58% of Ukrainians acknowledge the threat of Russian propaganda – StopFake research


These are the results of a national survey “Awareness and attitude to the problems of disinformation and propaganda in the media”, initiated by StopFake project. The survey covered 110 localities. Additionally, two focus groups in Donetsk region were interviewed. Survey was carried out by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. This was reported by Daria Orlova, deputy director for research, Mohyla School of Journalism, during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Daria Orlova indicates significant regional differences in attitude to the Russian propaganda. 42% of survey participants from southern and 46% from the eastern regions believe that the threat does not exist. Although a nationwide cross-section shows that only one third of all respondents do not recognize the threat.

Among the main sources of propaganda 45% of respondents indicate Russian TV channels, 34,5% – on-line media, more than 20% – social networks. “The next stage of our research is to analyze more than 1,000 fake news that are on the StopFake website. […] We have already indexed the media organizations participating in the creation of fake news and will soon be able to provide their list. In fact, this is a list of sources that cannot be trusted, because we are talking about their systematic participation in a propaganda machine “- adds Yevhen Fedchenko, senior editor at “StopFake”.

Only one third of respondents feel the need to increase their own media literacy. Most respondents believe they can distinguish between the information that is true, and that is not. In eastern and southern regions the percentage is higher than in others. “Despite the overall percentage of uncertainty and confusion about the sources of propaganda, residents of the eastern and southern regions are quite confident in their ability to differentiate true facts from the false once” – says Daria Orlova.

33,8% of survey participants indicate that the propaganda also exists in Ukrainian media. “This is quite alarming, […] we believe there is no Ukrainian propaganda, and we wonder where this concept of Ukrainian and Russian propaganda equivalence comes from. We think that most of it comes from the regions that are under the influence of Russian media the most, “- said Yevhen Fedchenko.

The focus groups research in Donetsk region shows a high level of confusion and lack of belief in media in general. By definition, there is a very cautious attitude to any kind of information. “There is a common formula – 50% is true and 50% is not. […] Still, there is the realization that Russian propaganda is more radical and purposeful” – said Daria Orlova.

Yevhen Fedchenko adds that StopFake started publishing newspaper “Your right to know” in Kramatorsk. It intends to give the eastern region an access to reliable sources of information, and improve media literacy.

Soon a Polish service of StopFake will start operating. The latter will involve the Polish Union of Journalists.