Buildup of Western journalists in Ukraine reaches critical levels
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared a state of emergency Thursday night from Kyiv’s Friendship Bridge, acknowledging what many had long feared: that Ukraine has been totally overrun by Western journalists.
“From Kyiv to Kharkiv, from Lviv to Dnipro, Ukraine is an occupied nation,” said Zelenskyy. “Every hotel is booked, every Airbnb rented. Food stocks are running low, and our internet bandwidth is totally maxed out. The whole country has been on cell data for a week, and you know that’s a killer.”
Calling on the UN for assistance, Zelenskyy described a humanitarian catastrophe in the making. “In some places there are more journalists than citizens. I have seen journalists interviewing other journalists on the street.”
Many confirmed the urgent nature of Zelenskyy’s appeal. Said Sergey Bunchyk, 50, of Kyiv, “I was walking to get muffins this morning and was stopped outside the Silpo by journalists from the AP, The Washington Post, and Teen Vogue. ‘What are your thoughts on the Russian invasion?’ I pushed past them, but when I came out, they asked me what I had bought and ‘whether those type of muffins were popular among people resisting Russia?’ They would not let me leave until I told them “yes.””
Natalia Sverlovych, 40, agreed. Planting wheat seed in a small village outside Chernyhiv, she was approached by a pack of western journalists. “They were all shouting questions about Russia, when the Muscali would invade. Nothing would satisfy them so I told them the Russians had already invaded that morning, a few villages to the east. I pointed and they all ran off.” Sverlovych laughed. “Mary forgive me for putting this trouble on somebody else, but I had work to do.”
Experts are worried that Ukraine may be approaching a kind of journalistic singularity. “When enough data is created by people describing ‘events on the ground,” said Professor Robert Schneewinder, of Netherlands University, “it begins to compete with what is actually happening. An entirely new reality can spring into existence. But why are we talking about this? Did you hear that Russia invaded a couple of villages east of Chernyhiv? Here, have a Resistance Muffin.”
Of course, the real reality is a bit more complicated. “It is no longer possible for Russia to invade,” President Zelenskyy declared. “There isn’t a single piece of land in Ukraine free for a soldier to crouch upon, let alone park a tank.” The President gestured wearily at an ocean of millions of reporters extending as far as the eye could see, all carrying out interviews with each other and shouting questions at passers-by. “We ask immediately that—hello, hello? Is this thing on?” No one paid any notice to Zelenskyy, so he folded up his remarks, placed them in his pocket, and walked wearily away.