Here are the top hybrid influences in Ukraine this week:
- Pro-Kremlin forces keep pushing the narrative that the Ukrainian government is responsible for the escalation at the frontline. This week, the focus is on the occupied Crimea: propagandists portray Ukraine as preparing an offensive and organizing terrorist attacks in the peninsula. At the same time, the Kremlin continues its military build-up along the Ukrainian border while avoiding the dialogue with Ukraine and negotiations within the Normandy format.
- “Opposition Platform – For Life”, the biggest pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, targets the Orthodox community through its new member – Oksana Marchenko. She is the wife of Viktor Medvedchuk, the Kremlin’s ally, and has recently been sanctioned together with her husband for financing terrorism. Marchenko has intensified the promotion of pro-Russian sentiment through her “Pilgrimess” project – a series of films about Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, an Orthodox Christian monastery that used to belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).
- Pro-Kremlin actors have tried to stage the international recognition of the pro-Russian “Sharii Party”. Pro-Russian blogger Sharii announced that he had addressed the European Parliament. In fact, it was a smaller conference, where at least one of the three organizers had previously voiced pro-Russian sentiment. The Security Service of Ukraine has recently put forward criminal charges against Sharii for the activity in the media domain detrimental to Ukraine’s national security.