The media is criticized routinely for its choice of words when trying to describe an event in the news. However, as far as the Ukraine Crisis goes, one might come to think that the media has been downright soft in its attempts at political correctness, and this may be demonstrated by the paradox of the pro-Russian jets that recently violated Ukraine’s airspace.
Of course, these were not pro-Russian jets. They were quite evidently Russian jets. These aircraft were made in Russia and they took-off from Russia. They were acting at the behest of the Russian government while conducting Russian military exercises, supposedly to advance Russian interests. If one were to hazard a guess the pilots’ ethnicity, they would likely be Russian, as would be said pilots’ language of choice.
Quite rightfully, the media has not been so audacious as to call these jets pro-Russian jets that have infringed on Ukraine’s sovereignty. That would be a literally absurd use of language, and it would demonstrate considerable foolishness. They have been called what they are: Russian fighter jets.
These jets made repeated incursions into Ukraine. The government in Kiev has suggested that they were provocations meant to try to pull Ukraine into a direct military conflict with Russia. As well, these jets are a greater part of ongoing exercises to escalate East-West tensions.
So, it is established very clearly that these are indeed Russian fighter jets that have infringed upon Ukraine’s airspace and sovereignty multiple times. As well, some ideas of what these pilots were trying to do have been laid out. The part where this all gets weird is when the media covering the Ukraine Crisis starts referring to the Russian militants that have taken control of several cities in South-Eastern Ukraine as “pro-Russian demonstrators,” or “protestors.”
It is absolutely silly, for lack of a better word. The people who are causing the unrest are, for the most part, Russian soldiers and citizens. Never mind the idea of them being “pro-Russian,” because, simply put, they are Russian. And, those who are not officially Russian citizens clearly wish that they were Russian.
Those causing the unrest are armed by Russia. They are acting at the behest of Putin’s regime. In fact, one of the leaders of the militants who is holding military overseers hostage stated that he is not going to release the overseers without permission from Moscow.
These people causing unrest are the same lot that invaded Crimea. They are conducting Russia’s military exercises both covertly and overtly as of now. They are acting in the supposed interests of Russia; certainly in the interests of Putin. They speak Russian, act Russian, and are, or at least claim or wish to be, Russian. As such, the Western media ought to drop the “pro-Russian,” tagline of political correctness.
It should be noted that there was a time and a place for using the “pro-Russian,” title, that being before there was ample data proving that they were in fact Russians. However, that time has since passed. In the same way that it was Russian jets that violated Ukraine’s airspace, it is Russian military personnel mixed with Russian civilians that are perpetrating and perpetuating the Ukraine crisis at the behest of Moscow. Thus, the charade of mislabeling the cause of this crisis has long expired, and commentators in the West ought to reflect this.
Opinion by Brett Byers-Lane
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