Latest From CNN on Ukraine and Russia

From CNN’s Reliable Sources:

Zelensky speaks with Zakaria

As fighting raged in Mariupol and near other Ukrainian cities, Fareed Zakaria‘s extensive interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky drove the day on Sunday. CNN.com has some of the highlights here. You can also hear the interview on the “GPS” podcast.

Right after taping the interview, Zakaria observed that Zelensky is in “a terrible, difficult position, but he handles it with extraordinary bravery and intelligence.” He called it the “extraordinary transformation of a man,” noting, “I interviewed him only nine months ago in Kyiv. And it was a totally different conversation from what we had today…”

CBS anchor Margaret Brennan closed “Face the Nation” on Sunday by quoting from Zelensky’s message to Switzerland on Saturday. “It is impossible to be indifferent when children are killed,” he said.

Brennan said “the role of a journalist is to find facts and report the truth, and above all, stay fair and neutral. But much like Switzerland, we find ourselves agreeing with Volodymyr Zelensky. That some facts are so horrific, that equivalency is both false and morally wrong. Above all else, it is most important to be truthful.”

Report: Ukrainian reporter released from Russian custody 

“Ukrainian journalist Victoria Roshchyna has been missing for more than a week, and her outlet believes she is being held by Russian forces,” CNN’s Ramishah Maruf writes. But there was some relieving news on Sunday about another missing journalist, Oleh Baturyn, who vanished last week in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Kakhovka.

Baturyn “was just released by the Russians” earlier today, Kyiv Independent EIC Olga Rudenko told me on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources.” However, “he says that he was beaten, essentially tortured… He says that he was told by the Russian forces who were doing this to him that this is what awaits every journalist.”

¬†>> Watch: Rudenko also talked about her journalists transforming into war reporters, suddenly needing bullet proof vests, for instance. “We have to remember that this is an invasion by an authoritarian regime that has been targeting journalists and media consistently for decades now,” Rudenko said…

Top AP editor on keeping war correspondents safe

Associated Press executive editor Julie Pace talked with me on Sunday’s show about war zone deployments and security precautions. A few key takeaways:

— “We continue to have a presence in Russia. We feel like it’s incredibly important for us to report from there,” despite the recent restrictions.

— Assignments in places like Ukraine “always come with some level of risk,” but there is an “ongoing, almost 24/7 conversation” inside the AP about how to mitigate the risks.

“We’re also in conversation with other news organizations,” she said. “As much as we are all competing with each other to tell this story… when it comes to safety and security, there’s a lot of great cooperation that happens across news organizations. So we’re giving them feedback, they’re giving us feedback. And we make decisions really on a case-by-case basis.

More on Ukraine and Russia

Elahe Izadi wrote about the two AP journalists who “managed to share the horror stories of Mariupol with the world…” (WaPo)

— FT’s Guy Chazan sharing horrific accounts from Mariupol evacuees: “Once one of Ukraine’s most important ports, Mariupol is now a charnel house, a city of ghosts…” (FT)

Don Lemon co-anchored “CNN Newsroom” from Lviv, Ukraine on Sunday evening. CNN continues to remain live 24/7… (Twitter)

— “German broadcaster RTL has hired a Ukrainian presenter,” Karolina Ashion, who left Kyiv earlier this month, “to host a daily news show for others who have fled their homeland after the Russian invasion.” The ten-minute Ukrainian-language news program will air and stream five days a week… (AP)

— “As Facebook and western news outlets go dark, YouTube offers a rare glimpse of Russian opinions,” Nathan Place reports… (UK Independent)

It continues: Russia’s communications watchdog has ordered the closure of two more news outlets in Russia on Sunday. Will YouTube be next? (CNN)

Jim Acosta‘s take on Vladimir Putin‘s pro-war rally: A “deranged alternate reality.” He said “Putin has poisoned our world with violence and lies…” (CNN)

 

 

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