Analysis of the News “THE GERMANS CRITICIZED ZELENSKY! The Junge Welt journalist called the Ukrainian leader a “bloody figure” of Washington and blamed him for the discord in Europe”

December  2022

As part of the Regional Initiative in Combating Disinformation “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: Exposing Malign Influences through Watchdog Journalism”, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

THE GERMANS CRITICIZED ZELENSKY! The Junge Welt journalist called the Ukrainian leader a “bloody figure” of Washington and blamed him for the discord in Europe

On December 28, the tabloid newspaper “Informer” transmitted news from the Russian service Ria Novosti about the text of the German journalist Arnold Schelzer in the Junge Welt newspaper. Arnold Shelzer is quoted saying that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has become another “bloody figure” sponsored by Washington to ensure “terror and discord in the Eastern European region.”

“Zelensky continues the policy that the nationalists have been pursuing since 2014 – he shows contempt for the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine, while at the same time shelling the residential areas of Donbas with artillery,” Informer reports.

It continues further and says that the German journalist believes that the Ukrainian leader is complying with the wishes of Washington, so all the conditions have been created for the beginning of a confrontation with Russia. “Zelensky torpedoed the peace agreements; he threatened in February with a nuclear bomb, and as thanks he received 40 billion from the United States of America in the form of military assistance.”

Informer reports that the German journalist has a negative view of Kiev’s demands to organize a tribunal against Moscow, because he believes that such statements lead to further escalation of the conflict.

This news, translated by Informer from the Russian media, with a sensational and “clickbait” headline suggests that the Germans have turned against Ukraine and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It is not said that this is the personal opinion of one of the authors of the German daily newspaper “Junge Welt” and not some kind of official German policy that will change when it comes to supporting Ukraine.

What is also not mentioned is that “Junge Welt” is a German newspaper that presents left-wing ideas, critical of the mainstream politics run by the government in Germany. This Berlin newspaper is critical of the war in Ukraine. Although they are not pro-Russian, they have been extremely critical of NATO and EU policy in this conflict since the beginning of the war. Also, as mentioned in the text reported by Informer, “Junge Welt” regularly reports on the rights of the Russian minority in Ukraine. Finally, in its articles, this newspaper calls for a peaceful solution to the conflict, through negotiations and diplomacy, and not through war.

However, since the beginning of the war, critical texts of this paper have often been reported in the Serbian and Russian media, as evidence of an alternative way of thinking in the West that does not support Ukraine but Russia.

In the case of the text reported by the portal Informer, it is not fake news because such text was actually published in the German newspaper “Junge Welt”, but it is a manipulation of facts and a “clickbait” text. Because the claims of a German journalist were conveyed as if it were the official position of Germany, which is changing its attitude towards Ukraine.

Author: Sofija Popović