Sources of Information

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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

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continued...

Благотворительный фонд Валерия Гергиева.

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Вы только посмотрите на описание целей фонда: укрепление и развитие социально-культурной сферы, поддержка молодых исполнителей, популяризация классической музыки, благотворительные акции и концерты, содействие в профессиональном обучении. Какие благородные цели!

В этот фонд перечисляют деньги и лично олигархи, и их фирмы, и государственные компании — банк ВТБ, РЖД, Россети, Сбербанк. В Фонд Гергиева платит правительство Москвы. Его даже международные известные бренды поддерживают — Мастеркард, Нестле, PWC. Ну а как не поддержать? Такое полезное, благородное дело.

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Мы изучили банковские проводки благотворительного фонда Валерия Гергиева и установили, что этот фонд является личным кошельком Маэстро, откуда он, не стесняясь абсолютно, в неограниченных количествах берет деньги себе на красивую жизнь.

Со счетов именно этого фонда, а отнюдь не из зарплаты Гергиева, оплачивалась репинская дача Маэстро, вип-концертный зал. То есть строили на деньги благотворителей, а собственность оказалась личная, Гергиева.

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Благотворительный Фонд Гергиева два года назад купил три соседние квартиры в элитном питерском жилом комплексе Art View House.

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Дом очень роскошный — стоит прямо у воды, в нем всего 24 квартиры и двухуровневый подземный паркинг. Там у фонда три квартиры общей площадью 335 квадратных метров, стоимость 260 миллионов рублей.

Гергиевский фонд отметился на рынке недвижимости и в Москве. В доме на Малом Каковинском переулке рядом с Арбатом фонд Валерия Гергиева купил аж четыре квартиры

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Их общая площадь 644 метра, а цена — 708 миллионов рублей. Есть еще четыре машиноместа, каждое стоит по 3,5 млн. Итого только квартир в Москве и Питере у фонда Гергиева почти на миллиард.

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Есть еще земельный участок на Рублевке, куда же без него благотворительному фонду. 73 сотки в Николиной горе, куплены в 2013 году. Стоит около 230 миллионов.

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Помимо скупки квартир, фонд оплачивает личные нужны Гергиева. Чего только мы там не нашли. У Валерия Гергиева есть банковская карта фонда, которая выпущена на его имя. И так мы узнали, что благотворители буквально кормят Маэстро. Зачем платить за еду самому, если можно заплатить деньгами госкомпаний?

Со своей карты Гергиев оплатил счет на 375 тысяч в Мюнхенской пивной.
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На 2,5 тысячи долларов из фонда он поел в Нью-Йоркском ресторане.
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2,5 тысячи евро ушло на врача в Баден-Бадене.
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Гергиев сделал 12 платежей в ресторане «Наша Дача» на общую сумму больше полумиллиона.
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Вот один платеж за коньяк, виски, водку, шампанское и вина на полтора миллиона рублей.
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Вот полет бизнес-джетом на 2,5 миллиона, это ли не благотворительность.
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Гергиев настолько нагло и бессовестно использует благотворительный фонд как личный кошелек, что оплачивает с него ремонт и коммунальные платежи в своей московской квартире.
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Вообще человек своими деньгами не пользуется! Вот наша любимая платежка. Благотворительный фонд им Валерия Гергиева оплатил услуги индивидуального предпринимателя Гонсалес Гонсалес Алексей Мануэльевич на 339 тысяч.
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Услуги заключались в поставке сигарных тубусов и показе афисионадо шоу. Это такое сигарное шоу, где учат крутить сигары и проводят их дегустацию.

И это еще не все. Кроме оплаты дорогих развлечений Гергиева, благотворительный фонд, который, напомним, должен поддерживать молодых исполнителей, просто переводит деньги Гергиеву лично. Только с 2018 по 2020 годы из благотворительного Фонд на личный счет Маэстро поступило больше чем 300 миллионов рублей.
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Чьи все это деньги? В основном госкомпаний. Полтора миллиарда рублей пожертвовал ВТБ.
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188 млн поступило от Сбербанка.
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70 млн перевел Газпромбанк.
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400 млн, сюрприз, пришло от правительства Москвы.
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Еще 430 млн дал олигарх Усманов.
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Там еще Сургутнефтегаз, Роснефть, Ренова, Северсталь, Газпромбанк, УГМК.
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Общая сумма пожертвований в Фонд Гергиева за последние 4 года — больше 4 миллиардов рублей.

