For the first time in modern warfare, we watch a conflict unfold in real-time. Everyone in Ukraine has a phone and, therefore, a video recorder. We are seeing footage from the frontlines, refugees fleeing and everyone is seeing the people’s day-to-day lives in Ukraine.
Incredible battle footage is also coming out.
The question remains, is it real? It is impossible to vet any reporting from either side in the conflict. Heroic stories are fed to the media, who breathlessly report them only to disprove the tales quickly. Snake Island and the Ghost of Kyiv are some examples that come to mind. Footage from other conflicts, pictures from years past and flat-out fakes are making the rounds on social media by the hour.
Is this person a Russian Pilot surrendering after being shot down?
Again, there is no way to know, but one thing is for sure. There is a propaganda war right now that may be just as important, if not more so, than the kinetic war. Zelenskyy has been shamelessly putting out heroic stories to cast himself as the savior of Ukraine and the Russians as the devil. He is trying to garner support for foreign troops to help or get a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) no-fly zone. The emotional appeals are working in the court of public opinion.
Shockingly, 74% of Americans think there should be a NATO no-fly zone. That is an insane amount of support for anything, especially something as complex as the conflict in Ukraine. Before retweeting that link, please note it is from the Kyiv Independent. Do you think they might have a personal stake in a high poll number? We can only know if we cannot be sure about anything being reported about the crisis. Govern your retweets accordingly.