Top Hybrid Influences of the Week in Ukraine

As COVID-cases increase, the anti-vaccination protests took place in Ukraine. The similarity of poster design at the protests in Ukraine and Moldova leads to believe they were organized by Terra Freedom, an organization that systematically discredits measures against the pandemic in Moldova, Ukraine, and Baltic countries. According to Adviser to the Deputy Chairman of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Pavlo Bulhak, “there is every reason to believe that Terra Freedom is acting in the interests of Russia”. One of the participants of the protest, the head of the STOP Fake Pandemic organization, thanked Russia for its financial “support” and promoted Russian disinformation narratives.

Several US media, including the New York Times and Politico, published articles about the “new Russian military buildup” near Ukraine. The message was particularly actively spread in the Ukrainian media space. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense says no additional troops movement has been detected by the intelligence, and that there are about 90,000 Russian troops stationed near Ukraine’s border and in the temporarily occupied territories. This is the regular aggressive position of Russia, the current movement is typical of the Russian-Ukrainian war, according to Hanna Maliar, Deputy Minister of Defense. Spreading panic is beneficial to Russia, and Ukrainian intelligence believes it is part of special information and psychological operations.

Russian President Putin has visited occupied Crimea as part of the celebration of the “Unity Day”, thus again attempting to legitimize the occupation. His speech included the key theses of Russian propaganda portraying Crimea and Sevastopol as an integral part of Russia and positioning “joining Russia” as the “free will of the people”, forgetting the military invasion of the peninsula, the tremendous amounts of anti-Ukrainian disinformation, and the “referendum” at rifle point.