Тут невозможно не напомнить, что всего несколько недель назад назад был вынесен приговор Алексею Навальному — девять лет строгого режима. Алексея Навального обвинили в том, что он собирал деньги на некоммерческую организацию, Фонд Борьбы с Коррупцией, а сам якобы тратил их личные нужды.

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Ни одного доказательства того, что Навальный получил хоть копейку от ФБК, не было. Навальный не тратил деньги ФБК на ремонт у себя дома, не заказывал частные самолеты, не скупал элитную недвижимость и даже не нанимал Гонсалес Гонсалеса для проведения сигарных шоу.

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Навальный на эти деньги боролся с коррупцией. И получил девять лет. Видите, какая грустная ирония: против Навального сфабриковали дело по фабуле, которая плюс-минус описывает то, что доверенное лицо Путина делает на самом деле каждый день.

Валерий Гергиев может быть хоть самым гениальным музыкантом на земле, но, к сожалению, это не отменит того, что он мошенник и вор; что рука об руку с его талантом идут обман и финансовые махинации на миллиарды рублей. С бюджетными деньгами.

Вот она, та самая сделка с Путиным. Показная любовь, очистка репутации, оправдание преступника — и все это, банально, за деньги.

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Наше итальянское путешествие мы сняли за несколько дней до начала войны. Тогда только шли разговоры о том, что нападение России на Украину возможно, что у границ стянуты войска. Мы хотели вам рассказать историю о лицемере Гергиеве, который прямо в те дни один за одним давал концерты в Европе, прославлял Путина и путинский режим, сам при этом не связывая собственную жизнь с Россией.

Но сейчас Валерий Гергиев, не осудивший, не сказавший ни слова про войну, встал в один ряд с военными преступниками. Под аккомпанемент оркестра Гергиева взрываются ракеты, вырезаются украинские города, расстреливают мирных людей и сжигают все живое.

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Талант Гергиева теперь подчинен войне, смерти и разрушению. Под его музыку уничтожают Россию, отбрасывают ее на десятилетия назад, делают нищей, бросают в тюрьмы и убивают несогласных, затыкают рты всем тем, кто осмелится что-то сказать.

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Мы не сомневаемся, что Валерий Абисалович это расследование посмотрит или прочитает. Как и в том, что это сделают многие другие адепты путинской войны. Поэтому пусть они посмотрят и на эти кадры. Вы, доверенные лица, придворные артисты, пропагандисты и инстаграм-войска, вы, деятели культуры, вывешивающие путинские свастики на фасады своих театров, несете ответственность за это.

Мы требуем внесения Валерия Гергиева и всех доверенных лиц Путина, которые по сегодняшний день не отреклись от своего сумасшедшего покровителя, в санкционные списки всех стран мира. Пока Гергиев не находится ни в одном.

Чтобы не было ни одной приличной страны, где путинские приближенные могли бы открыть счет, купить квартиру, чтобы ни один театр, ни одна сцена мира не подпускала и близко этих, пусть и талантливых, но этих очень продажных людей.

Ваши достижения стер Путин. Обнулил. Ваш талант не стоит ничего, если под его флагами уничтожают будущее. Мы требуем лишения Гергиева всех его орденов — пусть с него сдирают все эти Звезды Италии, ордена Почетного Легиона, Ордена искусств и литературы Франции и бесконечные медали от других государств.

Между российской культурой и миром не нужен посредник, если этот посредник мошенник, коррупционер и трус. Российской культуре за границей не нужно специальное лицо, тем более, если это лицо одновременно — Путина и войны.

Свободу Алексею Навальному!
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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

Post by DaffyVina »

Re: the above, I thought it is safe to say Navalny has the receipts!

