Swedish television apologized for a report in which Kherson residents wept with joy after receiving a Russian passport
In the July 28 edition of the Reportage program, the residents of Kherson wept with joy at becoming Russian citizens and swore allegiance to the Russian Federation to the sound of the anthem.
The reaction of spectators and journalists was not long in coming. One of the complaints to the TV channel says that the story “smells like Russian propaganda”.
Another dissatisfied viewer writes: “The report claims that Ukrainians are happy to become citizens of Russia. It turns out that Swedish television during the hostilities distributes Russian propaganda, and this is hardly a model of journalistic ethics.”
By Tuesday, the Radio and Television Supervisory Board had received a total of 47 complaints about the station.
Jakob Sidenwall, a writer for Smålandsposten newspaper, thought the story looked exactly like Russian propaganda.
“Nowhere is it explained exactly where the filming took place. Who exactly and how gained access to the occupied city for filming? Why is Russian rocket attacks on Kyiv called a “response” to Ukraine’s attempt to shell bridges in order to cut off the enemy and prevent him from receiving reinforcements?” Sidenwall continues.
The broadcaster responded to the criticism with a statement from the show’s Managing Editor Judit Ek and Program Director Charlotta Friborg.
They did not explain what happened or why the report came out the way it did, but said the footage was filmed by the Reuters news agency and acknowledged that viewers should have better explained what was happening.
“These shots were filmed by a Reuters film crew. According to them, the correspondents worked freely and filmed whatever they wanted – without tight control from the Russian military. But since the material raised questions, we had to clearly identify the source,” the statement says.
Both executives acknowledged that the report should have given a more complete picture of what was happening.
“In particular, it was not explained how many residents of Kherson decided to become Russian citizens, nor what pushed them to do so, nor what is behind the Russian strategy for issuing passports. It was necessary to give viewers more context.”