How media covers COVID-19 impact in the Occupied Territories of Georgia

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Due to the World pandemic, population living in the occupied territories of Georgia found themselves in a particularly difficult situation, where the lack of information led to their insecurity. Local authorities are trying to bring every piece of information spread by the Russian propaganda machine to the Ossetian population and to keep the region in the information bubble. Georgian media tried to find reliable sources beyond the barbed wire to cover the current situation, which they were able to do effectively. The worst situation for people living outside the barbed wire (regardless of nationality) is often the subject of discussion by international organizations, but the Georgian side needs to do more to ensure that the international community cares about the vital rights of the people in the occupied territories. The de facto government often manipulates the topic of pandemics. They used local media to accuse Georgia of exporting COVID-19 to the occupied territories. Dominant in the Ossetian government media, Russian propaganda has been circulating negative opinion about Lugar's laboratory and providing misinformation to the population about the center, which aims to instill mistrust in people towards Western technology. Local media tried to use the support of the medical staff of the Russian Federation for propaganda purposes. Part of the powerful Russian propaganda mechanism is the local Russian and Ossetian media, which has widely covered the support of the medical staff of the Russian Federation in the fight against the pandemic. Meanwhile, a large part of the Ossetian population is secretly treated free of charge at the leading medical clinics in Tbilisi. This fact has been condemned by the local authorities and the media in the occupied territories are silent on this issue. Georgian media meanwhile present the position of the Georgian government, which on equal terms discussed the poor condition existing behind the wires and the citizens living there. The pandemic has shown that Russian propaganda permanently try to portray pro-Western Georgia in a negative light, which is being widely reported by the media in the occupied territories. Media outlets operating in the occupied territories try to hide Georgia's readiness to help and assist with the high-quality medical service to the people living in the conditions of occupation to overcome the difficulties associated with COVID-19. This information was widely covered by the Georgian media, which probably extended to the occupied territories, despite numerous barriers.
Occupation, Media, COVID-19, Propaganda, Information warfare