Another gamer shared this interesting discussion regarding rhetoric used by Putin.
C'est intéressant à regarder, si vous comprenez le français.

N'oubliez pas d'utiliser un VPN...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbiYMvg67n0
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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

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(Why Freedom of Information is Needed)
Ukraine war: How Russia replaces Ukrainian media with its own
By Maria Korenyuk and Jack Goodman
BBC World Service Disinformation Team
Published22 hours ago

A screenshot from a Russian TV report showing armed men in military clothing entering the television station
IMAGE SOURCE,RODNOI KRASNODON
Image caption, Russian forces have attempted to take control of news organisations in Ukraine

Serhiy Starushko and his journalist colleagues had just finished their morning editorial meeting in early March when Russian military vehicles drew up outside.

Within minutes, soldiers stormed through the front doors of the three-storey building, home to a local news station in the occupied Ukrainian port city of Berdyansk.

About 50 employees were held hostage for five hours.

They had become victims of the real-world fight to control the flow of information.

Russian forces are occupying towns, threatening journalists and demanding they spread pro-Kremlin views. Those who refuse are forced to close down their operations.

The strategy to replace Ukrainian media with pro-Kremlin press coverage includes capturing transmitter towers and switching off access to national Ukrainian news programmes in areas controlled by Russian forces. Instead, signals for pro-Russian broadcasts are switched on.

The State Special Communications Service of Ukraine told the BBC that eight stations are being used to air "propaganda and disinformation" to the local population in southern Ukraine.

In Berdyansk, Serhiy - a broadcast journalist - was forced to lie on camera and announce he was declaring a war against so-called ''Ukrainian nationalists". The Russians said they would post this coerced declaration online if he refused to co-operate.

"There were armed people everywhere, a few dozen of them, and I think five to six of them were from the FSB [Russian security service]. They said, 'now it's Russia, and if you want to live, you'll have to co-operate'," recalls Serhiy, now safely out of the region.

For him and his colleagues, "co-operation" meant demands to divulge the contacts of local pro-Ukrainian activists and soldiers, and air pro-Russian propaganda. These were not empty threats.

A group photo of journalists, including Serhiy, before war broke out in Ukraine
IMAGE SOURCE,SERHIY STARUSHKO
Image caption, A photo taken before the invasion shows Serhiy (second from the right) and his colleagues

"They took me to a separate room. They started beating me on my head, chest, legs, they were beating me with their knees and palms, so there were fewer bruises," he says, recalling the incident.

"Then one of them threatened me with a gun: he held it to my head and genitals. They asked me if I wanted to call my wife to say 'goodbye' to her."

The next day, Russian TV channels showed a video claiming to show the capturing of the station - but the building was already empty when they turned up with cameras. The Russian reporter said the army had to take control of the station because it was spreading "disinformation about the situation in the city".

It was the last functioning Ukrainian broadcasting company in Berdyansk. Another company was also shut down; national broadcasting has been cut off.

Before the invasion, residents in the region could watch dozens of national Ukrainian channels - and a few local ones - but these have since been blocked.

Unless they have a satellite dish, citizens in occupied cities now only have access to 24 Russian state TV channels and those channels broadcasting from self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine.

"It's just fake news, I don't even want to watch it. They're brainwashing people," says 28-year-old Anna (not her real name), who still lives in Berdyansk. She only watches a music channel and relies on limited access to the internet for reliable news.

And now a Crimea-based channel has launched news bulletins for residents in what Russia calls the "liberated areas" of the south of Ukraine.

Media caption, Pro-Kremlin channel says life in the recently occupied city of Berdyansk is “peaceful”

There's no mention of a war. Journalists claim "the life in the region has improved with the arrival of the Russian forces", and these areas "have real prospects to get out of the crisis created by the Ukrainian authorities".

"This is a key part of the Russian strategy. Because information warfare is always a part of a real war," explains Natalia Vyhovska, from the Ukrainian Institute of Mass Information.

"They start broadcasting Russian TV, they threaten independent journalists. They come with weapons to their newsrooms, their houses and their parents' houses."

