CNN leads media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - Poynter (2023)

As loud explosions from Russian artillery shells and missiles rattled the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, unnerved residents of the country’s second-largest city desperately sought shelter. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, scampered and crammed into the safest place they could find: underground in a railway station.

And right there in the middle of it was CNN’s Clarissa Ward, interviewing an anxious mother with her 7-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter clinging to her sides.

Meanwhile, approximately 300 miles away, at an airport just outside Kyiv, CNN’s Matthew Chance approached what he believed to be Ukrainian soldiers. As it turns out, they were Russian soldiers, prepared to fight for possession of the airport. With smoke billowing in the background and the sounds of gunfire, Chance and his team soon had to pack up their gear and scramble to safety. In another report, he was nearly caught in the middle of a firefight.

And right there, in those moments aired just minutes apart, CNN showed why it remains television’s gold standard for fast-breaking international news.

Controversy has surrounded CNN for the past couple of months. From the firing of Chris Cuomo to the resignation of president Jeff Zucker, the network has made more news behind the camera than in front of it.

But don’t let that overshadow this fact: CNN once again turned into necessary viewing over the past 36 hours as Russia invaded Ukraine.

To be clear, other networks are providing superb television coverage, but CNN’s powerful reach, experienced journalists and round-the-clock coverage are reasons why those looking for the absolute up-to-the-minute news immediately turn to CNN.

What truly sets CNN apart is the boots-on-the-ground coverage from all over. Chance was in Kyiv. Ward and senior international correspondent Sam Kiley were in Kharkiv. CNN’s international security editor Nick Paton Walsh was in Kherson and senior national security correspondent Alex Marquardt was in Mariupol.

(Video) Nightly News Full Broadcast - Oct. 22

In addition, anchors Erin Burnett, Michael Holmes and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto all anchored from Lviv, while other reporters were in Moscow and along the Poland-Ukraine border.

That’s not all. CNN continually rolled in expert analysts, not only from within the U.S. government, but their own contributors such as Christiane Amanpour and military analyst Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.), the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander. Such guests provide historical perspective, as well insightful analysis of how we got here, where we are and where we are going.

Again, CNN is hardly alone in its excellent coverage, and I will get into the other outlets and their good work later in the newsletter. But CNN, despite often being accused of being partisan in its coverage, delivers comprehensive and factual programming when it comes to humongous stories like the one we’re witnessing right now.

The New York Times’ Michael M. Grynbaum and Katie Robertson reported, “The head of CNN International, Mike McCarthy, said in an interview that the network had 75 people in Ukraine, including drivers and local interpreters. The network is using the city of Lviv in western Ukraine as its base, in part to ensure that broadcasts were not interrupted by cyberattacks that may affect Kyiv. He said CNN had ‘six or seven’ backup communications systems in case any failed.”

The effort and resources result in coverage that is nearly impossible to turn away from.

Here is more notable TV coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine …

Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst had to pause his report to put on a helmet as Russian jets launched an air assault on a Ukrainian airport.

CNN leads media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - Poynter (1)

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin. (Courtesy: Fox News)

(Video) Anger in Russia at mass mobilisation of men to fight in Ukraine - BBC News

Speaking of Fox News, national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin, who has always been one of the network’s strongest reporters, has offered superb analysis throughout the early part of the invasion.

Not long after Russia’s initial invasion, Griffin said, “The way in which Putin is describing Ukraine, he is describing it as an existential threat to Russia. This is a figment of his imagination. If you look in his eyes, you see someone who has gone completely mad. What we are seeing tonight is a moment in history, something we have not seen for generations.”

Griffin also has been quick to correct Fox News colleagues whenever they’ve drifted into territory that doesn’t accurately represent how the situation has developed. Griffin has consistently said Russia was on the verge of invading Ukraine.

Griffin, on Thursday, said, “The White House and NATO allies had no illusion they could defer Putin from entering Ukraine without going to war. Now they believe Putin has made the biggest mistake of his presidency. He has ambitions to reestablish the Russian empire, but we know and he knows full well that these kinds of invasions and occupations are well- known as the graveyard of empires.”

