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Mar 11

Independent journalist travels to Ukraine seeking war imagery; finds an elaborate stage set

Kiev, Ukraine. March 12. An independent (apparently American) journalist labeling him or herself “Illusion Warfare Report” recently flew to Poland where he or she was told he or she had just 24 hours to travel into neighboring Ukraine to ‘do journalism” regarding the supposed Russian invasion.

What the alternative journalist described was a staged LARP (live action role-playing game) experience. Journalists are made to follow pre-ordained routes into photo opportunities where obvious props have been set up.

Outside the prescribed perimeters there are few signs of any war, invasion, or even social distress (other than unemployment and lack of accessible money or cash). Yet inside the prescribed tour, things were designed to appear essentially as mainstream news describes. A fiery burn barrel. Ukranians packing into train stations. A lone tank driving around the streets apparently eager to be photographed. sirens and foghorns blaring randomly.

“All the hotels in this town are taken up by the press. . . [while] poor Ukrainians are left to sleep at the railway station. . .
Creating more staged photo opportunities for the press.”

Crowds of journalists and apparent crisis actors are made to go through artificial bottlenecks, creating the illusion of chaos and crowding. But “1min walk away from the movie set… Life is normal.” And everywhere the western journalists are watched by security guards who stop them if they stray from prescribed tour routes.