This article appears in the September 2, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
KIEV’S ‘INFO TERRORIST’ LIST
‘Global NATO’ Orders
A Hit on Advocates of Peace
[Print version of this article]
Aug. 27—Rapid, decisive international action is required to force the closure of the Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD), which operates under and answers to Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. A blacklist issued by the CCD July 14, 2022, naming more than 70 leading journalists, academics, politicians, military, and other professionals from 22 countries, as “Kremlin propagandists,” is a hitlist, posing a grave threat to the personal security of those named therein.
Executive Intelligence Review has now confirmed that at least four of those fingered by the CCD are included in the list of “criminals to be eliminated” published by the avowedly fascist “Myrotvorets” gang in Ukraine: Schiller Institute founder and leader Helga Zepp-LaRouche; Schiller Institute spokesman Harley Schlanger; former CIA officer and active anti-war activist Ray McGovern, the co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), who has participated in many Schiller Institute conferences; and former U.S. Congresswoman and Democratic presidential pre-candidate Tulsi Gabbard. The Myrotvorets list is reported to have accumulated nearly 200,000 names since it was started in 2014 and, given the difficulties in using its search engine, others from the CCD blacklist may also be on the Myrotvorets hitlist.
Myrotvorets (“Peacemaker”)—whose bloody assassination record is well-known internationally (see EIR’s exposé and the accompanying article in this issue of EIR)—cites the CCD fingering of three of the four (Zepp-LaRouche, Schlanger, and Gabbard) as the justification for putting out the hit order on them. In short, they make it clear that the CCD is one of the “sources” that does the fingering, and Myrotvorets then orders the hit. Many of the 70-plus people on the CCD’s July 14 compendium had already been individually listed, i.e., fingered, months earlier by the CCD. Each of the four named above (Zepp-LaRouche, Schlanger, McGovern, and Gabbard) then appeared on the Myrotvorets list no later than June 1, 2022.
Russian journalist Darya Dugina—the daughter of controversial Eurasianist philosopher and political figure Aleksandr Dugin—who was assassinated Aug. 20, was on Myrotvorets’ hitlist. Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, told the UN Security Council on Aug. 23 that Russia’s “competent authorities” have identified the “perpetrator affiliated with the nationalist battalion ‘Azov’,” and held up a picture of Dugina “from the infamous Peacemaker website” (Myrotvorets), which, he said, “openly flaunts her murder—as you can see, Darya’s photo is overprinted with the inscription ‘liquidated’.”
Here is a real-life Orwellian “Ministry of Truth.” The Center for Countering Disinformation holds up the hideous neo-Nazi Azov Regiment as “the symbol of the Ukrainian struggle” to unify Ukrainian society around “hatred of Russia.” Azov are the “peacekeepers,” they profess. International personalities who discuss possibilities for achieving a rapid end to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, using diplomacy to seek negotiations instead of yet more weapons, or argue that Ukraine cannot and should not crush Russia militarily, or express concern that attempts to do so could lead to global nuclear war and the end of the human species, are guilty of “war crimes” and merit elimination, the CCD writes. Such “Kremlin propagandists” must be declared “information terrorists” and face international sanctions and trial as war criminals, they demand.
Although the CCD operates under the Office of the Presidency, it is not Ukraine’s “Ministry of Truth”; it is, rather, Global NATO’s. The CCD is a wholly-owned creation of the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom and the NATO alliance (with the European Union dutifully in tow). The CCD was set up at their instigation. It is funded and closely advised by the U.S. State Department, British intelligence, and NATO in every step it takes.
Responsibility for the CCD/Myrotvorets hits, both those which have occurred and those threatened, rests squarely on those international sponsors—including members of the U.S. Congress who vote in support of continued funding for the CCD operation.