The same tactics were also employed when Crimea was invaded in 2014, according to Reporters Without Borders, an organisation that supports press freedom.

But as well as hijacking the airwaves, Russians are producing imposter content - as Mykhailo Kumok, who owns a media company in the southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol, discovered.

After the Russian forces took over the city, five armed officers knocked on his door. They confiscated his laptop and computer, and took Mykhailo and his wife to their base - for a "conversation".

Mykhailo and his wife
IMAGE SOURCE,MYKHAILO
Image caption, Mykhailo became aware that a newspaper using his company logo was being handed out in support of the invasion

They asked him why his media company called the Russians "occupiers". Mykhailo replied, what else should he call them?

"They started talking about so-called 'de-Nazification' and I replied, 'I'm a Jew, I'm a Russian-speaking Jew - so why did you come here? For me, you're nothing but occupiers'."

Mykhailo says he wasn't going to co-operate with the Russians and publish their propaganda, so he decided to shut down both his newspaper and website. But he was shocked when he saw a fake newspaper with his company's branding being delivered to locals.

"That was a fake newspaper with terrible printing, but with our logo. On the first page there was a portrait of the mayor installed by Russia, a small portrait of Putin and a picture showing the occupiers helping those in need."

Screenshot of the fake newspaper on the left and the original product on the right.
IMAGE SOURCE,MYKHAILO KUMOK
Image caption, A pro-Russian imitation (left) of an established newspaper (right) has been circulated in Melitopol
Image

One of the articles said the Russian authorities would lower gas prices, write off all bank debts and temporarily cancel all tax payments.

Unrealistic pledges which echo those made by Russia in annexed Crimea in 2014.

"That time they also promised the residents [they would] write off credit debts, return their savings - but nothing happened," says Eugen Fedchenko, chief editor of StopFake, a fact-checking organisation specialising in tackling Russian propaganda and fake news.

"That's why most Ukrainians understand that all these promises are just empty words."

Mykhailo agrees. He is concerned that propaganda such as the fake newspaper may influence older people, but most, he says, will look at what happened when Russian forces invaded Crimea and backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

"People here won't blindly believe the [Russian] media. First of all, they'll ask themselves, 'has my life become better or worse since the Russian troops invaded?' And life here has certainly become worse - almost for everyone."
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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

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Ukraine war: How a school survivor became a target of Russian disinformation
By Olga Robinson and Orysia Khimiak
BBC Monitoring
Published23 hours ago

Screenshot from a Belarusian TV station showing a presenter speaking on the right and a bloodied young woman with a stamp "fake" on the left
IMAGE SOURCE,BELARUS 1 TV
Image caption, False Russian allegations about Tania have been repeated on Belarusian state TV

After an air strike hit a school in Chernihiv, a video of a bloodied survivor went viral on Ukrainian social media. But soon her story was hijacked by pro-Kremlin accounts, including one promoted by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which falsely accused her of being a fake.

"There was no whistle, rustling or sound of shelling," Tania says. "It just hit the building and suddenly everything went dark. The building collapsed."

Tania was caught up in an air strike in early March. She was helping sort clothes for a humanitarian aid drive in school number 21 in Chernihiv, north of Kyiv, when a missile hit the building.

Screenshot from the Telegram messenger shows a school building partially destroyed
IMAGE SOURCE,VYACHESLAV CHAUS/TELEGRAM
Image caption, Local authorities in Chernihiv posted a video of school number 21 on Telegram after the attack
Image

Although authorities did not name the school, the BBC was able to confirm the specific building via images posted on the Telegram social media app.

Local authorities reported at the time that Russian aircraft had hit two schools that day, leaving nine people dead and four injured.

Tania was knocked out by the blast. She says when she regained consciousness, she realised she was alive and could walk. She stood up, looked around and saw people in a state of panic. She also noticed bodies lying on the floor, including that of a woman who had been standing next to her just minutes before the strike.

Scared, she fled to her home.

