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Western media criticized for amplifying Russian narratives on Crimea strike

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirmed striking a crucial Russian space surveillance facility in Crimea, used for targeting civilians in Ukraine, but leading Western media outlets focused their reports on Russian civilian casualties based on Russian statements, which were incoherent.
crimea attack
Debris falling in occupied Crimea, 23 June. Source: Status 6 (Military and Conflict news) on X
Western media criticized for amplifying Russian narratives on Crimea strike

Western experts accused leading media outlets, including the BBC, The Guardian, and CNN of unwittingly promoting Russian narratives in their coverage of Ukraine’s recent strike on a military facility in occupied Crimea.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine confirmed the strike on the Space Surveillance and Communication Center in Crimea, an important military site that helped Russians target civilian objects in Ukrainian cities.

However, initial reports from major news organizations focused heavily on Russian accounts emphasizing civilian casualties on Crimean beaches. 

German commentator Jürgen Nauditt pointed out apparent inconsistencies in Russia’s official statements, which initially claimed to have intercepted a US-supplied ATACMS missile over the beach before shifting to accusations of a deliberate Ukrainian attack on civilians. 

“One rule always applies – the Russians always lie,” Nauditt wrote.

Missile expert Fabian Hoffmann of the University of Oslo noted that video evidence strongly suggests the beach casualties were caused by debris from a Russian air defense interception rather than a direct attack. 

“The tourists were lucky that only a few M74 bombs detonated near the beach, most of them in the water. Otherwise, it could have been a bloody massacre,” Hoffmann said.

Journalist Joe Lindsley of Chicago’s WGN Radio, reporting from Ukraine, contrasted how Western media highlighted Russian casualty claims in Crimea while paying scant attention to Ukrainian civilians killed in Russian attacks on the city of Kharkiv in recent days. 

“Where are the headlines about Ukraine’s great success using precise American weapons to hit the places from which Russia attacks free people?” Lindsley asked.

Explosions in occupied Crimea, including Sevastopol, Yevpatoria, and Saky, were reported on 23 June.  Russian authorities claimed to have intercepted five American ATACMS missiles in Sevastopol, with debris killing three and injuring around a hundred people.

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