Facing international scrutiny and pressure, sometime on Aug. 11 the CCD removed the blacklist from its official website. Evidence was scrubbed, but not the operation. The master blacklist is still posted on the CCD’s Ukrainian-language Telegram site, and since August 12, the CCD has fingered two more foreign journalists as “Kremlin apologists” on its Telegram channel (the American Ben Swann and the Italian Dominico Quirico).
The world is not going along with the Global NATO narrative of who is democratic and who dictatorial, and the CCD blacklist operation is intended to set an international precedent for Nazi-modeled dictatorial thought-control globally. As we show below, the CCD blacklist was initiated, in fact, to kick off an international campaign to prohibit free speech and truth-seeking as “information terrorism” under international law. It is an attempt to rip up the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, with all that implies.
The following outline of what the CCD is, to whom it answers, and what its assignment is, makes clear that shutting down the CCD and related Myrotvorets operations in Ukraine, is necessary to defend the right to free speech everywhere, and in particular to find a peaceful negotiated solution to the Ukraine crisis, before it triggers thermonuclear World War III.
Peace-Seekers Are the Threat
On July 14, the CCD published a centralized blacklist under the title, “Speakers Promoting Narratives Consonant with Russian Propaganda.” The CCD had posted individual attacks on most of those named in this blacklist on its Telegram channel in the months since Feb. 24, but here they were consolidated into a single list, posted under “Reports” on the official site.
CCD analysts claimed to have discovered “more than a hundred … foreigners in the service of Kremlin propaganda,” the CCD reported on its Ukrainian-language Telegram channel two days later. When first reviewed by this news service July 25, the list contained 78 names, which sometime thereafter was pared back to 72 without explanation, raising the question: Are unnamed others also targeted?
The first 31 names on the list, with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche right up front, were prominent people of differing nationalities, expertise, and points of view who all had in common that they had spoken at one or another of the five online international conferences organized by the Schiller Institute in the first half of 2022 on the urgency of establishing a new international security and development architecture.[fn_1] The conferences had provided a forum for dialogue among people of different nations on how to bring into being such a new international architecture, in which war, conflict and poverty would be relegated to the dark past of humanity, and the interests of all nations and peoples would be represented.
Others on the list have also distinguished themselves by speaking out for truth, breaking the oppressive NATO “narrative” in the West aimed at sustaining war against Russia to the last Ukrainian.
In a statement, “Foreigners in the service of Kremlin propaganda,” published in Pravda.com.ua July 29, Andriy Shapovalov, Acting Director of the CCD, complained:
Speakers sympathetic to the Putin regime have been operating in the interests of the Kremlin, regularly bringing Russian propaganda narratives to European and American media during academic and public debates.
He declared as the most dangerous opponents, those who—
under the guise of an “alternative view of the war” … declare support for Ukraine and condemn Russian aggression, but try to persuade Ukraine to enter into “negotiations” and oppose supplying weapons to our country. [They speak of] a proxy war between NATO and Russia, [and worry that] the world is provoking Putin into a nuclear war.
The CCD has to act, Shapovalov wrote, because
the connection and affiliation of the aforementioned commentators from [sic] the Russian Federation are not obvious to many foreigners. This can mislead readers and viewers, and the public may perceive them as objective and independent.
‘Obligatory’ to Establish ‘Info Terrorism’ as a War Crime
According to its website, the CCD has two primary responsibilities within Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council: “combating information terrorism,” and coordinating that assignment with international agencies (“partners”). In practice, that translates as the CCD’s assignment is to finger enemies for reprisal, and coordinate with domestic and foreign agencies on such operations.
On March 28, 2022, the CCD posted a document defining “Information Terrorism,” as “a Crime against Humanity committed by means of instruments affecting the consciousness.” Its proposition is stunning: to set the precedent that anyone who exercises their right to free speech and thought under conditions of Western financial interests’ bid to establish Global NATO as the sole world government, can be prosecuted as a “terrorist.”
