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EU Office in Ukraine condemns the anonymous Telegram channels targeting the DM and the IMI

30.11.2023, 13:14

The EU Office in Ukraine condemned the anonymous Telegram channels targeting the Institute of Mass Information and the "Detector Media".

This is reported on the official Facebook page of the representative office.

"Some anonymous Telegram channels are trying to blackmail 'Detector Media' and the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) in order to hinder their journalistic work. Discrediting and putting pressure on free media is an unacceptable manipulation of information," the post reads.

Earlier, on November 28, "Detector Media" and the Institute of Mass Information reported pressure and obstruction of their journalistic work via an organized smear and blackmail campaign targeting the two organisations, that has been initiated by a group of anonymous Telegram channels.

The smear campaign started with a post by a resource featured in a revealing investigation by the Institute of Mass Information, the anonymous Telegram channel "Monaco Battalion", shared through other anonymous Telegram channels, including "Good evening, we're from Ukraine" and "Joker", and also actively promoted  by "Trukha" and its regional network of Telegram channels.

These Telegram channels are spreading false claims that the DM "pays in rubles" for Russian services and "funds the war." For some reason, they use a screenshot from an IMI study about fakes and manipulation by anonymous Telegram channels and garbage outlets that make money from jeansa, advertise gambling and capitalise on sensitive topics such as the risk of Russian shelling.

Later, the "Monaco Battalion" published a "poll" offering the audience to choose a way to take revenge on the DM and the IMI, and some anonymous commentators suggest liquidating these organizations, burning down their offices, etc. Still, other commentators sided with the two organizations and accused the Telegram channel of slander.

The DM and the IMI are preparing a statement to the police over with pressure and obstruction of professional journalistic work (according to Part 2 of Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which stipulates liability for persecuting journalists due to their reporting).

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