On July 15, Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a high-level panel discussion 'Building Resilience to Information Influence: Freedom of Speech as a Component of Information Security'.
The event was part of a systematic effort of the Ministry headed by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova expressed her hope for further cooperation with the OSCE in addressing the threats and challenges stemming from malicious disinformation and propaganda disseminated from abroad.
Emine Dzhaparova stressed that for over seven years, the biggest challenge to media freedom and security in Ukraine has been Russia’s continuing armed aggression, where the aggressor is exploiting the media as an instrument of its hybrid warfare. In this regard, she drew attention to blatant violations of freedom of expression and media freedom in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions
After the expelling of free media from the peninsula, activists or so-called citizen journalists took the role of filling the vacuum in unbiased coverage of the real situation on the occupied peninsula. Currently, 8 of them are imprisoned, some of them for up to 20 years, on fake charges.
Emine Dzhaparova also recalled the illegal arrest of Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelance journalist of the Radio Free Europe, who was detained in March this year by the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea. Besides, the First Deputy Minister draw attention to Ukrainian journalist, writer, and activist Stanislav Aseyev, who had spent 28 months behind bars in the illegal prison of ‘Izolatsya’ in Donetsk, where he was tortured daily.
Emine Dzhaparova urged the international community to utilize all available means to support Ukraine in facilitating the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners and close down of all illegal prisons in the temporarily occupied territories.
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Ms. Teresa Ribeiro informed that the safety of journalists is a priority task in her mandate. She also mentioned the work of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine in relation to countering disinformation, a multi-year project to support the strengthening of media self-regulation mechanisms, as well as the newly established Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
The world's best practices for protecting the society from harmful effects of misinformation and other hybrid tools, preserving the freedom of expression and media freedom was an important part of the discussion between the representatives of Ukrainian authorities, international experts from NATO, the EU, independent media and NGOs.
Reference: The high-level panel discussion featured First Deputy Foreign Minister Ms. Emine Dzhaparova, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Ms. Teresa Ribeiro, Head of the East Stratcom Task Force (EU) Ms. Martyna Bildziukiewicz, Estonian International Centre for Defence and Security Chief Executive and Programme Director "Resilient Ukraine" Mr. Dmitri Teperik, Head of ‘DebunkEU’ Disinformation Analysis Center Mr. Viktoras Daukšas, Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence Mr. Jānis Sārts, Editor-in-chief of the English-language platform ‘Euromaidan Press’ Ms. Alya Shandra, Director of the Detector Media NGO Ms. Halyna Petrenko.