Staunton, January 5 – One of the aspects of Russia’s occupation of portions of Ukraine is that with each passing day, Russian propaganda outlets are operating in many cases without any Ukrainian efforts to counter them, a reality that is creating facts on the ground as diplomats like to say that Kyiv will find it ever more difficult to reverse.
Those in Kyiv and Western capitals who seek a frozen conflict as the best means of avoiding new violence forget that reality just as they have in other frozen conflicts that Moscow has been involved in around the periphery of the Russian Federation, a neglect that Russian officials have in every case exploited.
In Apostrohe.com.ua today, journalist Yana Sedova makes the case that in the course of the year just past, Ukraine “hasn’t been able to win back the information space” in the Donbas. Instead, by their failure to act, they have ceded it to Russian outlets and those of the pro-Moscow breakaway republics (apostrophe.com.ua/article/society/2016-01-05/ukraina-vchistuyu-proigryivaet-voynu-na-donbasse/2849).
That has allowed anti-Ukrainian voices to put out, without much challenge, their noxious views about “’the Kyiv junta,’” “’Nazi Ukraine,’” and “’American puppet masters,’” and inevitably that has an impact in small ways and large that grow the longer this situation continues.
In some ways even more worrisome, this anti-Ukrainian media reaches beyond the line of the front and even into Ukrainian military bases, undermining coherence and stability, Sedova says. The Ukrainian ministry of information policy has put out a report suggesting that it is working hard, but in fact, it seems more concerned with coming up with a concept paper than with acting in ways that are required.