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Reuters mocked over paintball image in Ukraine conflict report  — Analysis

In an article about the Russian offensive, the media outlet featured a photo of paintball training. 

Online ridicule has erupted over the publication by Reuters of a report regarding the Ukraine conflict along with an image that appeared to show people playing airsoft.

According to the headline, Ukrainian soldiers were able to drive out Russian troops in Sumy Region. “Ukrainian border guards repelled an incursion by a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group in the northeastern region of Sumy on Monday, the governor of the Sumy region said.”

The image that was used to illustrate the report is what attracted the most attention online. The image, thought to depict Ukrainian soldiers at the frontlines, shows, on closer inspection, a group of people playing paintball using the paintball guns and masks.

A link to this article was placed alongside the aforementioned photo. The account has since retained it despite many comments pointing to its inadequacy.

Some users have stated that this Reuters post is a prime example of why it’s become increasingly difficult to trust mainstream media reports on complex foreign conflicts such as the one in Ukraine, which is already hard to follow due to the avalanche of conflicting and misleading reports supposedly coming from the frontlines.

Some users also suggested that the picture actually shows the painting industry profiting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It suggests that $40 billion of the US Senate funding might go to paintball gear.

Reuters claimed that the photograph was not in the public domain and tried to justify its use. “members of the territorial defense force”Participating in a “training simulation.”Many have criticised the agency, however, for failing to include this clarification in their original tweet.

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