The CCD states this intention explicitly in its introduction to the March 28 “Information Terrorism” statement. It writes:
Having joined forces with the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and its international partners, [the CCD] is taking the initiative to establish this term in international practice.
“Information terrorism,” it asserts at the outset, is “a crime against humanity.” It concludes: the CCD “calls on the international community to unite in the face of information terrorism,” and specifies four measures to be taken:
1. “The international community must officially recognize information terrorism and declare Russia an infoterrorist state. Infoterrorism must be equated with actual terrorism and require appropriate measures to counter it.”
2. Anyone associated in any way with “infoterror,” including “editors, cameramen, writers, presenters, etc.,” shall be treated as “information terrorists.”
3. Financing, either explicit or implicit, of information terrorism acts “shall be banned by both international and domestic law,” and those caught doing so shall be treated “as accomplices to information terrorists.” The CCD fails to explain what is meant by “implicit financing.”
4. “Pursuant to this, it is obligatory to designate a list of individuals sponsoring information terrorism (companies, legal entities or individuals, public organizations, etc.) and state sponsors of information terrorism) … for further sanctions.” The U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism is cited as the model.
Setting an International Precedent
The CCD had been fingering thinking people for months. By designating a blacklist, as it did July 14, the CCD and its international sponsors made their move to “establish this term—information terrorism—in international practice.”
On July 14, the day the blacklist was released, CCD Acting Director Shapovalov presented this plan to an international roundtable on “countering disinformation” co-sponsored by the National Academy of Ukraine’s notorious Security Service (SBU) and the Civilian Research and Development Fund Global (CRDF Global), a U.S. State Department-linked organization parading as a “non-governmental organization.” Two other co-sponsors were an NGO whose name translates from the Ukrainian as the “International Academy of Information,” and Ukraine’s “National Cyber Security Cluster,” the latter a joint operation of the UK, U.S., NATO, the CCD, and other Ukrainian state agencies, as we document below.
The July 14 roundtable was funded by the State Department—the piggybank, it appears, for just about everything related to “countering disinformation” operations in Ukraine. Speaking from the foreign side were seven representatives of the foreign agencies which control the CCD, starting with the Deputy Head of the Government Sector Resilience Team of the National Cyber Security Centre at Great Britain’s GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), Matt Carey; two representatives from NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division headquarters in Brussels, Beata Patašova and Larisa Latsko; two co-managers from CRDF-Global, Mykhailo Verych and Abigail Stow-Thurstone; and European External Affairs Services Strategic Communication team member, Katarzyna Sumislawska.
These were the people to whom Shapovalov laid out the CCD’s Information Terrorism proposal. According to the brief reports on the roundtable published by the CCD itself and the National Academy of the Security Services of Ukraine, he told the participants that “people who deliberately spread disinformation are information terrorists,” subject to trial as “war criminals.” He pushed for changes in current legislation, because “information terrorists should know that they will have to answer to the law as war criminals.”
War criminals? Penalties for war crimes vary, but under 18 U.S. Code §2441,
Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
The other Ukrainian speakers spoke in equally menacing terms against freedom of speech. SBU Academy head Andriy Chernyak urged discussion of “the legal basis” required to “combat fakes.” Ihor Solovei, head of the Culture Ministry’s Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, lectured participants that fighting disinformation requires more than monitoring and fact-checking; “blocking hostile content, then creating alternative content” and “media education” are mandatory.
Solovei issued a direct threat of violence against those who break the narrative, declaring that “all people who work in the field of Russian propaganda are just as much criminals as those who run around Ukraine with assault rifles.”
Oksana Dyhnich, the aggressively anti-Russian TV producer from Starlight News and ICTV (Ukraine), who was awarded the Order of Merit, Third Degree, by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in June, admonished that “war, including information war, cannot be won with ‘white gloves’.”
