On 14 June, the Congress of the European Federation of Journalists approved a resolution (its draft was submitted by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine). In particular, the document says that destructive propaganda, misinformation, and incitement to hatred against Ukrainians were preparation for a large-scale Russian invasion along with the build-up of tanks, missiles, planes and the concentration of military units near the border with Ukraine.

Over a long period, the Russian propaganda machine has been manipulating public consciousness, including in the media landscape of European countries. Some Russian media outlets fabricated fakes, concealed important information, put psychological pressure on the audience, and tabooed criticism of the Russian leadership. The active participation of Russian propagandists in state propaganda and incitement to hatred made possible the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Today, the main pro-government media lie and say that Russia is waging a “special military operation,” not a full-scale war, in Ukraine. They conceal the truth about the Russian troops’ war crimes in Bucha, Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities, just as they hid the truth about the downing of MH17. They are silent about the fact that Russian missiles and artillery kill civilians. TV programs with Dmitri Kiselyov, Vladimir Solovyov, and Olga Skabeyeva are full of hatred for Ukrainians and call for the destruction of Ukraine.

The EFJ General Assembly welcomes the EU’s decision to impose personal sanctions on Russian media outlets involved in creating and disseminating propaganda. “At the same time, we note that the circle of people responsible for inciting the war is much wider. Among them are leading journalists, employees of federal and local media, who have been working consciously to strengthen the dictatorial regime, violating all professional standards. This is not a ‘Putin’s war,’ as Russian opinion leaders claim. This is a war that is supported by most of society within the country. And such support and such a war would have been impossible without the participation of many (not all) Russian journalists in systemic destructive propaganda for many years,” the document reads.

Natalia Tolub

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