Journalists from East Asia studied Ukraine’s experience in countering Russian propaganda

On February 24, a press event “Narratives of Russian propaganda in the information space of India and ASEAN countries” was held within the framework of the “Unfold Ukraine to Global South” project, implemented by UCMC in cooperation and coordination with the Open Society Foundation and funded by the International Renaissance Foundation. The press tour participants, journalists from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines had the opportunity to learn more about the structure of Russian propaganda and the narratives it uses around the world, trying to justify the war against Ukraine.

Tetyana Kolosova, Head of the UCMC press center, noted that the Russian state spends a lot of money to exert informational influence in different countries. Ukrainians have also lived under this pressure for decades and now know how to fight it.

Olena Churanova, a fact-checker and media expert at project, informed the guests about this Ukrainian initiative and the results of its activity. She revealed who promotes Russian fakes among foreign audiences, what communication channels are used for this purpose and what the key narratives related to the war in Ukraine are.

However, Russian propaganda is not very creative in conducting disinformation campaigns abroad. This opinion was expressed by Iryna Subota, an analyst at the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security.

Olha Vorozhbyt, deputy editor-in-chief at “Ukrainian Week”, affiliated expert at the Ukrainian Prism analytical center, addressed the problem of coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian war in the Indian media. She noted that thousands of students who had studied in Ukraine before the war unwillingly became disseminators of Russian narratives in this country. 

Oleksiy Feshchenko, analyst at the International Charitable Foundation for Public Diplomacy, expressed his view on how to strengthen Ukraine’s informational presence in the countries of East Asia not only  by using diplomatic efforts, but also intensifying the media component and developing communication between representatives of civil society. 

The press tour participants were interested in Ukrainian experts’ opinion on the growth of Chinese informational influence in the region. It was noted that it has a lot in common with the Russian model. Natalia Butyrska, expert on the Asia-Pacific region, noted in this context that if the Russian Federation succeeds in Ukraine, China can use it in its interests.At the end,  head of the UCMC Hybrid Warfare Analytical group Volodymyr Solovyan emphasized that the situation with the informational influence of Russia and China demonstrates how important it is to establish cooperation between civil society of East Asian countries and non-governmental organizations and mass media of Ukraine in order to exchange experience.