Ukraine: A NATO Proxy—in Disinformation, Too
Repeat as many times as they might, the “democratic, independent, sovereign, and prosperous Ukraine” that State Department officials claim the United States is supporting, has not existed since the 2014 Maidan coup, abetted by then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. (The current U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, is a Nuland protégé.)
NATO began shaping Ukraine’s “information sphere” in 1997, with the establishment of a National Information and Documentation Center (NIDC) in Kiev, following the signing of the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership Charter that same year.
After the 2014 Maidan coup, however, NATO activities in Ukraine in the information sphere took off, as reported in a 2016 NATO Fact Sheet:
NATO advises and funds Ukrainian activities in public diplomacy, media relations and strategic communications, helping improve Ukraine’s capacity to counter propaganda.
The signing of the “milestone” NATO-Ukraine Strategic Communication Partnership Roadmap in September 2015 situated NATO to advise Ukraine’s government to “plac[e] strategic communications at the core of a national strategy.” By December 2020, NIDC Ukraine Director Vineta Kleine (from Latvia) bragged that NATO “had been strengthening Ukraine’s resilience in response to disinformation campaigns.”
At the same time, NATO and the State Department began building up control over Ukrainian media “to improve Ukraine’s capacity to counter propaganda.” NATO supported the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre and the Kyiv Post newspaper “on factual reporting,” while training government officials and civil society activists in communications. In 2018, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) initiated a “Media Program” in Ukraine to “empower local media,” which the U.S. Congress-created National Endowment for Democracy’s “Countering Disinformation” project praises as “the largest media development activity in Ukraine’s history.”
The United States government’s hands-on control over Ukraine’s cybersecurity and “information” security, is run, publicly, at least, by the Civilian Research and Development Foundation Global and its “Countering Disinformation and Cyber Security” operation. CRDF Global’s history in Ukraine goes back to 1997, when it set up its first office outside of the U.S. in Kiev, to serve as its Eastern Europe & Eurasia Hub. At this point, wherever the Ukrainian government has an operation on “countering disinformation and cyber security,” you can count on finding the CRDF Global holding its hand.
While CRDF Global calls itself “an independent nonprofit organization,” it is very much “a state-sponsored organization.” Founded at the initiative of the U.S. Congress, initially funded by the U.S. Defense Department and global mega-speculator and drug legalization promoter George Soros (each to the tune of $5 million, the National Science Foundation reported in September 1995), CRDF Global today is funded by the State Department, the Defense Department, DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the UK government, and the UK government’s Counter Proliferation & Arms Control Centre, along with money from the well-known “private” foundations.
It is led and staffed primarily by people with long pedigrees in the U.S. military-industrial complex. Its President, Ken Myers, had been the longest serving Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (from 2009 to 2016), before he left to join Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE), one of the largest State Department and government contractors in the United States. (CEO Michael Dignam more recently left PAE for CRDF Global.)
The Long Arm of British Intelligence
In May 2020, CRDF Global named a British national, Duncan Thomas, as its new Europe and Eurasia Regional Director. Thomas’s qualification for the job included a prior stint “managing strategic change initiatives” for the Queen’s own Crown Agents. (More on Crown Agents is available here.
Royal Navy Captain Karen McTear currently heads NATO’s Liaison Office in Ukraine, a position she assumed in January 2022. She knows the Ukrainian terrain well, having served for nearly three years as British Defense Attaché to post-Maidan Ukraine (August 2014-June 2017). Her presentation to the forum celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of NATO’s “Distinctive Partnership” with Ukraine (an event organized by the NATO-supported Ukraine Crisis Media Centre) this past July 9, reviewed the “greatly increased” NATO-Ukraine cooperation that followed the Maidan coup, including its role in shaping “countering disinformation.”[fn_2]
The UK set out to become “the World’s Internet Censorship Boss” well before the current phase of actual war against Russia through NATO’s Ukraine proxy.[fn_3] Operations on this front were stepped up in tandem with NATO’s escalation of provocative, hostile actions against Russia in the run-up to direct confrontation.
