This news in its entirety is a master class of balancing at the edge of openly pro-Russian position in covering the situation in Eastern Ukraine.
Formally it follows the standards of “balance of opinions” at least somewhere: e.g., after quoting Maria Zakharova it also quotes Yelena Gitlyanskaya (spelling her name in Russian, not Ukrainian style).
However, look attentively at this:
“Heavily armed rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk regions refuse to recognise the Ukrainian government in Kiev.
The rebels seized large swathes of territory there in an uprising in April 2014. Since then, thousands of people have died in fighting between the rebels and Ukrainian government forces.”
Not a single word about Russia’s bringing thousands of “rebels” from the neighboring Russian regions to play the role of “local rebels”!
And then much worse:
“Moscow denies sending regular troops and heavy weapons to the separatists, but admits that Russian “volunteers” are helping the rebels.”
And… no “balance of opinions” provided here even formally, despite numerous facts, confirmed by countless official observers, that Moscow did send and is sending “regular troops and heavy weapons to the separatists”.
Why BBC authors step back from the standards in this particular case?
Simply because providing more balanced information about “Moscow sending regular troops and heavy weapons to the separatists” would undermine the adopted and heavily biased narrative of “Ukrainian crisis” instead of “Russian invasion to Eastern Ukraine”.
Was this news written in Moscow by Russian BBC staff? Judging by spelling “Gitlyanskaya” (instead of “Gitlyanska”), it may well be so.
Anyway, shame to BBC News.