Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

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COUNTERACTION TO RUSSIAN INFORMATION

AGGRESSION: JOINT ACTION TO PROTECT DEMOCRACY

AN A LY T I C A L R E P O R T NGO Telekritika

Kyiv

2015


Analytical report

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy. Analytical Report. – Kyiv: Telekritika, 2015. – 77 p.

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A ut h ors

Diana Dutsyk Roman Shutov Petro Burkovskyi Serhii Chernenko General editing: Natalia Ligachova Design: Yana Dobrianska

The Analytical Report reflects the dynamics of information aggression of Russia against Ukraine between February 2014 and March 2015 as well as the outcomes of aggression for information, socio-psychological, political, and other processes in Ukraine and abroad as of March 2015. The report contains recommendations for the state, media, and CSOs concerning common actions meant to minimize negative outcomes of Russian information and psychological influence. The report is based upon the results of Russian propaganda monitoring conducted by NGO Telekritika in 2014-2015. The report contains the results of an expert discussion on counteraction to Russian information aggression, which took place within a roundtable in Kyiv on March 20, 2015, and the results of social studies conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology by the order of NGO Telekritika in March 2015. The report is intended for being observed and utilized by state officials responsible for state information policy build-up and implementation; media and CSOs’ representatives; scientists; experts in the field of information and psychological operations; and any other interested people.

Analytical report was prepared by NGO Telekritika under support of Internews Network. Full responsibility for the report rests upon NGO Telekritika; conclusions and views mentioned in the report may differ from the opinion of Internews Network.

© NGO Telekritika, 2015 © Yana Dobrianska: Design, 2015

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CONTENTS

Chapter 1

Monitoring Diana Dutsyk Ukraine’s Information Policy During War: Critical Comments Roman Shutov Russian Information and Psychological Influence in Ukraine in the Context of an Armed Conflict. Monitoring Results (2014-2015)

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Petro Burkovskyi, Serhii Chernenko Coverage of Ukrainian Developments by Russian Channels. News Monitoring in January 2014 – March 2015

Chapter 2

Expert

Discussion

Russian Propaganda in the Territories Controlled by Ukrainian Government: Counteracting Opportunities Volodymyr Paniotto Serhii Teleshun Yevhen Bystrytskyi Oksana Maidan Yurii Ruban Viacheslav Husarov Serhii Chernenko Possible Ways to Counter Propaganda in the Occupied Territories Roman Shutov Andrii Lysenko Oleksii Matsuka Irina Brunova-Kalisetska Information War Against Ukraine in Information Space Abroad: How to Regain Grounds? Andrii Portnov Denys Bohush Olesia Yakhno Dmytro Ivanov

Chapter 3

Public Opinion Survey

Chapter 4

Recommendations

Chapter 5

Annex

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he influence of the Russian totalitarian propaganda on the people all over the world and especially in the post-Soviet countries has become enormous. The magnitude of this influence is based on the sophisticated nature of the Russian misinformation and manipulation expansion, the cynical use by the Kremlin spin masters of basic democratic values, like the freedom of speech, for the democracy destruction. Unfortunately, neither intergovernmental and public institutions nor civil society of Ukraine and of the West were ready to withstand these challenges promptly and efficiently. And now we have to catch up, we need to join the efforts of all supporters of the open society values to develop efficient propaganda counteractions. Recording and scrutiny of methods of Russian special information actions in Ukraine, where the Kremlin having prepared the background with the use of ideological activity among other things turned to direct military aggression, should have been, for sure, the first steps in this undertaking. During January 2014-March 2015, ‘Telekritika’ NGO with the support of Internews Network was monitoring the coverage of developments in Ukraine by the Russian media and the response of Ukrainian information activity to the Russian propaganda messages. Telekritika and Kyiv International Institute of Sociology were also studying the influence of the Russian propaganda messages on Ukrainians. This paper presents the results of our research and the recommendations developed together with reputable experts, but it does not draw the line. Since the knowledge is necessary for action. We do hope that together with colleagues we will soon get to the implementation of way-out projects to dispel the myths of Russian propaganda and to promote the reliable information.

Chairperson of NGO Telekritika Natalia Ligachova

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During January 2014 – March 2015, NGO Telekritika was conducting a monitoring of Russian media and one more monitoring of Russian propaganda influences on the Ukrainian information space. Apart from that, our experts were tracing the decisions taken by power authorities regarding the information field and aimed at counteraction to Russian information aggression. This section contains the results of annual monitorings. N G O

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Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

In 2014, Ukraine for the first time since announcement of its independence has found itself in the conditions of unannounced war. An important element of this war is propaganda and psychological information operations that Russia began to use actively against Ukraine. The new Ukrainian government that emerged after the then president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the country had to balance between protection of democratic values and freedoms and protection of Ukraine’s information sovereignty, destruction of which threatened the existence of the country. In the absence of relevant domestic practices, the search for the balance in these issues became one of the key challenges for Ukraine. The article analyses the solutions (legislatives and political) of the new Ukrainian government aimed at countering the Russian information aggression from March 2014 to March 2015.

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Public Opinion Survey

Ukraine’s Information Policy During War:

2014–2015 National Information Policy Analysis (in the part related to countering Russian information aggression)

Critical Comments

w Diana Dutsyk

Monitoring

Recommendations

Discussion

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Russia’s Information Aggression: Underestimated Threats

Diana Dutsyk, PhD in Philology, Executive Director of NGO Telekritika

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n late February – early March 2014, Russia used Ukraine’s weakness and brought from the Russian Federation and Black Sea Fleet bases in Crimea the unmarked troops (which the mass media called “little green men”) to occupy Crimea. On March 1, the Federation Council of Russia decided to support the request of President Putin and grant consent to use the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine. On March 16, 2014 a pseudo-referendum was held in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on the peninsula status, the falsified results of which were used by Russia to make Crimea part of its territory. Nearly immediately after annexation of Crimea, in mid-April 2014, the armed groups of pro-Russian activists, as became clear later, supported by Russian raiders began to seize administrative buildings and police stations in the towns of Donbas. Gradually, the opposition escalated to a full-fledged armed conflict. On April 13, the acting President of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, announced the start of a large-scale Anti-Terrorist Operation involving the Armed Forces. These developments took place seven years after the Munich speech by Vladimir Putin. In 2007, during the Munich Conference on Security Policy the Russian President strongly criticized the policy of the US (for allegedly threatening to make the world mono-polar), NATO and OSCE, and presented his vision of the new world order, which

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must be multi-polar. The world mass media called Putin’s speech the threat of the new cold war. The most emotional response came from the US politicians: Senator John McCain called Putin’s speech «the most aggressive from a Russian leader since the end of the cold war». The Europeans demonstrated a reserved attitude. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for deepening the cooperation of the EU and NATO with Russia. The official Kyiv at that time was more involved in the permanent domestic political crisis. Thus, the world politicians underestimated the threats from their Russian partners both in the physical and in the informational dimensions. Seven years after the Munich speech, war came to Ukraine that declared its European aspirations. The annexation of Crimea and military operations in eastern Ukraine were preceded by long-term Russian information policy aimed in the first place at reconstructing the “Russian world” outside Russia and, however paradoxical that may sound, restoring the Soviet identity. Information attacks were targeted against all initiatives from the Ukrainian side that would facilitate going beyond the mental and ideological framework of the post-Soviet space. Ukraine’s desire to join the European Union ruined Russia’s plans to restore its positions in the territories of the former USSR. The information element was one of the cornerstones for implementation of this policy. Putin was constantly seeking to legitimatize his actions (especially during the annexation of Crimea and in the course of the conflict in eastern Ukraine) in the eyes of his citizens and in the eyes of the rest of the world. This could be achieved by constructing new reality through the media (a more detailed overview of Russian information and psychological influence in

Volodymyr Putin takes a floor on Munich Security Conference, 2007

Ukraine – in the article by Roman Shutov; on Russian mass media propaganda – by Petro Burkovskyi and Serhii Chernenko). By manipulating public information, the Kremlin created the ideology that served to protect a small group of people. The information component of Putin’s geopolitical game has been constantly underestimated by the West. For instance, when in 2008 Edward Lucas published his book, The New Cold War: How the Kremlin Menaces Both Russia and the West, he was flooded by criticism. Only when the conflict unwrapped in the east of Ukraine, after the Russian propaganda began to permeate the western media space and press on public opinion, the leaders of these countries began to talk about the Russian threat, including the threat posed by Russian propaganda.

Ukraine: Lack of System Information Policy Ukraine that was economically and politically weak was unready not only for the direct military but for information confrontation as well. During all years of its independence, the country has not developed consistent information policy. The government (regardless of its political colors) for more than twenty years considered these problems to be marginal. This is confirmed already by the fact that until today Ukraine has no modern Information Security Doctrine as well as the documents that would identify the country’s development in the information sphere. In 2001 President Leonid Kuchma issued a decree, On Measures to Improve the State Information Policy and Ensure Information Security of Ukraine. Pursuant to this decree, the Concept of National Information Policy and Information Security of Ukraine was to be developed. President Viktor Yushchenko went somewhat further. His decree of 2009 approved the Ukraine’s Information Security Doctrine [1]. However, this document had an obviously declarative nature and was never implemented. However, all other documents were of the same nature as, for instance, the Strategy of Information Society Development in Ukraine approved during Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency by the order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in 2013 [2]. The legal basis for this Strategy is laid down by the Law of Ukraine “On Fundamental Principles of Development of Information Society in Ukraine for 2007–2015” adopted back in 2007. The declarative character of such documents can be explained by their discrepancy with the real state of affairs: the political forces which at some time came to power always satisfied their information needs either by means of direct or indirect pressure on large media holdings or by means of mutually beneficial agreements with media oligarchs. Therefore, it was always about the instruments for achieving or preserving power. Other

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elements of the information policy were – with some exceptions – of no interest for the Ukrainian politicians. Russia, on the contrary, has developed a powerful documentary basis in the sphere of information security and development of the information space. Information security is one of the priority areas of Russia’s security policy. On the web-site of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, the “National Security” section consists of six sub-sections: military and defense industry security, international security, economic security, state and public security, counter-terrorism activities, and information security. One can also find a complete list of documents regulating this security area. More specifically: Russian Federation Information Security Doctrine; Strategy for Information Society Development in the Russian Federation; Key areas of research in the sphere of information security of the Russian Federation; Convention on Ensuring International Information Security (concept); Main areas of state policy in the sphere of protection of automated control systems for industrial and technological processes in the critical infrastructure objects of the Russian Federation;

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The fundamental principles of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the sphere of international information security for the period ending 2020; Excerpt from the Concept of the state system of detection and elimination of the consequences of cyberattacks on the information resources of the Russian Federation. There are no such documents on the website of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (some of them are still being drafted). Moreover, the website structure itself is not user-friendly. A citizen of Ukraine willing to understand, which security policy in general and in the information sphere in particular is implemented by his/her country, will hardly be able to receive the required information from this resource.

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Generally, the information security issues to a certain extent are set forth in a number of laws and normative documents [4, 5]. Yet, there is no system approach and conceptual vision. The annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine forced the Ukrainian government to return to the problem of the state information policy. The following draft documents are now undergoing different stages of development: Strategy of National Security of Ukraine (it contains a separate paragraph dealing with information security threats with special attention paid to the information psychological war of Russia against Ukraine, and the cyber safety threats; a special paragraph dealing with information security guarantees; the document was criticized by the experts also in this respect) [6]; Strategy of Ensuring Ukraine’s Cyber Security [7]; Strategy of the Information Space Development (drafted by the State Committee on TV and Radio Broadcasting upon the request of the National Security and Defense Council; the Strategy is focused on the information security issues; criticized by the public [8]; after creation of the Ministry of Information Policy, the document was forwarded to it for finalization); Information Security Doctrine (a new Doctrine was prepared in 2014 by the State Committee on TV and Radio Broadcasting; the document will also be finalized by the Ministry of Information Policy). The factors that hinder to develop a uniform information policy are very superficially outlined in the draft Strategy of National Security of Ukraine. Thus, the document reads that «there is still a problem with the inability of the state authorities to establish a comprehensive strategic communication policy, a lack of coordination of actions in the sphere of protection of domestic information space as well as search for a balance between the freedom of speech and the necessary level of control in the interests of national security». However, we would like to identify in more detail the problems that were accumulated during all years of independence and today prevent us from developing a consistent information policy.

Underestimated threats in the information security sphere

Ukraine has never paid so much attention to the information problems as the US and Russia. Consequently, there was no theoretical, academic and hence legal framework developed that could serve as a basis for development of the state information policy, including security policy. There are no competitive analytical solutions and serious research papers. No Ukrainian school of scientists and researchers (including media researchers) was formed to study these problems. The existing works and research papers mostly either have lost their relevance or are disconnected from the realities, and cannot be used in practice. The authorities have no employees able to systematically assess all the complex problems that the state faces in the context of protecting its information interests.

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Failed identity development policy

We are not talking about the national identity based on ethnic origin. British journalist Peter Pomerantsev when presenting in March 2015 in Lviv his book, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, about Russia in ХХІ century said that Ukraine «needs to work harder on its policy to clearly distinguish its identity and convey the essence of it to the world». What is Ukraine today? What will it be tomorrow? These questions need to be answered both to overcome the internal conflicts in the society and to represent Ukraine in the world. Today, Ukrainian politicians falsely reduce the information policy issues to the media sphere. Major decisions that the Parliament and the Government make to counter Russian information aggression are limited to the media field. On the other hand, there is no policy stimulating production of the Ukrainian cultural product (cinema, literature, arts), which would serve to promote Ukraine in the world. Finally, there is a need to re-think the approaches to interpretation of the historical past –the use of historical memory as a political instrument should be abandoned.

Oligarchized media sphere

The foundation of the oligarchic system of media ownership was laid under Leonid Kuchma’s presidency. During all following periods, it was actively developing and hindered establishment of high-quality non-partisan journalism. The leading TV channels in the country with the largest audience were turned by their oligarch owners into the instruments for political influence and protection of their interests. For instance, at the height of the war in the east, TV channels «Inter» (owned by Dmytro Firtash and Serhii Liovochkin, both former members of Viktor Yanukovych’s team) and «1+1» (owned by Ihor Kolomoiskyi) used their news programs in corporate wars between two oligarchic groups as demonstrated by the results of the news monitoring carried out by Telekritika. Since enrichment of oligarchic groups in Ukraine has always depended on their relations with the incumbent government, the TV channel owners actively used their media assets to influence the politics and politicians without hesitating to resort to manipulative technologies. The myth about Ukraine’s division was actively integrated in the Ukrainian information space by Russian political technologies through Ukrainian TV channels already back in 2004 during the Orange Revolution. For instance, such channels as «1+1», «Inter», «ICTV» and «New Channel» broadcasted the video about three grades of Ukraine with a map of Ukraine saddled by US president George Bush; similar infographics were published in the regional press. In 2014, Ukrainian TV channels «Inter», «Ukraina» and the «First National» when speaking about the protesters in the Maidan as «radicals», pumping up the hysteria around the Right Sector and heroizing the Berkut, created a distorted picture of the events, which among other things results in the radicalization of developments in the east of Ukraine [9]. In fact, they played not less destructive role than Russian TV channels. No government sought to eliminate the information monopoly of several oligarchs in the country always believing it was better to come to an agreement with them. This system not only impedes development of the entire media industry but also poses real threats in the conditions of war. Today, a new media reform roadmap is needed. And public broadcasting is not the only homework that this government has to do. A public broadcasting channel will have no influence in the environment of the oligarchic media system. It will simply be unable to compete with the channels owned by oligarchs (first of all, because of different volumes of financial investments). That is why the whole system has to be changed. In the first place, it is necessary to: revise all regulatory mechanisms in the media sphere; ensure transparency of media ownership; revise the antimonopoly legislation that would restrict media monopolies; create competitive economic conditions for various types of media

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Inefficient (and sometimes absent) communication policy of the government) This policy encompasses several components.

First, communication with the public.

The Ukrainian government has never been able to develop efficient communication with the society. During a war, the absence of efficient communication threatens the fundamentals of the country – people lose trust in the state institutions. In five eastern and southern oblasts of Ukraine (Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk; including the districts not controlled as of the time of survey) the Ukrainian government became the main source of public disappointment: 64% responded that their attitude to the government deteriorated compared to the fall 2014 ; and 66% believe the Ukrainian government acts contrary to people’s interests. These are the results of sociological survey conducted by KMIS upon request of Telekritika CSO in February 2015. 24% citizens need information about the activities of the central and local authorities (see the “Opinion Poll” section of the report).

In September 2014, the public reacted with a flesh mob #‎PoroshenkoPohovoryZNarodom in social networks to the fact that the President did not explain why the laws “On the Special Status of Donbas” were adopted and what the implications for the country are. It is well known that the vacuum of the unrealized communication with the Ukrainian society is filled with rumors and fakes created by propaganda laboratories of the neighboring state. And although the President and governmental officials since then began to appear in press conferences and interview more often, the efficiency of communication remains at its previous level. Because their messages are often populist and meaningless. The level of communication of local officials with the population is altogether very low. One should talk separately about representation of the state authorities in the Internet and hence about their openness and accessibility for ordinary people. Their websites are very poor (the National Security and Defense Council mentioned above) and need to be updated.

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Second, communication inside the government. The state’s efforts in the information policy sphere today are dispersed because there are many structures which in one way or another are involved in these problems. In the beginning of the conflict in the east, there was virtually no structure that would take the responsibility for informing the population about the developments in the ATO zone (despite the fact that the Ministry of Defense has always had its own press office). An ATO press center was created. The General Staff also has its own press office. Besides, the Ministry of Information Policy was created. There is the Information Analytical Department in the Presidential Administration. On February 28, 2015 the Main Situational Center of Ukraine was created in the National Security and Defense Council that is responsible for collecting, maintaining and processing information necessary for preparation and adoption of decisions in the national security and defense sphere. There are furthermore a number of other structures that are in some way involved in covering the developments during the war and related in general to the information policy implementation. However, the efficiency of their activities in total is not very high because of the lack of coordinated actions and sometimes because of tough internal competition related to fighting for the leverages. Concerns are also raised by the fact that representatives of these agencies often replace efficient communication with PR of certain governmental officials. There is also a question of professionalism of some employees working for these structures.

Third, communication with the outside world. The situation is somewhat better here. Both the President and the Prime Minister who represent Ukraine at the international level speak English and can communicate freely with Western journalists. However, this is not enough for Ukraine to compete in the world information space with aggressive Russian propaganda and information lobbyism. Local officials should also learn English. The websites of state authorities should have English language versions. A separate communication strategy is needed to promote Ukraine’s interests in the world.

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Main decisions aimed at restraining Russian information aggression: policy of prohibitions instead of policy of incentives

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he intensiveness of Russian propaganda was growing together with the development of military actions in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government despite the absence of respective practices was forced to develop the response mechanisms. They were not always successful since they were based on the policy of prohibitions. This gave an additional trump card to the Russian propagandists in the West, and also in the work with the population of the occupied territories. Even more: it caused criticism of international media organizations working to protect freedom of speech. Some of these decisions are: 1

Creation of the Ministry of Information Policy

2The Ministry of Information Policy was created on December 2, 2014. A former head of Channel 5, MP from Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Yurii Stets, was appointed the Minister. Establishment of the Ministry virtually split the public in two halves: some believed that we need a structure that would fight against Russian propaganda, while others expressed concern that the Ministry will be censoring Ukrainian mass media. It also led to Ukraine’s reputation losses at the international level – representatives of international organizations denounced creation of the ministry. For instance, Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media expressed sharp criticism (at the time of its creation) with regard to its establishment. Several months of activities of this ministry did not demonstrate any significant results. A negative example is creation of the Information Forces of Ukraine. The project was scandalous from the first days of its creation after the instruction on how to create fake accounts was leaked in the Internet.

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Prohibition of Russian channels broadcasting

In 2014-2015, rebroadcasting of 19 Russian TV channels was restricted in Ukraine because of their support of the annexation of Crimea, propagation of war and violence in Ukraine. Re-broadcasting of six Russian channels in the territory of Ukraine was temporary prohibited by the rulings of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv: «First channel. The Worldwide Network», «RTR-Planeta», «NTV-World», «Russia-24», TVCI and RBC-TV. Broadcasting of further 13 channels was restricted in the territory of Ukraine by the decisions of the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting: «Russia-1», NTV, TNT, «Petersburg-5», «Star», RENTV, Life News, Russia Today, «History», «365 days», «24 Techno», «World 24» and «Country». The National Council explained that they do not prohibit channels but make decisions on the presence of indications that the channel is not adjusted to the Ukrainian legislation and violated the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. Recognizing the channel as running contrary to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and the Ukrainian legislation means the providers are not allowed to broadcast it in their networks. Instead, the National Council ruled that the contents of Russian TV channel «Rain» (“ Дождь”) are in line with the European Convention and the Ukrainian legislation. Nonetheless, Russian TV channels are available in the Internet, via satellite television, and they continued to be broadcasted on the occupied territories. Furthermore, population in the east and south of the country continue to watch Russian TV channels: nearly one third of the surveyed population in five oblasts in the east and south of Ukraine (see the «Opinion Poll» section) claim they can receive the Russian channel RTR, the same figure is true for NTV and ORT, while RBC is «caught» by 17%. In the territories that are currently not controlled by the Ukrainian government, this figure is higher. Russian TV channels are mainly available with the help of a satellite antenna and cable TV (42% and 38% respectively of those who can watch them). 6% watch them in the Internet. 3

Prohibition of Russian TV series

On April 2, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, signed the law adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on February 5, “On Amending Some Laws of Ukraine in Protecting

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Information TV and Radio Space of Ukraine” (draft law № 1317) [10], which prohibits to broadcast some Russian movies and TV series in Ukraine. Namely, the law contains the following provision: «...the prohibition to disseminate and show movies that popularize or propagate the aggressor’s agencies and their individual actions is applied to dissemination and show of any movies regardless of the country of origin produced after August 1, 1991. The prohibition to broadcast movies produced by individuals or legal entities of the aggressor that do not popularize or propagate the agencies and actions provided for in the previous sentence, is applied to the movies produced after January 1, 2014». Representatives of the TV industry are apprehensive that they will suffer financial losses, and they also maintain that the law leaves a vast leeway for manipulation. «No one

Conclusions

understands, what «Russian product’ means. I think, there will be a large field for manipulations here, free interpretation of this provision. The law needs additional amendments to make everything clear and to bring everyone to the same plane», Oleksandr Tkachenko, head of 1+1 Media, said [11]. At the same time, resistance on the part of the media industry could be lower if the state came up with the policy of incentives – meaning support for the domestic product (one can discuss how this could be done). Of course, not all steps aimed at countering Russian information aggression are covered here. However, these three examples show that the state has to change its approaches and switch to the policy of incentives in various spheres. Furthermore, it has to push the large media market players to initiate the media self-regulation process.