Image showing two photographs of a school - with piles of clothes on the left and smashed windows and rubble on the floor on the right
IMAGE SOURCE,TANIA
Image caption, Tania took these two pictures before (L) and after (R) the attack on school number 21
Image

There, she posted a video on Instagram - still covered in blood and with visible injuries on her face - in which she explained what had happened.

"I was at school number 21 when the explosion happened," she says in the clip. "I survived. Good luck to everyone. I hope you are luckier than me.
"Why am I recording this story? It's just that there were many children at that school. I don't know whether they have survived. Just send this video to all your Russian friends."

In a matter of hours, her video went viral in Ukraine. The clip garnered tens of thousands of views on Instagram alone, and was picked up by a number of Ukrainian news websites.

Screenshot of a video showing a young woman covered in blood with visible injuries on her face
IMAGE SOURCE,TANIA/INSTAGRAM
Image caption, Tania's video went viral in Ukrainian social media a few hours after she uploaded it to Instagram
Image

Tania told the BBC that she had acquired thousands of new followers and received dozens of messages on Instagram - some supportive, some threatening.

People from Russia were among those who wrote to her. Some of them apologised for the actions of the Russian authorities. But others did not believe her story and called her "fake".

Fabrication claims
Soon Tania's friends started sending her screenshots from Russian and Belarusian media outlets, in which her video was described as a fabrication.

These reports described her as a "pupil", claimed that the wound on her face was not real, and alleged the blood on her face did not look natural and that she was behaving too "normally" for a person who had just survived a bombing.

The claims were false. Tania is no "pupil" - she is 29 years old and worked as a waitress before the invasion started.

Pictures she took of herself on the second day after the attack - shared with the BBC - clearly show facial injuries consistent with the footage she posted on Instagram.

As for her seemingly calm composure, Tania told the BBC that she was in "deep shock" when she recorded the video.

A close-up of a young woman's face with clearly visible injuries, including a cut around her mouth
IMAGE SOURCE,TANIA
Image caption, Tania's injuries were still clearly visible in the picture she took two days after the bombing
Image

"I was calm and wasn't scared. Just shocked," she says. "A few hours after that, I was in hysterics. For the next two days, I couldn't eat or sleep, I just cried. It was a nightmare."

Some Russian reports also claimed schools across Ukraine stopped operating at the beginning of the invasion, and claimed there could not have been many children in the school at the time of the strike.

But the school was being used as a collection point for humanitarian aid and considered a safe place by local residents, Tania says, some of whom had brought their children there.

Officials confirmed that account. Vyacheslav Chaus, the head of the Chernihiv regional state administration, told us the school's basement was open so that local civilians could hide in case of shelling.

Fake fact-checkers
Tania is one of a number of Ukrainian civilians who have been falsely accused by Russian media outlets - and even the Russian government - of somehow faking attacks.

Among the key sources spreading false claims about Tania was an account called War on Fakes, whose "debunk" of her video has so far been viewed more than 400,000 times on Telegram.

Promoted by the Russian Foreign Ministry and embassies on social media, it is a multilingual "fact-checking" project that claims to provide "unbiased information about what is happening in Ukraine".

While some of its fact-checks are genuine, it includes false information such as the allegations against Tania. And its content repeats Moscow's talking points on the war: claims that Ukraine is the aggressor, that Ukrainians are committing widespread war crimes, and that any evidence of Russian wrongdoing is fabricated.

Stories either attributed to War on Fakes or echoing its arguments have appeared in pro-Kremlin communities on Russian social network VK, a number of regional Russian media outlets, at least one news agency and Belarusian state TV.

Sadness and flashbacks
Tania says she felt not anger but sadness when she saw the false claims about herself circulating online.

"I felt sad and sorry for these people who believe all these lies. They are so scared to admit this war is real and all these things are happening, so it's easier for them to find excuses or reasons not to believe in it or call my story a fake. It's easier for them to believe that Ukraine is a theatre and Ukrainians are actors."

