These are the key hybrid influences in Ukraine we have monitored within our #HybridWeekly rubric:
On October 26, The Amsterdam Court of Appeal, ruled to return the ancient artifacts from Crimea (also known as “Scythian gold”) to Ukraine despite Russia’s lawsuit to bring the gold back to the occupied peninsula. The collection has been on loan at Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum since 2014 when Russia illegally annexed Crimea. As a result, Russia-backed Ukrainian media started sharing the Kremlin propaganda, discrediting Ukraine’s long-awaited victory and portraying the court’s decision as “politically motivated and disposable” even though the collection was part of Ukraine’s cultural heritage.
On October 26, Ukrainian Army first time used the Bayraktar combat drone to hit enemy artillery unit in Donbas. Russian propaganda and pro-Kremlin media in Ukraine used the incident to blame Ukraine on escalating the violence in attempt to “disrupt the launch of the Nord Stream 2”. However, according to the the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the drone was used as a response for enemy escalation since the Russian occupation forces ignored Ukraine’s demands to cease fire, sent through the diplomatic channels. Previously, two Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in enemy shelling, one of whom later died from his wounds.
This week, the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine published a list of anonymous Telegram channels promoting pro-Kremlin narratives and humiliating Ukrainians’ dignity. Pretending to represent “an alternative Ukrainian position”, they mostly just translate Russian propaganda, referring to pseudo-experts and “anonymous sources” to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. The channels themselves took prompt reaction and started promoting classic Kremlin narratives on “censorship” and “oppressing the freedom of speech” in Ukraine.