The Globe and Mail is the only newspaper in Canada spending time and resources to report from the war zone of eastern Ukraine. Seasoned Globe reporter Mark MacKinnon has been in and out of there for many months. The newspaper published a substantial article by him in its Saturday edition of Dec. 6. The article is a useful reference point for examining how mainstream media is presenting the story of the war in Ukraine to Canadians, for good and for bad.
Canada has been an enthusiastic partner with the United States and European Union in supporting the right wing government that came into power in Ukraine in February of this year, following the overthrow of the elected president. The new government went to war against its population in the east of the country (the region called “Donbas”) in April. That was its response to popular demands for more political autonomy and democracy for the region. Kyiv calls its war an “Anti-Terrorist Operation.”
Kyiv would have carried a war into Crimea as well, where opposition to the new government was also very high. But the population there took a decisive step to prevent that by voting on March 16 to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. (See my lengthy article of Dec. 10 telling that story.)
Canada has been supplying military equipment to Kyiv, and now we have learned that the first Canadian military personnel havehit the ground in Ukraine, in the form of a contingent of ten military police. Canada and Ukraine have signed an agreement providing for Canadian military personnel to commence a support role for the Ukrainian armed forces. The agreement is outside the framework of NATO and it explicitly states that is it not subject to any existing international treaties or conventions of war. Welcome to the new cold war.