- Zelenskyy government has blacklisted those individuals whom it believes do not parrot its line on the ongoing crisis
- Ukrainian authorities have not been cordial towards voices of dissent emerging from within as well as outside the country
- Unity of the country is important, but a leader needs to listen to everyone in order to bring that unity into effect
Censorship is the last resort of a propaganda machine which has run out of misinformation fuel. You realise that people have caught your bluff, so you strive towards blacklisting those individuals who are speaking against you. Nothing shouts more desperation than the censorship regime. Interestingly, Zelenskyy is emerging as a champion of censorship.
Black list by Ukrainian government
Ukrainian government has blacklisted 75 individuals from all over the world. On July 14, Centre for Countering Disinformation (CCD), a subsidiary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council published the list of those individuals who are supposed to be investigated by their respective governments.
The list includes those individuals whom Ukrainian government has accused of promoting narratives in consonant with what they term as Russian propaganda. Various Indians are also in the list. Funnily, most of them can’t even comprehend the reason for being in that list.
Indians in the ‘coveted’ list
Indians in the list include PS Raghavan, the former Head of India’s National Security Council. He invited the ire for effectively stating that NATO is taking Ukraine’s side. Similarly, Sam Pitroda’s name in the list is also extremely puzzling. The former adviser to Indian Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh had only suggested that both countries should resolve the conflict on diplomatic table.
Veteran Journalist Saeed Naqvi is also in the list. He invited Ukraine’s wrath for exposing their war propaganda machinery. Naqvi had just stated what was obvious fact that news about Ukraine’s tiny army’s success against Russia was illusion. Naqvi has also been accused of suggesting that the West is running a propaganda campaign against the Russian President, something which former US President Donald Trump would agree with.
Propaganda and counter propaganda
Ever since the Ukraine-Russia crisis kicked off, propaganda campaigns have been going on from both camps. Though, it is true that Vladimir Putin’s big boy image is more of a makeover by his PR team, it is also true that Zelenskyy has also used media in a way only an expert of the bunch could do. This man has given his photos to media portals for publishing and send a signal that he is standing as a ‘symbol of resistance’.
Apparently, this helped Zelenskyy to garner power and money from the Western countries. In the name of saving democracy, western countries fuelled in money and arms to the Ukrainian regime. However, on the domestic front, Zelenskyy’s actions do not suggest that the man believes in democracy.
Zelenskyy’s response to criticism
Just before the war began, Zelensky froze Viktor Medvedchuk’s financial assets for two years. Viktor is the head of the opposition party. 3 months later, Viktor was put under the house arrest. Viktor also used to run 3 TV channels, which were shut down by the Zelenskyy regime, apparently in the name of democracy. Currently, information dissemination inside the controlled regions of Zelenskyy is only handled by Zelenskyy himself.
Apparently, even after shutting down dissenting TV channels, jailing opposition and non-stop support from western liberal media, truth could not be hidden. Slowly, the fake narratives like “ghost of Kyiv” and supermodels joining Ukrainian military ranks started to get exposed. Moreover, the news about Ukrainian troops holding their grounds in the wake of Russian onslaught were also peddled to the world.
Zelenskyy under radar
There is definitely truth in that, but it was exaggerated in order to get more guns and aid from the US in particular and its NATO allies in whole. Moreover, there are no checks and balances involved and even Uncle Sam does not know where its aid is being transported. Lately, reports have also emerged that the Ukrainian Forces have also been taking advantage of war time morality of Russians by utilising civilian areas like hospitals for war strategy. Russians also did not oblige and launched offensive on those places as well.
Naturally, questions were rising and more and more people were shunning their self censored moral silence. These include US Senator Rand Paul, former US Army Officer Tulsi Gabbard, Journalist Glen Greenwald of Edward Snowden fame among others. As expected, all of them have also been termed as propagators of Russian disinformation.
Preposterous and comical
From last 5 to 6 months, Zekesnkyy has been coddled by the western countries. His authoritarian responses to the local issues have been forgiven by citing war-time response. Yes, a country needs to be united in that kind of situation, but its leader should be more open to criticism.
Zelenskyy is doing exactly opposite. It sounds both preposterous and comical at the same time.
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