While I praised CNN, it also needs to be pointed out that the major networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — have all provided superb coverage, as well. Here are some of the highlights from that:

  • David Muir had a strong interview on “World News Tonight” with the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who told Muir, “Is it a possibility that Putin goes beyond Ukraine? Sure, it’s a possibility. But there’s something standing in the way of that and that’s Article 5 of NATO. That means an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all members of NATO. The president has been very clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory. I think that’s the most powerful deterrent for President Putin going beyond Ukraine.” Blinken also said the same in an interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell.
  • Lester Holt also interviewed Blinken on the “NBC Nightly News.”
  • Quote from O’Donnell as the bombing began: “We may be witnessing now what is the beginning of the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II.”
  • On Thursday’s “CBS Mornings,” Texas Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, “We haven’t seen anything like this, really, since Hitler invaded Poland in World War II. I just hope this is not the beginning of World War III.”
  • “PBS NewsHour” correspondent Lisa Desjardins had an excellent recap of the sanctions placed on Russia, what effect they could have and what further sanctions could be imposed at a later time.
  • Also on “PBS NewsHour,” anchor Judy Woodruff led a strong roundtable discussion with former military and State Department members about the latest in Ukraine. These are the types of lengthy discussions that network newscasts don’t have the time to do, but “PBS NewsHour” does so well.
  • A little thing done well: Early in the day, Fox News’ Bill Hemmer stood at a map of Ukraine and showed where the various attacks and explosions had been heard and seen. It gave viewers a better sense of what Russia is trying to do, and how much of Ukraine is being impacted. Again, it’s a little thing, but it’s valuable to viewers.
  • Rachel Maddow, who is supposed to be on hiatus from her prime-time MSNBC show, was called back in to work Thursday night. Maddow also will return on Monday to host her show ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union. Then on Tuesday, she will join Joy Reid and Nicolle Wallace to lead MSNBC’s special coverage of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
  • Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will join MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning to talk about the latest from Ukraine.

Of course, TV isn’t the only outlet covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

(Video) PBS News Weekend full episode, October 22, 2022

The New York Times’ live coverage is stunningly good, even starting with another simple, but effective tool. At the top of the page, it says what time it is right now in ​​Kyiv, Moscow and Washington. The Times also has maps that are tracking the invasion.

The Washington Post’s live coverage also is outstanding. That includes this helpful “Catching Up — what you need to know” that has been months in the making.

Here are some other notable pieces worth your time:

In a new column published Thursday, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan called out Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for what sure sounds like a pro-Putin stance on his prime-time show. And Sullivan not only went after Carlson, but his bosses — most notably the Murdoch family.

Sullivan wrote, “Carlson is dangerous because he has a cult-like following who believe his nightly rants. I would love to see the Murdochs put decency above dollars and remove him from the airwaves. But it’s important to remember what Carlson is: nothing more than an outrage machine. What he offers is not political commentary. It’s Fox-approved nonsense meant to juice ratings — and it works.”

Sullivan goes on to say that Carlson has a right to say whatever he wants and that even Fox News lawyers once argued that viewers shouldn’t always take everything he says as fact.

Sullivan writes, “The millions who tune into Carlson every night to get their outrage on should remember what their favorite host traffics in: bloviation, demagoguery and unrighteous indignation. And they should remember what he isn’t obligated to deal in: The truth.

Also in The Washington Post, media reporter Jeremy Barr has a story with the headline, “Some conservative media hosts ridiculed Biden’s warnings of a Russian attack. Now they say it’s his fault.”

(Video) UN Security Council Meet LIVE News | Russia Ukraine Latest News | Russian President Vladimir Putin

Barr wrote, “Across the right-wing media spectrum, the crisis in Europe proved an opportunity for talking heads to compare leaders — sometimes concluding that Putin is the more impressive.”

That includes former New York City mayor-turned-Trumper Rudy Giuliani, who went on Newsmax and said, “They have a president, and we don’t. Putin is prepared for this. Our incompetent (president) isn’t prepared for it.”

Meanwhile, The New York Times put this headline on a Katie Robertson and Michael M. Grynbaum story: “Fox News hosts play down Russia’s attack on Ukraine.”

