This article appears in the January 6, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Ukraine’s CCD Escalates Against Pro-Peace Critics of NATO War
Dec. 31—The infamous hit list of Ukraine’s “Center for Countering Disinformation” is back. On Dec. 20, the CCD, NATO’s “information warfare” unit operating out of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, re-posted, after a several-week interruption, its list of Western “experts” targeted for promoting “Russian propaganda.” Still number one on the list, is Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and head of the international Schiller Institute.
What the CCD deems to be “Russian propaganda” ranges from suggestions that there could be a peaceful solution to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, to statements which credit Russia with contributing anything of worth to world culture. Questioning of NATO or of the unending weapons supply to Ukraine is definite proof of being an “information terrorist.”
The CCD did not merely post the . Six days later, the CCD issued on its Telegram channel the first of what it announced would be a series of individual “infographics” against “top Western experts” whom they “single out” as “experts who promote narratives identical to Russian propaganda.” The first targeted the Schiller Institute’s Zepp-LaRouche. As of this writing, five more infographics have been issued against individuals on the CCD’s Dec. 20 list, all of those five being American citizens.
All the infographics carry the hashtag of “infoterror.”
The CCD does not merely “name to shame;” it seeks the elimination of its targets, whether by “legal” means, or physically. EIR in our Sept. 2, 2022 issue that: (1) the CCD coordinates its hitlist with Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) and the Myrotvorets assassination operation; and (2) the CCD is carrying out a strenuous international campaign for nations to adopt legislation enabling anyone labeled as a “Russian propagandist” to be prosecuted as an international “information terrorist,” and subjected to the penalties meted out to other kinds of terrorists.
Put together the content of what the CCD demands be outlawed as “Russian propaganda,” with the fact that the CCD is advised, financed, and supported by NATO, the U.S. and UK governments, and the EU, and it becomes clear that the CCD operation is a key instrument of the drive to set up a world government run by Global NATO. The monstrous intent is to crush free speech and personal liberty worldwide, so that people are isolated and blind to the growing potential for a viable policy alternative that would not only end the danger of nuclear war, but also be able to reverse the escalating collapse of the West’s economic system. It is high time Americans and Europeans demand their governments cut all official funding for, and coordination with the CCD, and shut it down.
No ‘Rational Approaches’ Allowed!
This is the third time the CCD has posted such a list. The first was on July 14, 2022. That list of over 70 people named Zepp-LaRouche and 30-some speakers at various Schiller Institute international conferences right at the top. Under international fire, the CCD removed that version from its website on August 11. At the time, EIR warned that being named on the CCD list poses a grave threat to the personal security of those named, and removal of the list did not end the danger.
Sure enough, a second version of the list was posted in early October, this one adding a couple dozen more people to those previously named, bringing the total named to over 90. It even included a sitting head of state, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni. In early November, Rolf Mützenich, leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) caucus in the Bundestag, denounced his being named on a Ukrainian “terrorist list” because he advocated a ceasefire instead of the continued supply of German weapons to Ukraine. The CCD hitlist threatened to become a matter of serious public discussion in Germany. The CCD list was removed once again on the weekend of Nov. 6.
Now the list has been re-posted, this time naming 42 people.
The first individual “infoterror” followed on Dec. 26, posted to the CCD’s Ukrainian Telegram and Instagram channels. Zepp-LaRouche was labeled the “German politician and Schiller Institute founder who most actively spreads identical Russian narratives.” The CCD lied that “for more than 10 years, H. Zepp-LaRouche has been promoting Russian-sounding narratives in the Western information space.”
What so-called “narratives” are cited? Realities, such as that “NATO provoked Russia” and ignored Putin’s 2007 warning against NATO expansion, and her statements that “the West made a huge mistake by not listening to Russia about its security concerns.” Likewise, that she says that “NATO pushing Russia to the point where it will either surrender as a nation or go to war in self-defense” has put the world on the brink of thermonuclear war.
The next “top Western expert” singled out was former UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter. Attacks followed on RT journalist Caleb Maupin, CATO Institute researcher Doug Bandow, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and independent journalist reporting from the Donbass, Eva Bartlett, with more promised.
Of all the differing charges and statements cited to justify labeling each person as an information terrorist, perhaps the most remarkable example of the perverted worldview of the CCD and its backers, is the attack on the Cato Institute’s Bandow. Bandow’s crime, they write, is that he has taken it upon himself to push for a “rational approach” to the Russia-Ukraine conflict!
A Few in Congress Take Aim at the CCD
Several U.S. Congressional offices, so far all Republicans, have recognized that the CCD operation is a serious threat, and part of a broader drive to crush freedom of speech in the United States.
In the final days of the pre-Christmas fight over the omnibus budget bill for 2023, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) introduced a limiting amendment that would prohibit any funds going to government “countering disinformation” operations, whether inside or outside of the United States. That would certainly include Ukraine’s CCD. The amendment rightfully invoked the U.S. Constitution’s protection of free speech as grounds to prohibit U.S. government funding for any entity, domestic or foreign, seeking to criminalize free speech. The amendment read:
“None of the funds made available by any division of this Act or any amendment made by any such division may be made available for—
“(1) any Disinformation Board or Center, or any other entity substantially similar in concept or function, which purports to be a censorship board, supposedly to ‘combat disinformation,’ whether inside or outside the United States; or
“(2) any entity, inside the United State or abroad, which seeks to criminalize the exercise of freedom of speech, a quintessentially American right enshrined by the First Amendment of the Constitution.”
