Conflict In Ukraine: How much do Russian citizens actually know?

Conflict In Ukraine: How much do Russian citizens actually know?

Sarah Garman , Reporter

Most of us have been using social media to keep up to date on what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine, but how much do Russian citizens actually know? 

   We know that Russia controls much of the media and news outlets, so Russian citizens are constantly receiving biased opinions in their information. Misinformation is becoming more and more of a terrifying reality, not only in Russia but around the world. 

  “I mean their government is controlling all the information, all the media, and have basically cut off any outside influence of media; so it’s very one-sided,” said Linsey Kitchens, a librarian at Sedro-Woolley High School.

  We hear about this extreme censorship and think that it could never happen to us, but the truth is we see it everywhere. 

   “It gives people the false understanding of the particular situation and it spreads very quickly,” said Raina Cheney, a junior at Skagit Academy. “Getting people in a frenzy and further dividing people on an untrue basis.”   

   Though we do not experience misinformation as severely as Russia does, we still see it in our country.

“We definitely are exposed to misinformation, and honestly quite frequently. People are allowed to post, publish, and share whatever they want on media, and if people want a reaction they will do anything for one,” said SWHS sophomore Abby Vlahovich.

We have been hearing the word ‘misinformation’ frequently in the recent months, but why is misinformation such a bad thing?  

    “It can range from buying a supplement you don’t need that you think will enhance your lifting, to attempting to overturn an election, to perpetuating a humanitarian crisis and war,” said Kitchens. 

    It can create chaos and fear within a country, possibly even the world.

    “We all think that we’re immune to misinformation and we are all kidding ourselves, it is reaching every single one of us from global conflicts to advertisements to what our friends are saying on our social media feeds,” said Kitchens.

    We have the freedom of seeing multiple different points of view in our media/news while citizens in Russia are limited to what their government will allow.

    “People in Russia are only viewing the conflict from their leaders’ opinions, and there is information hidden from them,” said Vlahovich

    Living in a country that is at war sounds terrifying in itself. But especially when you know there is a possibility that the information you’re receiving could be false. But what is worse is the fact that you think what you are reading is true information when in reality they don’t even know half of it.

    “They essentially live in a propaganda bubble. They likely see news that spreads the message that they are the victim of western countries. They are likely very out of touch with a lot of the reality of the situation,” said Cheney.