Information policy instead of counter-propaganda and governmental PR There is no system vision of the modern information policy at the level of governmental bodies. Some officials replace the information policy notion with counter-propaganda or governmental PR. However, neither counter-propaganda nor PR of the government can solve the challenges Ukraine is facing today. The modern state information policy has to be the result of a compromise of various stakeholders. Only then it can be efficient.

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Primary steps:

development of a new modern legislative and normative legal framework in the information policy sphere; support of scientific solutions in the sphere of the information policy implementation in general and information security in particular; stimulation of media research and monitoring of the information space; training of personnel in these areas; development of a new communication strategy of the government, the mandatory components of which should encompass communication with the population (a differentiated approach to various groups, different regions); conflict-free communication inside the state authorities; communication with the outside world; introduction of a media-literacy system in secondary and higher education institutions; transition from the policy of prohibitions to the policy of incentives in the media sphere.

References 1. Доктрина інформаційної безпеки України // http:// zakon4.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/514/2009 2. Стратегія розвитку інформаційного суспільства в Україні // http://zakon4.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/386-2013-%D1%80 3. Закон України «Про Основні засади розвитку інформаційного суспільства в Україні на 2007–2015 роки» // http:// zakon4.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/537-16 4. Закони України в сфері інформаційної безпеки // http://iszzi.kpi.ua/index.php/ua/biblioteka/normativno-pravovabaza/2014-05-13-04-05-16/12-mainmenu/148-zakoni.html 5. Нормативні документи в сфері інформаційної безпеки // http://iszzi.kpi.ua/index.php/ua/biblioteka/normativnop r avova - b a z a / 2 014 - 0 5 - 13 - 04 - 0 5 - 16 / 12 - m a i n m e n u / 15 6 normativni-dokumenti-sistemi-tzi.html 6. Стратегія національної безпеки України // http://www. niss.gov.ua/public/File/2015_table/proekt_strateg.pdf

7. Стратегія забезпечення кібернетичної безпеки України // http://www.niss.gov.ua/public/File/2013_nauk_an_rozrobku/ kiberstrateg.pdf 8. Між безпекою і розвитком // MediaSapiens. — 16 вересня 2014 р. — http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/media_law/ government/mizh_bezpekoyu_i_rozvitkom/ 9. Моніторинги «Телекритики» // http://osvita. mediasapiens.ua/monitoring/daily_news/ 10. Закон «Про внесення змін до деяких законів України щодо захисту інформаційного телерадіопростору України» // http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_2?id=&pf351 6=1317&skl=9 11. Російсько-українська копродукція не підпадає під закон про заборону російських серіалів – Ткаченко // «Телекритика». — 1 квітня 2015. — http://www.telekritika.ua/ pravo/2015-04-01/105597

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Monitoring Results (2014-2015)

Roman Shutov, PhD in Political Science, Program Director of NGO Telekritika

Russian Psychological Influence in Ukraine in the Context of an Armed Conflict

Between December 2013 and March 2015, one of the most important information factors in Ukraine was severe pressing by Russian propaganda, an armed conflict with Russian Federation, and occupation of a part of the Ukrainian territory. In order to achieve their military, political, and economic goals in Ukraine, Russia turns to various strategies of information influence on the occupied territories and the territories controlled by the Ukrainian government. The article presents the analysis of the strategies mentioned above and specific information and psychological operations concerning their outcomes for the Ukrainian state’s security. The analysis provides the opportunity to make conclusions on the enemy’s further actions and scenarios of further developments. The article is based on the results of the monitoring conducted by NGO Telekritika during 2014-2015. w Roman Shutov

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Driving forces of Russian information and psychological influence

In order to understand the course of information processes as well as social, psychological, and military processes in Ukraine in 2014-2015, it is necessary to pay attention to the context in which Russia’s information and psychological influence on Ukraine is exerted.

A part of the Ukrainian society immersed into Russian mental and mythological framework. According to the data of Razumkov Centre, as early as in June 2007, long before the beginning of the armed conflict and Russia’s powerful information aggression, 29.5% of the Ukrainian citizens felt belonging to Russian or Soviet culture tradition (neither Ukrainian nor European). Most of these people were concentrated in the south (44.5%) and in the east (40.8%) of Ukraine [1]. Over 10% of the inhabitants of these regions have already been likely to express a wish for their territories to be separated from the rest of Ukraine [2]. The inhabitants of the eastern oblasts found themselves more similar

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to the Russians than to the inhabitants of other Ukrainian regions [3], which has already testified the alienation of an essential part of the Ukrainian citizens from the national cultural and mental framework of Ukraine. It is natural for these people to have been under the influence of Soviet mythology which being a bit modified has turned into Russian one. In particular, this mythology included continuous fighting against external enemies, first of all the United States (liberals, capitalists, masons; a threat to Russian lifestyle and worldview), Europe (a threat to Russian culture and spirituality), and fascism (dehumanized image of a defeated enemy who is seeking revenge). Therefore, as soon as Russian propaganda identified the Ukrainian people with all of these enemies according to the Russian geopolitical goals, the results were not long in coming. In particular, this is a reason why a part of the population inhabiting the occupied regions has supported the newly established fake power authorities. This is also the reason why so many people living in the south and in the east do believe Russian propaganda (see the results of social study in the relevant chapter of the report).

Organizations and structures being the agents of propaganda influence On the one hand, these organizations were presenting the interests of those who were immersed into Russian mythological framework. On the other hand, they were running active propaganda of these ideas in order to enlarge their social base. These are several pro-Russian political parties (the Communist Party of Ukraine, the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, «Rodina», and «Russian Block») and local public organizations («Rusichi» and «Russkiy Mir» in Luhansk, «Oplot» in Kharkiv, «Russian Community of the Crimea», «Sevastopol – Crimea – Russia», and «The Eurasian Youth Union» in the Crimea). The pool of these organizations has been systematically created since mid-2000s by the efforts of

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«Rossotrudnichestvo» and «Russkiy Mir» Foundation. The level of their activities can be estimated by the level of the agents of their influence. For example, one of their grantees in Luhansk oblast was the Organization of Young Deputies of Luhansk region; the office of «Russkiy Mir» Foundation was situated in the Luhansk Regional Universal Scientific Library; the head of the Luhansk regional council (in future – the head of the Luhansk regional public administration) Valeriy Holenko was one of the reporters at the Third Assembly of «Russkiy Mir» [4]. At the beginning of 2014, these structures supported Russian aggression and disintegration of Ukraine as a unified front.

Weak national information space Ukraine has not been working out enough information products and has been actively importing it from Russia. In 2008, 151 films were in process at Mosfilm studio (Russia), while only one was in process at the Dovzhenko Film Studio (Ukraine) [5]. In 2014, the amount of state cinema production funding made up 57 million hryvnias in Ukraine [6] and 6 milliard roubles in Russia [7], which is 300 times higher. The part of air only filled with Russian TV shows at the Ukrainian TV channels made up 55% in January 2015 [8]. The situation is critical not only with cinema production. In 2013, 1.5 books per person (one fiction book per five people) were published in Ukraine, while in Russia there were 31 books per person (5.8 out of them were fiction) [9]. The amount of Russian music product broadcasted via Ukrainian FM stations was also extremely high; there were specific FM stations broadcasting exclusively Russian songs («Russian Radio», «Radio Chanson»). The predominance of Russian information product, often bearing strong propaganda hint, has become the outcome of improvident state information policy during the entire period of independence. It has created favourable conditions for the implementation of Russian goals in Ukraine by means of information and psychological influence.

The course of information war in December 2013 – February 2015

The course of information aggression in 2013-2015 can be divided into several stages:

1 Preliminary stage can be described by long-term information and cultural expansion (since 2004 or even longer), with varying intensity in different periods. The necessary level of pro-Russian moods and interregional contradictions (mythological) has been maintained in the society. The remains of Soviet mythology were gradually replaced with Russian myths. Apart from that, there were regular information and psychological operations. One of them was the discrediting of European integration course of Ukraine before the European Union Summit in Vilnius in November 2013. 2

Discrediting Maidan (December 2013 — February 2014) was Russia’s response to the revolutionary process that took place out of their control. Russian media, Ukrainian media under Russian control and online resources were utilized to dehumanize and demonize revolutionary forces, mislead people (first of all, in the regions) about the goals and methods of the protest movement. In the meantime, pro-Russian groups of population

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were actively mobilized by purposely created image of the enemy (again, identified with already known mythic enemies). 3 Covering and justifying the occupation of the Ukrainian territories (February – March 2014). The enemy’s image was spread to the newly created Kyiv government («junta», «banderivtsi», «fascist», «American marionettes» etc.). An operation on the annexation of the Crimea from Ukraine was conducted. In the east of Ukraine, the Crimean scenario faced resistance; the conflict has turned into a war phase, which has provoked new purposes of propaganda. 4

Mobilizing pro-Russian groups to participation in war actions; escalating violence (April-May 2014). The efforts of Russian media facilitated demonization and dehumanization of the Ukrainian

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government communicating it as an aggressor. Unofficial channels of propaganda began to call for violence, especially after the events of the 2nd of May in Odessa. The population of the eastern territories was more and more assured that Russia will support the «citizen soldiers» by military tools and will further include the territories to Federation. Meanwhile, the local terrorists were provided with weapon. 5

From June 2014 up to the present time – supporting hostility in the east of Ukraine and legitimizing puppet «governments» at the Ukrainian territory. Typical methods for such purposes: further demonization and dehumanization of the enemy; overestimation of his casualties; glorification of «our boys»; weakening the enemy’s fighting spirit, his faith in victory and trust for command; destabilization of the enemy’s home front.

The channels of Russian propaganda in Ukraine in 2014-2015

Russian Media

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Before the events 2013-2014, Russian TV channels experienced relative stability of their rating: from 2008 to 2013, it ranged from 0.5% to 0.54%. In March 2013, 45.7% of the citizens trusted Russian media [10]. Thus, these channels have become an important tool of Russian propaganda in the information war. The efforts taken by the Ukrainian government to restrict the access of Ukrainian citizens to Russian media were expectedly of low effectiveness. In March 2015, after broadcasting of Russian TV channels was already forbidden, 28% of the citizens living in the eastern and southern oblasts of Ukraine (at the territories under the Ukrainian government control) had access to Russian TV channels via cable, satellite, or an analogue aerial. Analogue signal is still received from Russian Federation, occupied territories, and Moldova. 8% of the inhabitants of these territories have been using Russian television as a source of information (see the report on the social study results in the relevant chapter). A stable stratum of the Ukrainian population continues to believe Russian media. According to the data of Telekritika and KIIS, in December 2014, 6% of the state’s citizens considered Russian channels to spread truthful information about the events in Ukraine. 19.9% of the citizens found this information partly truthful [11]. The situation is even more complicated at the occupied territories. One of the first actions taken by the occupants was the replacement of Ukrainian TV channels signal by Russian signal at local television towers. Therefore, 63% of the citizens living at the occupied territories in the east of Ukraine have access to Russian TV channels (see the results of the study in the relevant chapter of the report) as well as the citizens of the Crimea. Additional opportunities for Russian propaganda appeared due to the overall distrust of the Ukrainian citizens to media. For example, according to the data of the Institute of Sociology of the NAS of Ukraine, in October 2014, 47% of the Ukrainian citizens distrusted Ukrainian media, while the trend was negative [13]. One of the reasons of distrust was the behaviour of certain media during and after Maidan (transition from state-supporting rhetoric to the opposite one) and Ukrainian media’s misrepresentation of the war actions and processes in the east of Ukraine at early stages of the conflict. Distrust to Ukrainian TV channels is even higher at the occupied territories, which

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is proved by the results of the study (see the relevant chapter of the report). On the one hand, it is enhanced by Russian propaganda’s discrediting of Ukrainian media; on the other hand, the very information policy of Ukrainian media is one of the reasons:

disinformation, stirring up abhorrence to the Ukrainians, spreading neo-imperial and antidemocratic ideas. Along with central Russian TV channels, these media make up the basis of the information space for the local population.

Ukrainian media stigmatize the citizens of Donbas and the Crimea, spread negative stereotypes and aggressive attitude to them;

Occupied East. In contrast to the Crimea, separatist media in Donbas were established under hostilities and with pro-Ukrainian journalists being forced out. Hostility demanded another intensity of propaganda – with a stress on escalation and justification of violence; being out of any legal environment and quality standards (often of semi-professional or amateurish character), media of terrorist organizations are efficiently succeeding in it. Dehumanization of the Ukrainians (together with the Europeans and Americans), calling for violence, and actually fake information as brutal as possible (often demonstrating cruelty, corpses etc.) make up the basis of their content together with the materials that legitimize the newly established puppet governments.

Ukrainian media produce too little information to satisfy the information needs of the citizens living at the occupied territories; Ukrainian media do not explain the policy of Ukrainian government for the citizens of the occupied territories – neither do the very key state officials (according to texty.org.ua [13], in December 2014, the President of Ukraine said almost nothing about the Crimea). These are the explanations why, despite the access to Ukrainian television, the citizens of the occupied territories in the east of Ukraine tend to choose Russian TV channels as a source of information and to trust them more often. Thus, Russian television continues to function as an agent of the Kremlin’s propaganda influence in Ukraine. It is keeping the pro-Russian stratum of the population (its stable audience) mobilized and is still the main source of information for the occupied territories.

Separatist Media Separatist media play a significant role in the information and psychological washing of the population living at the occupied and frontline territories. The establishment of these media was different in the Crimea and at the occupied territories of the eastern Ukraine; their rhetoric depends on the propaganda’s goals in different zones of occupation. The Crimea. Short after the occupation, during March – May 2014, the peninsula went through a gradual “reorganization” of the media space. Local media spreading pro-Russian ideas existed long before the occupation (e.g. «Krymskiye Izvestiya»). Some of local media (at once or with time) adjusted to the new conditions and took a loyal position towards the occupants (e.g. TRC «Crimea»). During 2014, several media were established and entered the propaganda discourse. These were «Zerkalo Kryma», «Crimean Information Agency», and «Argumenty-Krym». The media that could not adjust to the new conditions or tried to take an independent position had to cease their existence with time. The one to stand for the longest time is the ATR Holding (TV channels ATR and Lale, FM stations «Meidan» and «Lider», periodical «15 Minutes»), still it is purposefully forced out of the media space of the region. As of April 2015, there is a relatively monolithic media landscape in the Crimea. Local media are the agents of Russian propaganda, which is evident in different ways: by passive legitimacy of the occupation power and active

The development of the terrorist organizations’ media took place in April – August 2014. The technical base of local TV channels were used to create the channels «Luhansk 24», «Novorossia TV» (with a slogan «You can trust us»), «First Republican»; separatist «television» appeared in Alchevsk, Stakhanov, Sverdlovsk. Some of the local periodicals took the position of separatist-Russian propaganda («Zhyzn» and «Donetskiy Kriazh», Donetsk; «XXI Vek,» Luhansk). Several printed media were created, including «Novorossia», «Mirny Donbass», «Kazachiy Dozor» and «Donetsk Republic». Several Russian Internet projects of nationalist or neoimperial character became the mouthpiece of Donbas separatism (AnnaNews). A range of web resources were launched to imitate information agencies, news websites, and local authorities’ websites of «PRD». Information agency «Novorossia» (www.novorosia.ru), «The News of Donetsk Republic» (www.dnr-news.com), «DNR Today» (www.dnr.today), «Information Corpus» (www.icorpus. ru) are among the clone websites of Donetsk group; Luhansk group consists of the only www.lugansk-online. info. The list of terrorists’ web resources also includes a Russian resource «Russkaia Vesna» (rusvesna.su); there was also an attempt to create a separatist social network — www.noworossia.su, but the project turned out to be insufficient and was closed. The media of terrorist organizations do not compete with Russian or Ukrainian TV channels in citizens’ informing, yet they fulfil their own function. They ensure a proper level of emotional tension, fear and hatred; support the key myths and moods in the citizens’ mind; disable the citizens to take reality rationally; and create an illusion of true «statehood» of the occupied territories in the east. What is more, they are still the main source of information on the situation at the occupied territories; separatists’ press is almost the only available press for local people.

Social Networks Social networks were playing a key role in stirring up hatred and escalating violence during winter and spring 2014. At the very beginning of Russian operation, numerous groups were created in social networks (especially in «VKontakte»), devoted to Anti-Maidan

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ideas in different formats. First, a lot of subscribers were registered in Russian cities; in February – March many users from the Crimea subscribed, which means that local population was actively attracted to information war on Russia’s side. However, beginning with March, the amount of group members and subscribers grew due to the population of eastern and southern oblasts, which

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was a natural consequence of tension escalation and more people being attracted to the conflict. Social networks are utilized to spread large amounts of fake information: unverified «photo facts», «witnesses’ video», «participants’ comments» etc. In fact, social networks fulfil the same functions as separatists’ media in the east of Ukraine.

Russian propaganda messages in the information activities of Ukrainian subjects

The ideas consonant or identical to Russian propaganda are often spread by Ukrainian subjects as well. Since it is impossible to prove the fact of their cooperation with the subjects of anti-Ukrainian information and psychological operations (which is actually within the competence of specifically authorized state bodies), we cannot assert that they are consciously siding with Russian Federation in the information war. Still, monitoring information activities of several media, political parties, and public organizations during 2014-2015 leads us to the following conclusions: а) Russian propaganda ideas are spread regularly by them; b) Their messages facilitate specific information and psychological operation and coincide with them in time;

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c) While broadcasting propaganda discourse, these subjects tend to utilize manipulative methods. Consequently, these subjects can be taken as a part of the system which works to implement the goals of Russian propaganda at the territories under control of the Ukrainian government without formal violation of the Ukrainian laws.

Printed media Printed media is first of all analyzed in the context of several media holdings associated with Russian business or business of people from Yanukovych’s team: UMH Group and «Multimedia Invest Group». United Media Holding group (UMH) was acquired in 2013 by Serhiy Kurchenko, an oligarch from the so-called Yanukovych’s «Family»; the group unites a list of popular periodicals, including «Komsomolskaia Pravda v Ukrayine», «Argumenty i Fakty v Ukrayine», «Korrespondent» and several FM stations ( «Avtoradio», «Nashe Radio» etc.). Since September 2014 to April 2015, the holding has been headed by Olena Bondarenko, a people’s deputy from Yanukovych’s team who vote for the «Laws of January 16». In her public activities, Bondarenko doesn’t conceal her views, which are to a great extent consonant with the ideas spread by Russian propaganda [14]. The monitoring conducted by independent experts (including NGO Telekritika) has repeatedly revealed the signs of Russian propaganda in the content of media controlled by UMH. For instance, the experts of NGO Telekritika provided the evidence [15] for «Komsomolskaia Pravda v Ukrayine» newspaper’s contribution to consumers’ hysteria escalation in late February 2015. Although the owner of «Multimedia Invest Group» is Ihor Huzhva, the journalists tend to associate the holding with Viktor Medvedchuk. The main media controlled by the holding are the magazine «Vesti.Reporter» the radio station «Vesti FM» and the newspaper «Vesti», which has been distributed free of charge in the streets of the biggest cities of Ukraine for two years. That very newspaper has been causing the most serious complaints of the analysts for Russian propaganda distribution and participation in Russian information and psychological campaigns in the Ukrainian rear. According to the experts’ accounts [16], in March 2015, the newspaper «Vesti»

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broadcasted two theses of Russian propaganda on the average in each issue; about five headings in each issue were provoking a negative image of socio-political reality. The signs of Russian propaganda were also repeatedly revealed in the newspaper «Segodnia», belonging to Rinat Akhmetov. For a certain period of time, it has been even headed by a person who made public statements in the spirit of Russian propaganda. This person was Oles Buzina. It seems important to underline that the representatives of the media listed above publicly disprove their involvement in Russian propaganda.

Television Just like in case with press, Russian propaganda discourse is spread mostly by Ukrainian TV channels affiliated with business political groups cooperating with Russian Federation. These are TV channels «Inter» (Serhiy Liovochkin, Dmytro Firtash), «Ukraine» (Rinat Akhmetov) and «112 Ukraine» (the owner is unknown; earlier it was associated with Vitaliy Zakharchenko from the Yanukovych’s team). The role of these channels in the implementation of Russian propaganda goals is evident as they make up the main media platform for pro-Russian political forces (especially «Opposition Block») and create information and socio-psychological background for Russian special information operations. [17]. It is significant to note that there is one more way in which Ukrainian television is spreading Russian propaganda. As mentioned before, Russian film products have been always dominating in the Ukrainian air. These films often reflect Russian view of history, glorify Russian forces, and contain the elements of Russian chauvinism and nationalism. Out of all the channels, only «1+1» refused to broadcast the content produced in Russia. In March 2015, the law that restricts the broadcasting of Russian films came into effect.

