 2022. Ukrainian leaders were to stage a “Day of Unity” on February 16, 2022 to rally patriotic support. (SERGEI CHUZAVKOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Without offering specific examples, the bishop seemed to imply that stories of imminent, probable war are both unjustified and damaging to his country, as are the words of politicians who speak of war as inevitable.

“There is no real foundation or reason for the outbreak of war,” Kryvytskyi declared. “But in the coverage of the events and in the news we have seen many lies.”

“We ask the European and Western community not to manipulate Ukraine, not to play with our country for its interests,” he said. “We appeal to the fact that no conflict can be resolved with war. We appeal to the Ukrainian people to remain compact and united in this difficult moment.”

“Is this news useful to people or is it an instrument of manipulation in the hands of others, of people for whom disinformation is convenient?” he asked. “I send a message to politicians and journalists: always remember that every word has weight and consequences.”


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