Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
More than $40 million, according to open sources, were allocated through western funds for financing information support for the preparation and carrying out of Euromaidan in Ukraine.
This was stated on September 22nd at a press conference in Moscow by the deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Predictions Nikita Danyuk.
“In reality, much more was spent. But it isn’t possible to evaluate the closed channels of financing,” said Danyuk.
Within the framework of the report “The facts of interference in the informational sovereignty of Russia before presidential elections. Preparation of technologies of Maidan in Russia” experts of this institute analysed the processes that took place in Ukraine in 2011-2015. The authors believe that it is according to the same scheme that the destabilization of the situation in Russia will be carried out, but twofold more funds are being allocated for this.
According to Danyuk, the information campaign of the West can be divided into three stages.
“Within the framework of the first stage, there is an injection of financing for independent media. This stage is long and expensive. It is possible to call it cold financing, when large sums of money are specially introduced in the media space for the financing of literally all media outlets that show an interest in this source of financing. Then, on the basis of reporting the spending of means, ideas concerning the coverage of the audience are formed,” said the expert.
According to him, by the end of this stage a pool of media is formed, which carries out the order to discredit the current authorities and to articulate and aggregate protest moods in society.
“The second stage provides the financing of so-called independent media during the active phase of the coup, i.e. color revolution. The media cements in the consciousness of the people the myth about the correctness and general approval of protest actions, convinces the masses that revolutionary events will create a bright revolutionary future. The example of Ukraine in this sense is very prominent,” stated Danyuk.
The third stage aims to glue in the consciousness of society the results and the legitimatisation of changes that occurred due to the color revolution.
“In terms of financial expenses, it is comparable with the first stage, because legitimation must take place at the internal and external level,” noted the expert.
This scheme was illustrated with concrete examples by the co-chairman of the movement “Antimaidan” Anton Demidov.
According to him, in May, 2011, the American government fund USAID allocated $14 million for supporting Ukrainian media, “the development of democratic institutes”, and the creation of independent channels of broadcasting.
“In 2013, USAID allocated only $4.5 million for this same support, but already having sent out governmental instructions for the media, in which it is written that the incumbent President Yanukovych betrayed the ideals of the Orange revolution, that Deputies don’t come to meetings, and that in the ruling party a destructive process is ripening,” said Demidov.
In fact money was already arriving for the delegitimization of the current authorities and undermining the population of the country’s trust in the government, claims the expert.
“The words ‘media’ or ‘journalism’ are not always present in grants, but we rather precisely define how these grants could be used. Some grants were allocated not for one country, but for a group of countries. For example, financing of the Ukrainian service ‘Voice of America’ and radio ‘Svoboda’ increased between 2013-2015 from $3.5 million to $4 million,” said the representative of the “Antimaidan” movement.
In the active phase of Maidan, the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) supported several publications and popular Ukrainian media outlets for the formation of a news agenda inside the country.
“For example, they financed the ‘KievPost’ website, ‘Gromadske radio’, and the journalist Kirill Lukerenko. Grants were also given to independent journalists. For example, Kristina Berdinskikh received a grant for the ‘People of Maidan’ project. We don’t know what sum was allocated by EFD to these projects, but we understand that support was quite serious,” notes Demidov.
At the final stage, according to the expert, financing of western funds continued to arrive. The media needed to show the legitimacy of all processes on Maidan.
“When the terrible events in Donbass already began, funds also supported enough projects. ‘Internews’ and the US Embassy created the ‘Ukrainian Crisis Media Center‘. It is the main news hub inside the country and the main aggregator of the news agenda for various pools of journalists. Also, ‘Donbass Public Television’ was supported, which was created by natives from Donbass and was based in Kiev. It was planned that it will be a key news relay for the OSCE. Also there was the ‘Voice of Crimea’ project, which broadcasted to a Crimean audience in the Ukrainian, English, and Russian languages,” said Demidov.
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