Kyiv Security Forum

Arseniy Yatsenyuk: Putin Controls 50% of the News Channels in Ukraine, so He Can Easily Control 50% of the Minds and Hearts of Ukrainians

15 May 2020, 15:53

Disinformation is one of the key challenges that has to be urgently tackled, said Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine (2014-2016), founder of the Open Ukraine Foundation during KSF online discussion on May 15.

“In my humble opinion, practically there is no longer any real solid freedom of speech. What we are facing right now in some parts of the world is the “freedom of lie’. And this is the biggest challenge,” he underlined.

“In the current world everything that is white can be easily switched to black, everything that is round can be easily switched to square. So I see disinformation as one of the key challenges that have to be urgently tackled,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized.

Global media, such as Washington Post, New York Times are currently fighting with disinformation: “The same is happening in Ukraine, but the problem is that we have a lack of this freedom of speech space. Its all about who owns the media outlets, who owns Ukrainian TV channels. Putin controls 50% of the news channels in Ukraine, so he can easily control 50% of the minds and hearts of Ukrainians,” KSF founder said.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized, that Putin’s goal is not to provide his own narrative, but to undermine the truth: “Putin’s goal is to inject chaos into Ukraine and into the Western world. Putin’s goal is to undermine credibility, Putin’s goal is to undermine this trust, Trust in the leadership, in the leaders, and in the values. And we have to tackle this with our own narratives, our own truth, the real freedom of speech, and the effective journalism and independent news outlets.”

The latest Kyiv Security Forum online discussion “Who Is at War Against Global Democracy” organized by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.

Participants of the discussion: Anne Applebaum, American journalist and historian, the Pulitzer Prize winner; Rebecca Harms, German politician, the Member of the European Parliament in 2004-19; Daniel Fried, American diplomat, the Weiser Family distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council, the former US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and the US Ambassador to Poland, the coordinator for sanctions policy during the Obama administration; Peter Pomeranzev, British journalist and author, the Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics; Volodymyr Yermolenko, Ukrainian philosopher, analytics director at Internews Ukraine, editor-in-chief at UkraineWorld. Danylo Lubkivsky, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine in 2014, member of the Board of Management of Open Ukraine Foundation, moderated the discussion.

Kyiv Security Forum is Ukraine’s foremost platform for high-level international discussion about peace and security. Kyiv Security Forum was founded in 2007.