In March 2020, the UK Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU) was established, operating under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as a “whole of government” effort. All government monitoring and analysis capabilities were centralized to “address the challenges of disinformation and misinformation.” Included in its operations were the British Army’s 77th Brigade, according to former digital minister Caroline Dinenage, Politico reported on April 4, 2022. The latter is the British Army information warfare unit created in 2015, which takes its name and symbol from British military intelligence “terror against terror” specialist Orde Wingate’s notorious WWII unit of that name.
“Disinformation” and “fake news” were on the agenda of President Zelensky’s Oct. 7-8, 2020 official visit to London, the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency of News (UNIAN) reported. While in London, Zelensky met with then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, signed the first UK-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Agreement, met with “Royals” at Buckingham Palace—and held an unannounced meeting with officials of British intelligence’s MI6. The only official report on his MI6 meeting came from President Zelensky himself a few days later, after the news of that meeting was leaked. Zelensky reported that the meeting had taken place at the MI6 office, lasted for two hours, and that countering disinformation and fake news was one of the topics discussed. The rest, he said, were “state affairs,” and could not be discussed.[fn_4]
The UK made sure to include cooperation on cybersecurity and “boosting strategic communications to counter disinformation” as a major agenda item in the “Trilateral Memorandum of Cooperation,” which the foreign ministers of Poland, Ukraine and the UK agreed to put together at their Feb. 17, 2022 meeting.
In those same weeks before the shooting war began, the British Foreign Office stood up a new counter-disinformation operation specifically directed at Russia and Ukraine. The Orwellian-named, “Government Information Cell,” operates between the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defense, but is reportedly also staffed with personnel from the Home Office, Cabinet Office, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. According to an enthusiastic March 20 report in the Telegraph,
Ministers and officials see the counter-disinformation effort as a vital element of the support Britain is providing to Ukraine….
The unit’s routine work involves identifying Russian disinformation and taking steps to expose such material as false. As well as creating new content to disseminate online, officials in the unit advise government departments, including Number 10 Downing Street, and embassies and governments abroad. GIC reports have been distributed to some 30 NATO and EU allies, as well as Australia and New Zealand, which are members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence partnership.[fn_5]
The arms of the British intelligence octopus all coordinate their work, Secretary of State for Education (and Army Reserve officer) James Cleverly assured querying MPs on April 25, 2022:
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office works closely with the Government of Ukraine to counter Russian disinformation, and co-ordinates activity with the Counter Disinformation Unit … and the Government Information Cell.
A month earlier, GCHQ Director Sir Jeremy Fleming himself proclaimed:
President Zelensky’s information operation has shown itself to be extremely effective…. And it’s a message supported by information campaigns all over the world. In the UK, it’s focused in a new Government Information Cell which identifies and counters Kremlin disinformation targeted at UK and international audiences. It brings together expertise from across government to challenge false narratives.[fn_6]
Giving Rise to the CCD
By 2020, a dense network of “fact-checking,” disinformation-hunting projects had been built up across Ukraine through funding and “advice” of these foreign governments. More centralized operations were now needed on the Ukrainian side for the escalation of the anti-Russia offensive.
CRDF reports that in early 2021, CRDF Global and the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council’s (NSDC) National Cybersecurity Coordination Center (NCCC), “with the support of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia,” set up the National Cybersecurity Cluster to serve as “a coordination platform that joins the resources, capabilities, and competencies of the NSDC and CRDF Global, government organizations, international partners, and the private sector.”
Thirteen “National Security Clusters” have been held since, funded by the U.S. Department of State, sometimes attended by David Allen Schaefer, Senior Assistance Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, all coordinated by CRDF Global. Shortly thereafter, two other government agencies were stood up specifically focused on the “disinformation” aspect of cybersecurity.
