CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is on the ground in Ukraine where the death toll has reached 5,358 with another 12,235 injured since last April.
So why aren’t other American cable networks covering the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists with the urgency that stories involving ISIS have generated? It’s not even getting the attention that “The Interview” received.
At the moment, MSNBC and Fox News don’t have correspondents reporting from Ukraine. CNN’s Emmy-award winning Walsh has been on assignment in there for almost two weeks.
Walsh tells TVNewser while the news from Ukraine seemed to slow down at the end of 2014, the start of 2015 was looking to be volatile. “The ceasefire caused many to think things were slowing,” Walsh tells us. “But the separatists became increasingly organized, and now seem to welcome some Western media in order to convey their message.”
Walsh reported from a bomb shelter in Debaltseve on Sunday. On Monday it was damaged by artillery. He returned to the shelter and filed a graphic report on the aftermath.
“What we are essentially seeing is a slow and covert Russian takeover of Donetsk and Luhansk. It smells, looks and breathes like it is being absorbed into its larger neighbor and is now effectively cut off from the rest of Ukraine,” Walsh says. “The challenge is to convey how that takeover is happening when Moscow, and often many separatists, do their best to suggest it isn’t.”
CNN was the first Western TV network to gain access to the now-destroyed airport in Donetsk, which Walsh and other foreign journalists used regularly. “Hard to imagine how just six months ago we were here flying out of Donetsk at what was then a state-of-the-art terminal,” Walsh said.
As for the others, NBC News tells us Bill Neely is on his way, CBS has Elizabeth Palmer covering the conflict, most recently from the London bureau, and Charles Stratford of AL Jazeera English has filed reports for Al Jazeera America.