NYT's “unbiased” take on Kostiantynivka tragedy
The New York Times has stirred the pot with its recent coverage of the tragic market strike in Kostiantynivka. The incident, which claimed 16 lives and injured over 30 people, occurred on September 6, and the aftermath has seen a flurry of claims and counterclaims
Ukrainian journalist Oleksandr Kovalenko criticizes the NYT in his article.
NYT's six journalists, John Ismay, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Haley Willis, Malachy Browne, Christoph Koettl, and Alexander Cardia, presented their version, suggesting that a Ukrainian Buk surface-to-air missile with a 9M38 missile was responsible.
The controversy arises from the lack of direct primary investigation results in the NYT article. Instead, the article relies solely on anonymous expert opinions, raising serious questions about transparency.
Manipulation and selective evidence
Kovalenko criticizes the article for its handling of certain aspects. For instance, it focuses solely on the horizontal flight path of the missile, ignoring the possibility of a vertical dive, a significant omission according to experts.
The article also assumes that people turning their heads in the direction of the missile's sound indicates its origin. However, sound can be distorted in chaotic situations, making it an unreliable indicator.
NYT's emphasis on cube-shaped fragments found at the market as evidence is contested. Similar fragments are also used in S-300 air defense missiles, a detail not mentioned in the article.
Moreover, Kovalenko argues that the article's title, "Evidence Suggests Ukrainian Missile Caused Market Tragedy," doesn't align with the later admission of uncertainty and reliance on anonymous sources.
Previous NYT controversies
This isn't the first time NYT reporting has sparked controversy. Examples include allegations against Ukraine in North Korea's missile program, portraying Ukrainian nationalists as a threat, leaking a Ukrainian counteroffensive plan, and alleging Ukraine's shelling of its own villages.
The timing and political context
The timing and focus of the article raise legitimate suspicions.
It draws parallels with the MH17 crash in 2014, where Russia faced accusations. By linking Kostiantynivka to MH17, Kovalenko claims it's an attempt to deflect attention and blame Ukraine.
“The emphasis on the 9M38 was made to draw parallel lines between the Kostiantynivka strike and the MH17 case, to once again claim that it was Ukraine that “shot down” the passenger jet in 2014 and now it is involved in a deadly friendly fire incident: “It’s not us who are saying this, look! It’s an acclaimed and respectable U.S.-based newspaper!”
We should also consider the reliability of sources and the broader geopolitical context: the article comes at a critical time during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the United States, seeking support for missile supplies.
- On Wednesday, September 6, Russian terrorists shelled a crowded market in Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region. As of September 8, there were 16 dead and 37 injured.