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The Latest War Of The Worlds Incident

It's happened again. From AFP:

MOSCOW, April 14, 2010 (AFP) -- A local Russian television station has become embroiled in controversy after it announced that NATO forces had invaded Ukraine and were attacking Belarus, the Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday.

The news report aired in the western Russian city of Lipetsk began by saying that the Lipetsk military was airlifting refugees because "the NATO countries are attacking Belarus from the territory of Ukraine."

It turned out the report was merely an attempt to promote footage of interior ministry wargames being held at Lipetsk aerodrome, which simulated such an attack -- a fact that the news report mentioned after a few minutes.

The incident echoed an incident in Georgia in March when Imedi television channel ran a faked report of a Russia invasion, using footage from the August 2008 war between the two countries, causing widespread panic.

While there were no reports of panic caused by the report on Lipetskoye Vremya channel, the region's journalists and interior ministry officials were reprimanded for publicising the NATO attack scenario.

Not as dramatic as Georgia's recent incident, but still.

-- Luke Allnutt

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