In this edition of The Watchdog Podcast, Lowkey talks to Alan MacLeod about Ukraine, how the media is covering the conflict, and the promotion of supposedly “independent” Ukrainian media outlets that are quietly being funded by Western governments.
Chief among these is The Kyiv Independent, a newspaper that was barely three months old at the time of the Russian invasion but has shot to prominence in the West, being relentlessly promoted on television and radio and in print. As a result, it has managed to garner over two million followers on Twitter and raise millions of dollars in crowdfunding.
However, far less known is that The Kyiv Independent was born thanks to a grant of over CA$200,000 from the Canadian government, which made the donation through the European Endowment for Democracy. Furthermore, virtually all of The Kyiv Independent’s staff came from The Kyiv Post, an outlet that has long been financially supported by NATO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and Western governments, meaning that for years they were directly in the pay of the national security state. Perhaps, then, The Kyiv Independent is not quite as independent as it makes itself out to be.
Furthermore, as MacLeod explained, many Kyiv Independent journalists come from suspect backgrounds, including individuals who previously worked for NATO think tank The Atlantic Council, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, or for the Council on Foreign Relations.Support the show