She has left Ukraine for Poland. She now has a scar on her face. Her eyesight was damaged by the bombing and she says she's suffering from post-traumatic stress.
"I have flashbacks of the attack even when I'm in Poland," she says. "Frankly, I don't think I'm ready to go back home."
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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

Post by DaffyVina »

An interesting discussion on the role of sporting sanctions, on the BBC so some places will need to use a VPN:
https://www.bbc.com/sport/africa/60778652
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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

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navalny
Verified
Путин - царь лжи. Он и в обычное время чемпион в этом виде спорта, а сейчас она ему нужна для того, чтобы вести войну и убивать. Пост о том, как мы противостоим путинской лжи и нуждаемся в вашей помощи.

За неделю до войны мне написала шеф нашего отдела расследований Мария Певчих @maria_pevchikh: “Происходит ад. И мы с тобой ошиблись - война точно будет. И всех журналистов посадят, раздавят и выгонят. Не будет ни одного слова правды. Поэтому я не знаю как, не знаю с кем, не знаю на какие деньги, но мы должны запустить новое большое ежедневное СМИ. Ведь в России, кроме нас, очень мало тех, кто не боится говорить правду. А нам уже все равно, мы и так “экстремисты” на нелегальном положении”.

Как человек, получающий новости только из телевизора и понимающий, что ложь - абсолютно необходимое Путину условие для начала войны, я сразу согласился.

Война может продолжаться до того момента, пока у нее есть какая-то поддержка внутри страны. Для этого нужны ложь и пропаганда.

Ну а нам для борьбы с войной нужна правда и механизмы ее донесения.

Однако решить это проще, чем сделать. Регулярное СМИ - это особый жанр. Особые технологии, особые люди. Страшно такое даже начинать.

Но слово “война” все меняет. ФБК бросился в новый проект, начав делать его сразу и буквально “на коленке”. У нас даже не было времени объявить фандрайзинговую кампанию. Сам не понимаю, как мы это сделали и на какие деньги.

Но сделали. Сегодня “Популярная политика” - одно из самых крупных свободных СМИ России с ежемесячной аудиторией более 12 млн человек и ежедневными новостями, которые смотрят до 1,5 млн (статистика в карусели).

Теперь мы уверены, знаем, что делать дальше, и просим вашей поддержки. Давайте делать вместе. Мы расширим охват гораздо сильнее и создадим настоящую новостную службу.

Замечательный Эдвард Нортон @edwardnortonofficial помог нам распланировать и запустить фандрайзинговую кампанию на GoFundMe. И даже перевел нам свои личные $25000.

Помогите нам рассказывать правду о войне и всем остальным гражданам России. Помогите крушить ложь Путина. Помогите уничтожить идейную базу этой лживой, агрессивной, бессмысленной и злобной войны. Поддержите слово правды. Ссылка в шапке профиля.
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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

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What I look for in sources of news information?

Does the article name their sources of information where possible?
Do they offer ways for this information to be checked?
If professional content (e.g. a medical report) have they used a source subject to rigorous peer review?
Do they make it clear when the reporter is conveying information from someone else?
Do they verify any information independently themselves? (and note when this is not possible)
Do they acknowledge any clear differences of opinion or difficulties acquiring factual information?
If they offer an opinion or narrative on information presented, do they make a coherent argument for their perspective?
If there are other witnesses / sources of news, what agreement is there?

Regarding the BBC, I have found that on these criteria, their news information to be overall very reliable, and in keeping with their remit to provide "unbiased / non-partisan" news coverage. In the UK I have found that Channel 4 news follows a similar approach.

There are other forms of bias which I view as stemming from unconscious biases present in individuals and societies. Sometimes, out of concern to be open about dissenting opinions, there can be a false equivalence set up, where they are not clear about the differences in reliability between two sources of opinion, e.g. this person who is an expert in this field has this opinion because of extensive evidence, whilst this other person googled this once and says...

Whilst I can see there is room for improvement, these do not make them an unreliable source of news. Comparing the BBC and Channel 4 News on these criteria, I suspect Channel 4 does more active work to counteract these biases.

I've broken this down this way, because it seems that there are lots of criticisms of "Mainstream Media" floating around, but these are two examples from the UK where I think much of the time they get things right and provide an important service.

