Despite the ongoing war in Ukraine, the English-language media are paying surprisingly little attention to this multi-ethnic nation of 44 million, other than the latest statistics on arms appropriations. In an effort to fill this major information gap, East View proudly introduces The Current Digest of the Ukrainian Press (CDUP). This publication is modeled on our longstanding Current Digest of the Russian Press (now in its 75th year). Like CDRP, this journal is designed as a carefully translated collection of articles from the country’s vernacular news outlets. In this case, the source languages are both Ukrainian and Russian, as we draw on a variety of publications from different regions of the country.
CDUP combines on-the-ground coverage of local news – the rebuilding of Kherson, and civic efforts to prepare Dnipro for the cold weather – with Ukrainian reportage on world events like the peace summit in Jeddah. In addition, we showcase analytical pieces on long-term issues that affect Ukraine, such as the continued flow of fake news from Russian propaganda outlets.
Will there be future issues? That largely depends on you. Establishing and maintaining a periodical is a big commitment, and we need to ascertain the level of support from potential readers. We encourage you to fill out the short survey HERE to tell us how relevant you think such a publication is, what kind of content you would like to see in it, and how frequently it should come out. Your opinions will make all the difference!
– Jeddah Summit Discusses Peace Plan for Ukraine
– Inside Sources Report on ‘Fake News’ From Russia
– President Zelensky Calls Dnipro’s Cooperation With Czech Republic an Example of International Municipal Collaboration
– Readiness of Shelters, Metro Stations for Cold Weather: City Official’s Inspection Tour
– Occupiers Still Terrorizing Kherson
– Smiles Returning to Their Homes
– Occupiers Continue Shelling Farm Product Storage Facilities
– Missile Strike on Odesa: More Than 110 Buildings Damaged in the City
– UNESCO Arranges Expedited Funding for Initial Work in Odesa
– In Visit to Zakarpattia Province, Zelensky Thanks Wounded Warriors for Heroism in Defense of Ukraine
– Kyiv Government Will Increase Funding for Armed Forces to 5 Billion Hryvnias, Says Klitschko
– President Names Priorities for Ukraine’s Ambassadors
State and Law
– Minimizing Oligarchs’ Influence on Parties
– What Will Service Members’ Homecoming and Adjustment Be Like?
– Working Group Reviews the Situation on the Natural Gas Market
– What Will Happen to the Hryvnia: NBU Announces Elimination of Fixed Dollar Exchange Rate
– Rebranding ‘Servant of the People’ Before the Election? Zelensky’s Party Might Change Its Name
– Armed Forces of Ukraine Sever the Enemy’s Logistical Artery With Crimea: To Be Continued
– Armed Forces of Ukraine Setting Course for Bridges: The Counteroffensive Has Slowed to Preserve Defenders
– NSDC Warns of Russians’ Plans to Make Occupied Territories for a ‘Gray Zone’
Post-Soviet States/Eastern Europe
– Ukraine and Moldova Want to Build a New Bridge at Their Border
– Romania Transfers a Package of Military Aid to Moldova
– Romania Will Lay Out More Than $200 Million for One F-35; They Will Receive First Aircraft In 2030-2032
– Bulgaria Calls the Protection of the Black Sea NATO’s Strategic Priority
– First Group of Ukrainian Soldiers’ Children Sent to Azerbaijan for Rest and Recreation
– Great Britain Will Join in Rebuilding Our Country
– Shelters Are Being Set Up at Schools With Swiss Government Funds
– Germany’s Minister of Finance Arrives in Kyiv
– Mobile Clinics Have Begun Operating in Frontline Zones
– Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chairman of Ukraine’s Supreme Rada, Holds a – Videoconference With Pat Cox, Former President of European Parliament
(By Larysa Salimonovych. Ukraina moloda, Aug. 2, 2023, p. 6. Complete text:). The Kremlin bots have been on a spree for several days in a row now. They report that any day now, the 100,000-strong Rascist troops will recapture Kharkiv. This time in a renewed attack near Kupiansk, where the occupiers are advancing a tank formation and firing long-range artillery systems. As their late prime minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, used to like to say, this has never happened before, yet here we go again. Moreover, the katsaps [the word katsap, of uncertain origin – meaning either “billy goat” or “butcher” – is a common derogatory term in Ukrainian used for Russians. Terms used below in a similar vein are moskal (derived from “Moscow”) and orc (a reference to Tolkien’s monstrous anthropoids). – Trans.] will capture a town whose residents, according to earlier data from the same insiders, long ago died of radiation, poisoned water, hunger, cold, and bites from mosquitoes released from an American biolab near [the town of] Merefa. Exactly when this occupation is supposed to happen is not that important. After all, the occupation is able to kill even without clearly defined dates.
