Lu Yuguang, a Chinese reporter from the Beijing office of state-run Phoenix TV, has come under international social media fire for his outspoken support of the Kremlin’s attack on Ukraine after he told reporters, “As a representative of the Chinese people, I wish Russia a quick victory.”
Lu, known for being pro-Russian, had privileged access to the Moscow army, reporting freely from besieged cities in eastern Ukraine, including Mariupol, photographing and even interviewing soldiers. In one of his reports, he stated that “militants in Kyiv continue to use hostages as human shields.” He also had an “exclusive” interview with Denis Pushlin, the president of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, in which he claimed that with the help of Russia his “troops” were “taking back the land every day”:
Media coverage indicates that despite Beijing’s insistence on its ‘true neutrality’ in the conflict, Chinese state media are receiving unprecedented access within the Russian military, contributing to the dissemination of information and images that amplify Moscow’s messages. There are also some guarantees that Chinese journalists are protected by Russian forces, indicating tacit or explicit coordination between Beijing and Moscow.
China censors news and information about the Ukraine crisis, so even the word “invasion” has been banned. The official Chinese media also promoted that the United States was responsible for the unrest in Europe and that Washington was secretly supporting the Ukrainian “neo-Nazi” forces, as an additional motive for Moscow to justify its invasion.
It is believed that Lu, and this is another interesting aspect, served in the Chinese army and spent a lot of time in Russia. The media group for Phoenix TV, which is headquartered in Hong Kong, is led by Liu Changle, who is also a former soldier in the People’s Liberation Army.
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