Whatever Happened to Ukraine?

A year and a little less than ten months ago, Russia launched a brutal attempt to crush Ukraine. Since then, the Ukrainians have slowly reclaimed some but not all of the territory seized by the Russians.

In late November, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has confirmed that to date, more than 10,000 civilians have been killed, and more than 18,500 injured, since Russia began the invasion. At least 300 children have died, and that doesn’t include thousands forcibly removed by Russian troops to Russia or Russian-controlled territory.

British military intelligence reports that Russian troop casualties are in the range of 120,000 Russian dead and 180,000 injured, while Ukrainian troops killed or wounded are in the range of 80,000. That doesn’t count the nearly three million displaced people or the scores of towns leveled by the fighting.

Yet, if one follows the U.S. news media, since October 7th, when Hamas attacked Israel, it’s as if the Russia-Ukraine conflict has almost vanished.

To date, in the conflict between Hamas and Israel, Israel has reported 1,400 deaths, the vast majority of which occurred on or from events on October 7th.

The Palestinian Authority’s Government Media Office has reported total deaths of 14,800, including 6,000 children and 4,000 women. This unverified number has been printed everywhere, but is currently likely exaggerated, given the past unreliability of figures coming from Gaza.

So… why has the Russia/Ukraine war almost vanished from the U.S. media.

Partly because it’s a grinding and ongoing war with no end in sight, and the U.S. media consumers are tired of hearing about it, but mostly because the Israel-Gaza conflict is so much more exciting, with hidden tunnels, the surprise that the IDF was caught so unaware, and all the possible deaths – and kidnapping – of children, not to mention the “bombing” of a hospital that wasn’t an Israeli bombing, and the humanitarian crisis that is more easily captured for media.

Of course, there’s a definite similarity, in that Hamas and Putin have both expressed the desire to crush the people they attacked.

But still…won’t what happens in Ukraine have a much greater long-term effect on Europe and the United States than what happens in Gaza?

Or is it that the news media are so narrow-minded or profit-driven that they can only cover one crisis at a time?

5 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Ukraine?”

  1. Postagoras says:

    News is a product, and it has to be novel to attract eyeballs. Audience fatigue sets in quickly. Only 12 people have ever walked on the moon, but the last two didn’t get anywhere near the publicity of the first few. Which is kind of nutty when you think about it.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that for most of human history, news and gossip have pretty much been the same thing.

    For a few decades in the second half of the 20th century, this changed. News was seen as vital to an informed population. Reporters such as Walter Cronkite had ideals. I’m not saying they were saints, but the industry had a mission.

    Nowadays, news has returned to the usual in human history. It’s a product that attracts attention by being entertaining or shocking or both.

  2. Tim says:

    I found the same with the conflicting Syria. Headline news just stopped, so one could be forgiven from thinking that all is fine now.

    In Ukraine, if the Abrams get taken apart then I suspect the US media will take more of an interest. One UK press article seems to think they are the game-changer and that Russia has no means of stopping them.

  3. Conrad says:

    After the much-trumpeted summer offensive failed, the current US regime knows that the Ukraine war is unwinnable as long as Russia has the will to fight it, and stalemate is the best one can achieve – in Korea that has been holding for 70 years now, as has been the case in the straits of Taiwan – so assuming Ukraine keeps getting the help needed not to lose the war (which is, of course, a must for Europe so the money and materials will keep coming), I believe that a similar hold pattern will continue there and other events will determine what happens there; the 2024 elections loom large and since the current regime brought war in Europe (sadly weakness here means all the scum abroad start fishing in troubled waters) and inflation at home, while of course, a second Trump term is unthinkable to the elites, interesting times are ahead for everyone, so assuming no collapse in Ukraine, then the conflict will keep fading – I think that Russia will be happy with the current stalemate since they hold most of what they wanted and risking an open war with Nato is chancy and until the elections at least, nobody will want to rock the boat here either

    1. Postagoras says:

      LOL “a second Trump term is unthinkable to the elites”.

      Yeah, like the 81 million “elites” that voted for Biden in 2020.

  4. Tom says:

    “… the news media are so narrow-minded or profit-driven …”

    Perhaps, but I wonder if the problem is the same that the US Military Recruiters have in filling their quotas: unqualified/uneducable citizens. That is demonstrated by the 81 million “elites” versus 72 million “believers of celebrities”.

    Do the citizens interests’ determine the type of “News” output by the Media or does the media feed the undiscerning public what they need for profit? Local small news-outlets tend to follow the first option and the national media seems to clearly follow the second (but one can understand that the media corporations are businesses and propaganda organs to some extend as well, even if it is difficult to forgive them because of their importance).

    On the other hand perhaps the “social media” is the source of simplicity and not the formal media?

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