I've included three different news articles below from the BBC, that I think illustrate the above principles at work.
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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

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Somerset First Aider witnessed 'inhuman' acts in Ukraine
Published 1 day ago
(From BBC Somerset)

Steve Brooks standing in front of a damaged aeroplane
Image caption, Steve Brooks said at times he was too exhausted to get up during the air raids

An ex-Army medic who volunteered to medically train troops in Ukraine said what he saw there was "inhuman".

First Aid At Work instructor Steve Brooks from Shepton Mallet travelled to the war-torn state to deliver life-saving equipment and skills.
The 46-year-old former Army medic was supported by local group Somerset Aid for Ukraine and his wife Tabby at home.

Mr Brooks said watching news about the conflict on his sofa when he was ill had inspired him to volunteer abroad.
"The bombing of the maternity hospital was horrendous, the schools were horrendous.
"I decided that I could be ill lying on my sofa or I could be ill helping other people, so I decided to help other people," he added.

Mr Brooks, who previously worked for the Royal Army Medical Corps, made an official request to the Ukrainian government to fly over and help train their troops in first aid.

'So tired'

He spent six weeks providing a course with "three of four life-saving skills" for the battlefield.

His work as an NHS responder during the pandemic had helped to refresh his first aid skills, he said.

Somerset Aid for Ukraine and Mrs Brooks helped to co-ordinate sending medical supplies, such as tourniquets and haemostatic dressings, to his station.

Mr Brooks said he was scared "all the time" but became so tired that he "couldn't even be bothered" to wake up for air raids.

"So I just put a pillow over my head and hoped for the best."

Steve Brooks
Image caption, Steve Brooks spent six years in the British Army and the Royal Army Medical Corps in the 1990s

Mrs Brooks said: "The first day he told me [he wanted to travel to Ukraine] I was really angry because I was frightened, but then we got into practical mode.

"It became something he needed to do."

"Some of the things that I saw human beings doing to other human beings will probably stay with me for the rest of my life," Mr Brooks said.

"What's going on in Ukraine is terrifying, but the most humbling thing I have ever been through."

He said he still found time to listen to his local BBC Radio station while he was there.

"I always listened to BBC Radio Somerset in the mornings.

"I wanted to lighten the mood a little bit when I was over there so I would put it on and get other people involved.

"Humour keeps you going everyday. You have to laugh otherwise you won't be able to do the job."
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DaffyVina
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Re: Sources of Information

Post by DaffyVina »

Ukraine war: 'When the shelling stops, the traitors will be punished'
By Andrew Harding
Donbas region
Published 1 day ago
BBC World- Europe

Svetlana Kravchenko
Image caption, Svetlana Kravchenko says karma will catch up with anyone in Bakhmut who supported the Russian offensive.

A clash of loyalties is dividing opinion among residents in Bakhmut - a town on the front line in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region.

Sometimes it slips out as a whisper. More often, it is hidden behind euphemisms and shrugs - and carefully ambivalent replies. And then, once in a while, a fiercely pro-Russian sentiment is simply blurted out, like the crack of a gunshot, here in the rolling green hills of the Donbas.

"This is Russian territory. Ukraine is the occupier here," said a man in overalls, standing with a group of council workers. They had been clearing weeds in Bakhmut - a Ukrainian town currently within easy earshot of Russian artillery.

And the man was not alone in his apparent contempt for Ukraine's territorial integrity. Beside him, 65-year-old Yelena merely couched her views in more ambiguous terms.

"I don't know Putin personally, so I can't tell you what I think of him. But I don't see Russia as the enemy. We all lived together in the Soviet Union. So, let's see what happens [if Russia occupies the town]," she said.

The notion that Ukraine stands resolutely united in opposition to Russia's invasion may hold true for much for the country. But here in the Donbas, there is a large ethnic-Russian minority, a painful history of eight years of separatist conflict with Russian-backed militias and - particularly for an older generation - a powerful nostalgia for the USSR.

