“Cover Those Nazi Symbols, Please?”

The New York Times releases a small disgusting detail about reporting in Ukraine

Jun 5, 2023
Photo deleted from Ukrainian official Twitter account

The New York Times just released a story called “Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History,” about whether or not it means anything that some Ukrainian soldiers have been photographed wearing Nazi Death’s Head or “Totenkopf” symbols. One passage stands out:

In November, during a meeting with Times reporters near the front line, a Ukrainian press officer wore a Totenkopf variation made by a company called R3ICH (pronounced “Reich”). He said he did not believe the patch was affiliated with the Nazis. A second press officer present said other journalists had asked soldiers to remove the patch before taking photographs.

The institutional obstacles to getting clear information about the war in Ukraine are formidable, from embedding rules barring journalists from entering “red zones” (and requiring escorts in “yellow” areas), to casualties undercounted by officials on both sides, to open use of planted stories, to harassment of voices who go against official messaging. Journalists asking soldiers to remove Nazi patches is a new level of insanity. With the line between propagandist and reporter all but dissolved, how long before embeds are offered NATO uniforms? Who thinks this is a good idea?


Categories: Geopolitics

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