Ever since World War two, the United States of America and the USSR rose as super powers commanding control on a global scale. Over the years, both countries have enjoyed this position of power, sometimes bulldozing political changes and forcing weaker countries into submission, as a result, of their might. Over the years, countries have risen up against the two, sometimes defying their law and sanctions and many have had to face the full wrath of the super power armies. Countries like Iraq have had to endure the killings, assassinations and the regime change propagated by the super powers. For this reason, the cold war is argued not to have ended given that both the United States and Russia are in a constant state of fear that the other might defy the other’s rule. It is because of this reason that nuclear power has become a to-do list for both superpowers, sanctioning other countries who wish to develop nuclear arsenal that might upset the current balance of power.
The topic chosen is the recent tension that has developed, as a result, of Russia’s actions against Ukraine. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has been outspoken about the crisis in Ukraine and his takeover of Crimea has been seen as an act of global dominance on the part of Russia, which in turn has scared the United States (Chomsky, 2014). According to Chomsky, the crisis in Ukraine has been likened to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. It is also noted that major powers can only intervene if they have an international consensus or when they are not crossing the other powers’ red lines. For example, the United States- United Kingdom attack on Iraq was not a break in the world order and because of the failure to gain international support; they did not take the fight to Chinese and Russian borders.
American red lines are firmly placed at the borders of Russia and so any action taken by Russia in its own neighborhood are a direct violation of world order and there is a possibility for a crisis (Chomsky, 2014). Therefore, Russia’s annexation of Crimea was illegal and in direct violation of international law and treaties. This incident cannot be compared to the annexation of Iraq because the latter is a far much greater crime. News outlets have had a story going on ever since its inception and there are different ways in which particular biases are promoted while others are suppressed. Aljazeera news media hosted an article titled Russian Defense or Dominance dated March (2014) which sought to highlight a statement made by President Putin regarding the Crimean annexation.
He said that any sanction against Russia was bound to backfire and the threat would be both counterproductive as well as harmful. This is an indication that any threat against Russia would have catastrophic repercussions. Aljazeera news seeks to satisfy the audiences who have the bias that Russia cannot conduct its affairs without approval of the United States. The report also states that Russia is allying itself with several countries as a symbol of resistance towards the west. The nature and style of presentation are so assertive that it promotes the ideas of a tag of war between the two countries.
Fox News, on the other hand, are somewhat sympathetic to the situation in Crimea, but fail to point out that the United States feels violated by Russia’s actions. However, the report dated June 2014 shows that the U.S president provided the Ukrainian government with $5million worth of night-vision goggles, body armor and communications equipment to help fight the pro-Russian separatists in Ukrainian East. This is a move to help fight Russia by the United States. The news agency is geared for the audience that is sympathetic to the Crimean crisis and supports the U.S actions. It is evident through the choice of language as well as presentation where both presidents are pictured with Ukraine’s president-elect having a worried look.
NBC news is a news agency that disregards the U.S’s involvement in the Crimean crisis. The agency taints the image of the United States by interviewing Aleksey Borsuk, a former freelance journalist and the current leader of the People’s Liberation Movement (PLM) who has a larger-than-life hatred for the west. He also cited that the United States was responsible for the toppling of Viktor Yanukovych presidency. The article uses a language that portrays the U.S as the villain especially where the PLM leader states that the Russian and the Ukrainian people are one and should be united. The article seeks to promote the idea that Russia was the savior of a takeover orchestrated by the United States orchestrated. The intended audience of the article is those people that are sympathetic to the Russian involvement of the Crimean crisis.
CBC news wrote an article on the same issue of the Crimean crisis, but the bias in their story as that the government forces were overpowering the rebels, who in this case are the Russians. Through the interview of a spokesman for Kyiv’s anti-terrorist operations, they indicate that at the time the article was written, 300 rebels had been killed and about 500 wounded, without the mention of the casualties faced by the government. The language used in the article is authoritative and assertive that the government was in control of the situation. The report also indicates that the government was handling the situation without fear or prejudice by the said use of helicopters, aircrafts and artillery to squash the rebellion. The information presented by this news agency has pictured masked men with rifles which can be assumed to be the rebels. The audience intended for this article is those people who support the West’s involvement in the Crimean crisis and sympathetic to the plight of Ukraine.
On the same issue, CNN can be termed as the most biased news agency of them all. With various articles tainting the image of Russia, CNN seeks to destroy any credibility that Russia has in its validation for the annexation of Crimea. With titles that suggest that Russia be the villain, CNN stops at nothing in its bid to destroy the image of Russia. With questions such as; ‘What was Putin Thinking?’ and ‘Was Crimea’s Vote Legal?’ CNN does not draw the line as to the legal reasons why Russia annexed Crimea. With strong support for the U.S, CNN does not shy away from putting forward points as to why Russia went forward with the annexation, and points as to why it should not have. Although the language used by CNN is neutral, the judgmental headlines tend to support the idea that Russia was not justified in taking Crimea. However, the article with the question whether Russia’s annexation was opportune or opportunistic lays down points and counterpoints that allow the reader to make a free judgment without any bias. The bias for this article remains on the tile alone.
Crimean Militia Leader Says U.S. Orchestrated Ukraine’s Unrest – NBC News. (2014, March 14). NBC News. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/crimean-militia-leader-says-u-s-orchestrated-ukraines-unrest-n49806
Karimi, F. (2014, March 20). Is Russia’s annexation of Crimea opportune or opportunistic?. CNN. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/19/world/europe/crimea-points-and-counterpoints/index.html?iref=allsearch
Obama announces $5M more in non-lethal aid to Ukraine. (2014, June 4). Fox News. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/04/obama-announces-5m-more-in-non-lethal-aid-to-ukraine/
Reuters, T. (2014, June 4). Ukraine crisis: 300 pro-Russian militants killed overnight, government says. CBCnews. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-crisis-300-pro-russian-militants-killed-overnight-government-says-1.2664176
Russian defence or dominance?. (2014, March 5). – Inside Story. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2014/03/russian-defence-dominance-201434123623509686.html