Workers clear weeds in Bakhmut
Image caption, Workers clear weeds in Bakhmut

The result is an increasingly fraught clash of loyalties, with at least some residents of Bakhmut - a key hub for people fleeing from the Luhansk region further east - unashamedly supportive of the latest Russian invasion.

"Putin is a clever guy, a clever KGB man," said an 80-year-old retired engineer, as she sat in the kitchen of a local cafeteria peeling potatoes. If Russians seized the town, it would "make no difference to me," she whispered, before falling quiet when a colleague came into the room.

"I'm a creation of the Soviet Union. We all lived together in those days and I have relatives everywhere. I'm not going to tell you what I think of Putin," said another elderly ethnic-Russian woman who was part of the work group preparing to plant rows of young trees at the entrance to Bakhmut.

Some Ukrainians here have brushed aside these pro-Russian comments as the harmless grumblings of an out-of-touch generation - of a handful of elderly pensioners who are reluctant to leave their homes, and whose opinions are unlikely to have any significant impact on the course of this war.

But in other parts of Ukraine, recently liberated from Russian occupation, there is evidence that collaborators may have actively assisted the Kremlin's troops. And today, in front-line towns like Bakhmut, there are concerns that pro-Russian sentiment could pose a real risk, particularly if it is shared by officials in local administrations.

"These guys are trying to have it both ways - win or lose," said a local businessman, Dmytro Kononets, describing what he claimed was the attitude of some figures in the town council.

He contrasted the relatively low-key public comments of the town's Mayor, Reva Oleksiy, to the loudly defiant tone struck by many of Ukraine's younger regional governors and public officials, and asked why the council was busy employing people to dig up weeds when they could be digging trenches instead.

"Obviously, they don't really want to prevent [Russia from seizing the town]. It's like they're just pretending. It's just ridiculous," said Kononets, adding that he knew many locals who got all their news from Russian television and believed "that nonsense".

But the council's supporters said such suspicions were misplaced. They defend the beautification campaign being carried out on the town's streets as a inspiring and defiant display of business-as-usual in the face of Russian aggression.

"This is our form of resistance," one of the council workers involved told us.

"The mayor is firmly pro-Ukrainian, without doubt," said a town councillor, who nonetheless asked that we not print his name.

The mayor himself declined to give an interview. He has held the same post for more than 30 years. His deputy, Maxim Sutkovyi, dismissed suggestions that the mayor might be less than loyal to Ukraine as "beneath contempt".

"Bakhmut is part of Ukraine. Our job is to protect daily life here, to keep doing our jobs and not collapse into hysterics. No doubt there are [collaborators] here, but it is up to the security services to root them out," said Sutkovyi.

While most families in Bakhmut have already left the town, following official advice, there are plenty of local volunteers, in uniform, who have stayed on to fight any Russian attack.

"We'll defend this place to the death," said one farmer, Slava, who joined the home guard and was busy loading supplies into his car to take to colleagues manning trenches on the edge of town.

Svetlana and other residents pray in a Ukrainian Orthodox Church, situated in the basement of her charity's office.
Image caption,Svetlana and other residents pray in a Ukrainian Orthodox Church, situated in the basement of her charity's office.

But with air raid sirens wailing across the town, Russian forces poised to take full control of Popasna, 30km (19 miles) to the east - and the Russians also pushing forwards from the north and the southeast - it is no surprise that old suspicions and new tensions are surging here.

"Karma will quickly catch up with them," said Svetlana Kravchenko, 57, of anyone in Bakhmut who supported the Russian offensive.

She helps run a small charity collecting food and other supplies to distribute to the town's soldiers and to elderly civilians in the surrounding villages. Their basement office is also home to a Ukrainian Orthodox Church, where she and others pray daily. Most of the more traditional churches in Bakhmut are still officially linked to the Russian Orthodox church, whose leadership has publicly endorsed President Putin's invasion.

"Everyone makes their own choice. And they will have to answer for that. Maybe some people here want to surrender [to the Russians]. But when this conflict is over, when the shelling and shooting stops, then the traitors will be punished, either in this world or the next," said Kravchenko.
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