In a Feb. 1, 2022 interview, Vineta Kleine, Director of the NATO Information and Documentation Center in Ukraine, explained:
Ukraine is at the forefront of the fight against misinformation. Ukraine has accumulated significant experience and knowledge when it comes to disinformation. In 2021, this experience led to the [simultaneous] creation of two centers.[fn_7]
One was the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, operating out of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine; the other, the National Security and Defense Council’s CCD. Both were constituted in March 2021.
The Ministry of Culture operation is tasked with initiating “anti-Russia” disinformation operations and coordinating them with the “civil society” censorship networks.
The CCD, however, is “a closed institution that doesn’t seek comprehensive media coverage of its activities,” NATO’s Kleine specified. According to Liubov Tsybulska, the first head of the Ministry of Culture’s Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security in Ukraine operation, the CCD center was designed from the outset to be “most similar” in function to NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Latvia.[fn_8]
Tsybulska was interviewed when she was Head of the “Hybrid Threat Analysis Group” of the foreign governments-funded Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.
CCD’s Assignment: Finger Targets for the Hit
The Center for Countering Disinformation was launched officially at an April 6, 2021 meeting called by Office of the President chief Andriy Yermak and National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov to present it to “the international community.” The ambassadors of the Group of 7 countries, plus Finland, Israel, and the heads of the European Union and NATO missions in Ukraine were present. Official planning for the Center began a year before, but Yermak told the diplomats that the idea of creating the Center “has been brewing since 2014.” He stressed that the CCD is to function as “an international hub” coordinating with “foreign partners.”
Its inauguration was no surprise to the foreign representatives in attendance; many had been involved in its creation, as we have shown above. Ukraine was no newcomer to “countering disinformation” operations.
Andriy Shapovalov, acting head of the CCD since August 2021, was more direct in a Feb. 24, 2022 interview with informator.ua (in English: The Informant): the CCD’s job is to prepare the potential hitlists against enemies of the state in the realm of information warfare for Ukraine’s infamous Security Service, the SBU.
[The CCD identifies] disinformation campaigns in the initial stages….
We are the people who watch Ukrainian and Western TV channels 24/7, monitor social networks and websites, follow information on propaganda TV channels of the Russian Federation, read Telegram channels every day, conduct analysis and forecasting. We see the full media picture of Ukraine around the world and inform the NSDC about it….
We hand over everything useful and most interesting that we find to the SBU,—and presumably, to the international partners to which it is tasked to cooperate.
Barely a month after the CCD was founded, Victor Medvedchuk, leader of the Opposition Platform–For Life Party, a significant power in Parliament with over 13% of the vote in the 2019 election, was arrested and charged with treason. President Zelensky used an ominous new formulation to justify the move: Ukraine needs to “fight against the danger of Russian aggression in the information arena.”
Shapovalov proudly holds up the CCD’s role in silencing TV channels inside Ukraine which did not adhere to the official “narrative.” “Blocking these channels is the result of our work,” he bragged, holding up such censorship as exemplary of how the CCD and NSDC work.
‘We Will Get You Wherever You Are’
The CCD’s hitlists do not seek reprisals only against Ukrainians, however. “We collect evidence of hate speech against Ukraine for use in international courts,” Shapovalov told Informator.ua.
Mikhailo Podolyak, a close aide to President Zelensky, aggressively defended the inclusion of “representatives of foreign states” on the CCD blacklist as “absolutely justified,” when challenged by an Indian journalist to justify the inclusion of three Indians on the CCD list, one of them the former Chairperson of India’s National Security Advisory Board, P.S. Raghavan.
In the exchange, published by India’s ThePrint, Podolyak referred to the blacklist as a “military lustration” list. “Lustration” was the term originally used in the time of the Roman Empire for purification or “cleansing,” which was adopted in post-2014 Ukraine to refer to purges of Ukrainian officials, politicians, etc. who were not with the Maidan “Revolution.”
