Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Ukrainian government, followed by various public figures, journalists, and bloggers consistently and also quite consciously incite hatred within Ukraine.
Influencing the minds of the population via the media, they inspire in some Ukrainians hate, intolerance, and the desire to kill other Ukrainians only because they are inhabitants of another region and have a different point of view on what is happening in the country. And the country was plunged into a state of war.
In the Ukrainian media and social networks a propaganda campaign aimed at the demonization and persecution of those who “come in large numbers from Donetsk” intensified. Activists, bloggers, social media, and Ukrainian media disseminate stories about refugees who supposedly hide themselves from mobilization, drink vodka, shoot indiscriminately, rob the local population and agitate for “separatists”.
As a result the displaced persons, forced to flee from the war in the territory controlled by Kiev, were hoping for protection and shelter in the peaceful cities of the country, but they receive hatred and rejection.
Succumbing to the skilful incitement of hatred and discord, Ukrainians’ attitude to the refugees is more and more aggressive, they consider these people as unneeded and causing only problems. And in general, all these “Donetsks” are all to them just criminals and drug addicts.
Local residents of Ukrainian cities are not willing to show compassion to those fleeing the war, because they supposedly “deserved their fate justly.” The displaced people are refused renting a house upon learning that they come from Donetsk or Lugansk, they refuse to take work, even with very low (can it be any lower?) wages.
It reached the point that calls were sounded to send all displaced to filtration camps “to check for adequacy”, and to carry out total tests for knowledge of the Ukrainian “language”, etc. And in some statements of Ukrainian politicians, officials and even ordinary citizens the thesis can be heard about the need to physically exterminate the population of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and leaving only a bare steppe in the place of Donbass.
Refugees from Donbass were transformed into second-class citizens, outcasts, and untouchables, who do not deserve even compassion. Even the OSCE had to admit that the Ukrainian media justifies violence and incites hatred. Such are the results of monitoring the coverage of the social groups concerning the conflict in the East of Ukraine, and the Ukrainian television media.
“The Ukrainian TV channels heroize the fighters of the ATO, demonize the fighters of “LPR”, “DPR” and Russia, and are silent on the problems of the displaced. On talk shows of central channels the speech of hatred sounds,” it is said in the study. “This creates a situation of a clear division into ours and theirs, good and bad. On talk shows on the central channels the cases of cultivation of hatred and other negative emotions towards the opposite side are found,” state international experts.
The Ukrainian authorities, with the help of the media, artificially guide and intensify alienation between the angry and disappointed citizens of the same country. Many deputies, bureaucrats, and leaders of public opinion in Ukraine expressed their unwillingness to live in a country with “Donbass Vata” [pejorative term for Russians – ed].
Odious deputy-nationalist Vladimir Parasyuk stated that he does not want to live in the same country as the residents of Donetsk. “I don’t want to live in the same country with these people. What kind of dialogue can be discussed here. The war in the country is because of them, thousands of UKRAINIANS died because of them,” said the indignant deputy. According to Parasyuk, peace in Ukraine is possible only after the residents of Donbass will disappear.
And here is how political scientist Taras Berezovets, close to the administration Poroshenko, speaks about the residents of Donbass:
“We will not allow ourselves to live in the same country as these beings.”
“This spirit of this region is totally alien to us. It is a cancerous tumour that will spread its metastases throughout the country,” said the famous Lvov host of television channel ZIK Ostap Drozdov.
Earlier, similar thoughts were expressed by Ukrainian writers Yuri Andrukhovych and Vasily Shklyar.
And here is the famous “voice of ATO” Dmitry Tymchuk:
“The problem of “refugees from Donbass” urgently needs to be resolved. The visitor cards of a very large part of the refugees is a pathological reluctance to work, alcohol and drug abuse, defiant hatred of the Ukrainian symbols and their desecration. It is better to provide to such Ukrainophobia-parasites an opportunity (and better – to insistently recommend) to leave for Russia – of course, at their own expense. And we mustn’t be afraid of some loss of image for Ukraine: we will survive it, and it will be cleaner on the Ukrainian land,” writes Tymchuk.
Such statements by senior officials represents an undisguised incitement of hatred against the inhabitants of the Donbass region.
