Promote Ukraine, together with the International Center for Countering Russian Propaganda, continues to study Russia’s allies in Europe. There, Russians are not limited to so-called foreign broadcasting to other countries or even the spread of fake information. They seek and find and then support those who become a systemic repeater of Russian propaganda, and at the same time are their own for the society in which they operate. This is a systematic and long work, but the result is appropriate. Consequently, such work can also be countered only systematically.

Today, together with expert Valentyna Bykova, we will go to the UK. This is one of the most unfriendly countries for the aggressor. Firmly and consistently supports Ukraine, in addition, has its own accounts with Russia. The influence on public opinion in this country is all the more interesting. So what forces should the Kremlin rely on in the United Kingdom?

“The first ally is the British National Party (BNP), a radical right-wing political party that publicly demonstrates support for Putin’s policies. It is characterized by a rigid party structure. The party’s electorate is mainly represented by the lower middle class, the workers, and the British in need of social assistance. The party’s leader is Nick Griffin, a British politician, former chairman of the British National Party and former member of the European Parliament from the North West of England. He ran as an observer in the 2011 State Duma elections and said that “the Russian election is much fairer than the UK election,” said Valentyna Bykova, a media expert and analyst at the International Center for Countering Russian Propaganda.

Next is the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a British political party that demands the country’s withdrawal from the European Union and is conservative. Many members openly express their admiration for Putin and their support for his actions in Syria.

Nigel Farage is the party leader from 2010 to 2015, a member of the European Parliament, a regular guest of the Russian media. In particular, in 2015 he called on the Dutch to vote in a referendum against the ratification of the “Association Agreement” between the European Union and Ukraine.

In turn, the Bruges Group think tank publishes propaganda materials in accordance with the Kremlin’s policy, for the preparation of which Russia pays for the travel of its employees. For example, in a video of their trip to Russia published by the Bruges Group, the group’s leader, Robert Olds, described the Ukrainian government as a “junta”. And he asked whether the enclave should further “expand its borders to somehow liberate the territory from the Kyiv domination”.

Olds also publicly supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea and blamed the West for the “crisis in Ukraine”.

Another player on the “Russian field” – “The Bow Group” – the oldest think tank of the Conservative Party of Great Britain. Its head, Ben Harris, was one of the keynote speakers in Moscow at the International Forum “Large Family and the Future of Mankind”. He supported Russia’s anti-gay laws and condemned the atmosphere of fear created by LGBT people in Britain. Harris-Quinn’s flight to Moscow was paid for by the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation, a Swiss charity with close ties to Putin.

The Bow Group later published a report calling for the lifting of sanctions against Russia and recently called on the British government to work more closely with Russian intelligence.

Italian “Voices”

Now let’s go to Italy. It is especially important for Ukraine. Numerous Ukrainian diaspora lives here, and it was in Italy, as a result of a successful information operation by Russian special services, that Vitaliy Markiv was convicted.

Meet Sarah Reginella, from Ancona, a psychologist. In 2015 she went to the occupied Donbas. She went, of course, illegally, in particular as a photographer Andrea Rockelli, whose murder is accused of Vitaly Markiv. The purpose of the voyage was to “make documentaries on human behavior during armed conflict”. And Sarah really made 4 films: “I am Italian”, “Voices”, “Times of Donbas” and “The Beginning of the War. Psychology of conflict”.

Here is how the authors describe the film “Voices”: “a small film about life in the Donbas during the Civil War. The film was shot by Europeans and for Europeans. Sarah Reginella tried to break the information blockade and show the EU residents the real picture of what is happening in Donbas”

In December 2015, the Italian visited the regional executive committee of United Russia in Ufa, where she met with Duma deputy Anvar Mahmutov and Member of Parliament of the Republic of Bashkortostan Konstantin Kanunikov, with whom he discussed the political situation in Ukraine and Syria.

Then Reginella stated that she intends to make films about Donbas, which will cover the real situation and show that it’s exclusively an internal conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Sarah also often visited the occupied part of Ukraine, met with representatives of the Russian clergy, the occupying authorities and ordinary militants of the occupiers. At the same time, she supported Russian propaganda that the West and the United States had created a conflict in the East.

Already in May 2016, the Ambassador of Ukraine in Tallinn Viktor Kryzhanivsky appealed to the Estonian authorities to prevent the screening of the film “Times of Donbas” by Italian director Sara Reginella in Estonia. Because this film is part of the ideological hybrid war of the Russian Federation and is designed to refute Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. However, without success, the film was shown in Estonia, as well as in other European countries. And this is probably not the last creative work of Senor Reginella on the spread of Russian propaganda in Europe.

Read the final part of the article on June 12.

Natalia Tolub

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