Director-General of the National News Agency of Ukraine “Ukrinform”
Abstract. The fifth year of confrontation with Russian aggressor and violent war in eastern Ukraine – which made the country to bleed – brought the cold understanding that this tragedy which was carried to the peaceful land of Ukraine, this dreadful mixture of cruelty, hostility, lies, military treachery and dishonour, this flow of a hatred and fear that every day pours into Ukraine from Russian “zombie boxes”, all these troubles will stay here for a long time. Therefore, we have to determine an evident thing. Those democratic norms of freedom of speech, pluralism, diversity of thoughts and views, which Ukraine has struggled for and continues to fight for so long – all these achievements were also stricken by the war.
They did not disappear but have clearly changed. War sharpened them. Occupation of Crimea and Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine divided the information space into the “black” and “white” where halftones are hard to find between.
Therefore, today calls for pacifism or non-acceptance of violence resemble readiness to capitulation and perceived as a part of hostile information game. However, what shall we do, if Ukrainian journalists are demanded the maximum pluralism from some international organizations and the unconditional adherence to the slightest nuances of freedom of speech from the Ukrainian authorities? How Ukraine can reveal all this “hybridity” of Ukrainian realia, so that European officials could understand it?
For instance, last autumn, a year after the correspondent of Ukrinform, Roman Sushchenko, had been illegally arrested in Moscow, we sent this news to three dozen European news agencies. Do you know how many agencies responded? The one. On the other hand, if a journalist of the France Press or the Associated Press gets illegally arrested in the same manner, you may not even doubt that support will be much more tangible.
Ukrinform has recently become a part of the Ukrainian Multimedia Broadcasting Platform. It is probably the first time in the modern history of Ukraine when media platform demonstrates a systematic approach to the Ukrainian information presence abroad. What matters is that approach helps the representatives of the Ukrainian authorities to assert themselves and the country as part of the globalized world, to seek and find the right decisions so that Ukraine is perceived as peaceful, proud and happy country, to the joy of its neighbours and its own citizens.
Keywords: Ukrinform, mass media, hybrid war, propaganda, Russian regime.