Robertson and Grynbaum wrote, “As Mr. Putin mounts an offensive against Ukraine, despite diplomatic efforts by the United Nations and sanctions by the United States and other nations, the comments from some of Fox News’s biggest stars stood in contrast to the reporting from the network’s own journalists.”

CNN leads media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - Poynter (2)

(Courtesy: USA Today)

  • Poynter media business analyst Rick Edmonds with “Revenues are still declining, but Gannett insists it is meeting its digital goals.” Edmonds wrote, “Gannett reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021 Thursday. It was a decidedly mixed bag. Digital-only subscriptions had grown to 1.6 million by the end of the year, and roughly a third of its revenues came from various digital ventures. On the other hand, total revenue for the quarter was $827 million, down from $875 million during the same period in 2020, a 5.5% decline. Print advertising was off by more than 10%, but circulation revenue fell, too. That indicates that print subscription revenue is falling away faster than the new revenue generated from digital-only subscriptions.”
  • At CPAC in Orlando, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz called White House press secretary Jen Psaki “Peppermint Patty.” She was not offended. Here’s her comeback.
  • Amy Hollyfield, a senior deputy editor at the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times, is on the move. On Thursday, Hollyfield was named managing editor of The Dallas Morning News. Hollyfield, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, replaces Keith Campbell, who retired from the Morning News in December after 31 years. On a personal note, I worked with Hollyfield for several years at the Times and can’t say enough good things about her. The Morning News is getting a good one. The Morning News’ Maria Halkias has more.
  • This is what happens when you’re doing a live news report and your mom drives by.

Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at

(Video) Russia Targets, Ukraine's energy infrastructure | World News | TVP World

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Who is winning the Russia Ukraine War? ›

In a decisive offensive in the north-east, Ukraine drove back Russian forces. It claims to have regained 3,000 square kilometres (1,158 sq miles) of territory around the city of Kharkiv alone. Its forces have also retaken territory in Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine.

How much of Ukraine does Russia currently occupy? ›

Russia currently occupies approximately 114,000 sq km of Ukrainian territory, as of 6 October. The New Statesman has built an interactive map to show what an area of that size would look like when compared to other countries or territories.

Why did Russia invade the Ukraine 2022? ›

On 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine in a steep escalation of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. The campaign had been preceded by a Russian military buildup since early 2021 and numerous Russian demands for security measures and legal prohibitions against Ukraine joining NATO.

Why is Russia at war with Ukraine? ›

Throughout 2021, bilateral tensions rose due to a Russian military buildup near the border with Ukraine, and on 24 February 2022, the conflict saw a major escalation as Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Between 2014 and 2022: Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

How many tanks does Russia have left? ›

According to the Military Balance 2021, quoted in Kyiv Independent, Russia has over 10,000 battle tanks in storage, mainly T-72s and T-80s.

How many soldiers does Russia have? ›

Russian Forces Are Not Large

That military is long gone. Today, Russia maintains a total military of about 900,000, of which 280,000 are in the army. To put the Russian force into perspective, the United States has an active-duty force of 1.3 million and organized, trained reserves of 800,000.

Does Ukraine have nuclear weapons? ›

While Ukraine has multiple nuclear power plants for civilian use, the country does not have nuclear weapons. Ukraine inherited a large nuclear arsenal when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. But Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons under a 1994 agreement under which Russia pledged to respect Ukraine's borders. Q.

How many square miles of Ukraine does Russia control? ›

Russia controls more than 90,000 square kilometres (34,750 square miles) of territory or about 15 percent of Ukraine's total area – roughly the size of Portugal or Jordan. Russia had annexed Crimea in 2014.

How many Russians have left Russia? ›

An upper estimate is for 700,000 Russians to have fled conscription since it was announced. Many went to Kazakhstan, Serbia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, and Finland.

How many Russians died in Ukraine war? ›

Civilian deaths
AreaFatalitiesTime period
Poltava Oblast22 killed27 June 2022
Sumy Oblast100+ killed24 February – 4 April 2022
Zhytomyr Oblast13 killed1–10 March 2022
Total29,125+ killed24 February – 11 October 2022
10 more rows

Why is Ukraine not in NATO? ›

Plans for NATO membership were shelved by Ukraine following the 2010 presidential election in which Viktor Yanukovych, who preferred to keep the country non-aligned, was elected President. Amid the unrest, caused by the Euromaidan protests, Yanukovych fled Ukraine in February 2014.

