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Russians launch yet another propaganda mouthpiece in the occupied part of Zaporizhzhia oblast

18.07.2023, 11:33
Edit by Channel 24
Edit by Channel 24

On July 12, the Russians launched a new media outlet in the temporarily occupied part of Zaporizhia oblast: the Zaporizhzhia News Agency.

Alexandr Malkevich (associate of the PMC "Wagner" leader, Evgeniy Prigozhin), who has developed a propaganda network in the occupied part of Ukraine's South, announced this on his Telegram channel "Malkevich Media".

According to the propagandist, the website was "initiated by the Union of Zaporizhzhia Oblast Journalists and the New Media Development Fund and supported by the regional government." According to the website, the registration certificate was issued by Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media on July 11, 2023.

The Zaporizhzhia News Agency was presented by Sergey Korabelnikov, the occupier head of the Zaporizhia HQ of the Russian Union of Journalists, which opened in the occupied territory of the Zaporizhia oblast in April 2023.

As of July 17, there are 268 news on the website. None of them mention the authors' names, notes the IMI representative in Zaporizhzhia oblast.

The website's sections include "Official", which already has two posts by Evgeniy Balytsky, the head of the Russian-appointed administrator of the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, five days since the website was created. The "Opinions" column contains a statement by the head of the Russian government, Khusnullin, about the newly occupied regions of Ukraine, news with the subheadings "we don't leave our folks behind", "weather and folk beliefs," etc. According to the search, there are at least 136 mentions of "Russia" / "RF" in these news, 86 mentions of the "SMO", at least 37 mentions of "Balytsky" and 22 mentions of "Putin".

The Russian propaganda media outlet TASS reports that the website was presented by the deputy head of the socio-political communications and information policy department of the occupation administration of Zaporizhzhia oblast, Anna Moskalets. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Bashkortostan newspaper "Oktyabrskiy Neftyanik".

The new propaganda website was also advertised by "journalist, Media Institute lector" from the National Research University "Higher School of Economics", former first deputy editor-in-chief of the news agency TARS, Lana Samarina. According to the propagandists, the website "covers all Russia", works by the "business to business" principle and provides "objective information".

 As IMI reported, Aleksandr Malkevich is the CEO of the TV channel "St. Petersburg" (which is funded by the city's authorities), a member of the Russian Civic Chamber, and a finalist in the "Russia's Leaders" competition, which is patronized by the deputy head of the presidential administration Sergey Kiriyenko. Malkevich is also closely associated with "Putin's cook" and the owner of PMC "Wagner" Evgeny Prigozhin. Oleksandr Malkevich has extensive experience in creating mouthpieces for propaganda, disinformation and meddling with elections not only in Russia, but also abroad; for that, he was sanctioned by the USA in 2018, and by the EU this year.

"Reporters Without Borders" have made an investigation titled "The Malkevich Propaganda Machine, the Wagner-allied network in Ukraine", where they outline how the entrepreneur Oleksandr Malkevich created a propaganda machine in Ukraine's south in record time.

The International Federation of Journalists suspended with immediate effect the Russian Union of Journalists over its action since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its role in annexed Ukrainian territories.

Earlier, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned the establishment of branches of the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in Ukraine.

On August 1, new propaganda TV channel "ZaTV" started working in occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia oblast. he new TV channel's studio was opened separately from the "Melitopol" (TVM) and MTV Plus TV channels. The studio was opened under the seized TV tower located in Melitopol. Although, according to Opendatabot, collaborator Yevhen Balytsky is the owner of MTV Plus Television and Radio Company LLC. It is his "LEGION" LLC that owns 100% of the TV company.

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