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Clean News

The Washington Post posted warnings and suggestions about how to avoid spreading misinformation about Ukraine and what news is considered trustworthy. They’re pretty good. Of course, if you think that WaPo is fake news to begin with, this post may not be for you.

One of my strategies is to never rely on one source, to read up on history, and to pay attention to foreign sources. I listen to podcasts, I listen to news in audio format, I check Twitter, I check the news services like Reuters and foreign news outlets like the BBC. Even German and French sites can be translated. (Kudos to Le Figaro for turning Putin into Poutine) The truth, the clean news, will start to coalesce around a few key points.

I also try to stay away from video sources and images in general. That’s because they can be emotional triggers and when serious news is happening, letting your emotional buttons get pushed could lead to responding to misleading or dangerous information. Stay on top of stuff in as clear headed a manner as possible.

With that in mind, here is a Twitter thread from the BBC that gives background information on the current situation in Ukraine. The news is coalescing around this history and Putin’s motivations:


4 Responses

  1. Right on, RD about credible sources, foreign sources, and emotional self care. In addition to looking for trustworthy media I also try to suss out scholars/ journalists who seem to know the subject. Some people that seem helpful to me are:

    Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has articles there and more recent explainer at the New Republic.

    Timothy Snyder of Yale, historian with several books out on Ukraine and environs. His blog is called “Thinking About…”

    Masha Gessen of the New Yorker. You can easily get a free account there and read a few articles at a time.

    Anne Applebaum of the Atlantic. Same deal re access.

    The two Russia experts who testified at Trump’s first impeachment trial re Trump’s “perfect phone call,” Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman.

    Lucian Truscott, newsletter at substack. West Point grad, more of a military analyst than an East European expert.

    The “Spy Talk” substack and “Just Security” website.

    Maybe you, RD, or other readers have some folks to add to this list??

  2. A scholar/journalist I have been following lately is Anatol Lieven (PhD, Cambridge). As a journalist, Lieven covered the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He was a professor in the War Studies Dept. at King’s College, London. He is the author of several books including “The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence” (winner of the 1994 George Orwell Prize for Political Writing) and “Ukraine and Russia: Fraternal Rivals”. Currently he is the Senior Research Fellow for Russia and Eastern Europe at the Quincy Institute.

    • On TV, I watch the news on BBC, DW and France 24. I also listen to BBC news on the radio, usually late at night. I don’t recommend this if you want to get a decent night’s sleep. It probably doesn’t fall under the heading of ‘good self care’.

  3. Two interesting websites with insight into Ukraine and Russia:

    “Russia Matters” from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government with support from the Carnegie Corporation

    ‘Responsible Statecraft” from a Washington think tank (the Quincy Institute) not beloved by Bill Kristol

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