ICDS Chief Executive Dmitri Teperik participated in the Senior Leadership Roundtable on Information-Related Hybrid Threats in South East Europe and gave a speech on mapping vulnerabilities in Ukraine’s information security and cognitive resilience. The event was organised with the support of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, in Ohrid, North Macedonia on 7-11 October 2019.
In his speech, Dmitri Teperik highlighted major socio-economic threats as well as war-related fears and concerns of Ukrainians that are exploited by the pro-Kremlin propaganda in South-Eastern Ukraine.
“Our expert team – Resilient Ukraine – has conducted a comprehensive field research on mapping vulnerabilities in Ukraine’s national resilience. The results of our analytical study suggest that, beside massive foreign influence projected from Russia, several domestic factors contribute to weakening of the Ukrainian society. The list is long, as it starts with corruption and deep distrust between various organisations, actors, citizens as well as government bodies and ends with chaotic media landscape, mostly controlled by the oligarchic groups”, noted Teperik who added that the picture is extremely complex and that there are very high expectations towards the new President, his team and the Verkhovna Rada.
“This combination of various factors might become a fertile ground for manipulating various expectations of vulnerable groups in Ukraine. These include not just religious and national minorities or people with strong Soviet nostalgia, but also pro-Ukrainian citizens whose deepening political disappointment, socio-economic dissatisfaction and failure of expectations will feed pro-Kremlin disinformation. This disinformation effort will seek to frame nation-wide narratives, shape public opinion and lower general threat perceptions of many Ukrainians”, concluded Teperik.