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Western partners are impressed that we are not introducing wartime media censorship – Malyar

19.10.2022, 12:38

Information policy in wartime conditions became one of the biggest challenges for Ukrainians.

Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Malyar spoke about this in an interview for the "We Are Ukraine" media platform, Detector Media reports.

"We are an absolutely free society, you can not forbid Ukrainians to speak. Western partners are impressed that we do not introduce wartime media censorship. According to all the rules of war, we should, but the Ukrainian society is trying to preserve freedom of speech without it being detrimental to the Armed Forces," said the deputy minister.

Malyar emphasized: the Ministry of Defense is constantly educating Ukrainians, and by now Ukrainians have effectively learned to "keep silent where silence is necessary, and not to touch on the issues that should not be touched."

As one example, the deputy minister cited reports about POWs, information about whom must be kept completely sercet, especially with regards to release or exchange negotiations. Hanna Malyar urged Ukrainians not to publish photos of prisoners:

"All these people are on the lists of the Chief Intelligence Directorate, the coordination headquarters. If you think that the state does not know that this person is a POW, write to the Ministry of Defense, to the CID. Publicity leads to an increase in the exchange rate, and in the end we will be able to take less of our people than we could if details about them hadn't been disclosed."

She also noted that it is unnecessary to make the conditions in which POWs are being kept public. As the former prisoners themselves say, after such publications, the Russians make those conditions even worse and step up the torturing, she added.

"One must be very careful about information during wartime," concluded Hanna Malyar.

As IMI reported, the head of the Mariupol patrol police, former POW Mykhailo Vershinin emphasized in an interview with Suspilne that the way one reveals information about prisoners should be discussed with the ombudsman or the CID, "to understand whether there will be trouble."

"In order not to do any harm, you don't need to show extra 'heroism' when you get out of captivity. If someone from the previous exchange says on camera that they all must burn or something, it makes things hard for those who remained captive. The guys there are having it hard, they are waiting for an exchange, and the investigators are saying, 'No, boys, what exchange are you talking about, you will get a jail term, you will sit there for a long time,'" said Vershinin.

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