Russia has established yet another platform in its information war against Ukraine. On June 18, the Russia Today Agency headed by infamous Russian jingoist Dmitry Kiselyov, launched a new information resource called Ukraina.ru. This web-based platform is intended to inform readers about the crisis in Ukraine and to become, in the words of the author, a supposed ‘reflection of Russian-Ukrainian relations.’ However, analysts are concerned that this new resource, like its parent Russia Today, reflects the Russian government’s desire to increase its foreign propaganda efforts, according to BBC Russia.
Ukraina.ru will be managed by Ukrainian journalist Alyona Berezovska, who was rumored to be very close to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Ukraina.ru is planned to be a kind of information clearing house, representing different points of view on the crisis in Ukraine. The project outline states that its editors will analyze global publications and publish opinions, interviews, commentaries from experts and personalities about the events related to Ukraine.
Since the day the resource was launched, however, materials clearly reflecting the style of Russia Today and its boss started to appear under the site’s Analysis and Opinion headings: “European integration, lustration, aviation, filtering, … What’s next?” “How fairly has the media ‘blocked’ its colleagues from 112 and Ukraine TV channels?” “Why Kyivan Rus collapsed.” It also has a column written by American economist and journalist Paul Craig Roberts: “‘Gullible dupes’ will regret the Maidan for the rest of their lives.”
Alyona Berezovska, the producer of the film Ukraina.ru, which was released on Russia-24 May 17, “reveals the story of the Maidan, showing its roots, characters, its puppet masters and actors.” Before moving to Russia, Berezovska had worked for Obozrevatel, a Ukrainian information portal. She later said she left Kyiv because she feared for her life and wanted to engage in unbiased journalism, since it was “more dangerous” to be an honest journalist in Ukraine.
At the project presentation, Berezovska noted that, in her opinion, there was an urgent need for something like Ukraina.ru, that is, a resource that would “cover events in Ukraine in a timely and unbiased manner” and contribute to stronger relations between the countries. “We’re going to try through our pages to strengthen our friendship and our peoples, to revive our history and to bring back what unites us,” she said.
In his turn, Dmitry Kiselyov, the project’s initiator and the boss of the Russia Today News Agency, promised not to engage in “yellow” press in this project and, where possible, to use verified information. The resource is intended to be mostly oriented towards young people. Staff includes about 10 people, although the editors of Ukraina.ru also plan to involve journalists from Ukraine and other countries.
Kiselyov, known for his “objective” news reports on the situation in Ukraine, likes to “develop the media environment” of neighboring countries. Earlier this year, he was in Crimea to carry out anti-Ukrainian propaganda in the annexed territory. Meanwhile, the entire world has long been aware that Russia is pursuing an aggressive information war against Ukraine, manipulating views and distorting the truth for its own purposes.
Translation: Katherina Smirnova
Edit: Lidia Wolanskyj