Leading Western media spread Russian lies about the deaths of a "military commander" and an "actress"
Words matter. russian media, self-proclaimed as liberal, reported the deaths of russian “journalist/correspondent Boris Maskudov” and “actress Polina Menshikh.” Leading Western media outlets subsequently disseminated similar information on their websites, all on the same day. Below this post, screenshots offer just a few examples, with the BBC typically referring to Maskudov as a “war correspondent.”
What’s wrong with this news, you may wonder? Literally everything, we say!
Maskudov has no affiliation with journalism and has never worked in the media. Instead, he functioned as a propagandist on russian state TV channels that propagate lies and advocate for the genocide of Ukrainians.
The “actress” Menshikh, as noted by journalist Bohdan Logvinenko, has only 500 followers on Instagram and participates in folk dance classes. In other words, she’s an ordinary amateur with no notable significance in the so-called russian culture.
Okay, while it’s not surprising for russian “liberal” media like Meduza, the actions of even russian editions of the BBC and DW are clear (read our detailed analysis here). Yet, it remains challenging for us to get used to the way russian propagandists manipulate prominent Western publications, ranging from Deutsche Welle, Reuters to BBC News, without any apparent effort. We wouldn’t be surprised if our Western colleagues operate based on russian “press releases.”