Strange data were published by the official news agency BelTA on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus.
Material aid was paid to the number of war veterans that exceeds the official data two times.
I wouldn't have noticed it and counted the veterans, but the stories were published one by one on BelTA's website. The headline of one of them reads “20,700 war veterans live in Belarus”. The other story was titled “50,000 GPW veterans receive material aid on 70th anniversary of Belarus's liberation”.
The acronym GPW is a separate matter. Recently, rather important officials explained to journalists that it is wrong and insulting to use this acronym. Whatever responsible officials tell us, the word GPW offends me, though I was born after the war and know the horrors and meaning of the Great Patriotic War.
Were the frames of morale shifted? Is it acceptable for the official news agency of the country, which suffered from the war probably more than others, to use GPW?
What concerns the tricks with figures, it's more than one can imagine.
The news about the number of war veterans in Belarus tells about the number of disabled persons and participants of the war (only 14,200 in the beginning of April 2014) and lists other categories: survivors of the Siege of Leningrad, homefront workers, railway workers and participants of the postwar mine clearance – all those having the title of a veteran of the Great Patriotic War.
The news about the money assistance on the anniversary of the country's liberation names almost the same categories of people.
Only a close comparison of the two texts allows us to understand why 30,000 more people were included: 1,300 family members of soldiers who died in the war; 27,800 former inmates of Nazi camps; 896 persons disabled from childhood because of the injuries incurred during the war or its aftermath.
If so, 700 people were not included in the lists! Did they fall victims of the editor's “rounding”? The news says that “almost 50,000 veterans” received material aid.
Such unclear phrases, let alone headlines, look like a big journalism gaffe.
Or it may be an ideological diversion if you look at this story as strict order protectors...
Mania Myshkavets, exclusively for charter97.org