"The first casualty is truth" is drivel in a world where wars are completely unnecessary for the proliferation of fake facts, but I know from my Israel-Palestine experience that whenever a truth seems too unequivocal, reality is probably not what it seems. So when, thanks to someone on the Fediverse, I discovered Max Blumenthal's article on neo-Nazi infiltration in Ukraine, I breathed a sigh of relief and started fishing around for more. Noam Chomsky, of course has interesting things to say too (US Approach to Ukraine Has “Left the Domain of Rational Discourse”).
There is no doubt which side is being more evil just now, and which side needs huge support. But the western news media seem to approach the war like an old Hollywood movie, or a Marvel comic-book, where the good guys are beyond reproach and the bad guy is a super-villain. And all kinds of crude, unacceptable stuff like Ukrainians smearing their bullets with pigs' fat to demoralize Chechnian soldiers becomes suddenly fine. Someone had got inspired by 1857.
Putin needs new laws, courts, government ministries and policemen to enforce his media-clampdown. All that western countries seem to need is a collective will to block out anything that spoils the collective narrative. This is as true when it is Ukraine being reported as it is in Palestine. If only greater respect could be shown to the news consumer's intelligence, perhaps it would become a thing. It's the inability to see reality in more than two dimensions that is the real danger and instigator of wars.
We are currently in a very dangerous moment, when in our naivety and gullibility, we can too easily be swayed by warmongers and arms merchants. It's Putin's fault, and it's our fault too. And when war comes to us it really doesn't matter who started it. Innocents and non-innocents end up suffering just the same.