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UK Media 'Underreport' Russian Side in Coverage of Ukraine Conflict

Former UK Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton said that news stories reflecting the Russian perspective are often ignored in the British mass media's coverage of the Ukraine conflict.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — News stories reflecting the Russian perspective are often ignored in the British mass media's coverage of the Ukraine conflict, former UK Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton told Sputnik.

"While the UK media have undoubtedly been more objective than the Russian, or Ukrainian, media in their coverage of the crisis, they have certainly underreported stories which support the Russian side of the argument," Brenton said.

Among the stories lost in UK news outlets cited by the British diplomat are the deadly fires during last May's anti-EU protests in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa and the spate of recent assassinations of pro-Russian figures in Ukraine.

"There has been little on the French and German criticisms of exaggerated NATO estimates of the number of Russian troops in Ukraine (which our media tend to report as fact)," Brenton, a 30-year Foreign Office veteran, added.

Finally, Bretton told Sputnik, "there has been little on the relative resilience of the Russian economy" despite the Western sanctions targeting its key sectors and the falling global oil prices.

An ICM Research poll commissioned by Sputnik showed the majority of Europeans place little to no trust in their country's mainstream media's coverage of the year-long Ukrainian conflict. The survey was carried out from March 20 to April 9, 2015 and targeted more than 4,000 people.

In the ICM poll, a third of British respondents assessed as biased the media coverage in Britain of the fighting between Ukrainian government forces and independence supporters. Some 55 percent, on the other hand, put a moderate or greater amount of trust in the British media's coverage of the events.

The conflict in Ukraine has claimed the lives of over 6,000 since its start last April. Western nations allege that Russia is supporting anti-government militias in southeast Ukraine, while Moscow continues to firmly deny the accusations.

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