Kyiv, April 29, 2014 – Viktoria Sumar, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine(hereafter NCDC), said that one of the biggest threats for Ukraine today is information war which is conducted by Russia against our countryat a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
At the beginning of her speech Viktoria Syumar relayed that the court session of Kyiv district court on Russian TV channels broadcasting prohibition was postponed to 6th broadcasting prohibition, Ukrainian party now insists on complex psychologically analytical expertise in order to examine Russian TV programs and provide legal evaluation of their correspondence with Ukrainian legal system. According to Viktoria Syumar, it is expected that the courts’ decision will be positive for Ukraine and the prohibition of Russian channels broadcasting will go into effect on a rolling basis.The Deputy Secretary commented that the biggest concern of information war between Ukraine and Russia is the fact that Russian journalists carry out functions which are not inherent for them. Instead of conducting the coverage of the events, they become another party to a conflict.
As of today, NCDC has already made a few steps to guarantee information security of Ukraine. First of all, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine was offered to make journalist accreditation similar to Russia requiring accreditation of Ukrainian journalists (meaning that journalists of those countries where Ukrainian journalists need to get accreditation also have to receive accreditation in Ukraine). Secondly, prohibition of broadcasting of some Russian TV channels is already in action. Thirdly, possibility of prohibition of access to Russian internet resources is being considered. But in Viktoria Syamar’s opinion, this may become a dangerous precedent which will have unforeseen consequences in the future.
Guaranteeing information security is tangled by passive behavior of Ukrainian security agencies. Yes, exactly passiveness and lack of readiness to start military actions are the reasons why Donetsk Radio Transmitting Centerwas taken over. According to Mrs.Syumar, militia personnel had in fact opened the doors to diversionists. As a result 7 Ukrainian TV channels went off air and were replaced by the broadcasts of 4 Russian ones.
“We expect 3 critical dates ahead – 1st 9th and 11th (referendum on Donbas status in Donetsk). of May when we should expect provocations to show pro-Russian moods among Ukrainians”, the Deputy Secretary of NSDC warned and said that journalists have to be more attentive during these days and check information more thoroughly.,
Commenting on question of how government plans to improve communication with citizens of Eastern regions, ViktoriaSyumar noted that in her opinion the best way is to speak with actions. Language problems of Donbas will be solved with new Constitution adoption which will validate this regulation on the highest level.
Asforthequestionof whenall-UkrainianReferendum will take place,Mrs.Syumar said that this remained an open question. Approximately, referendum date will coincide with the first or second round of Presidential elections. As for the scope of questions that will be discussed – no final answer is there. The only certain thing is that one question will be about authority decentralization.
ViktoriaSumar, Ukrainian journalist, civil activist, media expert, deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.