Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sharing: The Propaganda War In Ukraine

Sharing: The Propaganda War In Ukraine

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Dan Everiss

Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 4:07 PM


Propaganda war in Ukraine

Institute of Religious Liberty, 24 February 2016

The Public Council on Matters of Cooperation with Religious Organizations within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine issued a statement about the propaganda campaign regarding the religious situation in Ukraine.

The expanded session of the Public Council, with the participation of Minister Pavel Klimkin and members of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, was held on 23 February 2016, the Institute of Religious Liberty reports.

The Ukrainian minister of foreign affairs gave information about measures undertaken by the MID for combating Russian aggression in the temporarily occupied territory of the autonomous republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and the east of Ukraine. Pavel Klimkin noted the unifying role of church leaders and urged them to bring to every believer the truth about the situation in Ukraine.

Session participants exchanged opinions regarding ways to counter the anti-Ukrainian propaganda that the Russian federation is conducting within the framework of the "hybrid war" against Ukraine.

On the basis of results of the discussion, the Public Council adopted a statement that expressed concern over the attempts of certain foreign and domestic forces to destabilize Ukrainian society, using the religious factor.

The Public Council turned to the international community with a request to take effective measures for protecting the fundamental rights and liberties of believing citizens in the temporarily occupied territory of the autonomous republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and in different regions of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces that are not controlled by Ukrainian authorities.

"Instead of seeking ways for protecting fundamental rights of believers in these territories and in the information space, especially in Russian media, there have been many manipulations and much propaganda, which have become instruments of a hybrid war and further inflaming of hostility. In this way, new lines of tension within Ukraine have been provoked and the long-term peaceful and stable development of the religious environment has been destabilized, information in news media has been falsified, and attempts have been made to change public opinion in the world in favor of the aggressor country," the document notes.

The statement emphasizes the necessity "of opposing the use of religion for stirring up hostility and escalating the conflict."

The Institute of Religious Liberty has reported that the mission of the CSCE has identified substantial restrictions of religious liberty in Crimea and the facts have been laid out in a report that was published in September 2015.

Earlier rights advocates collected instances of religious persecution on the part of separatists in the occupied Donbass, which were publicized in international conferences of the CSCE.  (tr. by PDS, posted 27 February 2016)

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