Kyiv, September 26, 2014. Russia’s coordinated information war is continuing against Ukraine, despite the cease fire that is meant to restore peace to eastern Ukraine. Russia’s current information war is designed to discredit the Ukrainian military and volunteer battalions, falsely accusing them of committing mass executions. This was stated at Ukraine Crisis Media Center in Kyiv by Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Ambassador at large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Russian propaganda “portrays Ukrainians as criminals committing war crimes against those fighting for freedom,” said Kuleba. Russian media reports about discoveries of mass graves are just the latest re-iteration of coordinated propaganda against Ukraine, its military and leaders in an attempt to turn Russians against Ukrainians. Unlike the false reports emanating from Russia, Ukrainian military forces and the police have actually discovered evidence of mass burials and executions in formerly occupied territory. “We unfortunately had the experience of discovering mass burials after liberating Sloviansk,” stated Kubela. “We are not using these facts in propaganda, we just report these facts and conduct an investigation.”
Kuleba explained that Russia often uses foreign so-called experts to support their claims against Ukraine. These foreigners are often not known or respected in their fields, but are portrayed as foremost experts. Unfortunately, Russian media reports often affect foreign perceptions of the conflict in Ukraine. Russian influence even affects foreign non-governmental organizations. To counteract this propaganda, the Ukrainian government is mobilizing experts on Ukraine. “We are working with people who are respected, who support our country, and who will disseminate our information and our philosophy,” stated Kuleba. Ukraine hopes that such action will give foreign and domestic media a better understanding of the situation. “We believe that the opinion of local experts is extremely important for changing views in each country,” he said.