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Dallas, Texas, United States

Monday, May 30, 2022

Press Freedom

On this Memorial Day holiday, my thoughts are on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  Ukrainian soldiers are dying in defense of their democracy against the ambitions of an autocrat.  Russian soldiers are dying in defense of a lie that they have come to liberate.

I remember a story about a daughter in Ukraine telling her parents back in Russia that the Russians were shelling Ukrainian civilians. The parents refused to believe it even though their daughter was giving them a first-hand account. The parents preferred to believe the Russian news which was telling them otherwise.

I also remember another story about one of the last independent Russian news organizations being disbanded. When one of the news workers was asked for her opinion about the future of Russia, she replied that Russia might become like North Korea. North Korea ranks dead last on the Press Freedom Index.

I have heard that democracies are less likely to engage in an unjust war than autocracies. I have also written that the first step in conquering a democracy is to destroy its free press. I believe that if Russia still had a free press, the Russian people would not tolerate the invasion.