The inclusion of certain people, including representatives of foreign states, in the ‘military lustration lists,’ is absolutely justified.... Ukraine constantly monitors which public figures in the world are spreading Russia’s cannibalistic narratives. Recording such facts, we consider these people to be unconditional agents of Russian influence…. This means that we officially respond to this with sanctions both within the country and seek sanctions against them in other countries of the civilized world….
I will repeat once again because it’s important: These people … are a kind of instrument of war. Ukraine is obliged to limit the influence of such people.[fn_9]
“Propagandists” is one of the categories of the massive lists of people and corporations accused of alleged involvement “in aggression against Ukraine,” against whom Kiev wants its allies to impose sanctions. Preparing those lists is the job of the misnamed National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NAZK, in Ukrainian).
In today’s Orwellian Ukraine, refusing to regurgitate anti-Russian propaganda is deemed “corruption.” Ergo, among NAZK’s designated tasks are both searching for “collaborators” and the assets of sanctioned persons and foreigners, and working to get international sanctions imposed against others. The agency sends its lists of individuals and companies “identified for sanctions” to Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prosecutor General’s Office, and the SBU, “as well as diplomats in the USA, EU, Great Britain, Canada and other countries of the sanctions coalition.”
As of now, the vast majority—but not all—of the over 18,000 individuals and 4,000 entities named in its wanted-for-sanctions list appear to be Russians and Ukrainians. So far, none of the international “propagandists” fingered by the CCD were found to be listed.[fn_10]
Notably, Polina Lysenko, the woman named to head the CCD at its founding, went to the CCD from her post as chief of the Department of International Legal Cooperation and Asset Recovery at the Prosecutor General’s Office. Before that, she had served as advisor to a Deputy Director of the NAZK for three years.[fn_11]
What Happened to Free Speech?
A read-through of the CCD’s English-language Telegram channel reveals the Orwellian outlook driving this operation. Discussion of reality is not permitted. If it were not so serious, their stupidity would be laughable.
In May, Senator Rand Paul and Col. Douglas Macgregor (ret.) were charged by the CCD with participating in a “Russian PSYOP,” by arguing against unending funding of Ukraine’s military. That argument might “put Ukrainians in a state of despair.” Likewise, Col. Richard H. Black (ret.) was targetted for attacking the expansion of NATO and explaining Russia’s view of it. “We warn you!” the CCD announced. “Such statements are an element of the PSYOP of the enemy, which is trying to convince the West of the futility of helping Ukraine.”
The Schiller Institute’s May 26, 2022 seminar, “U.S. and European Military and Security Experts Warn: The Insanity of Politicians Threatens Nuclear War,” drove the CCD wild. Following the seminar, the CCD singled out the Institute’s founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, because she had organized “an international discussion on the new architecture of world security and the threat of World War III.” She was charged with “promoting Russian rhetoric in the Western information space for over 10 years.” How? By stating such obvious realities as that “NATO, the U.S. and Britain and are in confrontation with Russia,” which the CCD denounces as only a “Kremlin narrative.”
That attack, issued on the CCD’s Telegram channel of May 28, was followed the next day with an attack under its “Stop Infoterror” rubric, against all the participants in that same Schiller Institute conference. Here, the French Center for Intelligence Research, Col. Richard Black, Italy’s Gen. Leonardo Tricarico (ret.), and the German Schiller Institute were labeled Russia’s “loyal Western experts.” The alleged “proof” of this charge? That the speakers “promoted the narrative of [Russia’s] imminent victory and the need for Ukraine to make concessions,” and “concluded that the confrontation with Russia is detrimental to Germany and the EU.”
“All these statements are manipulative!” the CCD wrote.
Harley Schlanger, spokesman for the Schiller Institute and The LaRouche Organization, included on the July 14 blacklist, had also already been singled out by the CCD after a May 31 discussion on Iran’s PressTV. The CCD was outraged that he dared say that “sanctions against Russia would lead to the destruction of all Western countries,” and that Ukraine needs to negotiate with Russia.