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Political parties and public organizations The main political force to represent pro-Russian electorate and, thereafter, propagate pro-Russian views, attitudes and values is the «Opposition Block», having remained after the collapse of the Party of Regions. According to their rhetoric, Kyiv power is totalitarian [12] and persecuting the opponents; Kyiv is to blame for failing to execute the Minsk Agreements and for prolongation of the war [19]; while Ukrainian army in Donbas is associated with looting and murder of civilian population [20]. These statements fully correspond to the discourse of Russian propaganda. Besides, the Communist Party of Ukraine is still working, while their strategy is based upon the ideas of Soviet totalitarianism and Soviet mythology. The parties mentioned above act within Ukrainian legislation and declare their faith to Ukrainian statehood, whereas there is a number of marginal political parties which openly spread national intolerance, separatist slogans, totalitarian and Russian chauvinist ideas. These are «Rodina» and the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine. In spring 2014, they ceased their existence in Ukraine: their leaders emigrated to Russia and the occupied Crimea. However, they still have an active public life and make regular statements on Russian television. Their rhetoric reflects Russian propaganda as brutally as possible: «Europe is under the U.S.’ diktat», «power in Ukraine was seized», and «Ukraine should be cleaned of Nazi pest» [21]. It is significant that de jure these political parties continue to exist. Apart from political parties, there are public associations (real and artificially created) spreading Russian propaganda among the citizens. These are the groups of «Anti-Maidan» in Kharkiv and «Kulikovo Pole» in Odesa; different NGOs (the movement «Antyviina», «The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers» etc.) are used by Viktoria Shylova, the deputy of Dnipropetrovsk regional rada, in her information activities. These structures have their own resources in the web, such as Shylova’s personal website www.shilova.org or Odesa’s «Timer» www.timer.od.ua. The rhetoric of these structures is full of hostility language; it is aimed at interethnic intolerance and calls for violence. Nevertheless, law enforcement agencies do not respond properly.

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The goals of Russian propaganda at present

The Ukrainian territory controlled by the government

Russian information and psychological influence on the territories controlled by the Ukrainian government was dynamically changing during the first half of 2014. In March-April, when the opportunities of destabilization in different regions of the state had not been identified yet, propaganda had tactical purposes. The efforts were taken to mobilize pro-Russian groups throughout southern and eastern territories of the country; in the meantime, Kyiv was forced to «hear Donbas». As a result, the government was distracted from real problems solution and drawn into an imitated dialogue. Thus, Russian propaganda gained additional time and priority in the power confrontation. In May, it became obvious that in the south and in Kharkiv oblast, the calls for power confrontation had run out of their resource, so the intensity of Russian propaganda in these regions was critically decreased. From then on, Russian information and psychological influence on the Ukrainian rear began to pursue long-term, strategic objectives: Stimulating antiwar moods, decreasing the level of social support for further armed protection of the state’s territory. The war is depicted not as protection from an aggressor, but as a war against civilian population. While reporting the hostilities, some media groundlessly focused the attention on sufferings of local people because of the bombardment (but withholding facts of violence committed by terrorists) [22]. Besides, they tried their best to convince the audience that the number of refugees to Russia was numerous, demonstrated local population’s distrust to Kyiv power and Ukrainian army etc. One more trend in the context of Russian propaganda is legitimization of pro-Russian puppet governments in the eastern occupied zone in the view of Ukrainian citizens: these governments are treated as state authorities, not as terrorist organizations. For that end, verbal manipulations are actively utilized («the citizens of PRD», «the boundaries of republics» etc.). Moreover, the image of «not our war» is shaped: this is allegedly the war of oligarchs or a war of Russia against the U.S. at the expense of the Ukrainians’ lives.

The next direction of Russian propaganda is purpose-oriented work with the staff of Ukrainian military units. Among the soldiers, there are rumours about: «pravoseki» (the representatives of the «Right Sector») shooting the disloyal in the back; underestimation of the casualties in the official data; the command’s treason etc. There are news and rumours on numerous deserters from the Ukrainian army and other displays of the soldiers’ unwillingness to fight with the Russians and separatists. The implementation of these tasks is facilitated by the absence of proper access of the military men to the Ukrainian mass media (the incidents were fixed when the military men watched separatist TV channels as long as they could not receive a Ukrainian signal). One more direction is the work with the population of the frontline zone. Active role is played by separatist media (the inhabitants of the frontline zone mostly have access to them) and rumours. The messages are similar to those spread in the occupied zone; besides, they regularly spread the rumours about expected «cleanups» and renewal of hostilities, during which the lives of civilians will not be counted. They spread the disinformation on the course of military operations (and the responsibility is generally put upon the Ukrainians). These factors intensify the local people’s feeling of being tired of war and make them wish the war to be over at any price, which is beneficial for the aggressor at the moment. The effectiveness of the activities listed above is supported by statistics. Partly due to Russian propaganda, 18.6% of the Ukrainian citizens consider the war in the east to be the war between Russian and the U.S.; 19.6% of the citizens consider the people’s republics to represent the population of the relevant territories (according to the data of Razumkov Centre, March 2015). 28% of the southern and eastern population consider Kyiv to be leading a war against the proper people (according to the data of Telekritika and KIIS, March 2015).

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Destabilizing the situation within Ukraine. The propagandists are creating a specific socio-psychological background characterized by social apathy and disillusionment, mutual distrust, disappointment, and aggression towards the new power. The very events of 2013-2014 are discredited; the disillusionment of their outcomes is stimulated. Apparently, it is the effect of Russian information and psychological influence that is the explanation for 19% of the southern and eastern population of Ukraine to consider that a fascist revolution took place in Kyiv and for 46% of them to associate these events with the manipulations of oligarchs and the U.S., whereas these territories are under control of the Ukrainian government (see the results of social studies in the relevant chapter of the report). Moreover, they perform specific information and psychological operations to discredit the power of postMaidan Ukraine, to stimulate revolutionary moods, and to stir up social conflicts. The operations are: 1 Imitation (and stimulation, although without essential results) of “mothers’ rebellion” – a mass women’s movement against war. The effect was gained by means of both tendentious selection of facts in media (as protest actions actually took place) and the work of secret service network creating the necessary “image.” The subject of«mothers’ rebellion» was actively promoted between May and August and began to decline in autumn. 2 Stimulating intolerance and hostility towards internally displaced people (forced migrants). Media spread fake messages on how the refugees from Donbas hanged out flags, publicly demonstrated their antiUkrainian views or behaved in an intolerable way. The examples are numerous. For instance, on August 9, 2014, “Facts and Comments” spread the news on how the IDPs had torn down a Ukrainian flag in Vorzel; later StopFake proved that the news had been based on rumours only [23]. Later on, on March 2, 2015, the periodical «Chas Pik» posted a publication on how the IDPs in one of the villages in Uman region hanged out a Russian flag and arranged a «binge»; this news also failed a test of credibility [24]. Such news is often based on the evidence of doubtful «witnesses», «volunteers» and so on (the references are given to Mykhailo Dvorianchuk, Serhiy Naumovych and other names). Similar information is also actively spread as rumours. The effectiveness of the operation is rather high, which is proved by numerous incidents of IDPs’ discrimination and stigmatization, reported as early as September 2014 by the UNO officials [25] and public observers [26]. 3 Stimulating panic and protest moods because of expected «cold winter» and electric power cut-offs in December 2014. The subject had not enough socio-psychological resonance and had disappeared from the media discourse by the end of December, although power cut-offs were practiced further. 4

Stimulating panic and protest moods because of hryvnia’s fall in the rate of exchange in February 2015. There were signs of information and psychological special operation [15, 27] that caused a panic at the foreign exchange market and consumer hysteria. The experts agree that herein the general purpose of

Russian propaganda is to increase social aggression and direct it against the Ukrainian government («the Third Maidan»). Apart from that, there are also signs [28] that they are creating a favourable information background for the implementation of «green manikins» scenario in Kyiv (people in masks and armed clashes as a common phenomenon in the society and using «pocket armies» as a common element of political life).

The occupied zone in the east The priority of propaganda’s tasks in the occupied east can be assessed by the content of local media. Thus, during 15-31 March the website of the information agency «Malorossia» has posted: 188 news pieces on the local «power» actions including the discussion of their «decrees» and «laws», «parquet» news on their «ministers». In these publications, they are an initiative subject of international relations; 93 news pieces reporting the chaos and anarchy in Ukraine. The facts are selected (or fabricated) to testify economic collapse, state machinery degradation, devastation, impoverishment, intestine conflicts of the clans, and banditry; 71 news pieces reporting Ukraine as an aggressor: aggressive statements of the government representatives and the President; accusing Ukraine of Minsk agreements violation etc.; 47 news pieces directed at stirring up the hatred towards the Ukrainians. The main method is dehumanization, including associations with fascism, the Americans, and other «eternal enemies» of the «Russian world»; 22 news pieces depicted the degradation of the Ukrainian army. These are the evidences that as of April 2015, the goals of Russian propaganda in the eastern occupied zone were:

1 to legitimize marionette «governments» in Donetsk and Luhansk; 2

to disable local population’s aspirations to turn back to Ukraine; to create only a negative image of the situation in Ukraine; 3

to put the responsibility for the conflict on the Ukrainian government; to spread the idea that Kyiv is interested in war prolongation and is to blame for violence escalation; 4

to provide a proper level of irrational hatred to Ukraine and the Ukrainians; 5 to support the fighting spirit of the terrorists and their confidence in the victory.

The last task has lost its priority in comparison with 2014, due to discontinuance of active hostilities. It is also important to underline that in 2015, the Ukrainian

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army is not demonized and dehumanized as much as it was before, during the entire 2014 (spreading «news» and rumours on the army’s cruelty and their utilization of banned weapon; identification of the army with the fascists and «Right Sector»; reports on foreign (American and Lithuanian) mercenaries etc.). Additionally, in summer 2014, Russian propaganda was actively creating a system of people-symbols. Entire epos was created about the images of Strelkov (Igor Ivanovych), Babai, and «Prokhorov, the citizens’ soldier». There images were not only a surrogate for «people’s defenders», but also fulfilled an important sociopsychological function. As it is common for mythology, their images were separated from real individuals and provided with personal character traits. Typical patterns of behaviour and interaction were prescribed for each of them (Strelkov «feels sad», while Babai is always an optimistic go-ahead fellow etc.) and resulted in a system of rituals and signs aspirated by the disoriented society. In autumn, these images gradually disappeared (as well as their prototypes), since the need for confidence and order became satisfied by means of a statehood illusion

The occupied zone in the Crimea The propaganda strategy in the occupied Crimea has also changed. During 2014, local propaganda media paid much attention to them; the messages and stereotypes were much alike in the discourses of

eastern and Crimean occupied zones. In 2015, there is almost no Ukraine in the local media space. Thus, in the «News of the Crimea» there were only 12 news pieces concerning Ukraine during March 15-31, and most of them were about defective food products delivered from the mainland Ukraine. Similar figures characterize the «Crimean Information Agency»: 11 news pieces, mostly about the products of bad quality. So, the key purpose of Russian propaganda in the Crimea is a total separation of the peninsula from the Ukrainian information discourse and its integration to Russian context. The activities of power authorities, the integration of the Crimea to Russian legal framework, federal programs implementation, and interregional interaction are the main subject discussed in the media. Another priority is apparently the imitation of coming back to Soviet reality. The markers of this comeback are the reunification / the renewal of friendship with Russia, sacralisation of the victory won in World War II, nationalization and restoration of several enterprises, including military sector («as before»); high social payments; renewing the regime of counteraction with the West. During the reporting period, there were 51 news pieces on these subjects posted in the «News of the Crimea». Along with the main purposes, there are specific information and psychological operations (like the restriction of demand for the Ukrainian food products).

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Conclusions

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he effectiveness of Russian information and psychological influence in Ukraine during 2014-2015 was secured by the following factors: a significant part of the Ukrainian nation belongs to Russian mental, cultural, and mythological framework; there is a well-developed network of pro-Russian agents for Russia’s influence and predominance in the information (and media) space of Ukraine. In the course of an armed conflict, a part of the Ukrainian territory was occupied, thus creating additional opportunities for propaganda. In order to spread propaganda messages, Russia first of all utilizes its own media, social networks, and media created within the occupied territories. These channels are oriented at different audiences, so the content and propaganda intensity is different as well. As for the territories controlled by the Ukrainian government, the main extent of the tasks within Russian information and psychological influence is fulfilled by Ukrainian media and to a smaller extent by Ukrainian political and public structures. Russian propaganda in Ukraine creates information and socio-psychological conditions for the implementation of Russia’s military, economic, and political goals within an armed conflict. For that end, they actively use disinformation, vocabulary of hatred, labelling, historical and actual facts distortion, and other methods of propaganda and crowd manipulation. Information and psychological operations in Ukraine have significant effect proved by sociological data. One of the reasons is that during more than a year of an armed conflict, no mechanisms of effective counteraction to Russian propaganda and mitigating its negative outcomes were worked out in the Ukrainian state. It makes the information space attractive for Russia’s goals concerning Ukraine, hence the intense attempts of the aggressor to influence the information processes in the Ukrainian society by means of propaganda will obviously go on in future.

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References 1. Наскільки близькі або різні культури, традиції або погляди наступних груп? (регіональний розподіл) // Центр Розумкова. – http://www.uceps. org/ukr/poll.php?poll_id=745 2. Чи хотіли б Ви, щоб Ваша область вийшла зі складу України і приєдналася до іншої держави (регіональний розподіл) // Центр Розумкова. – http://www.uceps.org/ukr/poll.php?poll_id=318 3. Насікільки жителі різних регіонів України та деяких сусідніх країн близькі Вам за характером, звичаями, традиціями? (динаміка 20062007) (регіональний розподіл) // Центр Розумкова. –http://www.uceps.org/ukr/poll.php?poll_id=720 4. Валерий Голенко принял участие в третьей Ассамблее Русского мира // Русский Мир. – http://www.russkiymir.ru/fund/press/79916/ 5. Зьобро О. День українського кіно: іменини чи поминки? / О. Зьобро // Високий Замок. – 2010. – 10 вересня. – С. 14 6. Чуданова А., Стельмах І. Український кінематограф: нечувані успіхи і проблема грошей // Радіо Свобода. – 9 квітня 2014 р. – http://www. radiosvoboda.org/content/article/26773865.html 7. Токмашева М. День российского кино: О финансировании, доле и судьбе киностудий // ProfiCinema. – 28 серпня 2014 р. – http://www. proficinema.ru/news/detail.php?ID=165191 8. Найбільше російських телеканалів показує телеканал «Україна» // MediaSapiens. – 23 cічня 2015 р. – http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/ tv_radio/1411981046/naybilshe_rosiyskikh_serialiv_ pokazue_telekanal_ukraina_infografika/ 9. Печать стран СНГ в цифрах 2013. – М.: Российская книжная палата, 2014. 10. Чи довіряєте Ви ЗМІ Росії? (динаміка, 2000-2013) // Центр Розумкова. - http://www.uceps. org/ukr/poll.php?poll_id=86 11. 82% українців вважають, що українські медіа мають бути об’єктивними, а не займати пропагандистську позицію // MediaSapiens. – 24 грудня 2014 р. – http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/monitoring/ a d vo c a c y _ a n d _ i n f l u e n c e / p o l ov i n a _ u k r a i n t s i v _ pidtrimue_ideyu_stvorennya_kontrpropagandistskogo_ telekanalu/ 12. Довіра до ЗМІ в Україні обвалилася в півтора раза за рік // Українська правда. – 16 жовтня 2014 р. – http://www.pravda.com.ua/ news/2014/10/16/7040997/ 13. Зог О. Порошенко не говорить про Крим, але постійно згадує реформи. Дослідження риторики Президента // Тексти.org.ua. – 29 грудня 2014 р. – http://texty.org.ua/pg/article/editorial/ read/57567/Poroshenko_ne_govoryt_pro_Krym_ale_ postijno?a_offset= 14. Елена Бондаренко считает, что «выборы» в «ЛНР» и «ДНР» ничем не отличались от парламентских // 112.UA. – 10 листопада 2014 р. – http://112.ua/glavnye-novosti/elena-bondarenkoschitaet-chto-vybory-v-lnr-i-dnr-nichem-ne-otlichalis-otparlamentskih-143622.html 15. Шутов Р. Раскачка по плану // MediaSapiens. – 5 березня 2015 р. –http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/ monitoring/advocacy_and_influence/raskachka_po_ planu/ 16. Захарченко А. «Вести» транслюють

російську пропаганду. Кількісне доведення // MediaSapiens. – 30 березня 2015 р. -http:// osvit a.mediasapiens.ua/trends/mediacr iticism/ vesti_translyuyut_rosiysku_propagandu_kilkisne_ dovedennya/ 17. Бахтєєв Б. «Третій Майдан» від «третього Риму» за рецептами «третього Рейху» // MediaSapiens. – 31 березня 2015 р. – http://osvita. mediasapiens.ua/authors_view/tretiy_maydan_vid_ tretogo_rimu_za_retseptami_tretogo_reykhu/ 18. Власть продолжает бесцеремонную расправу над политическими оппонентами // Оппозиционный блок. – 04 березня 2015 р. – http:// opposition.org.ua/news/vlada-prodovzhue-bezceremonnurozpravu-nad-politichnimi-oponentami.html 19. Верховная Рада войны должна уйти в историю // Оппозиционный блок. – 23 березня 2015 р. –http://opposition.org.ua/news/verkhovna-rada-vijnimae-piti-v-istoriyu.html 20. Расследование обстоятельств трагедии в Константиновке должно быть честным и открытым // Оппозиционный блок. – 17 березня 2015 р. – http://opposition.org.ua/news/ rozsliduvannya-obstavin-tragedi-v-kostyantinivci-maebuti-chesnim-i-vidkritim.html 21. Наталья Витренко: Европа вместе с Россией должны провести денацификацию Украины // Прогрессивная социалистическая партия Украины. – 17 березня 2015 р. – http://www.vitrenko.org/ article/24720 22. Шутов Р. Метаморфози російської пропаганди. Газета «Вести» // MediaSapiens. – 14 червня 2015 р. – http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/monitoring/ advocacy_and_inf luence/metamorfozi_rosiyskoi_ propagandi_gazeta_vesti/ 23. Фейк: несовершеннолетние беженцы сорвали со школы под Киевом украинский флаг // StopFake.org. – 16 серпня 2014 р. – http://www. stopfake.org/fejk-nesovershennoletnie-bezhentsy-podkievom-sorvali-so-shkoly-ukrainskij-flag/ 24. Інформація про переселенців, які святкували анексію Криму, виявилась фейком // Вчасно Служба новин. – 4 березня 2015 р. – http://v4asno. com/informaciya-pro-pereselenciv-yaki-svyatkuvalianeksiyu-krimu-viyavilas-fejkom/ 25. В ООН обеспокоены случаями дискриминации беженцев с Донбасса // РБК-Україна. – 25 вересня 2014 р. – http://www.rbc.ua/ukr/news/v-oonobespokoeny-sluchayami-diskriminatsii-bezhentsev-sdonbassa-25092014114900 26. В Україні відбувається дискримінація переселенців – експерт // hromadske.tv. – 30 вересня 2014 р. – http://www.hromadske.tv/society/ukrayintsistali-vorozhe-stavitisya-do-pereselents/ 27. http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/monitoring/ advocacy_and_influence/raskachka_po_planu/ 28. Романюк О., Голуб О. Страх і ненависть газети «Вести» // Телекритика. – 27 лютого 2015 р. –http://www.telekritika.ua/ kontent/2015-02-27/104278 29. Грабовський С. «Український гамбіт»: Путін, «оппоблокери» і мас-медіа // MediaSapiens. – 3 квітня 2015 р. –http://osvita.mediasapiens.ua/ authors_view/ukrainskiy_gambit_putin_opoblokeri_i_ masmedia/

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Selective suppression of facts, manipulation of events, ‘calling names’ are the standard methods used by Russian TV journalists when covering Ukrainian developments. Actually, Russian TV channels provided the media support to special operations and combat actions against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

o v e rag e of U krainian D e v e l op m e nt s b y R u s s ian C h ann e l s

News Monitoring in January 2014 – March 2015

w Petro Burkovskyi, Serhii Chernenko

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M o n i t o r i n g

Serhii Chernenko, Head of the Sector of Monitoring Studies of the Analysis and Information Department of the NISS

Petro Burkovskyi, Deputy Director of the Analysis and Information Department of the NISS

B

ased on the analysis of news programs of public and private RF TV-channels we are positive that the main regime of coverage of Ukrainian developments was ‘information blockade’ that is the selective suppression and underlining of facts depending on a certain ideological position. This is for ideological background – this time it is about the channels idealizing the position of RF leaders as an absolute authority in terms of reason, ethics and even esthetics – to be a criterion for determining some of the events as important and actual, and others as controversial, unlikely and even fancied. The statements, phrases and actions of the Russia’s President and highest officials have never been disputed by Russian journalists. Moreover, media citing or referring to an opinion, position, evaluation or

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decision of RF public authorities and higher officials was brought as an arch argument when interpreting an event or proving the reality of a fact. So any events or facts not approved by or controversial to the position of authorities were either suppressed or interpreted only in negative way. Like in January 2014, when covering the start of peaceful face-off between the law-enforcement officers and protesters in Kyiv, the Russian channels were saying that the clashes had been initiated by opponents of the laws of ’16 January’ that limited the ‘unauthorized meetings’. No word that these laws also limited the freedom of speech, disadvantaged the NGOs, introduced repressions against the Euromaidan activists. The whole March the channels were broadcasting (e.g. 9 March, ‘Vesti Nedeli’ (News Weekly) of ‘Russia’ Channel) the Crimea getting separated ‘by itself’ from Ukraine not mentioning the involvement of the RF Armed Forces and blockade of Ukraine’s Army units, referring to ‘self-defense of Crimea and Sevastopol’ only. A year later, a special documentary ‘Crimea. Return Home’ has an interview with RF President Vladimir Putin openly saying about special military operation for Crimea annexation.

