September 19, 2023, 16:29

Baseless testimonies, lack of evidence and facts: who are the targets of russia’s fake books filled with anti-Ukrainian narratives

The propaganda book “Ukrainian crimes against humanity (2022-2023)” was published in russia, and it contains 600 testimonies about Ukraine’s alleged crimes against humanity. It contains absolutely random, baseless testimonies without any evidence or facts.

Ukrainian experts researched both the so-called testimonies and the so-called witnesses mentioned in the book. They found out exactly what narratives the kremlin promotes with such publications, what danger they carry, who they are aimed at, and why it is important for Ukraine to debunk such books.

This was the topic of focus at the discussion at the country’s main discussion platform BrainHub in Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

According to Alina Bondarchuk, Head of the Information Collection and Monitoring Department of the Center for Countering Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the evidence in the book is apparently verified by the International Public Tribunal. However, this so-called institution, she noted, was created for russian propaganda.

“When we started researching the International Public Tribunal, we saw that it was founded on March 1, 2022. That is, at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, roughly speaking, the activity of russian propaganda began under the auspices of putin, who issued a decree to the Moskalkova, the russian Ombudswoman, to create such an international tribunal, which will supposedly collect such evidence and certify that Ukraine is really governed by a neo-Nazi regime,” she explained.

She noted that when the researchers analyzed the information about the speakers acting as witness verifiers in the book, it became clear that these people are putin lovers, who once either lived in russia, or have dual citizenship, or simply appear in propagandists’ broadcasts and are dedicated henchmen of the kremlin regime and putin himself.

The book also promotes a number of narratives. Among them, the researchers identified six key ones aimed at demonizing and discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

During the conversation, the participants pointed out the importance of debunking such fake publications, so that they, even in the absence of facts and groundlessness, could not have further influence the international community.

Maksym Scherbatyuk, Program Director at the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, said that despite the fact that legally books of this nature will not be able to have an impact on international judicial institutions, the danger lies in the fact that such publications are sent to various UN committees, and they act as a kind of spam to support groups and certain skeptics in developed countries. Therefore, he emphasized, it is important to show how false such publications are.

“It is important to show how fake they are, how little factual information is behind them. In order for those societies that support Ukraine to understand that this is really a fake. Because when we come, for example, to a UN committee meeting, and when such material appears, it is important that we have some information on our side to refute them, because it is all untrue. Because, it is clear that there is no legal basis to it, but when it is voiced by the russian federation or those countries that reflect its position, we need to have our own position, even if they (the russian claims – Ed.) are an obvious fake,” he explained.

Maksym Scherbatyuk noted that without such refutations, “skeptics will increase in number, gain influence and continue to affect certain international structures, which will each time ask Ukraine a series of questions that are not based on facts, which in turn can contribute to distortion of information.”

BrainHub is the country’s main discussion platform created by Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. It brings together experts from the state and civil society sectors. BrainHub hosts intellectual discussions around the issues of the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. It’s the birthplace of the best ideas that will become the foundation for the road map of Ukraine’s reconstruction in all sectors: economy, infrastructure, education, agriculture, security, digital, etc. 

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