When did the Russian war start 2022? ›

The invasion began at dawn of 24 February, with infantry divisions and armoured and air support in Eastern Ukraine, and dozens of missile attacks across both Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine. The first fighting took place in Luhansk Oblast near Milove village on the border with Russia at 3:40 am Kyiv time.

Is Russia good for living? ›

Lifestyle and culture in Russia

Locals in Russia are actually warm, friendly and helpful people. Whether new arrivals enjoy nature or prefer the perks of city living, Russia has a lot to offer. There are lots of social activities and sports facilities in Russia, especially in big cities.

Why is Russia so large? ›

By the early 18th century, Russia had vastly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third-largest empire in history. The monarchy was abolished following the Russian Revolution in 1917, and the Russian SFSR became the world's first constitutionally socialist state.

Why is Crimea important? ›

The Black Sea ports of Crimea provide quick access to the Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans and Middle East. Historically, possession of the southern coast of Crimea was sought after by most empires of the greater region since antiquity (Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Russian, British and French, Nazi German, Soviet).

How many aircraft has Russia lost in the Ukraine war? ›

In War for Ukraine, Neither Side Controls the Skies but Russia Has Lost 55 Planes - WSJ. News Corp is a global, diversified media and information services company focused on creating and distributing authoritative and engaging content and other products and services.

How many tanks does NATO have? ›

These tanks are only used in NATO by their respective countries. There are roughly 200 tanks in service for each tank type, making a total of 800, plus roughly 1500 Leopard 2's and roughly 2500 M1 Abrams. The majority are M1A2's and the rest M1A1's.

Why do Russian cars have Z? ›

The Latin-script letter Z (Russian: зет, tr. zet, IPA: [zɛt]) is one of several symbols (including "V" and "O") painted on military vehicles of the Russian Armed Forces involved in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is speculated that the Z helps task forces distinguish themselves from other forces.

Who has the most powerful military in the world? ›

According to Statista, the most powerful military in the world is the United States military. Statista uses an index with 50 different factors such as military might to budget to give each country a score. The top eight most powerful militaries as of January 2022: United States.

Who has the world's largest army? ›

India, the United States, North Korea, and Russia rounded out the top five largest armies respectively, each with over one million active military personnel.
Largest armies in the world ranked by active military personnel in 2022.
CharacteristicActive military personnel
12 more rows
5 Aug 2022

Is the United States military strong? ›

“In the aggregate, the United States' military posture can only be rated as 'weak,'” the 578-page report states. Heritage says the Air Force is “very weak,” the Navy and Space Force are “weak,” and the Army is “marginal.” The Marine Corps and nuclear forces are rated “strong.”

Which country has the most powerful weapons in the world? ›

Here are the 10 countries with the most nuclear weapons:
  • United States - 5,550.
  • China - 350.
  • France - 290.
  • United Kingdom - 225.
  • Pakistan - 165.
  • India - 156.
  • Israel - 90.
  • North Korea - 50.

Who has more weapons US or Russia? ›

Nuclear arsenal of Russia

As of 2022, the Federation of American Scientists estimates that Russia possesses 5,977 nuclear weapons, while the United States has 5,428; Russia and the U.S. each have about 1,600 active deployed strategic nuclear warheads.

Which country has most atom bomb? ›

According to Business Insider, Russia has a nuclear arsenal of 6,850 nuclear weapons (1,600 deployed, 2,750 stored and 2,500 retired). The U.S. on the other hand has an arsenal of 6,450 nuclear weapons (1,750 deployed, 2,050 stored and 2,650 retired).

Is Kharkiv under Russian control? ›

Ukraine consolidated its control of the Kharkiv region on Tuesday, raising flags on towns and villages occupied by Russian troops for six months, and reclaiming areas seized by Moscow on the first day of Vladimir Putin's invasion.

What parts of Ukraine are under Russian control? ›

Russia's formal annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia ostensibly gives it control over 15 percent of Ukrainian territory. It expands Moscow's authority over wider portions of Donetsk and Luhansk, collectively known as Donbas.