Screenshot from the special documentary «Crimea. Way to the Motherland»

In April the channels were telling about ‘mass meetings’ in the ‘south-east’ of Ukraine that supported ‘federalization’, and suppressing the facts about mass journeys of Russia’s citizens to take part in those meetings as well as about local protesters in Luhansk, Odessa and Mykolaiv driving out pro-Russian politicians Tsariov, Tihipko and Dobkin. In May, covering the advantages of Crimea’s ‘return’ to Russia, the journalists concealed the problems of Crimean Tatars, in particular, the prohibition of actions dedicated to the 70th anniversary of deportation and threatening of the Mejlis leaders with criminal liability. Revealing the restrictive actions against Russian journalists, the TV does not tell that the LifeNews correspondents were detained with weapon (MANPAD) near Kramatorsk on 18 May. In June they conceal information about the stable situation on the territories liberated from the Girkin-Strelkov gangs and about the absence of ‘mass destructions’ in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. The political process in Ukraine was interpreted mainly in terms of the so called conspiracy theory.

They saw the ‘hand of the West’ behind any action: the anti-governmental opposition and later the anti-Russian authorities were described as tools in hands of external forces trying to weaken Russia, ‘to make mischief between two fraternal people’ or to split Ukraine. Official representatives of the Russian authorities became the leading mouthpieces of the ‘conspiracy theory’ starting from January 2014. The Russian TVchannels did not cast any doubts on that. On the contrary, in any event, when it was about the Russia’s presence or involvement (shooting protesters on Maidan, Crimea occupation, Odessa tragedy of 2 May, Boeing crash), the main argument supporting any RF’s actions was the need to respond to and prevent the ‘anti-Russian conspiracy’ implementation. Thus, 31 March, in the interview to ‘Komsomolskaya Pravda’ Sergei Lavrov, RF Minister of Foreign Affairs, told that ‘Right Sector’ had coordinated snipers on Maidan. 18 July, RF President Vladimir Putin made a statement about the responsibility of Ukrainian authorities for the Malaysian Boeing crash and actually accused the West of indulging the Ukrainian authorities. 14-15 October, RF President Vladimir Putin, PM Dmitri Medvedev, Head of Administration of the RF President Nikolai Patrushev in different periodicals and interviews in almost same words said that the ‘civil war’ in Ukraine caused ‘genocide against Russians’, ‘blood bath’ and ‘mass graves’ in Donbas. These statements along with unsubstantiated ‘revelations’ were massively broadcast by the Russian channels. It is highly probable that such statements were to influence the course of the parliamentary election in Ukraine coming in two weeks and to undermine the trust to the election process in the liberated territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. 16 November, Vladimir Putin accuses the Ukrainian authorities of ‘economic blockade of Donbas’. The TV-channels launch the campaign to show the evidences of ‘humanitarian disaster in Novorossiya’ and its dependence on humanitarian aid from Russia. Though previously, the news claimed that ‘DPR/LPR’ were successfully developing the economy and making social payments. 4 and 18 December, Vladimir Putin calls the ‘civil war’ and ‘crisis’ in Ukraine an element of the global plot to split Russia following the ‘Yugoslavian scenario’. 18 January 2015, Sergei Lavrov, RF Minister of International Affairs, tells that the Volnovakha terrorist act was organized by the Ukrainian special services with the West’s support to discredit Russia as well as the shooting on Maidan, fire in Odessa and Malaysian Boeing crash. 2 February 2015, Sergei Lavrov, RF Minister of International Affairs, claims that US President

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Barack Obama had acknowledged his involvement in organization of the coup d’état in Ukraine in winter 2014. Almost from the very beginning, Russian ‘Channel One’ and ‘Russia’ turned to calling names and using extremely negative ‘anchors’ for the Russian public consciousness such as ‘fascism’, ‘nazism’, ‘nationalists’, ‘banderites’, ‘terrorists’, ‘US agents’ to mark the antiRussian and anti-humanity nature of the protests and later of the new coalition and government that had took over after the runaway of Viktor Yanukovych. The Russian channels regularly resorted to the exaggeration, stretching negative effects of actions of the Ukrainian authorities and forces to whip up the tensions and cut the criticism in information consumption. At the same time, as a contrast method, the separatist representatives were credited with high standards of integrity, virtues and professionalism. Along with calling names, this was used to create an image of enemy represented by Ukrainian servicemen, and also to humiliate, deride, demonize and dehumanize them. The use of these methods was launched back in January 2014. They contributed to making an image of ‘fascists on barricades’ and ‘heroic “Berkut”. Later, in March, they were replaced by ‘Crimea residents’ standing up the ‘nazi gangs’ and ‘junta’. From April this place is taken by ‘punishers’ from the National Guard and ‘Right Sector’ as opposed to ‘heroic insurgents and volunteers’, irreproachable ‘Novorossiya leaders’ versus ‘junta’, ‘oligarchs’ and ‘corrupt officials’. For instance, during 20-24 January 2014, numerous reports of many wounded militia officers as opposed to the complete silence about kidnapped, tortured and killed activists, Igor Lutsenko in particular, as well as the backdated permit of the then minister of interior Vitalii Zakharchenko to Berkut officers to use the fire-arms. 2428 February, the Russian channels broadcast the ‘voice of street’ from Sevastopol and Simferopol, the comments of people being afraid of coming ‘nazi’ and of genocide against ‘Russian-speaking’ and their support to ‘people’s insurgents’ and the Russia’s President. 3-9 March, the channels tell that ‘Ukraine should be liberated’ from ‘banderites’ for the sake of the ‘Ukrainians’ who speak Russian and believe Russia to be a ‘fraternal people’. One of the most remarkable attempts of making an image of enemy by means of TV is the coverage of tragedy in Odessa on 2 May [the clashes between the pro-Ukrainian and separatist-supporting citizens resulted in the fire in the House of Trade Unions and, respectively, numerous casualties from the both sides. – Editor] as well as the staged attack against pro-Ukrainian activists in Donetsk on 28 April. Thus, the Odessa victims were called the ‘anti-maidan’ activists and ‘federalization’ supporters, making the ‘radicals’ and the ‘authorities’ responsible. And the Donetsk events were called, on the tip of ITAR-TASS, an attack of ‘ultranationalists’ on the ‘anti-fascist walk’. The Russian TV-channels started using so called useful idiots as an auxiliary element of humiliation and making an image of enemy supported by references to ‘reliable sources’. The ‘useful idiots’ are Ukrainian politicians and political leaders, spokespersons

of political forces and movements making statements or taking actions that become the best illustration of propaganda messages. Either exaggeration of the status of these persons or giving proper context for their deliberate or unmeant statements allowed the Russian channels giving their position as an ‘official’ or ‘popular’ position of the Ukrainian authorities. The most high-profile statements and actions of the ‘useful idiots’ are: 1

Statement of Igor Mosiychuk, the then activist of ‘Right Sector’, about the preparation of ‘friendly trains of ‘Right Sector’ to Crimea’ (‘Channel One’, 26.02.2014). 2 Statement of one of the ‘Right Sector’ leaders Andrii Tarasenko about “the march of ‘Right Sector’ inland Russia and the war with Russia to fulfill the ‘last will of Bandera’” (‘Channel One’, 05.03.2014). 3

An attempt of ‘Right Sector’ to assault the parliament as a revenge for the death of their activist Oleksandr Bily (‘Ren-TV, 28.03.2014). 4 The seizure of Ukrbusinessbank by ‘Right Sector’ (‘Channel One’, 04.04.2014). 5 The promise of Oleh Liashko, leader of Radical Party, to ‘mop up’ the whole Donbas (‘Channel One’, 12.07.2014). 6

Statement of Sergii Kaplin, representative of UDAR party, about a possibility of nuclear weapon development for Ukraine in six months (‘Russia’, 15.09.2014). 7

‘Assault’ of Verkhovna Rada by ‘Svoboda’ party (‘Channel One’, NTV, 14-15.10.2014). 8

Statement of Igor Mosiychuk, the activist of ‘Right Sector’, about the betrayal of national interests in Minsk (NTV, 13.02.2015). 9 Statement of the ‘Right Sector’ leader Dmytro Yarosh about continuation of combat struggle despite the Minsk agreements (‘Russia’, 14.02.2015). 10

Statement of Oleh Liashko, leader of Radical Party, that President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and NBU Head Valeriia Hontarieva enriched themselves with hryvnia devaluation (‘Channel One’, 25.02.2015). 11 Statement of the counselor of the Minister of Interior Anton Geraschenko that the militia may use weapon against protesters in Konstantinovka (‘Channel One’, ‘Russia’, NTV, 17.02.2015).

With the start of aggression in Crimea, especially after

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T he amount of time devoted to Uk rainian events in Russian news

Vesti

Vremia

Vesti

Vesti

Vremia

About 40 minutes (10 out of 14 items are about Ukraine in different contexts)

About 15 minutes are devoted to the events in Ukraine

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45 minutes (devoted to Ukraine and the Crimea (10 items)

35 minutes (9 items)

Total timing of a news release

the Malaysian Boeing crash, all Russian channels used the methods of repeating of certain facts, multiplication of groundless claims and hard facts (mistaking the wish for the reality) and giving fragmented information about the circumstances of combat actions or certain extraordinary situations. Altogether this resulted in the strong hypnotization with some messages. For example, during a year from January 2014 till January 2015, the Russian TV-channels were convincing their viewers that: 1

The Maidan protests will cause the split of Ukraine.

2

After the Crimea’s ‘secession’ from Ukraine, other southern and eastern regions will start doing the same. 3 4

The actions of the new authorities cause the civil war.

(3 items)

Time paid to Ukrainian news

9 Ukraine is expected to suffer from the economic collapse as a result of ‘coup d’état’. 10 The insurgents without Russian assistance defeat the Ukrainian army (starting from July 2014). 11 The new authority will be swept by the ‘third’ even more horrible nationalistic ‘Maidan’. 12

Ukraine is going to bankrupt in autumn 2014 and ‘freeze’ without the Russian gas. 13

There is ‘Novorossiya’ state in the east of Ukraine, it consists of ‘states’ of ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’. 14

Federalization only will save Ukraine from chaos.

5

The Presidential election in Ukraine will result in establishment of the nationalist dictatorship.

The Ukrainian army is on the brink of collapse and capitulation (this message keeps being spread since May 2014).

The Ukrainian authorities are having punitive operation against their own citizens in Donbas.

15 The east of Ukraine experiences the genocide against the Russian-speaking citizens/ federalization supporters/ people of ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ (and in FebruaryMarch 2014 it was about the ‘genocide against the Crimeans’ planned by ‘junta’).

7 The Ukrainian forces shell the cities with heavy artillery and forbidden weapons.

16 Vladimir Putin is the only politician able to stop the war in Ukraine.

8 Ukrainians avoid mobilization and involvement in the ATO (starting from July 2014).

The end of February 2014 when the Crimea occupation operation was launched has become a

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turning point in the coverage of events in Ukraine. This is the time when first fake news appear. Then, with the growth of aggression against Ukraine, the flow of fake news gets stronger misleading not only the Russians but also the Ukrainians and citizens of other countries. The active use of fake news can be considered as an element of so called hybrid war, in particular, the efforts to deceive and depress the rival’s resistance and to stimulate the support for its benefit. The list of fake stories we managed to collect in our pieces of monitoring: 1

2 February 2014, ‘Russia’ used the video of 6 January 2010 to show the attitude of Sevastopol locals to Oleg Tiagnybok, leader of ‘Svoboda’ party, who visited the city ‘recently’. 2

28 February 2014, ‘Channel One’ reported that the Army of Ukraine had left Crimea or joined new Crimean leaders. A ‘proof’: Ukrainian Navy Chief Denis Berezovsky swears allegiance to ‘Crimean people’. The same thesis was repeated by NTV and Russia on 2-3 March. 3

5 March 2014, ‘Channel One’ referring to a ‘military attaché source’ in Kyiv reported the arrival of 300 armed US mercenaries in Kyiv and the preparation of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Russians in Odessa and Lviv by Right Sector.

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9 March 2014, ‘Channel One’ referring to a ‘military attaché source’ in Kyiv reported the preparation of ‘plan for mastering the eastern and southern regions’ by the acting minister of defense of Ukraine Igor Teniukh. 5

12 March 2014, TVC referring to the words of ex-minister of interior Yurii Lutsenko on one of the Ukrainian channels reported the preparation of bombing of Crimea with NATO planes. 6

8 April 2014, ‘Russia’ tells again about 300 US mercenaries having come to occupy administrative buildings in Donbas. 7

16 April 2014, ‘Russia 24’ reports the formation of a ‘south-eastern republic’ headed by an ‘ex-judge of the court of appeals in Luhansk oblast’. 8

14-15 May 2014, LifeNews, ‘Ren-TV’ and ‘Channel One’ allege that the Ukrainian army used combat helicopters with UN peace-keeping forces marking near Kramatorsk. 9

25 May 2014, ‘Channel One’ referring to the preliminary election results on the web-site of Central Election Commission informs about the possible victory of ‘Right Sector’ leader Dmytro Yarosh in the presidential election. ‘Russia’ making reference to unreliable information about the statement of the minister of interior Avakov reports the hacking of ‘Rada’ system and the need to calculate votes manually. 10

12 June 2014, ‘Channel One’ with reference to ‘LPR’s intelligence sources in Kyiv” reports the preparation of filtration camps for Donbas locals.

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27 July 2014, TVC referring to the vice-speaker of State Duma reports the involvement of Igor Kolomoiskyi in the Malaysian Boeing crash. 12

1 August 2014, ‘Russia’ referring to Igor Strelkov reports that the Ukrainian army is preparing demolition of sewage treatment facilities in Donetsk and Luhansk 13

1-3 October 2014, ‘Russia’ and TVC referring to a ‘Latvian human right activist Einars Graudins’ and 10 October NTV reported about 400 tortured to death people near Donetsk. Later OSCE and ‘DPR’ representatives disproved this information. 14

5 December 2014, LifeNews informed that Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine was going to revoke citizenship of 2 million Donbas locals. 15

14 December 2014, ‘Vesti’ referring to the website ‘Novorossiya’ and ‘intelligence of Donbas insurgents’ informs the transfer of American military and freights to the ATO zone that is why the international airports in Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv had been closed. 16

25 December 2014, ‘Russia’ referring to the ‘DPR Head’ Oleksandr Zakharchenko informs that the leader of fighters saw firsthand a Ukrainian military plane shooting down the Boeing on 17 July. 17

1 January 2015, ‘Russia’ reports the accident at Zaporizka nuclear power plant causing 17 time increase in radiation. 18

15 February 2015, ‘Channel One’ making reference to the ‘Right Sector’ leader Dmytro Yarosh (there was no such statement) informs about the offensive of two volunteer battalions to the insurgents’ positions nearby Debaltsevo. 19

17 March 2015, ‘Zvezda’ referring to a ‘representative of the town’s vigilante group’ reports the use of ‘Right Sector’ for suppression of protests in Konstantinovka. Creation of fake sources of ‘trustworthy information’ to produce different versions of the events including both real and fabricated facts becomes another stage of ‘hybrid’ TV propaganda. They use triggers that resemble real events. The hackers of ‘CyberBerkut’ allegedly making the confidential internet-information to leak resemble the activity of Assange and Snowden. In other cases ‘tapped’ phone conversation of Ukrainian politicians and officials are used. 1

28 March 2014, ‘Channel One’ referring to the new-sprung ‘CyberBerkut’ informs that the Maidan was organized by public activists with the money of US and oligarchs like the Arab spring in Egypt. 2 15 May 2014, ‘Channel One’ referring to an internet source suggests the involvement of Jews and oligarch Kolomoiskyi in the burning of people in Odessa on 2 May. TVC spreads the same information referring to ‘CyberBerkut’ and the twitter of RF vice-PM Dmitri Rogozin.

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28 August 2014, ‘Russia’ referring to ‘CyberBerkut’ informs significant losses of the Ukrainian forces in Donbas. 4

19 January 2014, ‘Channel One’ referring to ‘CyberBerkut’ reports the intercepted communication of Ukrainian Security Service officers planning the terrorist act with a bus near Volnovakha. Another ‘hybrid war’ element was an artificial stirring-up of attention to ‘ethnic hostility’ in Ukraine, especially, attributing anti-Semitism and persecutions of Russians to the protesters and later to the new authorities. This time the ‘anti-Semitism’ and ‘Ukrainian nationalism’ through the media made their way to the RF leaders – President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The RF leaders made active use of ethnic hostility theme substantiating the need to ‘reunite the Crimea with Russia’. In April 2014 this theme disappears unexpectedly and is replaced by other, more violent propaganda methods. In particular, they launch production of stories aimed at stirring up hatred between representatives of different Ukrainian regions. The majority of stories use the names of places known and understandable only for the locals of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, a viewer from Russia simply cannot handle with that when sitting in front of TV. At first, it was triggered by occupation of administration buildings in Donbas, the presidential election campaign and the launch of anti-terrorist campaign by the Ukrainian government. Since summer, the stories stirring up hatred between Ukrainians from different regions become one of the main focuses of Russian channels. This campaign also includes the legitimation of illegal armed groups that occupied Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and provoked clashes in Odessa and Kharkiv as voicers of interests of ‘the south east’ as opposed to other regions and central authority. So the Russian TV launches mass production of stories telling about ‘dozens thousands of refugees’, ‘numerous civil victims’, ‘mass destructions of cities’, ‘the use of forbidden weapons’ in Donbas. Instead of clear identification of those who speak and act on behalf of ‘Donbas people’ and their enemies, they use Soviet clichés ‘insurgents’ – ‘punishers’ reminding of the times of Great Patriotic War in the Russian public consciousness. Consequently, the situation in Ukraine is treated as the ‘resistance’ of ‘insurgents’ to ‘fascists’ and ‘punishers’. Thus, the reference to the past serves as an additional cognitive tool to legitimate the actions of separatists and to delegitimize the actions of Ukrainian authorities.

for the benefit of people whereas the work of the Ukrainian president, government and parliament are shown through the prism of conflicts, inefficiency and corruption. Though the efforts to create an image of ‘insurgents’ as ‘winning party’ pose serious troubles for propaganda starting from July. For instance, 29 June, NTV referring to Girkin-Strelkov reports that ‘insurgents’ have ‘BUK’ air defense system. 17 July, LifeNews referring to Girkin-Strelkov as well informs about the successful destruction of a Ukrainian transport airplane with a modern air defense system near Torez. But the only plane downed in this period of time and in this area is the Malaysian Boeing. The next days the already aired information is suppressed and thoroughly hidden by new versions of Ukraine’s involvement in the disaster. A self-recriminating statement of Russia and ‘insurgents’ on the eve and on the date of rocket attack of Mariupol becomes another no-win episode. 23 January, LifeNews tells about rocket attacks by ‘insurgents’ near Mariupol. 24 January, LifeNews, TVC, ‘Zvezda’ report the start of Mariupol offensive. But after the first pieces of information about significant death toll in Mariupol as a result of residential area shelling the line of news changes: the news get segmented and many versions of the event are given to confuse the viewer. The use of ‘eyewitness testimony’ (unverified stories told by alleged witnesses of events) about cruel crimes against children and seniors has become one of the most dangerous and the most efficient manipulation methods. The use of these two socially vulnerable groups has allowed the dramatic decrease in critical treatment of information and the manipulation of feelings. We would like to bring two most apt examples one of which disturbed even the Russian intellectuals. It is a story about ‘a crucified boy from Sloviansk’, broadcast by ‘Channel One’ three times. 12-13 July, ‘Channel One’ broadcast twice ‘the words of Sloviansk local woman’ about ‘punishers’’

Eventually, ‘the insurgent leaders’ of the Russians (Strelkov-Girkin, ‘Devil’-Bezler) are replaced by local personages who become – by means of ‘elections’ of 2 November 2014 – ‘heads of states’, ‘ministers’, ‘commanders of brigades and corpses’. The work of ‘DPR/LPR’ ‘public authorities’ is regularly presented as an organized, democratic and efficient process

News about the «Crucified Kid» from Slovjansk. Made by Russian TV-channel Первый Канал

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outrage against a family of insurgent having crucified a three-year old boy and fastened his mother to a tank. The information has never been confirmed, and journalists tried to disavow it referring to a ‘stress’ of the ‘eyewitness mother of large family from the Western Ukraine’. But neither executives nor the staff of ‘Channel One’ acknowledged that this was inadequate and unverified information. Another, less popular, promoted by LifeNews and NTV story of Stas Petrov, a ‘spy kid’, drugged boy who was forced to adjust artillery shelling. 28 October-5 November 2014, these channels were showing stories recorded with one of the ‘DPR’s’ fighter leaders Guivi about a boy forced to spy the ‘insurgents’. The story develops and gets new controversial details, meanwhile the message about the crimes of Ukrainian military against children becomes clearer. But when 5 November ‘Dozhd’ channel showed the boy’s family and found out that the boy suffers mental condition, ran away from home several times, and his relatives are safe and sound, the other channels concealed this information. Along with these stories, through the whole Donbas conflict, the central Russian channels (‘Channel One’, ‘Russia’, NTV, TVC, LifeNews) were doing their best to cover or even to substitute the news from the regions for the details of death or damage to children and retired. The absence of news during the truce was filled with the stories about starvation, unbearable living conditions of minors and seniors. Thus, they substituted the absence of political sense of separatist republics existence with the necessity to solve actual humanitarian problems on the spot, especially when ‘the central authorities’ are not doing and willing to do anything in the future. Starting from September, the Russian channels have been carefully and promptly covering the ‘violations’ of cease-fire that cause the civilian deaths and looking for ‘genocide evidences’. Citing the opinion of OSCE observers as an independent organization becomes an important accent. Though, regardless of the content of OSCE statements, they are either distorted or wrenched out of context in order to prove the ‘rightness of insurgents’ and substantiate the ‘guilt’ of Ukrainian military. To block the critical perception of information they use ‘psychological shock method’: showing bodies, grief and direct speech of relatives of the deceased, wrathful statements of ‘DPR/ LPR’ leaders. For example, 5-9 November 2014, they report the shelling of Donetsk school with two killed and four injured teenagers (‘Channel One’, ‘Russia’, LifeNews). The news give hints and distorted words of OSCE representatives, the evidence of the mother of one of the killed, thus, making the Ukrainian army and National Guard responsible. 13-19 January 2015, the Russian channels using selected information from the OSCE report make Ukraine responsible for 13 deaths in the bus blown-up in Volnovakha. The case of captive Nadiya Savchenko has become an important evidence of direct cooperation of Russian channels with special services and

