BBG Watch Commentary

Russia Today report from Ukraine  on Sunday had over 2,800 Facebook Likes.
Russia Today report from Ukraine on Sunday had over 2,800 Facebook Likes.

Several hours ago, the state broadcaster Voice of Russia (VOA) reported that that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych Monday to express concern about the situation there and worries about the potential for violence between the government and protesters.

Later, another Russian state-funded international media outlet, Russia Today, also reported the same news on its English-language website: “Mass protests in Kiev: LIVE UPDATES.”

“US Vice President Joe Biden called Viktor Yanukovych to warn against the use of violence and expressed ‘deep concern’ about the situation in Ukraine,” Russia Today reported. “‘In a phone call today with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Vice President Biden expressed his deep concern about the situation in Ukraine and the growing potential for violence,’ said the White House in a statement.”

Also BBC has reported on Biden’s phone call to Yanukovych.

“US Vice President Joe Biden spoke over the phone to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych earlier, expressing ‘deep concern’ about the situation in Kiev and urged dialogue with the opposition.

‘[Mr Biden] noted that violence has no place in a democratic society and is incompatible with our strategic relationship,’ the White House said in a statement.” “Ukraine police move on protesters and opposition party,” BBC, December 9, 2013.

As of 8:30PM ET, there is still no news on the VOA English website about the Biden-Yanukovych phone call, which was made early Monday morning.

The BBC report from Ukraine shows 1,109 Facebook “Likes.” VOA English News does not have a correspondent in Kiev. A short VOA report on Ukrainian police moving against pro-Europe demonstrators, which has not been updated with latest information, was filed early Monday by VOA correspondent in Moscow James Brooke. It shows 67 Facebook “Likes.”

Over the weekend, most VOA reports from Ukraine were from Reuters. They received even fewer Facebook “Likes” compared to thousands Facebook “Likes” for Russia Today and BBC reports on demonstrations in Kiev.