Is Luhansk under Russian control? ›

The Russian occupation of Luhansk Oblast is an ongoing military occupation within Ukraine, which began on 27 April 2014 when part of the oblast came under the control of the Luhansk People's Republic, a breakaway Russian puppet quasi-state located within it.

Can Russian citizens travel to USA now? ›

Russian citizens who wish to travel to the US for business or tourism purposes must apply for a US B1/B2 Visa. While the application process cannot be 100% online, iVisa can help you obtain the confirmation page you are required to have for your interview at the embassy, and they can do that offline or online.

What country has the most Russian immigrants? ›

CountryEthnic Russians
United States3,100,000
26 more rows

How did Russia Own Alaska? ›

From Three Saints Bay, the Alaskan mainland was explored, and other fur-trade centers were established. In 1786, Shelikhov returned to Russia and in 1790 dispatched Aleksandr Baranov to manage his affairs in Alaska. Baranov established the Russian American Company and in 1799 was granted a monopoly over Alaska.

How many tanks has Russia lost Ukraine? ›

54,810 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured) 4,724 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles destroyed. 3,587 vehicles and fuel tanks. 2,216 tanks.

How many Russians died in Ukraine war? ›

Civilian deaths
AreaFatalitiesTime period
Poltava Oblast22 killed27 June 2022
Sumy Oblast100+ killed24 February – 4 April 2022
Zhytomyr Oblast13 killed1–10 March 2022
Total29,125+ killed24 February – 11 October 2022
10 more rows

How many people died in the Ukraine war? ›

The number of refugees has surpassed 6.6 million. Military losses have been heavy on both sides, with about 9,000 Ukrainians and as many as 25,000 Russians said to be killed. Ukraine has lost control of 20 percent of its territory to Russian forces and their proxies in recent years.

How many soldiers does Ukraine have? ›

150,000 naval troops. Around two million reservists.

Can a US aircraft carrier enter the Black Sea? ›

So why can't the US Navy can't send an Aircraft Carrier into the Black Sea to protect Romania and NATO merchant ships or help Ukraine? According to a UN Treaty, they are too big and heavy.

How many Russian aircraft has Ukraine shot down? ›

Ukraine has shot down 55 Russian warplanes, U.S. general says.

What is the cost of a Russian tank? ›

The Russian Army initially planned to acquire 2,300 T-14s between 2015 and 2020.
T-14 Armata
Unit cost$3.7–$4.6 million
Produced2014–2021 (prototypes), 2021–present (serial version)
28 more rows

How many Russian tanks have been destroyed? ›

Based on these estimates, Russia has lost nearly 1,300 tanks – an impressive 40% of its total operational tank fleet.

How many US soldiers died in Vietnam? ›

The Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File of the Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Extract Files contains records of 58,220 U.S. military fatal casualties of the Vietnam War.

How many Russians have left Russia? ›

An upper estimate is for 700,000 Russians to have fled conscription since it was announced. Many went to Kazakhstan, Serbia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, and Finland.

What country has the most Ukrainian refugees? ›

As of 18 October, the countries receiving the largest numbers of Ukrainians are Russia (2.8 million), Poland (1.4 million), Germany (1 million) and the Czech Republic (0.4 million), with the latter now hosting the largest number of Ukrainian refugees per capita.

How many US soldiers died in Iraq? ›

Number of U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq war from 2003 to 2020
CharacteristicNumber of fatalities
9 more rows
30 Sept 2022

How many Russian soldiers died in ww2? ›

Male war dead

Andreev, Darski and Karkova (ADK) put total losses at 26.6 million. The authors did not dispute Krivoshev's report of 8.7 million military dead. Their demographic study estimated the total war dead of 26.6 million included 20.0 million males and 6.6 million females.

How big is the army of NATO? ›

NATO's main headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium, while NATO's military headquarters are near Mons, Belgium. The alliance has targeted its NATO Response Force deployments in Eastern Europe, and the combined militaries of all NATO members include around 3.5 million soldiers and personnel.

How many tanks does NATO have? ›

These tanks are only used in NATO by their respective countries. There are roughly 200 tanks in service for each tank type, making a total of 800, plus roughly 1500 Leopard 2's and roughly 2500 M1 Abrams. The majority are M1A2's and the rest M1A1's.


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