©Albert Jan Rasker
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Aside from the grenades, cluster bombs and cruise missiles, the media are the most important weapon in the Ukraine war. Via live streams we see how day by day, the mediagenic President Zelensky holds out longer than anyone else would while in the position of being a complete underdog. From inside his bunker, he addresses the European Parliament one moment and a mass demonstration in Prague the next. Now more than ever, we are witnessing a war live and thereby also feeling the fear and pain of the Ukrainian people.

Thanks to the live streams from the battlefield, we see what horrors the Russian army is perpetrating. And also how it is hopelessly gridlocked in other places, forced to deploy unmotivated troops with shoddy equipment against intrepid Ukrainians. The coup leader’s handbook that you first should take over a nation’s radio and television station clearly needs an update. Because after nearly two weeks, it’s obvious that the Red Army faces the near-impossible task of silencing all the transmitters and receivers. And then Elon Musk’s Starlink (internet from space) is still on its way…

It is for this reason that I was – and remain – vehemently opposed to the ban by the European Union of Russian channels such as Russia Today and Sputnik. This has given Putin the perfect alibi to also deal the final blow to the freedom of the press in Russia. With that, the European Union has shot itself in the foot. Because who knows, perhaps the independent news channels that could still be picked up in Russia might have tipped the scales amongst the population.

Innovation on the battlefield tends to eventuate in even more horrific weapons, whether they are thermobaric or so-called precision weapons. In the case of Ukraine, there are two innovations that do offer some hope: the cooperation of international hackers in Anonymous, which hacked Russian websites and government institutions. And secondly, the deployment of camera drones to record crimes against humanity.

Since our apartment is too small to house refugees, for the time being, we have to settle for making donations so that we can do something for the victims of this futile war. This weekend, I supported the organization Free Press Unlimited and the newly established Eyes on Ukraine foundation that is sending dozens of drones from the Netherlands to the front to record war crimes.

See you in court, Vladimir!

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