Occupation authorities tightening information isolation of non-gov’t controlled areas

Occupation authorities tightening information isolation of non-gov’t controlled areas

The Russian occupational authorities are tightening information isolation and control of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (ORDLO) ahead of the Russian State Duma elections.

That’s according to Ihor Solovei, head of the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, who spoke at the panel discussion “Voting for Russian State Duma Members on the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine: Elections or Farce?”

“In the occupied territories, the overall isolation is growing, including in terms of information. There are no more freely operating media, bloggers, or even Telegram channels as they have all been purged,” he said.

The expert stressed what’s happening in Russia could hardly be referred to as ‘elections’: opposition politicians are being banned from running, put in jail, or ousted, while opposition media are being closed en masse. This automatically applies to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine – Crimea and the “ORDLO.”

Read also: SBU recording mass issue of Russian passports to residents of occupied Donbas ahead of Duma election

The Center reports that checkpoints are being shut down in the region, with restrictions being introduced on crossing the contact line, which makes the area even more isolated. Due to mortality rates, there has been a shrinking number of “ORDLO” residents able to visit government-controlled areas to tell others the truth about the situation there upon return.

“Thus, Ukraine has very limited capacity to influence public opinion. All of this makes Ukraine reconsider the format and mechanisms of cooperation with the occupied territories in terms of media. We may completely lose the ability to circulate truthful information about Ukraine,” emphasized Solovei.

He added that the occupation authorities actively brainwash local youths, even paying bonuses to school teachers to make sure they educate students “the right way.”


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