Russian Propaganda in Ukraine
“For Ukrainians, the war in eastern Ukraine has become an everyday reality. Only two years ago, though, no one in the country believed war was possible — and certainly no one expected that propaganda would be one of its main weapons.
Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, little attention had been paid to building a system that would ensure the security of information — security that would actively counter false propaganda. State security services ignored even the most basic anti-Ukrainian messages.
As a result, when the new government faced aggressive propaganda, it appeared completely incapable of acting. State functions related to information security were divided among at least seven agencies and ministries. They lacked proper coordination, their functions were often duplicated, and some important tasks were not implemented at all. There was no state unit responsible for monitoring the situation in the field or identifying threats, which made simple decision-making impossible. Furthermore, there were no clear mechanisms for implementing such decisions.
During that time, Crimea was lost, and residents of the Donbass were frightened by Russian propaganda and believed that “fascists” were coming to kill them. Something had to be done to limit the onslaught of propaganda...”
Excerpt from Roman Shutov, “Russian Propaganda in Ukraine,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 7, Special Edition, 2016: 36-38.
Roman Shutov is program director of Telekritika, a Kyiv-based nongovernmental organization devoted to dispelling false Russian narratives planted in the media. He has a background in nonprofit management and media in Ukraine. He earned a doctorate in political science in 2007 from East Ukraine National University in Luhansk.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.