Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the General Debate of the UN Committee on Information

Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the General Debate of the UN Committee on Information


Dear colleagues,

The Delegation of Ukraine would like to express its appreciation over the job done by you and the members of Bureau at the helm of the Committee. We wish you all the success in the course of the current session.

We also would like to commend the efforts of the Department of Global Communications under the able leadership of Under-Secretary-General Flemming.

Ukraine aligns itself with the statement made by the EU delegation and would like to say the following in its national capacity.

As we are meeting today, the Ukrainian citizens – women, men, children – continue to be killed on their native soil, in their homes, their offices.

Killed by soldiers of the invading army, who show no sentiments, no doubts, no hesitation. They have come to kill, to humiliate, to destroy.

By doing so they do not violate the instructions from their superiors. On the contrary, they strictly follow them. The instructions that have been given in an attempt to plunge us back to the times of Nazism, racial superiority and colonialism.

One could hardly explain in other way why Russia has decided that Ukraine and Ukrainians have no longer the right to exist. As an independent state. As a nation.

Finally, this decision has made Russia launching the bloodiest war that the European continent has seen over the past eight decades.

This is the war that would never have been possible without exploring the information warfare toolbox by the aggressor. Powerful propaganda machine has been designed by Moscow to incite hatred towards Ukrainians. To dehumanize them.

And to manipulate with creating an artificial and completely false link between the current Russia’s aggressive actions and our common victory over Nazism in 1945.

Very simple brainwashing technique – to declare yourself the only real successor of winners and claiming anyone you don’t like to be a Nazi.

Disseminating fakes and disinformation about Ukrainians, labeling the entire nation as so-called “neo-Nazis” Russian propaganda journalists made mass atrocities with thousands of killed in Mariupol, Bucha and many other Ukrainian cities and villages possible.

While shooting civilian cars with children inside that attempted to flee from the conflict-affected areas, while killing and torturing civilians, while raping women and girls, the Russian soldiers justify their actions by the propaganda narrative about the fight against Nazism.

Now the Russian propaganda, and the Russian diplomacy as its part, invests all efforts in producing fakes aimed at escaping responsibility for committed crimes and crimes Russia is going to commit.

It calls them a provocation. It invokes the regular narrative about “Ukrainians killing themselves”. It even calls Hitler partly Jewish in its anti-Ukrainian narratives.

What the Russian propaganda fails to explain however is why no mass graves and dead bodies lying on the streets, no deliberately targeted evacuation convoys, no destroyed buildings and infrastructure were observed throughout Ukraine before 24 February, when the Russian all-out invasion started.

Of course, casualties and destruction were registered earlier in the conflict-affected areas of Donbas, which Russians were able to reach.

Artificially incited, the conflict in Donbas has been the centerpiece of the Russian propaganda over the past eight years. Denying all attempts by the Ukrainian Government to achieve a peaceful resolution, Russia fueled it to finally use as a main pretext to attack the entire Ukraine.

We can compare already the realities on the ground and the main Russian propaganda pattern about “saving Donbas”. Once flourishing Mariupol, Kramatorsk, Popasna and dozens of towns and villages in Donbas were razed to the ground and thousands were killed.

If one is calling it a liberation, it is a liberation from life only.

The same deadly tactics is now applied by Russians throughout the entire Ukraine.

It is a matter of alarm that the UN has been just another platform for the Russian Federation to disseminate fake and falsified information. The Russian statement delivered earlier today served as yet another proof.

I regret that we have to listen to an outright lie, aimed at justifying the most heinous crimes. Aggressive mimicry that is how it is called in biology, when a predator or a parasite tries to gain an advantage by pretending to be a victim.

That is the reason why we have heard earlier today claims about millions of fakes against Russia, about imaginary and staged assassination attempts against Russian journalists, who are effectively Russian propagandists.

My question is how it corresponds to the mandate of our Committee?

To our task to promote the establishment of a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order intended to strengthen peace and international understanding.

Whatever this order will look like, it should definitely not be based on Orwell’s descriptions.

Misuse of the UN platform is not the only attack by Russia against the United Nations, its values and principles. Last Thursday, when the Secretary General was in Kyiv, after the Moscow part of his visit, Russia sent its regards to him by shelling the central part of Kyiv with rockets.

It was a deliberate manifestation of Russia’s real attitude towards the UN, its Secretary General, his peaceful efforts and the multilateralism in general.

One of rockets hit the residential building and killed Vira Hyrych, a journalist working for Radio Liberty in Ukraine. She was buried yesterday, on a World Press Freedom Day.

She was the 22nd media worker killed by the Russian invaders. This sad list has been opened on 1 March, when the Russian Army shelled the Kyiv TV tower, killing Yevhen Sakun, cameraman of the local TV Channel LIVE.

Not only Ukrainian journalists but also their colleagues – citizens of the United States, Lithuania, Ireland and Russia, who tried to tell the truth to the world about Russia’s war against my country – were killed. We offer our condolences to their families and relatives.

The Ukrainian NGO “Institute of Mass Information” registered 243 crimes against media and journalists, committed by Russia over 2 months since its large-scale invasion in Ukraine. Along with killing of journalists, the list includes their kidnapping and enforced disappearance, death threats and shooting at them, shelling TV towers, cybercrimes and digital blockade of Ukrainian media.

It speaks volumes that the Russian forces consider switching off the Ukrainian broadcasting, Ukrainian mobile networks and Internet services in the occupied territories as one of their priorities.

By doing so the Russian Federation is transplanting to the occupied areas of Ukraine those practices that are widely used in Russia itself.

Censorship, closure of all independent media, blocking of social networks, fake news laws aim at cutting Russian citizens of any alternative information about the war.

The term, by the way, which is prohibited to be used in the Russian information space.

We also remain deeply concerned over the deteriorating situation with the freedom of expression and the work of journalists in the occupied Ukraine’s Crimea.


Our predecessors, who survived the Second World War, were well aware of the disastrous role of propaganda in provoking or encouraging any threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.

Therefore, at one of the first sessions of the General Assembly they unilaterally condemned all forms of propaganda designed for the above purposes.

Given the erosion of security, flare-up of the warmongering rhetoric, including with references to the nuclear weapon, the delegation of Ukraine considers it is highly relevant to return to the basics and reiterate our condemnation of aggressive propaganda in a document that we will be discussing over the next 10 days.

We also encourage the Global Communications Department, which efforts on counter-disinformation and media and information literacy tracks we highly commend, to address the issue of what measures could be taken against propaganda that threatens the global peace.

Disseminating propaganda and disinformation is not only morally unacceptable. It should be punished and stopped by legal means, both on national and international levels.

I thank you, Mr.Chair