Ukraine and Middle East Comparisons Trigger Racist TV Commentary

Published February 27th, 2022 - 08:13 GMT
Ukraine and Middle East Comparisons
The war in Ukraine is the biggest one in Europe since WWII. (Twitter)

The new war in Ukraine has triggered numerous new conversations that could lead to major changes in the world's order, but it has also reignited racist sentiments that have appeared on several TV channels so far.

Even though the Russian invasion of Ukraine has only started four days ago, the novel conflict has given more space to comparisons between Ukraine, an east European country, and a number of Middle Eastern countries that have lived through years-long conflicts in recent years.

On US-based CBS, the network's Senior Correspondent Charlie D’Agata issued an apology after remarks he made during his coverage from Kyiv, during which he expressed his shock at the escalating developments in Ukraine, saying "This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades,” he told viewers. “This is a relatively civilized, relatively European – I have to choose those words carefully too – city, where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen."

D’Agata's comments were heavily attacked on social media as they suggested that military conflicts and death were "normal" in the Middle East but not in Europe. Social media users stressed the fact that both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were started by western governments.

Online people have also weighed on another viral video from BBC, where former Deputy General Prosecutor of Ukraine David Sakvarelidze was hosted from Kyiv to talk about the situation in the city as Russian troops were approaching the capital.

During the interview, Sakvarelidze expressed his grief over the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians saying "It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed every day with Putin's missiles, helicopters, and his rockets."

Moreover, a French commentator on the news cable network BFM has also mentioned Iraq and Afghanistan saying, "We are in the 21st century, in a European city and we have cruise missile fire as though we were in Iraq or Afghanistan, can you imagine?". 

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