Reinforced concrete defeated a hundred times.
The current fierce fighting near Kupiansk is, as usual, accompanied with attacks by the Rascist bot army. In their parallel information reality, the occupiers are advancing so quickly that local officials took to their heels in fear and fled, and hirelings among admirers of the “Russian world” have already been picked to replace them. Next, according to the story, a chain reaction that will lead to Kharkiv’s fall will automatically start.
To bring this flight of sky-high fantasies back down to earth, Andriy Besedin, head of the Kupiansk City Military Administration, held a working meeting with department heads the other day where he refuted widespread falsehoods. “I can assure you: Our troops are standing in defense of our land,” he said. “And they’re doing everything possible***for our victory.”
Two weeks earlier, Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv Province Military Administration, had to calm area residents, since the fake news mongers in the swamps [i.e., Russia – Trans.] had come up with – no exaggeration – an epic story. In their story, the Wagner private military company columns that had been heading toward Moscow abruptly turned toward [the Russian town of] Belgorod and, after crossing the border with Kharkiv Province, captured Vovchansk, which had been deoccupied in September, and started fighting for the village of Ruska Lozova, which had been liberated from them earlier. They said there was no mutiny by [Wagner chief Yevgeny] Prigozhin. While everyone was watching Rostov, Prigozhin’s thugs were carrying out a clever “multi-pronged maneuver” with [Chechen leader Ramzan] Kadyrov’s troops, who had also entered the region. There was in fact no one to repel this attack, since the 92nd Mechanized Brigade that had been defending Kharkiv had apparently already been disbanded because of huge losses at the front.
The fake “it’s all gone wrong” story was unfolding not only here, but also in neighboring Sumy, and the authorities of both regional centers supposedly had already started readying those towns for surrender to the enemy and were actively relocating easily portable enterprises deep into the country. Of course, the evacuation is taking place in complete secrecy to avoid panic, but someone involved in the process already blabbed the secret to the Russian propagandist Aleksandr Sladkov, who works at Vesti-VGRTK [All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company News]. He posted several times on his Telegram channel, not overly worried about offering proof for the “facts” he disclosed.
It is interesting that even now in Kharkiv one can find people who anxiously believe these “horror stories,” although opinion experts report that they are noticeably decreasing in number. “During the year and a half of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainians have somehow adapted to the war,” commented Maksym Zhydko, a Kharkiv psychotherapist. “Now, amid information about the RF’s intensified attack on Ukraine, people are no longer as frightened as they were in February .”
Zhydko believes that the fake news stories about the next territory captured are no accident, since each specific military operation is always accompanied by psychological and information pressure.
“If we don’t want to be victims of SIPO (special information and psychological operations – Ed.), we need to be skeptical of the sources and not spread these rumors,” advises Zhydko. “When we think about a possible attack, we need to understand where we are in these thoughts. I mean, what we’re thinking about. Because there are things in life that we can control, and there are things we can’t control.”
He says that Ukrainians, for example, can pack a “go bag” and develop an action plan in case the moskals advance. They also need to get a grip on themselves and maintain internal calm. “The main thing is that we can control ourselves,” he says. “We can control our internal anxiety. Now I’d say this: The more anxious you are about the possible intensification of the attack, the more time and attention you should pay to yourself and loved ones.”
It is not all that hard for Rascist propagandists to gin up some crisis in Kharkiv. Recently, for example, some apparently undisclosed president of a condominium association spread a message on social media that water from the municipal water system was heavily contaminated with ammonia and therefore unfit for cooking. “Close acquaintances at the State Emergency Service of Ukraine tipped me off,” the anonymous poster writes. “The information has been verified. Send it out to everyone. It’s no joke.”
The news indeed started to spread over the Internet even after the public utilities had totally refuted it. The fact that Kharkiv residents had long been buying spring water for cooking did not ring a bell for anyone at all. Theoretically, one can understand the fears of fainthearted and gullible citizens. After all, it was about that time that the Kremlin bots staged a “toxic ammonia cloud,” yet another psychological attack.
The cloud formed above a pipeline that, as they reported, the Armed Forces of Ukraine had bombed. This last news story was especially cynical, since it was the inept orcs who had attacked this pipeline, which is extremely hazardous to the environment and human health.