The leadership of the police, taking advantage of the situation, try to put on the back of “come in large numbers Donetsk people” their own guilt for the unprecedented rise in street crime and the collapse of the judicial system. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov in one of his recent statements indicated that a few million “refugees, migrants” allegedly are the cause of the worsening crime situation in the country. Deputy Chairman of the national police, Vadim Troyan, a longtime collaborator of the Minister Avakov, infamous for his neo-Nazi past, publicly stated that in the regions where the majority of displaced are concentrated, supposedly there is an increase in the average growth in the number of thefts.
“Directly associated with the war are new for Ukraine challenges, which directly influence the crime rate, unprecedented increase in the number of internally displaced persons. Are they all law-abiding? Obviously not – especially when in front of the majority of them the issue of fundamentally solving basic living needs arises (searching for housing, work, schools for children), which, in turn, requires significant financial costs,” wrote Troyan in his article “War on the criminal front.”
15 influential journalists and public activists, who are members of the Independent Media Council could not ignore the publication of the article, and by their own initiative decided to take into the consideration the news prepared by the news websites “Weekly Mirror” and “Ukrainian truth” on the basis of this article. After analyzing the publications, the Independent Media Council came to the conclusion that “Weekly Mirror” and “Ukrainian truth” violated the standard of reliable reporting and norms that prohibit hate speech.
The publication of such material, taking into account the public importance of the issue of internally displaced persons and an ambiguous attitude to them, must be considered as the use of printed media to incite hatred and forbidden by article 28 of the law of Ukraine “on information” (prohibition of use of information for encroachment on human rights). Independent Media Council believes that Vadim Troyan creates the terrain for real expression of discrimination against internally displaced persons, by legitimising a negative and biased attitude towards them. The article arranges facts in such a way that it is easy to manipulate readers by disseminating among them the feeling of indifference and prejudice, which is inappropriate and extremely dangerous in the context of the war in the East of Ukraine.
Such material and statements that incite hatred are sounded by representatives of the authorities, and their position is perceived by inhabitants as the position of the state. Hate speech always leads to catastrophic consequences, genocide, war, and the extermination of innocent people.
Besides the laws referred to in the opinion of the Independent Media Council, Ukrainian officials and media, who allow themselves to make criminal statements and publications, inciting hatred and enmity, violated another number of laws, which in the future they will have to be responsible for, namely Article 24 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which states that all citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before the law, and also Article 20.2 of the International Covenant on civil and political rights, which states that any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred, representing incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
Experts consider that this information war can be beneficial only for those who want the definitive split of Ukraine.
Political analyst Kost Bondarenko believes that the incitement of hatred to refugees from the East is a special operation.
“This is a real special operation to split the country. And it doesn’t last for just a month. The image of an enemy is created from people in the East, saying that from Donbass arrive exclusively alcoholics, illiterates, and the line is drawn to separate Donbass from Ukraine. And social networking is a major part of this campaign.”
“The incitation of hatred on ethnic grounds, inciting war in the Donbass is ongoing in Ukraine, all of this is support by pro-government media. During this power, the Ministry of Information appeared, which is busy with some informational policy,” considers People’s Deputy of Ukraine Elena Bondarenko.
This propaganda campaign in the Ukrainian media has surpassed the time of the Third Reich, considers Russian radio host and analyst Armen Gasparyan.
“I carefully looked at the Ukrainian media. You know, it is considered that the apology of hatred in its purest form is the newspaper of the Third Reich. As someone who has been involved in this issue for 25 years, I can say that such abominations weren’t even published there. What I saw today in the Ukrainian printed press is not journalism, it is pure propaganda of violence,” says Armen Gasparyan.
“It is regrettable that the state coup opened the floodgates of journalism for scoundrels. Today anyone can get a journalism qualification, and in their publications incite hatred and punishment of political opponents. It is necessary to judge such things and we will judge it with all severity of the law. I suppose we have to establish responsibility for slander – slander is not criticism. Meanwhile, the moral decay of society, where lies and gay parades run the show, is imposed on us,” said the Ukrainian politician Vladimir Oleinik.
There is no doubt that this campaign to discredit the residents of one of the regions of the country was skillfully organized by the current Ukrainian authorities. It aims to brainwash the population of Ukraine through hatred towards Donetsk and Lugansk, as toward hidden enemies. This information war is no less horrifying than the unleashed “hot” war in the East, and its consequences can be very sad.
But the war will end sooner or later, this bloody bacchanal will also end, the country will gradually come to its senses after the delusion, and then the inciters of hatred and hostility will have to be responsible for every word.
Copyright © 2022. All Rights Reserved.