Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Response to Russian Propaganda Should Not Be Only Reactive But Also Proactive: “Information Impact Weapons: How Russia Destabilizes the Black Sea Region” Discussion

The occupation authorities of the Russian Federation are still keeping unlawfully in custody citizen journalists charging them with “terrorism” as said. As of today, at least 18 media persons are known to be incarcerated. They are denied medical care. Ms. Olha Skrypnyk, the Crimean Human Rights Group Board Chair, reported this during the Black Sea Security Conference of the International Crimea Platform.

During the third panel discussion: “Information Impact Weapons: How Russia Destabilizes the Black Sea Region,” Ms. Skrypnyk, who moderated the discussion, added that after the occupation of the Kherson Region in 2022, the Russian military had abducted journalists from Kherson, moved them to Crimea, and accused of collaboration with the Ukrainian military.

Shota Utiashvili, Senior Fellow, Rondeli Foundation, Georgia, said that despite the Soviet authorities’ attempts to make Russian the main language of communication in Georgia, this attempt had failed. So nowadays the residents of Sakartvelo hardly speak Russian, and therefore are less exposed to propaganda.

“The Russian language is the major weapon. In 1979, there was an attempt to make it the main language in Georgia, but mass demonstrations prevented this from happening. So now our social networks no longer see Russian propaganda. This war cannot be won using the Russian language,” he said.

According to Ms. Mariya Sahaidak, Head of the Strategic Communication Department, Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security, everything started in 2014 when Russian disinformation and propaganda told and showed everyone what would happen when information was used as a weapon for military purposes. “Those days, in 2014, there was no response, as required, but in 2022, Russian media and propaganda channels were finally banned. But just to recognize the fact that such a threat existed is not enough. And at one of the panels, we heard a call for us to be proactive — not only to react on Russian propaganda and disinformation but also to act preventively. Otherwise, they will be ahead of the truth, and unfortunately, this is how it works. That’s why Russian propaganda and disinformation are literally killing people,” Ms. Sahaidak highlighted.

Constantin Uzdriș, Journalist of TVR Moldova, said that Russia had got a well-developed media infrastructure in Moldova. Therefore, it was so easy for them to explain to Moldovan citizens why they had occupied Crimea. In addition, Moscow was active in crossing Moldova to develop its own media.

“Unfortunately, the Moldovan government began blocking Russian media only after the occupation of Crimea, with all Russian media being blocked only after 2022. The aggressor was also very good at using social networks, such as Odnoklassniki. The Moldovan government effort to increase the media awareness of the population was next to nothing. Now this situation has changed, but we have lost a lot of time”, Mr. Uzdriș said.

“There are many public figures in Romania who are indirectly supporting Russia, trying to move Ukraine out off the radar.” This opinion was expressed by Remus Cernea, a war correspondent in Ukraine, Newsweek Romania.

“There is still a struggle in Romania, there are many public figures supporting Russia indirectly, so to say. They are not saying that Russia is right, they are trying to somehow move Ukraine out off the radar and make many people think that though Russia may not be so good, Ukraine is much worse. This is a tactic of misleading as if nothing were clear. Because it’s much easier to convince or confuse people. When they are confused, it’s hard for them to decide whom to side, it becomes much harder for them to choose who is right and who is wrong. And we need to understand this and resist it, we need to demonstrate again and again what truth is and what evidence of truth is,” he explained.

He noted that just making statements was not enough, it was crucial to demonstrate evidence that the statement was true. In his opinion, this can lead to change.

To remind: Black Sea Security Conference of the International Crimea Platform is being held in Sofia (Bulgaria) on April 14-15.

On April 14, the International Crimea Platform Expert Network held events of the Conference Pre-Day: 1. “Strategic Overview of Security Situation in the Black and Azov Sea, Prospects and Future”; 2. “World in Global Changes: Vision on Moving Forward Global and BAS Security from Different Perspectives”; 3. “Russian Practices of Eliminating Freedom of Speech in the Temporary Occupied Crimea”; 4. “Publicizing War: Journalism of War Time”.

Scroll to Top