UPDATE

                                                                                                                     ISSUE 22 - OCTOBER 26, 2018
RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION 

Analysis: Russian News Media Foment Hostility Toward US/Ukraine/Europe
By Adrian Karmazyn U.S.-Ukraine Foundation


Moscow's efforts to spread disinformation in Western countries is well known. In response to Russia's interference in the U.S. election process, Washington has placed sanctions on a number of Russian officials and persons considered part of Putin's inner circle.  What is perhaps not as widely reported is the nature and extent of the disinformation and propaganda that the Russian government delivers to the Russian people via national television channels and online outlets that are directly or indirectly controlled by the Kremlin. 
 
The  Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group (HWAG) in Kyiv has been monitoring and analyzing Russian media content and presented some of its findings at a recent discussion aptly titled "Poisoning Minds: How the Kremlin Portrays the United States, Europe and Ukraine to Russians." The event was held at the  German Marshall Fund (GMF) in Washington.

According to Oleksiy Makukhin and Liubov Tsybulska, the director and deputy director, respectively, of HWAG, Russia's main TV channels (Russia 1, Channel One and NTV) have been engaged in large-scale dissemination to their Russian audience of a narrative mobilizing and militarizing Russian society against supposed Western encirclement and threat of war.   Clearly the underlying mission is to alienate Russians from Europe, the United States and Ukraine.

The HWAG/GMF report titled  "How Russian Media Foments Hostility Toward the West" notes that "Threat Narratives are the main tool of the Kremlin's propaganda.  The core worldview, imposed by Russian media, is fairly simple - Russia is stable and peaceful, while the West is unstable and aggressive.  There is, however, a differentiation in describing the degree of instability of the [W]estern powers.  Thus, the United States are depicted as the only equal foe of Russia (in relation to its geopolitical strength), so they are pictured as dangerous and insidious.  Europeans are depicted as immoral, unstable, weaker than Russians, but also manipulated by the USA... to hate Russia.  Hence, the threat coming from Europe is described more in terms of 'toxic' than existential.  Such [a] worldview... was not a novel creation, but a deeply rooted phenomenon, based on Russian imperial history" and the image of an external enemy in Soviet totalitarian ideology.

According to the HWAG study of Russian TV and online coverage, the U.S. was mentioned negatively 94% of the time, Ukraine was mentioned negatively 91% of the time and the negative coverage ratio for Europe was 85%.  The analysis encompasses the period from mid-2014 to the end of 2017.

To view a brief Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group video highlighting war narratives and the negative portrayal of the West on Russian TV CLICK HERE  .

HWAG is part of the  Ukraine Crisis Media Center in Kyiv. During Oleksiy Makukhin's and Liubov Tsybulska's visit to Washington, Ms. Tsybulska was  interviewed by VOA Ukrainian TV.

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ISSUES 


With every new election cycle, Ukrainians freeze in hope and despondency. Each time, we face an inner conflict between the desire for fair and systemic change and the fear and distrust acquired from experience. We've been trying to break out of this vicious cycle for twenty-seven years, and each time we try, the enthusiasm subsides within a year or two and we return to dreadful despair. Hardworking ants sometimes behave this way. It's called a spiral of death. Sometimes an entire colony almost drops dead from pointless activity and only a few miraculously break free and survive.

There are a number of reasons why the country doesn't work the way Ukrainians want it to, but the complex picture of our troubles should be simplified to make it as clear as possible. Most would agree that our fundamental institutions aren't functioning properly. They make a lot of noise, but remain dysfunctional. In the country's parliamentary-presidential republic, the president rules over the government, but the parliament does not perform its functions. Not only do members of parliament work ineffectively, they simply don't show up. This month is a good example: nearly 13 percent of MPs have missed 90 percent of the votes held so far. They get away with it since there's no accountability. In the end, all of them-the president, prime minister, parliamentarians, oligarchs, and lobbyists-shamelessly manipulate since it's the only salvation in a system with no rules. 
   CLICK to read 
 

How Ukraine's Never Ending Transition Makes the Rich Richer and Everyone Else Poorer

 
BIOTECHNOLOGY 
   

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT  

Good News: Ukraine Finally Gets New IMF Agreement
  By Anders Aslund , Atlantic Council,  Oct 22, 2018

On October 19, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced  that it had finally reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine on renewed lending. Ukraine hasn't received any IMF funds since April 2017. Experts had warned that without an IMF tranche, Ukraine's economy might face a serious financial crisis this fall. 

Now the two parties have agreed on economic policies for a new 14-month stand-by agreement of $3.9 billion that will replace the previous agreement, a four-year Extended Fund Facility of $17.5 billion, which would have lapsed in March 2019.

This agreement is of vital importance and very much needed now. First, it will ... CLICK to read more


Anders ├ůslund is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.   He is also a member of the Economy and Energy Task Force of the Friends of Ukraine Network, an initiative of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.  
He tweets  @anders_aslund.


 
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EVENTS 

Beyond Tolerance: Faith in the Public Square


Monday, October 29, 2018, 2:30pm - 4:00pm

Russell Senate Office Building, Room 188, Washington, DC


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January 6-10, 2019 in San Francisco, CA 



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Ukraine, IMF Reach Deal On New $4 Billion Loan
RFE/RL October 19, 2018

The International Monetary Fund  said it had reached a new agreement with Ukraine, paving the way for a fresh $4 billion loan.
The agreement followed an announcement earlier on October 19 by Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman that household gas rates would rise by nearly 25 percent.
Aid from the fund, known as the IMF, has been essentially frozen since April 2017 as Ukraine's government has slowed efforts at major economic reforms.
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