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CNN Labels Ukrainian Army 'Pro-US' to Probe Public Opinion - Experts

© AP Photo / Pavlo PalamarchukUkrainian army soldiers perform a weapons exercise at a training ground outside Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015
Ukrainian army soldiers perform a weapons exercise at a training ground outside Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 - Sputnik International
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On Monday, CNN aired a headline reading "Obama considers arming pro-US troops," while reporting US President Barack Obama's request to his administration to consider the possibility of supplying the Ukrainian army with lethal weapons.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — CNN's recent labeling of the Ukrainian army as 'pro-US troops' sought to probe public opinion, regardless of whether it was a mistake, as the channel claims, or deliberate, experts told Sputnik on Wednesday.

A Ukrainian serviceman is pictured at his position near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, February 8, 2015 - Sputnik International
CNN Slammed For Calling Ukrainian Army 'Pro-US Troops'
On Monday, CNN aired a headline reading "Obama considers arming pro-US troops," while reporting US President Barack Obama's request to his administration to consider the possibility of supplying the Ukrainian army with lethal weapons.

Despite the fact that CNN's news anchor Carol Costello apologized on Tuesday, calling the headline "an error," this incident turned out to be a major public opinion probe.

The Error

The Deputy Director of the Moscow-based Institute for the US and Canadian Studies (ISKRAN), Victor Kremenyuk, told Sputnik that "either way [if it was a real mistake of a conspiracy], it turned out to be a test of what people think."

The CNN's mistake provoked a notable media buzz as many viewers published posts on Twitter, calling the gaffe a “Freudian slip.”

At the same time, according to the Director of the Conflict Studies Research Centre, Keir Giles, the mistake is a "cock-up not conspiracy."

Giles continued saying that "laughably incompetent captions like this happen all the time, and not just on CNN — just it is usually not as politically resonant as this. The only way it would be on purpose is if the caption writer at CNN set out deliberately to embarrass the US administration."

The Conflict Studies Research Centre's director also noted that due to "widespread lack of detailed knowledge about the rest of the world," including Ukraine, some caption writers could have made the mistake out due to not knowing about the political agenda.

Lethal Weapons to Ukraine

The faulty headline referred to Obama's request to consider the possibility of supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine. And on Tuesday, the US House of Representatives introduced new legislation authorizing $1 billion of military and lethal aid to Ukraine through to 2017.

Victor Kremenyuk, ISKRAN's Deputy Director, said that the United States is "thinking about what to do, what means should be given to the Ukrainians so that they could repulse" the attacks of eastern Ukraine's independence supporters.

Since the beginning of 2015, clashes between Kiev forces and the militias of Donbas have intensified, with the Ukrainian military reportedly shelling residential areas.

Ukrainian army soldiers perform a weapons exercise at a training ground outside Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 - Sputnik International
US House Proposes $1Bln in Lethal Aid, Military Assistance to Ukraine
Despite the introduction of the new bill by the House of Representatives, the Conflict Studies Research Centre's director Keir Giles believes "the opportunity to provide the Ukrainian government with offensive weapons is at this stage accompanied by many more caveats than during the previous 10 months of war."

The expert added that "the emphasis on supplies of non-lethal systems" would help the Ukrainian army to "lose more slowly" to the independence supporters' forces.

Considering the push of both the Democrats and the Republicans to supply the Ukrainian Armed Forces with lethal weapons alongside the intention to send US troops to train the country's National Guard, Ukrainian troops would now really seem to be "pro-US troops," as CNN mistakenly reported.

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