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African and Latin American Journalists Condemn Ukrainian Threats Against the Press

© Sputnik . Alexey Mayshev / Go to the mediabankTactical fire training classes for recruits in the LPR
Tactical fire training classes for recruits in the LPR - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 15.09.2023
Russian journalists have been among the Ukrainian special services' targets. Since the beginning of the special military operation, Kiev murdered military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and attempted to assassinate Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.
Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces spokesperson Sarah Ashton-Cirillo recently stated that "next week the world will see" how "the Kremlin's propagandists will be tracked down" and "pay for their crimes."
In an interview with Sputnik Africa, several African journalists condemned Ashton-Cirillo's threats.

"Anything that does not contribute to peace is condemnable [...] Journalists must continue to do their work and must do their daily work. They must inform, educate and raise awareness among populations on both sides," "with respect for each other," Gregoire Ndjaka, director general of the African Broadcasting Union (ABU) told Sputnik Africa.

Ashton-Cirillo's speech was made "in the middle of a period of conflict and we cannot take it very seriously," noted Mr. Ndjaka. For him, these are "pointless threats."

'A Unique Vision of the World'

For his part, Malian journalist Moussa Naby Diakite, who is publishing director of the newspaper L'Elite, said he was "shocked" by these comments.

"The Western media have all united to support the war in Ukraine, which is much more a media war than a war of justice," he said.

The words of former United States journalist Ashton-Cirillo "can only be characterized by hatred, only by a unique vision of the world", according to him. Because "there are people who think that they have a monopoly on democratic values, values ​​of humanity, values ​​of freedoms. No, that's false," insisted Diakite.
What's more, "the war that has been imposed on Russia is a proxy war" led by the European Union accompanied by the United States, he believes.
"We cannot deny others the freedom to exercise their profession," said the official.
For its part, Russian diplomacy said it was outraged by this "new manifestation of the terrorist nature of the Kiev regime," regarding the threats made by ]Ashton-Cirillo.
 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 15.09.2023
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'Neo-Nazi Stance': Latin American Federation of Journalists Condemns Threats

Ashton-Cirillo's expressions were immediately condemned by secretary general of the Latin American Federation of Journalists (FELAP) and former president of the Association of Journalists of Puerto Rico, Nelson del Castillo, who described them as "very serious."

"This approach by the Ukrainian spokesperson is framed in the same line as Zelensky's neo-fascist and neo-Nazi positions. [The spokesperson] seeks to silence voices that do not respond to his interests," Castillo told Sputnik.

In his opinion, President Volodymyr Zelensky seemed not only to shield himself from political and military criticism, but also from the acts of corruption that have been uncovered in recent months, which indicate that a good part of the money provided by the US and the European Union for the country ended up in the pockets of the Ukrainian rulers.

"The worst thing is that the West, as we usually refer to the US and a part of Europe, remains silent in the face of what is clearly an outrage," Castillo asserted.

It is worth remembering that this Ukrainian official had already been criticized recently for declaring, also in a video uploaded to her social networks, that the Russian military "were not human", statements that provoked a wave of reactions from Internet users, who accused her of using neo-Nazi language.
The view shows flowers in memory of Sputnik and RIA Novosti war correspondent Rostislav Zhuravlev, who died in the course of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, July 22, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 23.07.2023
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For his part, academic and researcher Daniel Munoz Torres, who specializes in Europe and graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told Sputnik that Ashton-Cirillo's statements are a product of political wear and tear derived from the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which has hurt Zelensky's image both in his country and abroad, with Kiev having to resort to both military and rhetorical escalation to project an image of strength in the midst of the disaster.
"Zelensky is currently facing a crisis of legitimacy and, as these are statements from an official spokesperson, we have to think that it is a position agreed upon with the Ukrainian authorities, so it is evident that Ukraine has decided to rely on threats and create a situation of fear, given the loss of international support and the poor results on the ground," he said.
Like Del Castillo, he found it surprising that the Western media did not give more coverage to what was a threat of violence by a senior Ukrainian official to journalists, adding that this lack of condemnation of her statements confirmed that "the fourth estate" works in collusion with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The specialist also linked Ashton-Cirillo's statements with the recent threats made by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba who in a press conference held on August 21 attacked journalists who asked him during his appearance about the poor Ukrainian results in the land.
According to Munoz Torres, these attitudes indicate that Ukraine has entered, after a beginning marked by patriotic triumphalism and media support, into a second stage of the conflict, marked by the persecution of the press and dissidents, with the aim of crushing any hint of criticism of Zelensky and his battlefield strategy, by adopting an "either with me or against me" attitude.

"Any journalist or person who disagrees with [the Ukrainian president's] positions and says something that could be perceived as questioning, is branded as unpatriotic, and the Zelensky government moves quickly to discredit [the critic], with the intention of going on to coerce the population to continue to trust the Kiev government, regardless of what is happening to the Ukrainian soldiers," he concluded.