Top Hybrid Influences of the Week in Ukraine

The Russian hybrid forces have intensified the shelling of Ukrainian positions yesterday, in particular, targeting several civilian objects. The puppet “LPR” first tried to portray the attack on the kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska leaving two people injured as if it happened in the occupied territory and blamed the Armed Forces of Ukraine for “attacking children”. When it became obvious that the kindergarten was located in the government-controlled area, they switched to the narrative about “Ukraine staging the shelling”. Pro-Kremlin sources in Ukraine actively disseminated such disinformation, aiding the key Kremlin’s goal in the current stage of the hybrid war – portray Ukraine as an aggressor and perpetrator of “genocide against its own people”, thus creating a justification of the potential offensive.

Following the US releasing intelligence data about Russia planning further invasion this week, the pro-Kremlin forces intensified the traditional narrative about the “artificial warmongering the West perpetrates to undermine Russia” and different variations of this conspiracy. The messages rely heavily on the “external governance” narrative and aim to discredit Ukraine as an independent state while undermining Ukraine’s relations with Western partners. 

The long-expected sanctions against the pro-Kremlin channel “Nash” were portrayed as “yet another attack on the freedom of speech” and “destroying the last opposition channel in Ukraine”. The programs “Nash” was broadcasting included incitement to hatred, anti-Ukrainian propaganda, as well as intimidation with fake threats, according to the watchdog National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting’s monitoring. The channel’s owner and propagandist of Russian narratives Y. Murayev was listed by the UK’s intelligence as a key candidate in Putin’s plans for installing a pro-Russian government in Ukraine.