“These statements are manipulation! Kremlin Western experts, considering the defeat of the Russian army at the front, are now trying to persuade Ukraine to negotiate on favorable terms for Russia,” the CCD wrote.
We come back to where we started: the CCD is being used to finger and threaten thoughtful people who have the courage to speak out against the danger of war and revived Nazism.
In March and April of this year, during the battle of Mariupol, in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the CCD posted a series of statements on its Telegram channel glorifying the Azov Regiment and other neo-Nazi units incorporated into the Ukrainian army. One such posting promoted a short, war-propaganda-style video, hailing the Azov’s “contribution” to the war against the Donbass since 2014 as heroic, and the Azov Regiment today as the best fighters in the Ukrainian army.
Any mention of Azov’s well-documented Nazi ideology is ipso facto “Russian propaganda.”
In one of its defenses of the Azov forces, the CCD wrote:
russia’s demonization of Ukraine’s volunteer battalions is systemic. In 2014, the focus of russian propaganda was the Right Sector Battalion, in 2022—the Azov Battalion. [Such attacks lead to questioning] the courage and endurance of the military, [because the Azov Regiment] is one of the strongest units of the National Guard of Ukraine…. Believe in our Armed Forces!
According to russian leaders, Ukrainians should have hated the mythical Nazis, while the society of our state was consolidating in hatred of putin and russia, The main goal is to desecrate Azov as a kind of symbol of the Ukrainian struggle. [Lower case for Russia and Putin in the original.]
[fn_1] For example, the “Conference: For a Conference to Establish a New Security and Development Architecture for all Nations,” sponsored by the Schiller Institute, April 9, 2022. [back to text for fn_1]
[fn_2] Watch the July 7, 2022 video, “From Madrid to Madrid: 25 years of a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine,” produced by the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. [back to text for fn_2]
[fn_3] See the transcription of Mike Robinson’s remarks, “The UK Is the World’s Internet Censorship Boss,” to the June 12, 2021 Manhattan Project Dialogue, sponsored by The LaRouche Organization. [back to text for fn_3]
[fn_4] See the UNIAN article, “Zelensky on Meeting with MI6 Chief: Disinformation, Fake News Discussed,” from Oct. 14, 2020. [back to text for fn_4]
[fn_5] See The Telegraph article, “Inside the Secret Government Unit; Returning Fire on Vladimir Putin’s ‘Weaponized Lies’,” from March 19, 2022. [back to text for fn_5]
[fn_6] GCHQ Director Sir Jeremy Fleming said this on March 31, 2022, in an address, “Global Security Amid War in Ukraine,” at the Australian National University. [back to text for fn_6]
[fn_7] The interview was carried in an article, “Debunking all Disinfo Is Counterproductive—NATO Representative in Ukraine,” in Euromaidan Press, Feb. 1, 2022. [back to text for fn_7]
[fn_8] See the article, “Ukraine Uncovers Russian Propaganda: Will the Center for Countering Disinformation Succeed?” Posted by the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, March 11, 2020. [back to text for fn_8]
[fn_9] Mikhailo Podolyak’s remarks can be found in the article, “The 3 Indians on Ukraine’s Blacklist Are Not Kremlin Stooges, Their Views Are Just Outdated,” in ThePrint from July 29, 2022. [back to text for fn_9]
[fn_10] See the English-language War & Sanctions page of the NAZK website. [back to text for fn_10]
[fn_11] The two agencies work together. Earlier this year, the CCD posted a note advising accused “propagandists” that they could be removed from blacklists if they met the NAZK’s three required steps: “1. Publicly condemn or otherwise express disagreement with Kremlin policies; and, if applicable 2. Resign from your position in the mass media, educational institution, social movement/association or church; and 3. Contact the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and provide evidence of the actions outlined above.” [back to text for fn_11]