Nadiya Savchenko during the trial

coordination of the coverage of the war in the Eastern Ukraine. We have managed to restore the running of the campaign about the charges against her. 20 June, NTV referring to ‘LPR insurgents’ calls her a ‘lieutenant of Ukrainian army’ involved in the death of the journalists of ‘Russia’. But, 22 June, the detailed story of NTV, making reference to ‘LPR headquarters’, does not say anything about the death of journalists and suggests that she will be released soon. The same day ‘Channel One’ with the reference to ‘selfdefense headquarters’ as well calls her a gun spotter of ‘destroyed’ ‘Aidar’ battalion. After a long break, 9 July, ‘Channel One’ suddenly reports that Nadiya Savchenko was detained at the RF border trying to cross as a refugee. But the channel does not give any explanations how a detained person could turn into a refugee all of a sudden. The Russian channels are actively covering the combat operations of fighters making use of ‘hard facts’ method to show the superiority and victories of ‘DPR/LPR’ over the Ukrainian forces. For example, 1-10 October 2014, ‘Channel One’, NTV, and ‘Russia’ were actively spreading the idea that the fighters had almost occupied the whole Donetsk airport. Later, 2-19 January 2015, every day they reported about the ‘victory’ of fighters in Donetsk airport. The ‘victory’ in Vuglegirsk lasted from ‘one day’ (‘Russia’) to ‘10-day fights’ (NTV). The Debaltsevo ‘mousetrap’ was being closed 1-19 February 2015. That is to say the TVchannels were the loud-speakers of military propaganda as it was in the USSR during the WWII and the war in Afganistan. Consequently, given the facts and examples above, the Russian TV channels provided the media support to special operations and combat actions against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And at acute confrontation phase the channels turned to total ‘information blockade’ spreading the standard messages and following the official position of the authorities. When the combat intensity dropped, the information efforts of the Russian TV were aimed at making an image of enemy and stirring-up the internal civil hostility, distrust to the public authorities, democratic institutions and processes (elections, parliamentary system). So the work of the Russian TV should not be considered in terms of mass media performance standards in pluralist society but as a deliberate information influence being an element of external aggression aimed at destruction of Ukrainian statehood and peace.

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Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

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«Counteracting Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy» On March 20, 2015 NGO Telekritika with Internews Network’s support conducted an expert round table on counteracting Russian information aggression. Participants of the discussion were media experts, journalists, representatives of civil society organizations and research institutions. The participants discussed specific features of Kremlin propaganda, the ways to counter it in the occupied territories, the territories controlled by the Ukrainian authorities as well as in a global media field. They also discussed what the Ukrainian media product should look like, and how Ukrainian journalists should work in order to decrease the influence of Russian messages at the same time adhering to the standards and preserving the freedom and democracy framework. This report presents the key points of the discussion. N G O

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Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

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«Russian Propaganda in the Territories Controlled by Ukrainian Government: Counteracting Opportunities»

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Volodymyr Paniotto Director General of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology

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t seems that the government does not really realize the danger of the information war. As far as I know, all surveys in this sphere were ordered by the Mirror Weekly and Telekritika. We created the Laboratory of Psychological Support for the Information War, and we prepared the index of efficiency of Russian propaganda because we understood that it is necessary today. Of course, there is a war. But when it is also an information war – perhaps, some re-distribution of resources could save lives of our soldiers. Since propaganda increases the number of people who become separatists.

The level of confidence in the government should also be of interest for the state. Lack of confidence impedes the reforms. Half a year ago, the level of confidence in the governmental institutions was high, but now this level is decreasing rapidly. Important is that people may have a worse perception of the current situation than this situation really is. An example is citizens’ perception of corruption. Researchers say that the current level of perception of corruption seems to be higher than several years ago, in Yanukovych’s times. This happens for two reasons. First, in the past the media were to a large extent controlled by the

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government, and the problem of corruption at the top levels was silenced; today, all media began to write about corruption, and pay more attention to it. Second, the government was monolithic, and no criticism was allowed against it. Today, the government is criticizing itself. And even if the real level of corruption is decreasing (although, perhaps, not as quickly as we would like it to), the public perceives it as growing. Perhaps, such a decrease of confidence is also partially leading to our losing the information war throughout Ukraine, and not only in the occupied territories, but in Kharkiv and Odesa Oblasts as well.

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Serhii Teleshun

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PhD in Political Science, Director of the Institute of Civil Service and Local Self-Government of the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine, Head of Department of Political Analysis and Forecasting, Professor

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he government is not really interested in information resistance. There is no consolidation inside the society and inside the government. There is no consolidated platform, from which the government could speak and represent Ukraine’s position. In this war, different cultures, different worlds clashed. Ukraine has to oppose to the so-called “Russian world” with its own – Ukrainian world. The need to use counter-propaganda in response to Russian propaganda is often mentioned. Counterpropaganda only deepens the opposition and mistrust. What can be used to counter propaganda? First of all, quick and productive disclosure and identification of fake messages. This is a mandatory condition of information confrontation, and independent journalists can be involved in this process. Russia is a completely authoritarian state. The mass media are concentrated in the same hands, with the help of ideology. And this is significant. And Ukraine has to

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oday, there is no sufficient consolidation of the society and authorities in Ukraine, there is no consolidated platform, from which Ukraine would adequately speak in the information sphere. The hybrid war that is being waged against Ukraine today consists of two elements, two branches. On the one hand – as any other war, this is a tool for physical defeat of the opponent; on the other – this is an information war. Between these two elements, different cultural identities have clashed, the sense of belonging to different communities, different countries. A person who feels his/ her own cultural identity tends to turn a blind eye to the negative features among the “insiders” (“they may be bad, but they belong to us”), and believe the information that the “outsiders” are bad. In this way, an averaged understanding is developed, and people can believe in “crucified boys”, and in other inventions of the information war. What can one do here? Russia is an absolutely completed

develop communications that would send a clear message against Russia in the conditions when the Ukrainian government, for various purposes, is not consolidated. What else can be used to oppose Russian propaganda? A different image of Ukraine. And it should not be a fictional image. We have to answer the question where the country is going, and which prospects it has. People have to feel that something is going on, that there are prospects. Instead, we do not see from the state either the desire or openness, or an ability to speak about reforms that are implemented although very slowly. What does this mean? It means the government is closed and nontransparent. We will not achieve anything if we do not force the government to be open and consolidated. We will lose time if we do not look forward, at Europe, and build something that can be called the Ukrainian world with a European component. The Ukrainian world cannot be built in a rational way. This is a daily work.

Yevhen Bystrytskyi Executive Director of the International Renaissance Foundation

authoritarian state with monolithic information space. In our situation, in the conditions of a democratic transition when the government is not consolidated countering Russian propaganda should be not so the task of the state but rather that of independent journalists. Propaganda has to be opposed with a different image of the country. This should not be a fictional image; this should be an image of what is going on now, where the country is going, what its prospects are in view of what we have today. In its turn, the state has to learn to speak about the reforms

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that are implemented however slowly. The state is unable to present a self-critical realistic explanation of its actions to the citizens. One-sided interpretation of the Maidan that is imposed by Russian propaganda complies with the images of the averaged understanding and prevents us from showing the Maidan and the entire Ukraine in all their diversity. We have to learn how to speak about diverse Ukraine. Only in this way the «Ukrainian world» can be built that will resist the pressure of the «Russian world».

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Oksana Maidan

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Deputy Director of the U-Media Project, Internews Network

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t is virtually impossible to stop or to counter Russian propaganda because this is a very powerful mechanism, on which hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year. To counter and to be proactive rather than reactive requires time, money and effort. What should be done? First – and this is an old and always relevant postulate – information has to be independent and truthful. This is the only way to restore or increase confidence in the media. We cannot say that we dispraise the government’s prohibiting Russian channels and cinema products, but the international practice shows that it is actually impossible to improve the situation with the help of bans. The viewers, if they wish, can receive this information in the Internet, or via satellite. Therefore, this may be only a temporary measure. What can bring the effect in the longer-term perspective? First of all, the media self-regulation has to be further developed. Perhaps, this is a long way that we have to start right now. Yet, only in this way we will be able to restore the popular confidence in the

media and improve the professional level of journalism. For some reason, today everyone believes that training programs for journalists are outdated and journalists have learnt everything that they can be taught. Yet, it turns out that it is still relevant: training on international practices, on how to create high-quality video stories, how to write analytical articles, how to develop economic, social, political journalism. However, there is another aspect here: a professional level of journalism will be increasing only provided there is a social demand for this. And there is one recipe here that has existed in the international program for many years: the media literacy projects. For a media literate person, stories about crucified boys will look ridiculous. And in this way we will be able to say that we not only counter propaganda, but that we have developed a literate information society that consumes truthful information and has a critical attitude to what is presented by the mass media.

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Yurii Ruban

e, our democracy, are facing a challenge. Democracy exists in a state. When there is no state, it is difficult to talk about democracy or tyranny. There is a huge threat, and action is needed. Of course, journalists have to write the truth; of course, citizens have to love their country; officials must not steal and must perform their duties in good faith. This is all correct, but how long is it going to move us along? Our state is not very efficient – this is true. Our state does not have the subtle public administration mechanisms. It is so in the information sphere – it takes steps that are readily available, which means it prohibits. There is some reason in it: if we build the information space sociology, we will see that there are millions of citizens treading it who spend millions of man hours in front of TV. In each information war, the number of cannons matters, and hence one is thinking of how to minimize the number of the opponent’s cannons. Of course, there is a temptation to put your cannon against each Russian cannon, in other words, if they made rich Russian TV series –

PhD in Technical Sciences, former Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies we make our own series, too. But we don’t have enough money. In view of the imperfection of our mobilization procedures, incidents of corruption which we see – the person who is not willing to fight for Ukraine will find ways to evade. However, there are tens of thousands of noble people who went to fight. They protect our state, our democracy. This is already a great advantage. And this causes certain reservation in me with regard to the statement that we lost the information war completely. I don’t think that millions of people watching TV are rational subjects of political philosophy that they make their choice on the basis of certain national arguments. I think

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the following happens. They listen to Ukrainian or Russian propaganda depending on the success Ukraine demonstrates in the front. In fact, people select identity depending on which identity is strongly recommended for them by the government, which incentives it offers – positive and negative – and so on. We live in the land where during ХХ century people constantly changed their identity. First of all we need to put the state on its legs, make it efficient so that it could offer something to people, demonstrate military success, economic reliability. People will be more loyal when hryvnia rate is slightly more stable.

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Viacheslav Husarov

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Information Security Expert of the Center of Military and Political Studies

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e have to admit that for the territory of the occupied Donbas insufficient action is taken to counter the enemy propaganda. The most important thing is that this problem has to be recognized by the government, and unfortunately, this is not the case. However, talks about countering propaganda are taking place at all levels. Regretfully Ukraine has no fundamental principles of the State Information Policy – that’s the first point. Second, the information-affected regions need information rehabilitation – a lengthy process with a set of “mild” counter-propaganda measures aimed at restoration. Third, monitoring, exploration and follow-through of the information threats have to be carried out throughout Ukraine, and not only in the crisis regions. A respective response has to follow all social and psychological fluctuations. Fourth, one needs to consider the actions related to information restrictions in the information sphere that are typical for any county conducting military operations:

To list the media working in the fields of broadcasting, publication and dissemination of information materials; To suspend activities of political parties, other civil society organizations that violate legislation on the ATO; To use in the interests of the martial law activities of mobile operators, postal services, publishing and printing organizations regardless of the form of ownership; To suspend issuance of licenses or cancel them in the case of breach by information actors of legislation of the ATO, and the like. Fifth, to ensure timely current information provision to the Ukrainian and foreign audience. It means the widest possible satisfaction of the information needs of the users with Ukrainian information in order to decrease the influence of Russian sources on our audience. I expect that in the nearest future, positive transformations will take place in the sphere of protection of the state information space, and I hope that the information space will finally begin to work to support Ukraine’s policy decisions.

Serhii Chernenko Head of the Sector of Monitoring Studies of the Analysis and Information Department of the NISS

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e are dealing with a large-scale propaganda industry that day by day instills in the minds of not only the Russian citizens by also of a large number of the Ukrainian population the messages that the Kremlin is interested in. There are things that need to be done right now, and we shouldn’t protract. If we are discussing whether we need some forms of selfrestrictions inside the journalists’ community, this needs to be done, and moreover – immediately.

Because the Russian influence is exercised on a daily basis and we can see its impacts already in the sociological survey results. The pressure exercised by the neighboring state is related to some structures, people, and organizations working in our country. We all know the situation with the Vesti newspaper… Even the head of the Security Service of Ukraine does not know what to do with this paper since we are a democratic state and try to act within the legislative framework. And no judge is able to identify

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whether there are manipulations in the Vesti newspaper in order to close it. Even the contents are sometimes not enough to identify when experienced professional manipulators are at work. I believe the journalist community has to create some expert council (maybe under the Ministry of Information Policy) which could present its findings and in one way or another influence application of legislation with regard to the use of newspapers and TV channels for manipulations. Of course, this will not ensure our victory over such a monster as Russian propaganda, but at a certain level it will bring results. Recently, it was announced that Lithuanian prosecutor’s office carried out searches and interrogations of people involved in Russian propaganda schemes. Not many people would dare to call Lithuania undemocratic. Yet, this case shows that even a small democratic country can have legislative mechanisms to protect itself against information aggression.

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Discussion

« P o s s i b l e Wa y s to C ount e r P ropaganda in t h e O ccupi e d T e rritori e s »

Roman Shutov

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NGO Telekritika Program Director , PhD in Political Science

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e want to return the population of the occupied territories to the Ukrainian information space. But what is waiting for them here? What do we have in our discourse? We are discussing our economic problems and political conflicts. When political decisions are made regarding Donbas, we discuss what the implications will be for us, what Russia’s reaction will be; we do not discuss how it will influence the occupied territories themselves. We demand the government should solve our problems efficiently, we criticize if we don’t like something – but not

in the cases when these decisions run contrary to the interests of the population of the occupied territories. This means that in our media we discriminate these people ignoring their problems. If attention is paid, it is critically diminutive. We do not satisfy their information needs. This is our information need – to know how people live and fight in the east of Ukraine. And they need to know how to live when there is no access to drinking water and sanitary facilities; how they can receive some money, where to find an ATM; how they will be influenced by certain governmental decisions, and so on. Yet, we are silent

about this. That’s why people from the occupied territories turning to the Ukrainian media fail to find what they need. This is one problem. Another problem is the hate language, spread of negative stereotypes. Our discourse, unfortunately, is actively disseminating the attitudes that the citizens in the occupied territories are collaborators, separatists, that a grandmother receives pension, and her grandson is fighting against our soldiers. People from there are sensitive to such things. And this fact confirms for them what they hear from Russian propaganda: the alleged hatred to them in Ukraine. And, of course, there is the issue of the truthfulness of information. Let’s recall that last spring and early summer, the Ukrainian media lost people’s confidence in the east when they began to distort the situation, the picture of life of the people in these territories, real casualties and the course of military operations. This confidence has not been restored until today.

Andrii Lysenko ATO Spokesperson

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ith regard to the Ministry of Defense, the General Staff, journalists’ access to the ATO zone, I can say that the prerogative of granting consent for organization of journalists’ work is the authority not of the heads of the press service, but of the top officers of the Ministry of Defense. With regard to the information product expected by our citizens in the occupied territories, we have to help these people to determine, which product they need. Today, they are “stuffed” with the information that came from Russia, and see Ukrainian soldiers as their enemies. But I have to say that recently, local population began to demonstrate a more positive attitude toward Ukrainian soldiers. Why? Because they are in close proximity, in contact with them at the front line. The attitude to the Ukrainian authorities located in Kyiv has moved to the background. But people do not ask

themselves who the soldiers are. They are representatives of the Ukrainian authorities. This is how this category of the military-civil administration emerged. These are the administrations that during the period of martial law, emergency situations use vehicles and resources in a more mobile way to provide humanitarian assistance. Local population outreach has to be comprehensive: it should include provision of medical support, food, material supplies... We are talking about such means of informing the users as television, radio broadcasting, newspapers. But there are also so-called non-traditions means of communication: for instance, advertising on household goods, souvenirs, postcards. We also forgot such means are humor, comics, poems, songs that mock Russian aggression in a hearty way. This is the weapon Russian has nothing to oppose with.

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Oleksii Matsuka

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Possible Ways to Counter Propaganda in the Occupied Territories

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Chief Editor of The Donbas News

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kraine so far has not created an analytical center for studying the situation in the occupied territories. Why Germany has such center for which it spent 25 million Euros, and we don’t? We do not even know what is controlled by which DPR battalions. Why don’t we know how many people are born there, how much bread is supplies, where and what is delivered and by whom? These are the exclusive data that we receive from our journalists. And they are used to develop the state policy if such exists... The «Russian world» should not be opposed with the «Ukrainian world in Donetsk», but the notion of the «Russian world» should be

erased as such. We have to step over the emotional barriers that can hamper. Why can’t we create the counterparts of the «Russian world»? Why can’t we create the «world» with «democracy-Russian language- Donbas» instead of the usual «Putin – Orthodoxy – Russian language»? We can split their «world» into sectors and fill them with our contents. As to the issue of confidence – I have some recommendations concerning how to restore it. First, the Russian language. Second, the accuracy based on the genre diversity of presentation of information. It should include investigations of activities of terrorist groups as

well as the activities of the groups of oligarchic clans in Ukraine; analysis of decisions of the state administrations, state authorities, and activities of these selfproclaimed «governments». Only in this way, by getting weighed and balanced information, a citizen begins to analyze the reality. Furthermore: quality. We journalists do not produce such a quality product that would stimulate thinking. Have you seen recently a single serious article that would cover the situation in Donbas or in Ukraine in general and would make you change your idea of what is going on? I have not seen such an article over the last six months.

Iryna Brunova-Kalisetska researcher at the Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine

W

e need a communication system – not only communication though the mass media, but through all possible channels. Communication with those who stayed in the occupied territories and those who left them. In our discussion we have not yet mentioned the IDPs, and they are a separate channel of communication with those who stayed in those territories What can we talk about? Very much information does not reach either the media nor other channels because we do not believe these are important things to discuss. Instead, IDPs’ success stories can form the content that would be interesting both in the occupied territories and in the territories controlled by the Ukrainian government. This is something that can unite people in the positive sense. When can we say that? Often, we have no time to say necessary things. We say them a month, six months later. At the national level, we did not offer anything for May 9. Although this is one of the most symbolic and significant issues in the current situation. In which language? We need a Ukrainian product in

the Russian language. There is no question about that. I remember as far back as in 2007 I saw a wonderful phrase in one of the Crimean newspapers: “To receive truthful information in your native language”. These are very closely related things for a person: through the language, a person assesses whether the information is true or not. When it is my own language, confidence is higher. But there is also a question of categories that we use, and not only the media. Say, under no influence would a person admit that he/she is a victim (of aggression, propaganda) and that there is something wrong with him/her (perception, common sense). What will such persons do when they feel this attitude? They will resist. These people will never admit they are victims. And finally – which audience we are working for, and what has to be taken into consideration. There are people in the occupied territories, and there are people in other regions. Messages have to be somewhat different, but it is important that all Ukrainian citizens remember we are talking about returning people - we are not talking about returning territories. These are very different things.

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Discussion

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

Discussion

I

f we are thinking seriously about Ukraine’s information influence on what is going on in Germany and not only there, we have to create serious online resources available in foreign languages. It is advisable that they should be not only in English, but also at least in French and German. Regarding the efficiency of diplomatic institutions. A new ambassador is working very actively in Berlin. Such ambassadors should work in all European countries. The recipe is simple: new people speaking foreign languages, rules, national communication etiquette, ways to formulate ideas. In order to make an impression and achieve results one has to speak the language that is understood and perceived here. I mean not German or English – I mean stylistics, selection of arguments and ways to present the material. Regarding the role of independent civil society organizations. Today, they are doing more than the state (for instance, my colleagues from StopFake or Euromaidan). Although this is very positive in terms of public opinion, when such initiatives come from civil

«Information War Against Ukraine in Information Space Abroad: How to Regain Grounds?»

