The Italian journalist Giorgio Bianchi was invited to participate in a meeting organized at the United Nations Security Council on 6 May 2022. The theme of the meeting was human rights violations in the Ukrainian Donbass area. Here is a transcript of the speech [with links added].
Good evening, it is truly an honour for me to be here.
I recently returned from Donbass, where I documented the conflict for about two months.
I must say that I expected to find a difference between the reality on the ground and in the media, but not at this level.
I can understand Russian propaganda; I can understand Ukrainian propaganda. What remains incomprehensible to me is European propaganda.
With the Russian media censored, and with all the other supposed official media aligned on Ukrainian propaganda, for the European public – I am European – it is practically impossible to form an objective opinion on the reality on the ground. This is why more and more people are turning to the web to receive balanced information.
Governments and digital platforms, instead of questioning themselves about this phenomenon, are trying to limit access to information online. It seems that their goal is to support a single narrative of the facts.
War is traumatic in itself, and I know something about it. There is no need to make it even more horrible by flooding the ether and paper with fake news. I think it is not useful to feed the conflict or widen it, feeding hatred.
It seems to me that there is some kind of interest in making the conflict last for a long time and spread.
I personally exposed several fake news items spread in the European media: the shameful front page of La Stampa which deceptively attributed the massacre in Donetsk on March 14 to the Russians; the fact that Marianna, the girl who symbolized the bombing of the Mariupol hospital, had not been kidnapped by the Russians; the fact that the Russians are not deporting civilians from Mariupol (they could not evacuate all the civilians who wanted to leave; they certainly did not take away those who wanted to stay).
On the contrary, I have shown that Ukrainian soldiers and militias have extensively used civilians as human shields. The testimonies I have collected are dozens and the vast majority confirm it. There is no trace of this fact checking work in the mainstream press.
What game are we playing? Do we want World War III? Do we want to reduce the European populations to misery by dint of sanctions?
I am an independent reporter. My work has been recognized internationally. But I cannot work in Ukraine because I am on a blacklist, Myrotvorets, in which I am defined as a “criminal” – just for doing my job and for sharing my point of view with the public, a point of view documented by eight years of work in the field.
Today I am accused of being an embedded professional. But I can’t work on the other side because I risk being arrested.
Do you think this is normal?
Another time: what game are we playing at?
For sure, it is a very dangerous game.