An interview with Rudy Bouma, Dutch Journalist who has witnessed two Ukrainian wars
Rudy Bouma is a veteran journalist and reporter for Dutch TV. He is a journalist at Nieuwsuur (News Hour) and regularly reports from crisis areas. He recently traveled to Ukraine to report on the current war. He also is an expert at debunking fake news and misinformation. Rudy also covered the Ukrainian war in 2014 and 2015. In 2014 he was one of the first Dutch TV journalists at the crash site of flight MH17.
Zamaneh interviewed Rudy about his observations of the recent war in Ukraine, propaganda, and other issues that complicate this conflict.
Zamaneh: It has been about two months since the day Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, the news of this war has overshadowed other news of the post-pandemic world. In the age of social media, we could see hundreds and thousands of videos and reports from serious journalists in the field and citizen journalists. No reports can compete with first-hand observation. You have been in Ukraine for two weeks and just got back from there. Please tell us about your observations and the atmosphere of the area.
Rudy Bouma: I was based in Lviv and, as you know, Lviv is a charming historical city. I had some stories about the city as well. And obviously, that was the city to go to for a lot of media, so at first I was a bit scared that there were not enough stories for that much press. But after two weeks, I realized there were a lot of original stories to tell. It was very safe in that city, at least until the last day of my visit, because the town was not the target of Russian rockets. On my last day, a Russian missile hit an aircraft plant near Lviv airport. Still, until that moment, other cities were being targeted, like Ivano-Frankivsk International Airport, which is about 150 kilometers away. I went to Ivano-Frankivsk to make a report about the Azov Battalion, which is very much discussed because they have their neo-Nazi roots, and they play a significant role in Mariupol right now. I also went to a military base at the Polish border, which was hit at one point, and 35 people died. There is a tiny village next to the base where a funeral was happening while we were filming. The funeral belonged to a person killed near Kyiv during the battle. We went there, and we filmed that, but we made a lot of reports also about, let’s say, more in-depth topics — for instance, the role of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its dilemmas.