Andrii Portnov PhD in History, editor of historians.in.ua society and not from the state; but a mechanism should be developed for the state to support civil society initiatives and not to take them over. Now with regard to foreign media broadcasting. In no case should Ukraine attempt to compete with Russian TV. Both because it has not money for it, and because this is the type of propaganda that will not save us. Instead, it has to support and develop such initiatives as Hromadske International. It is also important that web-sites of the largest Ukrainian channels should have English versions. As to the problem of foreign journalists. The overall majority of foreign journalists writing about Ukraine have not dealt with Ukraine before; they don’t know the Ukrainian

Denys Bohush Center of the Study of Russia

T

oday, Russia uses 15 TV channels. Four of them have very high broadcasting rate in the world. Russia Today, which has a very serious propaganda component, alone works in four languages. In addition to these channels, Russia uses local media in each country. Ukraine is reactive in this sense: we have no special operations at all, no efficient propaganda steps. We simply describe everything that’s going on. Currently, nearly 70% of news programs on Russian TV channels are devoted to Ukraine. In this way, they stimulate volunteers. These news, programs nearly every day show a person saying; «I watched TV, and I want to go to Donbas as a volunteer».

language, history, culture. Hence, Ukrainian should be taught at European universities. It will soon be taught in Germany – there are several projects here that will do this. And there will be an opportunity to learn Ukrainian in German universities. What can Ukraine do for foreign journalists? It can launch a wellthought program for them so that they can visit Ukraine, meet different people, visit different interesting places, communities. There is also a need to increase the number of positive associations with Ukraine. In other words, we need wellthought cultural diplomacy. We have to develop our own narrative, our own history that will not be anti-Russian – but simply non-Russian.

The West is living in the world of information technologies, information services and sales, and Russia is living in the ideology of capturing areas, i.e. in middle ages. People are treated in Russia as the mass. Russia has over 90 cultural centers in the world, and over the last several years they opened 50 cultural centers in Europe. And they all are working actively. Whereas our embassies don’t even have booklets about Ukraine; there is no money for promo-campaigns, and no ambassadors are appointed in many diplomatic institutions. This is a great obstacle for implementing Ukrainian policy abroad. At the international arena, the best promoter of our country is its president. The problem is that visits of our President are not covered in different languages. When the President is going somewhere, there is only a press release in English, and there are 20 languages in Europe so to have press releases at least in 3-5 languages is very important. There is also no uniform voice. There is no one customer who would coordinate and understand the mechanics of all these actions. There are no specialists in information war. Everyone willing is now involved in it, and they believe they are very serious specialists while this is a very intellect-consuming subject.

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Expert Discussion

PhD in Political Sciences, Chief Editor of Re:plika

W

hat is going on now in the Russian mass media is propaganda of war. This is the complex of an aggressor and the complex of a victim at the same time. Ukraine has virtually replaced everything in Russian public discussion. There is a saying, “The first victim of fascism is the mind”. And this is really so because Russian propaganda is built first of all on emotions. When people are overloaded emotionally, they passionately (some for money, and some sincerely) speak without understanding the essence, without

thinking what these words mean. For instance, using such words as “Nazi”. They do not even have the aim of thinking what these words mean. Identity is immensely important. This is in many aspects the war of identities. We saw why this aggression became possible. Because on the one hand, there is inadequate perception of modern Russia in Crimea and Donbas. Many see contemporary Russia entirely different, and not as it really is. In Russian information space, the active work with identity continues. Every development in

Ukraine is interpreted. I don’t claim that we have to oppose this because the task of Russian propaganda is to drag us into their discourse, to make us constantly object and say this is not true. Ukraine has to present its own interpretation – of its country, of its territory, of its space (political, cultural, economic). But this should be done not in response, but proactively. 80% viewers support or are very interested in what happens in Ukraine. And the audience is very diverse – this can be Bashkortostan, Murmansk, St. Petersburg. In the post-USSR territory (the SIC states) many people are afraid to state their views. But there is a great demand there for an adequate presentation of developments in Ukraine. When it is clear what Ukraine wants to look like, in which way in a positive sense it wants to develop, then it will be much easier to formulate the information component, and it will have a greater effect.

Dmytro Ivanov Political Commentator, Ukrainian Radio

I

would very much like to see the result of this discussion in the project “If you don’t change your information policy then we’re going to you”. The first thing we have to think about when developing some program or project is the target audience. We cannot talk about any information policy with the entire world in mind. What do we have to demand from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Open competitions to fill the positions of the press officers of Ukrainian embassies abroad who should be recognized Ukrainian journalists so that these people who are well-known in Ukraine could promote its interests in the West. The culture as the carrier of information is also very important. Yet meanwhile the Minister of Culture, Viacheslav Kyrylenko, announced that this year he would devote his interest only to culture in the ATO zone. This means he has no idea of what culture is and how to manage it. We have movies that can provide decent representation of Ukraine abroad – this was demonstrated by Slaboshpytskyi’ “Tribe” and a large number of other projects, first of all, documentaries. Documentaries and

media art could represent Ukraine abroad. As to radio – my idea which I have voiced repeatedly is creation of a radio station as a public and not stateowned broadcaster. As journalists we have to go to the streets with a microphone and start talking to people. I have vast experience of working with phone calls on the air. Usually, we receive phone calls from feeble-minded people. It is impossible to have any dialogs with them. And in the street you can have an open discussion like the one we are having here among the experts. We cannot have a dialog on the occupied territory, but in the liberated area, or the area where IDPs live… They require such conversation from us. There is an urgent need for creation of a radio station broadcasting in the Crimean Tatar language at the level of the state or already the public broadcaster. This should be an open, humane discussion platform for communication tailored for the Crimean Tatars. There are Crimean Tatars in Romania, Bulgaria, and other Black Sea regions. Finally, the Turks also understand the Crimean Tatar language. A small radio station in the MW diapason for the Black Sea basin should be an example that we can do something more.

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«Counteracting Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Zone»

In 2015, the inhabitants of the south-eastern oblasts began to be more in sympathy with the messages broadcasted by Russian media. In the meantime, even half of the respondents living at the territories out of Ukrainian control consider that Donbas should remain a part of Ukraine. These were the results of the survey “Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region” conducted by the order of NGO Telekritika. N G O

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«Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region»

F

rom February 26 to February 28, 2015, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology was conducting a survey «Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region» by the order of NGO Telekritika. The study has embraced the urban population of five oblasts: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk (including the regions being at entry out of the Ukrainian control). According to the study, the main source of information on the situation in Ukraine for the inhabitants of the south-eastern regions is television: 83% of the respondents receive news from the national TV channels. About one third of the respondents state that they can receive Russian TV channel “RTR”; Russian TV channels «NTV» and «ORT» have the same indexes; 17% of the respondents receive «RBK». The most demanded information in the ATO zone is the data about those who disappeared, losses among civilian population and Ukrainian soldiers, local and state power actions. The citizens of the territories under Ukrainian control are likely to believe Ukrainian sources and consider Russian media to be biased and nonobjective. The opposite views are spread in the People’s Republic of Donetsk and People’s Republic of Luhansk. Still, all the inhabitants of the south-eastern oblasts gradually experience escalating disillusionment with any media.

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P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

Russian propaganda is steadily winning at the occupied territories. Other south-eastern regions demonstrate no support for the messages of Russian propaganda. The least popular are the messages like «Maidan is a fascist revolution» The latter is supported by only 27% and not supported by 54%. The assessment of the Maidan outcomes is rather pessimistic. The overwhelming majority (66%) think that the main consequences of Maidan are the annexation of the Crimea, the war conflict in Donbas and the economic breakdown in Ukraine. The opponents make up only 15%. Lutsk

Chernigov

Sumy

Rivne Zhytomyr

Lviv Khmel`nitskiy Ternopil

IvanoUzhgorod Frankivs`k

Poltava

122

Cherkasy

Vinnytsia

24 ua 86 PRL

Kharkiv

Kyiv

Chernivtsi

Dnipropetrovsk

Donetsk

Luhansk

Kirovograd Zaporizhzhya Mykolaiv Odesa

83

84 ua 124 PRD

Kherson

38

Despite the disillusionment with the Ukrainian power, the ideas of separatism at the territories under Ukrainian control have not taken root. 84% consider that Donbas should remain a part of the Ukrainian state. As for «people’s republics», 50% would like to separate, while another 50% are likely to scrutinize the opportunity to remain within Ukraine provided that the status of the territory is changed. Below is a full version of analytical report «Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region».

Crimea

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T h e s ourc e s of n e w s on t h e l at e st e v e nts in t h e countr y Television, Internet and personal relations are the key information channels for the audience

T

he main source of information on the situation in Ukraine for the inhabitants of the southeastern oblasts is television: 83% of respondents receive news from the national channels. The second place is taken by online media: 41% of respondents read web resources. The third place is taken by personal relations: 24% of respondents receive information from relatives, friends, and neighbours. Next positions are taken by national newspapers (22%), social networks (17%), large radio stations (16%), and acquaintances from the ATO zone (10%).

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The sources of informaTion

on the situation in ukraine and the level of credibility (%) from what sources do you get most of the information on the situation in ukraine?

? ?

What of the sources listed above do your trust while receiving information on the war conflict in Donbas?

Television (national Tv channels)

50 41 26

online meDia

neWspapers (national periodicals)

8

social neTWorks

8

raDio (national radio stations)

17

10 12

colleagues

2

8

4 2

local TV channels

oTher sources

22

16

5

acquainTances being in or having arrived from the aTo zone

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

83

24 15

relaTiVes, frienDs anD neighbours

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5 4

Ń–

0

harD To saY / Denial

12

Main sources of information Credible sources

% of all the respondents (n=561)

Kiev inTernaTional insTiTuTe of soCiology

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The level of credibility to different information sources among all the inhabitants of the region is the following: national television (50%), online media (26%), personal relations (26%), and witnesses from the ATO zone (12%). The level of credibility is also calculated by the percentage of the users who consider the source of information to be trustworthy. According to the survey, the most trustworthy are the evidences of those who have been in the ATO zone; the next position of trust is shared by the news of national TV channels, online media, and entourage. The channels with the largest coverage area in the conflict region are “Inter” and 1+1; they are followed by First National,

STB, “Ukraine,” ICTV, “Novyi,” and 5 Channel. About one third of the respondents admit receiving Russian channels “RTR,” “NTV,” and “ORT”; 17% of the respondents receive “RBK.” The coverage area of the channels is expectedly different at the territory occupied by the terrorists and the one controlled by Ukraine. “RTR,” “NTV” and “ORT” is available to every second person in “people’s republics”, while outside the republics they are available to every fifth person. In turn, the coverage area of the top five Ukrainian channels in PRD and PRL makes up from 40 to 50%, whereas at the rest of the territory it makes up from 77 to 90%. It is worthy to note that each channel is analyzed separately.

TV channels: coverage and news viewing (%) What channels can you receive at home (irrespectively of the means)?

From the news of what TV channels did you receive information on the war conflict in Donbas during the last two days?

? ?

79

42

78

36 72

11

72

11

68

21

68

9

66

4

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61

12 44

7 38

2 33

9

31

8

30

5

ОРТ

29

10 18

2

17

0 The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

14

1

DOn’T WaTch TV (no TV set) DOn’T WaTch TV (no wish)

Coverage

7

haRD TO saY / DenIal

News viewing

2

% of all the respondents (N=561)

7

Kiev iNterNatioNal iNstitute of soCiology

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n total, 63% of the the population of “people’s republics” can receive at least one of the four Russian TV channels listed above; 61% of them can receive at least one of the Ukrainian channels. As for the population of the rest of the sample territories, 28% have access to at least one of the Russian TV channels, and 91% have access to the Ukrainian channels (7% do not watch TV at all). Hereby, despite the legislative prohibition, Russian channels are still available for a good deal of the Ukrainian citizens. The leader of TV news for the audience of the south-eastern oblasts is “Inter,” followed by 1+1. During the previous two days, 42% and 36% of the respondents admit having watched the news at “Inter” or 1+1, respectively. 21% of the respondents were watching news at “Ukraine,” and 12% were watching the news at 5 Channel. During the previous two days, the news at “RTR,” “NTV,” and “ORT” was watched by 8%, 5% and 10% of the respondents, respectively. During the period, the news at Russian channels was watched by 46% of the population of “people’s republics” and only by 8% at the rest of the conflict region. Russian TV channels are mostly available via satellite aerial and cable television (42% and 38%, respectively). 6% of those who watch Russian TV channels do it via the web.

TV channels: coverage and news viewing

channels

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

neWs VieWing

coVeRage

Ukraine

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PRD-PRl

Ukraine

PRD-PRl

FiRsT naTional

82%

44%

12%

1+1

8%

89%

49%

42%

17%

inTeR

89%

50%

49%

25%

sTB

81%

48%

13%

5%

noVyi

76%

40%

3%

4%

icTV

77%

42%

11%

6%

5 channel

69%

39%

14%

6%

UkRaine

78%

41%

23%

13%

TVi

43%

25%

2%

1%

24

48%

31%

7%

5%

112

38%

19%

12%

2%

esPResso

21%

11%

3%

1%

hRomaDske.TV

16%

9%

1%

0%

RTR

23%

52%

4%

20%

nTV

21%

56%

2%

15%

oRT

21%

52%

5%

22%

RBk

12%

30%

0%

0%

other Ukrainian channel

-

-

1%

0%

other Russian channel

-

-

1%

6%

local TV channels

-

-

1%

1%

haRD To say / Denial

0%

0%

6%

10%

Don’T WaTch TV (no TV seT)

7%

8%

-

-

Don’T WaTch TV (no Wish)

1%

6%

-

-

Kiev international institute of sociology

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Means of receiving russian Tv channels

?

in what way do you receive russian Tv channels?

SaTelliTe aeRial

Cable TeleViSiON

42%

38% 1% haRD TO SaY / DeNial

14%

6%

eTheR aeRial

iNTeRNeT % of those who can receive Russian TV channels (N=231)

KieV iNTeRNaTiONal iNSTiTuTe Of SOCiOlOgY

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

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19% of the respondents were using it during the previous two days. The next are “Korrespondent.net” (17%), “Censor” (10%), and “Obozrevatel” (10%). The most popular social network to share the news is Vkontakte (25%), followed by Odnoklassniki (22%) and Facebook (21%).

% of all the respondents use the Internet. 52% read online media sometimes and 47% log in social networks (which does not contradict with lower indices concerning the answer on the main information sources for the respondents). The most popular web resource is the UKR.NET portal:

Receiving news fRom online media

Recommendations

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P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

?

what online media did you use to get news on the war conflict in donbas during the last two days?

19% 17% 10% 10% 7% 6% 5% 5% 4% 4% 3% 3% 2% 1% oTHeR

5% 18%

don’T geT news fRom THe weB

30%

don’T Use THe inTeRneT HaRd To saY / denial

6%

Kiev iNterNatioNal iNstitute of sociology

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% of all the respondents (N=561)

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Receiving news fRom social netwoRks what social networks did you use to get news on the war conflict in donbas during the last two days?

?

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odnoklassniki

vkontakte (vk)

22%

25%

facebook

21%

7%

HaRd to saY / denial

don’t Use social netwoRks

23%

twitter

moimir mail.ru

2% linkedin

1%

don’t Use tHe inteRnet

5%

30%

Kiev iNterNatioNal iNstitute of sociology

% of all the respondents (N=561)

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

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by 18% of the respondents. Pozner has the highest level of credibility among all the Russian journalists and analytics mentioned in the survey (11%). The third place is taken by Aleksandr Gordon (14% of watchers and 8% of credibility). 48% of those who know at least one Russian journalist believe no one of them to be objective and unbiased.

he most famous Russian journalist is Dmitriy Kiseliov. 28% of the respondents watched his statement during the previous month. However, the level of credibility to Kiseliov as to a famous media personage is rather low: 8% of the respondents believe him to be objective and unbiased. The second place is taken by Vladimir Pozner whose statements were watched

KNOWING AND TRUSTING Russian journalists The statements of which of the listed Russian journalists and publicists did you watch last month?

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Kiseliov Dmitriy

? ? Pozner Vladimir

18%

28%

Illarionov Andriy

14%

Dorenko Sergey

3%

Belkovsky Stanislav

4%

Gordon Aleksandr

11%

8%

7%

The statements of which of the listed Russian journalists and political analysts concerning the war conflict in Donbas are objective and unbiased?

6%

Venediktov Aleksey

5%

2%

Pavlovsky Gleb

2%

42%

2%

8%

3%

OTHER

2%

1%

48%

1%

28%

20% 3%

WATCHED NONE (BUT KNOW AT LEAST ONE)

W Watched

Consider objective

KNOW NONE

NONE IS OBJECTIVE KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

HARD TO SAY / DENIAL Watching - % of all the respondents (N=561); objectivity assessment - % of those who know at least one journalist (N=433)

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uring the previous month, the most popular with the respondents was the statement of the Ukrainian journalist Yevgen Kyseliov (21%). The second place is taken by Oles Buzina (15%); the third place is taken by Andriy Kulikov (12%). Knowing at least one of the journalists, the respondents believe the same media personages to be objective:

Kyseliov (14%), Buzina (15%), and Kulikov (6%). One more person with rather high level of credibility is Matviy Ganapolsky: although his statement during the previous month was seen by 7% only, 5% of the respondents believe him to be unbiased. 35% of the respondents find all the journalists listed above biased.

KNOWING AND TRUSTING Ukrainian journalists The statements of which of tth he listed Ukrainian journalists the a publicists did you watch and last month?

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Kyseliov Yevgen

Buzyna Oles

21%

15% 14%

Skrypin Roman

7%

Kulykov Andriy

9%

Danylenko Tetiana

2%

7%

1%

2%

Portnikov Vitaliy

12% 6%

2%

7%

5%

Serhazkova Kateryna

1%

1%

7%

4%

2%

OTHER

1%

2%

35%

32%

4%

Humeniuk Natalia

Hanapolsky Matviy

Stanko Nastia

Rakhmanin Serhiy

4%

? ?

The statements of which of the listed Ukrainian journalists and political analysts concerning the war conflict in Donbas are objective and unbiased?

2%

31%

25% 4%

WATCHED NONE (BUT KNOW AT LEAST ONE)

W Watched

Consider objective

KNOW NONE

NONE IS OBJECTIVE

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

HARD TO SAY / DENIAL

Watching - % of all the respondents (N=561); objectivity assessment - % of those who know at least one journalist (N=393)

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

48


Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

Analytical report

The objectivity assessment of the Ukrainian and Russian sources of information

A

2 0 1 5

mong the population of the south-eastern oblasts, the amount of those who trust the Ukrainian TV channels (national, local, and public) and the amount of those who don’t are almost equal. Such a correlation is the same for the users of Russian social networks. Russian TV channels lack credibility: the amount of those who find them to be objective is significantly lower than of those who don’t.

OBJECTIVITY ASSESSMENT OF THE NEWS SOURCES (%)

OBJECTIVE / RATHER OBJECTIVE

How do you assess the objectivity or lack of objectivity of the following news sources?

HARD TO SAY WHETHER OBJECTIVE OR NOT

?

ABSOLUTELY NOT OBJECTIVE / RATHER NOT OBJECTIVE DON’T USE THIS NEWS SOURCE

7

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

24

21

26

28

46 29

36

22 35

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukrainian national TV channels

38 22

18

25

27

26

Ukrainian public broadcasters

Ukrainian regional TV channels

17

19

15

18

Russian TV channels

Russian social networks

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

% of all the respondents (N=561)

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

49


Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

Analytical report

T

he objectivity assessment demonstrates essential differences between the territories under Ukrainian control and out of it. The territories under Ukrainian control believe the Ukrainian sources to be rather truthful (although a good deal of respondents doubt of it) and Russian sources to be biased and preconceived. In PRD and PRL, the opinion is just opposite.

OBJECTIVITY ASSESSMENT OF THE NEWS SOURCES

2 0 1 5

?

How do you assess the objectivity or lack of objectivity of the following news sources?

OBJECTIVE Ukrainian national TV channels Ukrainian public broadcasters Ukrainian regional TV channels Russian TV channels

Russian social networks

RATHER OBJECTIVE

HARD TO SAY

RATHER NOT OBJECTIVE

ABSOLUTELY NOT OBJECTIVE

DON’T USE

Ukraine

7%

36%

24%

24%

7%

3%

PRD-PRL

3%

10%

16%

34%

18%

19%

Ukraine

6%

27%

24%

16%

7%

20%

PRD-PRL

2%

7%

18%

23%

14%

36%

Ukraine

5%

26%

28%

18%

7%

17%

PRD-PRL

3%

9%

17%

21%

15%

35%

Ukraine

3%

4%

15%

23%

20%

35%

PRD-PRL

10%

26%

23%

21%

6%

14%

Ukraine

3%

12%

20%

15%

7%

44%

PRD-PRL

6%

18%

17%

8%

1%

50%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

THE DYNAMICS OF ATTITUDE TO UKRAINIAN AND RUSSIAN MEDIA for the last six months (%) Has your attitude to the following people and organizations changed during the last six months?

RATHER IMPROVED

?

UNCHANGED RATHER WORSENED HARD TO SAY / DENIAL

Ukrainian media

9

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

61

29

2

Russian media

8

48

37

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

7

% of all the respondents (N=561)

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

50


Analytical report

With time, the inhabitants of the south-eastern oblasts experience escalating disillusionment with any media. 29% of the respondents have experienced disillusionment with the Ukrainian media, and 37% of the respondents have experienced the disillusionment with the Russian media. The trend seems to be a kind of manifestation of the overall disillusionment and pessimism, since the data given below prove that watching either Russian or Ukrainian TV channels hasn’t changed for the previous six months. 20% of the interrogated TV viewers admit having increased watching the Ukrainian TV channels, while 17% admit having reduced it. 9% tend not to watch Ukrainian TV channels at all.

2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

12% of the respondents consider watching Russian TV channel more than six months before, while 15% consider watching less. 46% tend not to watch Russian TV channels at all.

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

In total, Russian media are steadily winning the battle for the conscience of the occupied territories’ population. In turn, they have poor reputation at the territory under Ukrainian control. However, it doesn’t mean that people turn to believe the Ukrainian media: a good deal of people is not certain of their objectivity and impartiality.

