Russian propaganda in Europe now operates through government officials, money, and its diaspora — says media expert
A seminar on Ukraine by Russian propagandists took place at the end of June for the Vienna Police. How can you find out about it in Ukraine?
Telling us is Dmytro Zolotukhin, media expert, ex-deputy minister of information policy of Ukraine (2017-2019).
Dmytro Zolotukhin: The story would have remained in the past if the Russians had not flaunted it on social media and released a video of the event, which included a presentation by Olena Fedchenko, a former deputy of the Luhansk City Council. She ran away to Vienna and now gives these kinds of lectures. Fedchenko showed fake photos, that were debunked long ago by Ukrainian fact-checkers. The organizer of the event was the «Coordinating Council of Organizations of Russian Compatriots in Austria.» The appearance of such cases shows that we are facing people of not very high intelligence.
August 1, 3:56 pm
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The Coordinating Council of Organizations of Russian Compatriots in Austria
After holding the Victory Day celebration, the processions for the 9th of May Immortal Battalion and the organizing of Remembrance and Sorrow Day on the 22nd of June, our team held a seminar for the Austrian Ministry of Internal Affairs known as «Ukraine in the focus of different perspectives”.
The closed inter-departmental seminar took place in the Austrian Ministry of Internal Affairs for high-level officials of the police. There was a closed live stream from the respective branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the federal state of government. We received exclusive permission from the Austrian Ministry of Internal Affairs to publish this interesting recording.
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Darya Kaleniuk, the head of the Anti-Corruption Center in Ukraine, told us how at the Frankfurt airport, a customs officer saw her holding a leaflet calling for an end to the war, and sanctions against the Russian Federation. The customs officer began to react and complain that allegedly «Ukrainians are trying to drag Germany into Russia’s war on Ukraine.» This shows that many people with positions in public office in Europe are victims of Russian propaganda narratives.
We have no way to communicate with the Austrian police. Of course, there are people in the Austrian political community who do not see any problems with this seminar, do not pay attention to it, and there are those who are sympathetic to Ukraine. Some Austrian parliamentarians sent a request to the leadership of the Austrian police about this matter and the discussion is ongoing. YouTube, following a complaint apparently from the Russian special services, deleted the video of this training. I published this video on the channel of the Institute of the Post-Information Society.
Video not available
This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim (applicant: Coordinating Council of Organizations of Russian Compatriots in Austria)
I hope that because of the publicity of this story, the state structures of the EU states will refuse to cooperate with representatives of Russian communities abroad. The choice to cooperate with Russian representatives abroad carries reputational risks.
- The situation is absurd. Europeans pay taxes, from which donor money goes to Ukraine. NGOs debunk fake propaganda for them. Then these same Austrian taxpayers fund the Austrian police to hold events where Russian disinformation facts are being presented.
It is obvious that Russia’s main power in Western Europe is not the media, but money, power, and a small audience, who happen to be people who make decisions.