Ukraine’s Ministry of Information Policy created a special “information force” or internet army to combat Russian trolls and pro-Kremlin media from spreading propaganda online. The Ministry also launched a new website, i-army.org.
The new website appeared online on February 23 with a slogan, “Each of your information messages is a bullet in your enemy’s conscience.”
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According to the Ministry, Ukrainians interested to serve the country as volunteer internet fighters can apply by submitting their names and e-mail addresses to the website.
“Many fronts have been opened against us, and one of the most crucial ones is the information one. Now it’s time to fight back the Russian invaders on the information front,” according to the statement of the Ministry on its internet army website.
The Ministry emphasized that the main objective of the project is to “mobilize social network users to deliver accurate information and fight Russian propaganda.”
Volunteers helped launch Ukraine’s internet army website
In a statement, Minister Stets said Ukrainian should have a vigorous response to the Russian chat bots, distribution of fake information and the psychological pressure from of the Russian media. He said, “Thei-army.org project is committed to perform the function of uniting efforts in this direction.”
Stets also expressed confidence that Ukraine will have many volunteers ready to disseminate authentic information and expose Russian fakes. He emphasized volunteers helped in launching the internet army website.
Last month, Information Policy Minister Yuri Stets already indicated the established of an internet force that will be compose of influential users, who will be coordinating and working for the state.
At the time, Minister Stets emphasized that the internet army would be helpful against Russia’s propaganda and manipulation online.
Famous Ukrainian blogger will run the internet army website
The Ministry recently hired Oleksandr Baraboshko, a famous Ukrainian bogger and video streamer as an adviser. He will be responsible in the operations of the internet army website.
During an interview with Radio Liberty, Stets said more than 20 thousand users including influential bloggers already joined the internet army.
Promoting the truth about Ukraine
The government of Ukraine established the Ministry of Information Policy on December 2, last year amid the ongoing battle between the pro-Russia separatists and government forces in the eastern part of the country.
Its President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that emphasized that the main function of the Ministry is to “carry out external actions, to stop aggressor’s attacks on Ukraine.” He added that the promoting truthful information about Ukraine is not only the function of the Ministry but all the people in the country.
Minister Stets also emphasized that the Ministry is dedicated in providing the population with authentic information from original sources and promote Ukraine around the world. It would also carryout active counteraction to Russian information aggression and prevention of external influence on the national information space.
Ukraine recently announced that it would create Ukraine Tomorrow, a television channel that would counterbalance the programs of Russia Today, a network funded by Kremlin. According to Stet, the new television channel will start broadcasting next month.
War between Ukraine and Russia unlikely
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stated that a war between Russia and Ukraine is unlikely. He said, “I believe such (an) apocalyptic scenario is unlikely, and hope that it will never get to that point.”
Both countries along with France and Germany signed the Minks agreement, which included a ceasefire between the pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine as well as the removal of heavy weapons in the front line.