WATCHING DYNAMICS of Ukrainian and Russian TV channels (%) Do you watch Ukrainian / Russian TV channels more or less in comparison with autumn 2014?

UKRAINIAN

?

RUSSIAN

53

46

24

20 12

17 15

9 0

More

Unchanged

Less

Don’t watch these TV channels

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

3

HARD TO SAY / DENIAL

% of those who watch TV (N=506)

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

N G O

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

51


The most demanded information is the data about those who disappeared, losses among civilian population and Ukrainian soldiers, local and state power actions. Information on the means of survival is less topical. About every fifth citizen does not believe the information from the ATO zone delivered by media.

Information on the ATO zone withheld by media

T

he respondents were offered to identify what information from the ATO zone is not reported enough by the Ukrainian media. There was no option “Enough information”; the interviewer himself fixed such an answer or the situation in which information was “sufficient, but not objective”. In general, people most of all lack information on their nearest and dearest who could perish or be reported missing. 28% of the respondents consider there should be more information on missing people and victims among civilian population. 26% consider there is not enough information on the perished military men. The least demanded information is about electricity supply to the ATO zone and dislocation of the troops. 22% of the respondents consider there is enough information; 17% of the respondents spontaneously admit that there is enough information, but it does not correspond to reality.

2 0 1 5

Analytical report

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

Lack of information on the ato zone

?

What information on the ato zone is reported incompletely by mass media?

about missing relatives or friends

28%

about casualties among civilian population

28% 26%

about casualties among ukrainian servicemen

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

24%

about local and state power actions

about medical aid in the ato zone

16%

about provision in the ato zone

16%

about safe exit from the ato zone

15%

about the access to water in the ato zone

15% 11%

about electricity supply in the ato zone

10%

about dislocation of the troops

other

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

1% 22%

information is sufficient

17%

informatin is sufficient, but not true

11%

hard to say / denial

kiev international institute of sociology

N G O

% of all the respondents (n=561)

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

52


Despite the threat existing in the information space, the citizens of the conflict zone have no specific attitude to the necessity or admissibility of Ukrainian propaganda and are rather against censorship.

The attitude to censorship and propaganda

42

% of the respondents agree that under current circumstances the journalists should be allowed to make propaganda reports for the benefit of the Ukrainian state. 41% of the respondents disagree with this statement. 35% of the respondents of the territories under Ukrainian control disapprove propaganda (48% approve), while in “people’s republics” 57% disapprove and 25% approve. The majority of the respondents (59%) would allow journalists to criticize the Ukrainian army; 29% are against. The support of criticism is gradually growing. Perhaps, the rate of those who are against censorship is even higher than in PRD and PRL (60% against 54%). Perhaps, the citizens of Ukraine mean criticism of the Ukrainian officers, mobilization campaign or army supply, while the citizens of the occupied territories demand investigation of military crimes and abuse. The amount of those who support turning the First National into a propaganda channel is 35%. 45% of the respondents are against. 38% of the respondents approve special propaganda channels. The same amount disapproves it. The amount of critics of the Ukrainian propaganda is expectedly higher in PRD and PRL. All in all, there is no definite belief in the conflict zone that Russian propaganda should be counteracted by Ukrainian one. The very term of “propaganda” has negative associations with deceit and disinformation, so that may be a reason. Many people believe that the war is not a reason for media to infringe the principle of information objectivity.

2 0 1 5

Analytical report

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

ADMISSIBILITY OF STATE PROPAGANDA

?

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

Under current circumstances the journalists should be allowed to make propaganda reports for the benefit of the Ukrainian state

First National TV channel under conditions of actual war is to become the authority of state propaganda

The journalists should be allowed to criticize the Ukrainian army

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

First National is to become a public TV channel, while specially created channels should be in charge of propaganda

T what extent do you agree To or disagree with the following o statements? s

TOTALLY AGREE

RATHER AGREE

RATHER DISAGREE

TOTALLY DISAGREE

HARD TO SAY / DENIAL

Ukraine

14%

34%

25%

10%

16%

PRD-PRL

4%

21%

31%

26%

18%

Ukraine

11%

30%

29%

11%

20%

PRD-PRL

3%

16%

33%

28%

20%

Ukraine

23%

37%

18%

11%

11%

PRD-PRL

26%

29%

19%

12%

14%

Ukraine

10%

32%

28%

7%

23%

PRD-PRL

4%

25%

29%

19%

23%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

53


Analytical report 2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

Admissibility of stAte propAgAndA (%) to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

ToTally agree

?

raTher agree raTher disagree ToTally disagree hard To say / deNial

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

Under current circumstances the journalists should be allowed to make propaganda reports for the benefit of the Ukrainian state

First National is to become a public TV channel, while specially created channels should be in charge of propaganda

17

23

14

10

27

28

31

30 8

11

12 11 18

20 15 30

35

26 9

24 The journalists should be allowed to criticize the Ukrainian army

First National TV channel under conditions of actual war is to become the authority of state propaganda

KieV iNTerNaTioNal iNsTiTUTe oF sociology

% of all the respondents (N=561)

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

N G O

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

54


Analytical report 2 0 1 5

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

Russian propaganda is steadily gaining victory in the occupied Donbas. Other south-eastern regions do not support the provocative messages of Russian propaganda. However, there is a significant portion of the audience who are potentially receptive to the information that increases domestic instability.

F

urther, the respondents were asked whether and how far they share different ideas of the events in Ukraine. Some of the statements are typical for Russian propaganda; others are spread by Ukrainian media. One of the clear markers of proRussian or pro-Ukrainian position is the attitude of the respondents to the protests of winter 2013-2014 at Maidan. In particular, there is the interpretation of the events either as a fascist revolution or as people’s protest;

The interpretation of the events in Ukraine: the support of Russian propaganda messages

either caused by higher manipulations or by public discontent; the assessment of the main consequences of the events as well. It is important to note that most of the statements are not mutually exclusive: a respondent could agree with several interpretations of the same phenomenon. The least popular statement is that Maidan was a fascist revolution. It is supported by 27% and not supported by 54% of the respondents. Instead, 61% of the respondents are sure that

Maidan was a people’s revolution (24% do not support this statement). The reasons of the events are interpreted less definitely. 54% of the respondents consider that Maidan was conditioned by Yanukovych’s refusal of European integration. 51% are sure that the protest was provoked by oligarchs and the USA (some of the respondents supported both versions). 23% do not support the version of “people’s discontent,” while 18% do not support the “conspiracy” version.

INTERPRETATION AND CAUSES OF THE PROTESTS of winter 2013-2014

?

The events in Kyiv in winter 2014 were a fascist revolution

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

The events in Kyiv in winter 2014 were a people’s revolution

The reason of mass protests in winter 2013-2014 is public discontent of Yanukovych’s refusal of European integration

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

The reason of mass protests in winter 2013-2014 is the oligarchs’ wish to take more power and the U.S. manipulations

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong?

VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

HARD TO SAY

NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

DENIAL

Ukraine

8%

11%

17%

33%

30%

1%

PRD-PRL

27%

22%

23%

21%

8%

0%

Ukraine

21%

48%

13%

11%

7%

1%

PRD-PRL

12%

29%

20%

24%

15%

0%

Ukraine

19%

39%

19%

17%

6%

1%

PRD-PRL

13%

34%

26%

18%

9%

1%

Ukraine

18%

28%

30%

19%

4%

1%

PRD-PRL

33%

34%

25%

6%

2%

0%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

55


Analytical report 2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

The support of the messages delivered by Russian media is much higher in PRD and PRL than on the rest of the zone. 49% consider Maidan to be a fascist revolution; 67% believe it was conditioned by oligarchic conspiracy and U.S. manipulations (at the territories under Ukrainian control the rates are 19% and 46%, respectively). Still, 41% are ready to admit it was a people’s revolution; 47% consider the refusal of European integration to be one of the reasons of Maidan (68% and 58% for the territories under Ukrainian control).

INTERPRETATION AND CAUSES OF THE PROTESTS of winter 2013-2014 (%)

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong?

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

?

HARD TO SAY, WHETHER IT IS CLOSE OR NOT TO MY OPINION NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION DENIAL

The events in Kyiv in winter 2014 were a fascist revolution

13

14

19

30

24

The events in Kyiv in winter 2014 were a people’s revolution

18

43

15

15

9

The reason of mass protests in winter 2013-2014 is public discontent of Yanukovych’s refusal of European integration

13

37

21

17 6

The reason of mass protests in winter 20132014 is the oligarchs’ wish to take more power and the U.S. manipulations

22

29

29

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

15 3

% of all the respondents (N=561)

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

56


Analytical report 2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

T

he consequences of Maidan are assessed rather pessimistically. The overwhelming majority (66%) think that the main consequences of Maidan are the annexation of the Crimea, war conflict in Donbas and the economic breakdown in Ukraine. Only 15% disagree with the statement. 48% of the respondents support the idea that Maidan has resulted in public protest of Donbas citizens for the region’s rights enlargement. Only 24% hope that the protests of winter 2013-2014 have increased Ukraine’s chances for European integration and economic development. Assessing the main consequences of Maidan, the inhabitants of PRD, PRL and the rest of the territory are almost solid, the only thing that the first are more likely to agree civil protest in Donbas for extended rights was the main consequence and disagree that Ukraine has now more perspectives for economic development and entering into the EU.

THE MAIN CONSEQUENCES OF THE PROTESTS of winter 2013-2014

?

The main consequences of mass protests in winter 20132014 are the annexation of the Crimea, war conflict in Donbas, and the economic breakdown in Ukraine

The main consequences of mass protests in winter 20132014 are larger perspectives of entering into the EU and the economic development of Ukraine

The main consequences of mass protests in winter 2013-2014 are civil protests of Donbas people for the region’s rights enlargement

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong? VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

HARD TO SAY

NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

DENIAL

Ukraine

29%

37%

17%

12%

4%

2%

PRD-PRL

34%

33%

22%

8%

3%

0%

Ukraine

6%

19%

27%

31%

15%

1%

PRD-PRL

5%

13%

24%

28%

30%

0%

Ukraine

13%

29%

27%

23%

7%

1%

PRD-PRL

34%

32%

19%

14%

1%

0%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

N G O

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

57


Analytical report

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

THE MAIN CONSEQUENCES OF THE PROTESTS of winter 2013-2014 (%) VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong?

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

?

HARD TO SAY, WHETHER IT IS CLOSE OR NOT TO MY OPINION NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION DENIA

The main consequences of mass protests in winter 2013-2014 are civil protests of Donbas people for the region’s rights enlargement

18

30

25

21

6

The main consequences of mass protests in winter 2013-2014 are larger perspectives of entering into the EU and the economic development of Ukraine

6 18

26

30

19

The main consequences of mass protests in winter 2013-2014 are the annexation of the Crimea, war conflict in Donbas, and the economic breakdown in Ukraine

31

35

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

18

11 4

% of all the respondents (N=561)

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

N G O

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

58


Analytical report 2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

O

ne more marker item to identify pro-Russian or pro-Ukrainian position is the assessment of the Ukrainian power actions in Donbas either as a war with Russia and terrorists or as a civil war against the Ukrainian people.

51% of the respondents consider the war conflict in Donbas to be a war with Russia (26% are against); 46% consider it to be a war against terrorists (31% disagree). 40% agree with the key message of Russian media, according to which the war is against the Ukrainian people (44% disagree). No opinion concerning war conflict in Donbas is dominating because the sample includes the opposite sides of the conflict with fundamentally different positions. 71% of the inhabitants of the occupied territories believe it to be a civil war; 20% believe it to be a war against terrorists; 30% believe it to be a war with Russia. The inhabitants of Ukrainian regions qualify the conflict as a war with Russia (59%). Those who see it as a war against the Ukrainian people are relatively few (28%).

THE ASSESSMENT OF THE UKRAINIAN POWER ACTIONS IN DONBAS

?

The actions of the Ukrainian power in Donbas are a war against the Ukrainian people

The actions of the Ukrainian power in Donbas are a war against terrorists

The actions of the Ukrainian power in Donbas are a war with Russia

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong? VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

HARD TO SAY

NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

DENIAL

Ukraine

13%

15%

16%

26%

29%

1%

PRD-PRL

40%

31%

12%

9%

8%

0%

Ukraine

26%

30%

21%

13%

8%

1%

PRD-PRL

9%

11%

20%

29%

31%

1%

Ukraine

28%

31%

21%

11%

8%

1%

PRD-PRL

10%

20%

25%

19%

26%

0%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

N G O

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

59


Analytical report

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

THE ASSESSMENT OF THE UKRAINIAN POWER ACTIONS IN DONBAS (%) VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION CLOSE TO MY OPINION

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong?

?

HARD TO SAY, WHETHER IT IS CLOSE OR NOT TO MY OPINION NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

DENIA

The actions of the Ukrainian power in Donbas are a war with Russia

23

28

22

13

13

The actions of the Ukrainian power in Donbas are a war against terrorists

21

25

21

17

14

The actions of the Ukrainian power in Donbas are a war against the Ukrainian people

20

20

15

21

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

23

% of all the respondents (N=561)

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

N G O

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

60


Analytical report 2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

21

% of the respondents believe that ATO is implemented by mercenaries from the USA and Europe. In PRD and PRL the amount is twice higher: 36% against 15. 48% of the respondents believe in the participation of Russian servicemen under Russian command on the terrorists’ side (27% in PRD and PRL; 56% of the rest). About one third of the respondents have no definite opinion on the matter.

WHO IS ENGAGED IN THE CONFLICT IN DONBAS? (%)

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong?

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

?

HARD TO SAY, WHETHER IT IS CLOSE OR NOT TO MY OPINION NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION DENIA

A large amount of mercenaries from Europe and the United States take part in the war conflict in Donbas

8

13

31

30

16

A large amount of servicemen from Russia take part in the war conflict in Donbas under Russian military command

22

A large amount of servicemen from Russia take part in the war conflict in Donbas under Russian military command A large amount of mercenaries from Europe and the United States take part in the war conflict in Donbas

26

28

13 10

VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

HARD TO SAY

NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

DENIAL

Ukraine

27%

29%

27%

9%

7%

2%

PRD-PRL

9%

18%

31%

23%

20%

0%

Ukraine

5%

10%

29%

33%

19%

3%

PRD-PRL

14%

21%

35%

21%

8%

1%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

% of all the respondents (N=561)

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

2 0 1 5

61


Analytical report 2 0 1 5

Discussion Expert

Monitoring

Recommendations

Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region

3

P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

N

o matter who is fighting on the terrorists’ or the ATO side, the respondents are sure that both sides are bearing major casualties during the conflict. People on both free and occupied territories agree in this question, despite all the efforts of two-way propaganda that tries to overestimate the enemy’s casualties and underestimate their own.

BOTH SIDES’ CASUALTIES IN DONBAS (%) VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong?

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

?

HARD TO SAY, WHETHER IT IS CLOSE OR NOT TO MY OPINION NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION DENIA

The armed forces of PRD and PRL are bearing major casualties in Donbas

45

30

18

5

The Ukrainian army is bearing major casualties in Donbas

53

The Ukrainian army is bearing major casualties in Donbas The armed forces of PRD and PRL are bearing major casualties in Donbas

31

13 2

VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

HARD TO SAY

NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

DENIAL

Ukraine

52%

32%

13%

2%

1%

0%

PRD-PRL

54%

27%

15%

1%

1%

1%

Ukraine

47%

29%

18%

3%

2%

0%

PRD-PRL

42%

31%

17%

9%

1%

1%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

% of all the respondents (N=561)

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H

owever, the statement that on both sides of the front line there is a severe persecution of the people who speak another language or who are differently minded is not so popular among the respondents. 25% of the respondents agree that the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian patriotism are persecuted in PRD and PRL (38% disagree). Among the inhabitants of the occupied territories, 14% support the idea; as for the Ukrainian territory, the supporters are 30%. The statement that ethnic Russians and Russian language are persecuted in Ukraine is supported by only 17% (32% in “people’s republics”; 12% out of them). In this way, about one third of the residents taking part in the survey consider that the opposite side is engaged in persecution of either Ukrainian or Russian civilians.

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In total, the Ukrainian media are apparently losing to Russian media at the occupied territories. In the south-eastern regions under Ukrainian control, the support of the most controversial and disturbing Russian propaganda messages (e.g. about fascist revolution or Russian language persecution) is rather weak. Still, a good deal of people pessimistically assess the Maidan consequences, being aware of great casualties of the Ukrainian army and having controversial opinion about the war conflict in Donbas. There is a serious risk that the worse the situation in the state, the more defeating Russian messages will be against pro-Ukrainian ones.

THE PERSECUTION OF THE PEOPLE WHO SPEAK OTHER LANGUAGE OR WHO ARE DIFFERENTLY MINDED IN PRD / PRL AND UKRAINE(%) VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

To what extent do the following statements coincide with your opinion, even if they are absolutely right or wrong?

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

?

HARD TO SAY, WHETHER IT IS CLOSE OR NOT TO MY OPINION NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION DENIA

Ukrainian-language citizens and Ukrainian patriots are persecuted in PRD and PRL

9

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P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

16

33

19

19

Ethnic Russians and Russian-language citizens are persecuted in Ukraine

7 10 12

Ethnic Russians and Russianlanguage citizens are persecuted in Ukraine

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukrainianlanguage citizens and Ukrainian patriots are persecuted in PRD and PRL

26

44

VERY CLOSE TO MY OPINION

CLOSE TO MY OPINION

HARD TO SAY

NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

ABSOLUTELY NOT CLOSE TO MY OPINION

DENIAL

Ukraine

6%

6%

9%

28%

52%

0%

PRD-PRL

12%

20%

20%

23%

24%

1%

Ukraine

11%

19%

38%

14%

15%

3%

PRD-PRL

5%

9%

21%

35%

28%

1%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

% of all the respondents (N=561)

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The majority of the respondents assess the actions of both sides of the conflict as unfavorable for well-being of the Ukrainians. 46% do not believe in good intentions of either of the powers.

T

he respondents were asked how far they agree that the Ukrainian and Russian power, the EU and the U.S. government are acting for the benefit of the Ukrainian people (taking to account their own well-being as well). The answers, in which the governors of other countries were believed to care only about their own citizens, were assessed as disagreement with the statement.

The assessment dynamics of the participants of the conflict in Donbas

66% of the respondents consider that the Ukrainian power is acting against the interests of the Ukrainian people. Russian government has almost the same index (69% of unbelievers). The efforts of the EU and the USA intended to regulate the situation in Donbas are not supported by the inhabitants of the south-eastern oblasts either. 68% of the respondents consider that the actions of the EU government are not directed at well-

being of the Ukrainian citizens. 73% keep to the same mind about the States. Diplomatic support, sanctions, and credits do not convince the people of good intentions of the West. The attitude of the population of the south-eastern oblasts to the leaders of the states engaged in the conflict is getting worse with time. People are becoming more and more disappointed in the Ukrainian power.

THE ASSESSMENT OF THE ACTIONS OF UKRAINIAN POWER AND THE LEADERS OF LARGE STATES (%) TOTALLY AGREE

Do you agree with the following statements?

RATHER AGREE

?

RATHER DISAGREE TOTALLY DISAGREE HARD TO SAY / DENIAL

Russian power acts for the benefit of the Ukrainian and Russian people

10

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P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

15

28

41

7

Ukrainian power acts for the benefit of the Ukrainian people

8

21

34

32

5

The leaders of the EU act for the benefit of all the European nations, including the Ukrainian people

4 17

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

40

28

11

The leaders of the USA act for the benefit of both the U.S. people and the Ukrainians

3 12

40

33

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

N G O

12

% of all the respondents (N=561)

Te l e k r i t i k a ,

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In another question the respondents were asked how their attitude to the combatants and the leaders of the countries influencing the conflict in Donbas has changed during the previous six months. The answers prove the previous conclusions. The main cause of public disillusionment is the Ukrainian power: 64% of the respondents state their attitude has worsened since autumn 2014. The attitude to the leaders of other countries has changed to worse as well: the leaders of Russia (49%), the leaders of the EU (43%) and the leaders of the USA (45%). Such a tendency is the same for the Ukrainian territories and those under terrorists’ control. The only thing is that almost equal amount of people in PRD and PRL has changed the attitude to Russian power to worse and to better, while under Ukraine the attitude has changed to worse only. In total, the inhabitants of the entire region begin to disbelieve those who should have mitigated the conflict and stop fighting. Instead, the problems are escalating; war conflict seems to have no ending, while the hopes for diplomatic solution turn to be in vain each time. The first and foremost responsibility, in people’s view irrespectively of their political believes, is on the Ukrainian government. The support of the combatants is growing in the regions under their control As for the very participants of fighting in the East, the attitude to the Ukrainian army and volunteer battalions has improved at the territories under Ukrainian control and worsened in PRD and PRL; and contrariwise for the fighters of “people’s republics.” 27% of the PRD and PRL respondents have improved their attitude to illegal gangster formations, 15% have worsened it (1.8 to 1). This compares to 33% of the Ukrainian respondents who have improved their attitude to the army and volunteers and 12% who have worsened it (2.8 to 1). As opposed to power, the army is accepted as a real force that gives protection.

THE DYNAMICS OF THE ATTITUDE TO THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE WAR CONFLICT IN DONBAS FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS

?

THE UKRAINIAN ARMY

VOLUNTEER BATTALIONS

THE ARMED FORCES OF PRD AND PRL

Has your attitude to the following people and organizations changed during the last six months?