The amendment was not accepted by the Appropriations Committee, but it set a precedent for a Republican-controlled Appropriations Committee to take it up in January. Although Gohmert will not be in the new Congress, other members have shown interest in pushing such an amendment forward.
State Department Lies to Congress
The State Department had assured several Congressional offices this fall that the State Department and USAID had stopped funding the CCD, when questioned about the CCD’s information terrorist list. This has proven to be a brazen lie.
The CCD proudly on Dec. 3 that its Nov. 30 Forum on “Ukraine’s Information War,” had been “sponsored by USAID Ukraine Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Project/USAID Cybersecurity Activity.” The Facebook for that USAID project describes itself as an “NGO,” even while it prominently displays the USAID logo and describes itself as the “four-year USAID program aimed at strengthening resilience” in Ukraine. It is clear from that Facebook page that USAID is hyperactive in running Ukrainian “cybersecurity” operations.
The Nov. 30 forum was sponsored by USAID. The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council’s CCD, Ministry of Regions, State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, and the Sumy Regional Military Administration “supported” it. Three Ukrainian NGOs “co-organized” it: those being the “Ukrainian Alliance,” a self-described “Cybersecurity Support Center International Charitable Foundation,” and the Institute of Post-Information Society.
Senior CCD analyst Maryna Vorotyntseva used the occasion to again insist that anyone labeled a “Russian propagandist” should be prosecuted as an “information terrorist.” The CCD recounted:
In her report, the issue of the Russian Federation’s information aggression, freedom of speech, and the information terrorism of the aggressor was raised. Those present also learned how Russian propaganda works against Ukraine in the EU and the world, as well as ways to bring Russian information terrorists to justice. Such measures become the key to successful informational opposition to Russian aggression.
The actual axiom underlying this whole operation is that truth no longer matters. The forum was moderated by the Executive Director of the “Post-Information Society Institute,” Dmytro Zolotukhin, an avid proponent of the theory that thinking and truth-seeking belong to a bygone era. He argues:
The post-information society is the next stage of our development in a world in which information flows are so large that facts no longer matter. Consumers of information are increasingly concentrating on their emotions and how they want to express themselves in the information world. The value of arguments and evidence in disputes will be leveled more and more. And the value of each person’s emotions and personal brand will grow.
For that sophist drivel, he has been receiving the support of the European Endowment for Democracy Foundation and the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine since 2015.
Ukraine: A Model for Life under Global NATO?
Support from the U.S. government, NATO, et al., also enables the CCD to play an active part in the suppression of all opposition inside Ukraine, religious beliefs not excluded. On Dec. 12, the CCD posted an obscenely gleeful infographic reporting how the Zelensky regime was escalating its “spiritual war” against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), one of the two major Orthodox churches in the country, which had been officially tied to the Moscow Patriarchate until it broke ties in May 2022. Illustrated with big pictures of the seven targeted archbishops, bishops, and abbots, the CCD Telegram post celebrated:
“The sanctions list of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine that stirred everyone’s imagination! Another 7 clerics of the UOC-MP [Moscow Patriarchate] were added to the sanctions list for cooperation with the enemy.”
Ukraine’s SBU thugs had begun raiding UOC sites in mid-November. On Dec. 1, President Zelensky announced that his regime had ordered the UOC banned, various members of its clergy subjected to sanctions, and policing of religious activities in the country stepped up.
The CCD specifically identified two of the seven as being included on the infamous Myrotvorets assassination list, with ambiguity as to which list targeted them first, that of the CCD or of Myrotvorets. Viktor Shinkarev, the Archbishop of Konstantinov Paisius, the infographic reports, “is in the Myrotvorets base as an assistant to terrorists,” while Oleksandr Prokopenko, Abbot of a Melitopol Monastery, “was included in the Myrotvorets database.”
The CCD, at the same time, is preparing legislation to further criminalize the exercise of freedom of speech in Ukraine. On Nov. 28, the CCD a “Memorandum on Cooperation in Countering Disinformation and Propaganda, Destructive Informational Influences and Campaigns” with the government’s media oversight body, the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting. At the memo’s signing, Olha Herasymiuk, chair of the National Council, said that the two institutions were joining forces for the purpose of carrying out their “common task” of drafting both “a powerful defense policy” against people spreading disinformation, and a policy of “attack” as well. Andrii Shapovalov, acting director of the CCD, spoke of how the two bodies would strengthen the government’s ability to take action against “numerous cases of abuse of freedom of expression and information terrorism.”
“The Memorandum provides for the development of a methodology for identification of dangerous information materials of manipulative and disinformation nature… The National Council, for its part, records the statements of Russian propagandists in order to hold them accountable for violating both the Ukrainian and international law. The methodology should provide for agreement on law enforcement agencies’ requirements for materials, the procedures for their collection, etc., so that in the future the collected materials can be used by law enforcement agencies as evidence.”
According to the National Council’s report on the meeting, CCD head Shapovalov—despite his protestations that “the rules” must be written in such a way that no one can claim that they are limiting freedom of expression—believes that the legislation the CCD and the media regulators are drafting to prosecute and sanction “information terrorists who mock the whole world today,” will set a model for the rest of the world. They write:
“Shapovalov is convinced that Ukraine’s experience and achievements in countering propaganda and disinformation, including information terrorism, can become an example for the whole world.”