RATHER IMPROVED

UNCHANGED

RATHER WORSENED

HARD TO SAY / DENIAL

Ukraine

34%

52%

11%

3%

PRD-PRL

6%

47%

44%

3%

Ukraine

32%

51%

13%

4%

PRD-PRL

7%

46%

44%

3%

Ukraine

6%

48%

42%

5%

PRD-PRL

27%

56%

15%

3%

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

N G O

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THE DYNAMICS OF THE ATTITUDE TO THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE WAR CONFLICT IN DONBAS FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS (%) Has your attitude to the following people and organizations changed during the last six months?

RATHER IMPROVED

?

UNCHANGED RATHER WORSENED HARD TO SAY / DENIAL

The Ukrainian army

26

51

20

3

21

4

Volunteer battalions

25

50

The armed forces of PRD and PRL

12

50

34

4

Ukrainian power

5

30

64

1

Russian power

11

37

49

3

43

5

The leaders of the EU

2

50

The leaders of the USA

3

47

45

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

5

% of all the respondents (N=561)

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

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According to the opinion of the inhabitants of the south-eastern oblasts, Donbas should stay a part of Ukraine.

D

espite total disillusionment and mistrust to the Ukrainian power, the majority of the respondents do not see Donbas out of Ukraine. One third of the respondents (33%) want the territories of PRD and PRL to return under Ukrainian control under the same rights as before. Another third (31%) consider that Donbas should be given extended power, while 10% wish the region to become an autonomous republic within federative Ukraine. 11% are for the region’s independence, and 7% would like to see it as a part of Russia. Even at the territories uncontrolled by Ukraine a half of the respondents think that the optimal scenario is Donbas staying within Ukraine (better under the terms of decentralization or federalization). Still, each fourth respondent would choose independence for his or her region, and 16% would join Russia. This compares to 76%

The optimal solution for the situation in Donbas of the respondents at the territory under Ukrainian control who want to return Donbas to Ukraine under the same terms or decentralization; 8% are for federalization and only 9% want the region to be separated or joined to Russia. In this way, the ideas of separatism at the territories under Ukrainian control have no success among their target audience. Most of the people support one of the decisions associated with the maintenance of state structure. The ideas of federalization and constitutional reform promoted by Russian Federation at the diplomatic level haven’t taken root in the society. At the territories uncontrolled by Ukraine the situation is worse, but even there each second respondent is not against returning to Ukraine under the new terms of social agreement and additional power for the region. The expectations for entering into Russia are not many, but the wish to separate is strong.

The opTimal soluTion of The siTuaTion in Donbas

?

What the way out of the situation in Donbas would be optimal, in your opinion?

Ukraine retUrns Donbas back UnDer control; state governance stays the same as before

33%

Ukraine retUrns Donbas back UnDer control, bUt the territory receives extenDeD power within Ukraine as a Unitary state

31%

Ukraine becomes a feDeration, while Donbas is a part of Ukraine as an aUtonomoUs repUblic

10%

Donbas is separateD from Ukraine anD becomes inDepenDent

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P u b l i c O p i n i o n Su rv e y

11%

Donbas is separateD from Ukraine anD becomes a part of rUssia

7% 8%

важко сказати / відмова

The sample survey is representative of the adult urban population in five regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk.

ukraine

prD-prl

ukraine reTurns Donbas back unDer conTrol; sTaTe governance sTays The same as before

40%

12%

ukraine reTurns Donbas back unDer conTrol, buT The TerriTory receives exTenDeD poWer WiThin ukraine as a uniTary sTaTe

36%

20%

ukraine becomes a feDeraTion, While Donbas is a parT of ukraine as an auTonomous republic

8%

18%

Donbas is separaTeD from ukraine anD becomes inDepenDenT

5%

26%

Donbas is separaTeD from ukraine anD becomes a parT of russia

3%

16%

harD To say, Denial

8%

8%

kiev international institUte of sociology

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Perceptions of the Ukrainians and the Russians

T

that each nation has its peculiar features of character. I will read a list of human qualities. In your opinion, what qualities are typical for the Russians?” and “In your opinion, what features are typical for the Ukrainians?” Being translated into Russian, the language used in most of the interviews, the term “Russians” sounded like “rossiiane,” not “russkiie,” in order to underline that the question is about the citizens of Russia, not the representatives of the ethnic group. There were 17 qualities in the list; half of them were rather positive, another half was rather negative. In addition, the respondents were asked about their national self-identification. According to the answers, there were 2 groups: those who identify themselves as the Ukrainians and those who identify themselves as the Russians (“russkiie”).

he military actions in Donbas are not only a military threat. The society under war is radicalized; international relations are ruined; the rhetoric of humiliation and dehumanization escalates. It is especially painful in the societies like Ukrainian one, in which there is a large Russian minority and many people have close relationships with Russia. Hostility to another nationality or ethnic group is inevitable under war conflict; it helps the nation to consolidate against common enemy, but damages mutual understanding within the country as well. In order to find out in what way the events in Ukraine have influenced the attitude to other nationalities, the respondents were asked what character features are associated with this or that nation: “Some people consider

The assumption was that “russkiie” are likely to associate themselves with the Russians (the citizens of Russia), but not to a full extent, because there is a good deal of ethnic Russians who support the Ukrainian national idea. The Ukrainians apparently associate themselves with the citizens of Ukraine. The more one of the ethnic groups chooses positive features for themselves and negative for another ethnic group and the more the gap between the portraits of the Russian and the Ukrainians in each of the communities, the stronger the international hostility is revealed. Both the Ukrainians and the Russians (by ethnic self-identification) are likely to characterize “their own” national group in a positive way. The Ukrainians consider themselves to be peaceful (68%), helpful (65%),

THE PERCEPTION OF UKRAINIAN AND RUSSIAN

FOR UKRAINIAN

FOR RUSSIANS

FOR UKRAINIAN

FOR RUSSIANS

Ukrainians

Russians

Russians

Ukrainians

helpful

65%

69%

35%

30%

peaceful

68%

47%

26%

30%

open-hearted and homely

58%

49%

30%

25%

9%

8%

24%

15%

slothful

6%

9%

24%

18%

cultered , educated

35%

30%

22%

16%

freedom-loving and independent

53%

34%

24%

22%

hardworking

52%

30%

22%

25%

arrogant

envious

4%

4%

18%

19%

reticent

4%

12%

19%

11%

hypocritical and sly

6%

4%

25%

28%

reliable and faithful

33%

33%

12%

16%

hospitable

51%

37%

27%

26%

self-esteem

49%

34%

19%

23%

humiliated

2%

1%

10%

13%

stingy

2%

2%

11%

12%

obtruding their own customs upon others

3%

3%

27%

22%

None of the

0%

0%

1%

0%

10%

12%

19%

12%

HARD TO SAY / DENIAL

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

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open-hearted and homely (58%). The Russian respondents consider the Russians to be first of all helpful (69%), then open-hearted and homely (49%) and peaceful (47%). Each ethnic community characterizes another national group less favourably than their own, but the balance of positive and negative characteristics is the same: the representatives of one group admit that another group has positive features, not only negative ones. For Ukrainian people, the Russians are first of all helpful (35%), openhearted and homely (30%), hospitable and obtruding their own customs to others (27% each). For Russian people, the Ukrainians are helpful and peaceful (30% each), hypocritical and sly (28%) and hospitable (27%). It is important to note that there are no specific features to characterize the representatives of another ethnic group; the portrait is vague.

It is interesting to compare the results of the survey with the results of the Russian Levada-Centre which surveyed the Russians on characterizing themselves as well as the Ukrainians . The attitude of the citizens of Russia to the Ukrainians is much worse than the Ukrainians’ attitude to the Russians. The data in the tables below were taken from two studies: the data on the attitude of the Russians from Russia to themselves and to others were taken from the survey of Levada-Centre; the data on the attitude of the Ukrainians and Russians from Ukraine to themselves and to others were taken from this survey (it is important to remind that the data on Ukraine can be generalized only for the urban adult population of 5 oblasts).

THE UKRAINIANS THE WAY THEY SEE THEMSELVES

THE WAY THEY ARE SEEN BY THE RUSSIANS FROM RUSSIA

THE WAY THEY ARE SEEN BY THE RUSSIANS FROM UKRAINE

68%

peaceful

30%

hypocritical and sly

30%

helpful

65%

helpful

24%

reticent

30%

peaceful

58%

open-hearted and homely

23%

envious

28%

hypocritical and sly

53%

freedom-loving and independent

21%

hardworking

26%

hospitable

52%

hardworking

21%

hospitable

25%

open-hearted and homely

51%

hospitable

20%

arrogant

25%

hardworking

THE RUSSIANS THE WAY THEY SEE THEMSELVES

THE WAY THEY ARE SEEN BY THE UKRAINIANS

THE WAY THEY ARE SEEN BY THE RUSSIANS FROM UKRAINE

48%

hospitable

35%

helpful

69%

helpful

47%

helpful

30%

open-hearted and homely

49%

open-hearted and homely

44%

open-hearted and homely

27%

hospitable

47%

peaceful

44%

tolerant

27%

obtruding their own customs to others

37%

hospitable

41%

peaceful

26%

peaceful

34%

freedom-loving and independent

27%

reliable and faithful

25%

hypocritical and sly

34%

proud

KIEV INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY

The study was conducted within the project implemented by NGO Telekritika under financial support of the Internews Network.

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chapter

Recommendations for Ukrainian mass media, state authorities, and NGOs

NGO Telekritika has worked out a project of recommendations for different stakeholders working in the information field. The document was executed according to the results of an expert discussion which took place during a round table “Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy” on March 20, 2015. The theses of the experts’ statements are in the chapter “Expert Discussion.” The project of recommendations will be delivered to the representatives of public organizations (media first of all), state authorities, and mass media. We consider that the discussion on this subject should go on in order to work out common rules for working under Russian information aggression. A final document should result from a consensus of the stakeholders’ majority. Only in this case it will be effective. N G O

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Recommendations

Recommendations for media

How to resist Russian propaganda on the territories controlled by Ukrainian government:

not to engage in propaganda and counter-propaganda. Always to follow the standards of journalism in covering issues and problems, even the most controversial ones; not to distort information about the course of military actions and about the situation on the territories close to frontline or being occupied; not to conceal socially important information; to avoid hate speech concerning the residents of Donetsk or Luhansk or other regions; to develop a joint memorandum for media community concerning selfregulation in covering the ATO-related issues to prevent the dissemination of information that may harm military men and units etc.; to conduct professional discussions concerning observance of basic standards of journalism while covering the situation in eastern Ukraine, making news from the ATO area, informing about the problems of IDPs etc. jointly with the Ministry of Defence, the General Staff, the Security Service of Ukraine, to develop and agree upon the rules for journalists concerning their work in the ATO area; to pay more attention to the topics for which the society feels information hunger. In particular, according to a survey conducted by KIIS and ordered by the NGO Telekritika (see ÂŤPublic Opinion SurveyÂť), the following information is especially needed: the information on missing relatives and friends, on casualties among the civilian population and the Ukrainian soldiers, and on the actions of local and state authorities; to increase the volume of the content concerning the subjects that tend to be manipulated in Russian propaganda discourse (NATO, economic and cultural processes in the EU, the situation about same-sex marriage etc.). To involve experts in the relevant fields and specialists in propaganda research into production process; to increase the volume of the content aimed to reduce the level of conflict and to restore confidence in Ukraine. To involve psychologists to the production of this content. Success stories of IDPs and direct speech of the residents of the occupied territories or areas close to the frontline may be useful. gradually to increase production of Ukrainian information products that would eventually replace Russian products, primarily on television: serials, documentary films, talk shows, educational and entertainment programs and so on.

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Recommendations How to resist Russian propaganda on the occupied territories:

to ensure a non-biased covering of life on the occupied territories by central and local media. To prevent distortion of information and covering of the processes on the occupied territories in a biased manner (through compliance with standards of journalism and careful selection of information sources); to increase the volume of the content aimed to satisfy information needs of the residents of the occupied territories. The recommended language of this content is Russian; to pay more attention to implications of the Ukrainian state policy concerning the residents of the occupied territories; to consider this issue as a priority in the public agenda. To put democratic pressure on government in order to ensure the interests of the residents of the occupied territories; to avoid hate speech and negative stereotypes with regards to the residents of the occupied territories. To make a distinction between Ukrainian citizens under occupation and those individuals who fight against Ukraine. to develop Local Citizen Media not controlled by oligarchs in the East and South of Ukraine, especially in the areas close to the frontline.

How to resist Russian propaganda abroad: major Ukrainian news agencies and the leading online media should create (in case of absence) and keep updating news feeds in English; to increase their capacity for promoting their product in the West and selling it to foreign media companies and other stakeholders; to develop International;

English-language

online

TV,

like

Hromadske

to create online resources in German, French and other European languages aimed at specific target audiences; these resources should cover the events not only in the East, but also in Ukraine in a broader context (cultural and political); they should be friendly to European consumers; a foreign broadcasting TV channel (that is going to be launched in Ukraine) should be primarily aimed at the post-Soviet countries and Russia; the establishmentof this channel requires not only resources, but also, and first of all, the assessment of target audience’s needs (in Russia, as we assume, there is certain amount of people who need objective information about the events in Ukraine and worldwide); to create a TV or radio (MW) channel in Crimean Tatar language for broadcasting for the Black Sea region (including Turkey).

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Recommendations How to resist Russian propaganda on the territories controlled by Ukrainian government: The Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine should provide a real application of the basic norms of law in case of ethnic hatred inciting and support of separatism; to provide public access to media (especially to TV channels) in areas close to the frontline, in the border areas and in the remote districts; to develop a unified document for the Ministry of Defence and other government bodies which would clearly specify the categories of information that should not be subject to disclosure; to prevent distortion of information from official sources about the progress of hostilities and situation in areas close to the frontline and on the occupied territories. Not to distribute information that is untrue. Not to conceal socially significant information (if it does not belong to category of information which should not be subject to disclosure); to initiate a dialogue with the media about their self-regulation on making news from the ATO area; to ensure effective operation of military structures responsible for communication with population and for information support of military operations in the areas controlled by Ukrainian government. The Ministry of Defence, the General Staff, and the Ministry of Information Policy should take into account the recommendations developed for them by independent experts and NGOs.

How to resist Russian propaganda on the occupied territories:

to increase the amount of messages aimed to explain government policy concerning the occupied territories; for the government bodies, to ensure relevant feedback to violations of the rights of Ukrainian citizens on the occupied territories, including the Crimea. To apply to the international human rights bodies in case of reprisals against the Ukrainian citizens; to create a single think tank to monitor the situation on the occupied territories. To involve scientists and civic experts. The centre may be created as a separate institution or as a division of the National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS). This think tank should become a key centre to develop the strategy and tactics of information policy as well as of economic, social etc. policies concerning the occupied territories; to ensure the coverage of the occupied territories with Ukrainian TV and radio signals. To solve the problem of additional transmitters. The power of this transmitters should be sufficient enough to cover all the occupied territory and reach the border area of Russia; to ensure the dissemination of the Ukrainian press on the areas close to the frontline. For that end, to restore and to ensure the work of post offices and the network of points of sale of newspapers and magazines. If necessary, to ensure the safety of this points of sale and transportation of the press; to ensure effective operation of military structures responsible for information and psychological support of military operations in the areas controlled by the enemy. To consider the possibility of involving public experts and scientists to develop a strategy and tactics of these activities and involving NGOs to design information products.

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Recommendations Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

How to resist Russian propaganda abroad:

Recommendations for state authorities

to develop a comprehensive strategy of promotion of Ukraine around the world; to provide intensive cooperation between diplomatic missions and the media abroad; to develop a system of communication between state authorities and foreign media in Ukraine; to create user-friendly English-language versions of web-sites of public authorities; to facilitate the work of foreign journalists in Ukraine, and not only in the ATO area or the areas close to the frontline (Ukrainian officials of various levels must be taught to properly communicate with foreign journalists); to involve the Ukrainian diaspora to the dissemination of true information among foreign audiences; to create and to use the institution of the cultural attachÊ (famous people promoting the image and culture of Ukraine in their public international activity); to facilitate the process of obtaining licenses and allocation of frequencies for Crimean Tatar language TV or radio (MW) to be broadcast for the Black Sea region (including Turkey); to lobby the creation of the departments of Ukrainian studies in the leading universities around the world which could become centres of researchers’ communities; to facilitate the process of promotion of national Ukrainian cultural and media products abroad.

How to resist Russian propaganda on the territories controlled by Ukrainian government:

Recommendations for NGOs

to analyze the experience of other countries (including the Baltic states and Georgia) in counteracting the hate speech and separatism propagandawithin democratic practices. To provide recommendations for law enforcement agencies of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine. to ensure communication between citizens on the one hand and media and the state on the other hand, concerning information needs of the citizens and their socio-psychological condition (by creating new communication platforms, conducting social surveys, focus groups etc.); to create effective models of information outreach and to offer them to the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff. To initiate trainings for military personnel responsible for communication with local residents. If necessary, to assume responsibility for production of relevant information products; to explore the other countries’ experience in prevention of hate speech. To offer methodical and information materials, training and consulting services on hate speech prevention to Ukrainian media.

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Monitoring

Analytical report

Counteraction to Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy

How to resist Russian propaganda on the occupied territories:

Рекомендації громадським організаціям

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Recommendations Public Opinion Survey

How to resist Russian propaganda on the territories controlled by Ukrainian government

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Recommendations

to contribute to communication between the residents of the occupied territories on the one hand and the government and media on the other hand in the context of returning the residents of the occupied territories back to the Ukrainian information space. To develop the strategy and objectives of information activities concerning the occupied territories and to propose them to the state and media.; to conduct monitoring and evaluation of the state information policy concerning the occupied territories; to deliver the results to officials responsible for policy-making; if necessary, to take the initiative to create the Centre of Research of the situation on the occupied territories; to create effective models of information support of military operations among the residents of the occupied territories and to offer these models to the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and to the General Staff of Ukraine as well as the recommendations on strategies and tactics of this activity. To offer training and methodological support. To assume responsibility for the creation of information products concerning this activity.

How to resist Russian propaganda abroad:

to conduct monitoring of the foreign media space and to develop recommendations concerning the state information policy abroad; to initiate and implement visiting programs for journalists from Western media to Ukraine for objective covering of events in Ukraine (in the area of conflict as well as in general); to facilitate communication between the Ukrainian and foreign journalists; to take initiative to create a «pool of friends of Ukraine» with foreign scientists, journalists, writers and public activists, which can act as promoters of Ukraine in the Western media and perform unprejudiced research of the situation in Ukraine etc.

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chapter Annex

Media initiatives of the public established to counter Russian information aggression

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«Counteracting Russian Information Aggression: Joint Action to Protect Democracy»

Ukrainian Crisis Media Center http://uacrisis.org/ua/

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krainian Crisis Media Center was created in March 2014 by volunteers, Ukrainian experts on international relations, communications and public relations. The Center’s objective is to provide unbiased information to the world community about developments in Ukraine, challenges and threats for its national security, namely in the military, political, economic, energy, humanitarian and information spheres. The Center provides support to representatives of all media that cover events in Ukraine, conducts daily briefings, sends materials on Ukrainian developments to editors and journalist of the world media.

Euromaidan Press http://euromaidanpress.com/ https://www.facebook.com/maidanpr?fref=photo

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n online newspaper that was founded by volunteers in 2014 after the protests. It is focused on Ukrainian news and events, contains articles written by experts, translations from local media, and strives to become “a bridge between Ukraine and the English-speaking world”. It encompasses separate sections dedicated to Russia’s policy and information war: “Putin”, “Crimea”, “Russia”.

«Information Resistance» http://sprotyv.info/ru

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he project was launched in March 2014. The web-site founders say its major objective is to counter external threats in the information sphere that Ukraine is facing in different spheres: military, economic, political, and information security. «ІС» functions as an initiative of the Center for Military and Political Studies NGO (Kyiv). The resource provides prompt information about events in Ukraine, offers analysis prepared by its own and invited Ukrainian and foreign experts from non-governmental and governmental organizations.

«Rundown. Historical Front» http://likbez.org.ua/

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Annex

he web-site was created in July 2014. Project initiators is the Scientific Humanitarian Society. Its work involves nearly 20 historians from the Institute of History of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko, and other institutions. The project objective is to create a multilingual Internet-resource containing a sufficient amount of information about Ukraine’s history, development of the Ukrainian state, sources of Ukrainian-Russian conflicts. It publishes the materials on controversial issues of Ukrainian-Russian relations, disproves negative stereotypes and distortions of the facts of Ukrainian history.

Boycott Russia Today Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/boycottrussiatoday

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his Internet-community demands the US should ban broadcasting the Russia Today channel until it stops dissemination of anti-Ukrainian propaganda. The community also publishes articles exposing propaganda.

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Stopfake http://www.stopfake.org/

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he facts checking web-site was created in March 2014. Its establishment was initiated by students and teachers of Mohyla School of Journalism. Participants are volunteers, journalists, marketing specialists, programmers. Web-site activities: examination and disproof of distorted information and propaganda related to Ukrainian developments disseminated in the mass media. The web-site has Russian and English versions.

«Ukrainian Cyber Forces»

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he organization was created in June 2014. It is headed by a security analyst and programmer, Yevhen Dokukin (Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eugene. The organization positions itself as a “cyber-battalion for defense and offence operations in the Internet to fight separatists and terrorists and to counter the information war against Ukraine”. The main activities of the “white hackers” include blocking the accounts of terrorists, blocking the sites disseminating terrorist slogans, and tracing the movement of Russian military equipment. The main technology used by participants of the organization are targeted DDoS-attacks. As of January 2015, the organization submitted to the Security Service of Ukraine data on 1,025 pro-Russian militants.

TrolleyBust.com http://trolleybust.com/

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he web-site was created by volunteers in March 2015. Its principal task is to trace and block Internet trolls and other sources of anti-Ukrainian propaganda. The main instrument is submitting complaints against specific users and their posts.

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