More community anguish was created over cemeteries, which shows that the Moscow bot farms are scrutinizing the local news or have informers in Kharkiv. In July, the city administration decided to close the cemetery at 43 Franko Street because it was full. “This is the territory of the village of Fedirtsi past the airport, which became a town in 2012,” the Kharkiv Anticorruption Center explained. “Before the new territory was annexed, the town always had one functioning cemetery. That’s how it is now. In other words, Cemetery No. 18 is open for burials, so the closure of a small rural site has no impact on the situation in a city with a population of more than a million.”
But the Moscow imps spread a different story. “This time it’s the cemetery on Franko Street that’s closing,” they blared. “The City Council has even prohibited the burial of ashes after cremation. And since the junta is sending the male population en masse to slaughter at Bakhmut, Zaporizhzhia and other sectors, we might expect that bodies won’t be retrieved from the battlefield at all or that relatives will be advised to scatter the dust over the river.”
Here is one more frightening story. A few months back, not TikTok or Telegram, but TASS reported, citing an unknown but “knowledgeable” source, that Ukraine was allegedly preparing a “provocation” to blow up a spent nuclear fuel storage facility and blame the Rascists for it. The anonymous source claimed that the waste would be transported from the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, a national science center, and the Verkin Institute for Low-Temperature Physics and Engineering.
“The Russian propagandists’ accusation is nothing more than a cynical, blatant lie and a sick fantasy,” the Ukraine State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate responded, commenting on the fake news. “Kharkiv in general and those institutes in particular have no nuclear reactors whatsoever and have never had ‘spent nuclear fuel’ storage facilities.”
Critical mass of the absurd.
Sometimes the fake news mongers so relentlessly clutter the space with their lies that they fall apart on close examination. In Ukraine it would presumably be hard to find an Internet user who would not laugh at the post “No urine to tolerate this flour.” But the Kremlin hoax masters give themselves away in less obvious “blunders.” For example, in their fake information they [alter word structure to] call agents “executors” [vykonavtsi rendered as vykoniuvachi], replace the word “hiding” with “lurking” [prikhovuyutsya – perekhovuyutsya], christen President Zelensky “Aliksandrovych” [his actual patronymic is Oleksandrovych – Trans.] and even allow a translation like “Ukrainians want light, not war.” [The author is citing bots that rely on computer translation. “No urine to tolerate this flour” is a gross mistranslation of the Russian Net mochi terpet eti muki (“No strength to tolerate these sorrows”). Similarly, “Ukrainians want light, not war” is a mistranslation of Ukraintsy khotyat mira, a ne voiny (“Ukrainians want peace, not war”). – Trans.]
And yet the bot farms embarrass themselves in the most primitive way when they judge Ukrainians’ psychology. Just recently, for example, they indignantly reported that the Palomnyk Café opened in downtown Kharkiv, named in honor of Andriy Avilov, a fighter from the KRAKEN special division who used Palomnyk [Pilgrim] as his call name. He died heroically on Sept. 7, 2022, in the liberation of Balakliya. This news roiled the Russian media scene. Propagandists accused the military of using the name of the deceased for PR purposes and fantasized about troops fleeing the front. And they raised an uproar because “they’re openly glorifying Nazism in Kharkiv.”
In other words, in a “Russian city” it is actually impossible that someone would memorialize a soldier who gave his life for Ukraine. In their reality, the people of Kharkiv are supposed to loyally await their liberators from the north and openly fight the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Andriy’s mother, Olena, did in fact open a café under her son’s call name. Instead of the pictures and flowers typical for an establishment like this, the interior is decorated with camouflage netting, military artifacts, and portraits of the KRAKEN boys who gave their lives to liberate the Kharkiv region. She said that 18-year-old Andriy first volunteered to go to war with Right Sector in 2014, just as he started law school. He was involved in the fierce fighting at Pisky.
Then he came home and finished his studies, but instead of law he planned to complete a master’s degree in a military-related profession. He also wanted to open his own café. His mother soon made her son’s dreams come true. “After Andriy’s death, I understood that I needed to embrace his dream,” she told Kharkiv Today. It became a motivating factor for me. I started searching the ads and found the space.”
The café opened on Feb. 7. Now, on the seventh of every month, the KRAKEN brothers and relatives of soldiers who died with Andriy invariably gather there. In honor of Palomnyk they brew a special coffee named after him – very strong and sweet, just as her son liked it. In short, the Kremlin bots failed to come up with a passable horror story about “Nazis.” Today only incorrigible admirers of the “Russian world,” whose number is decreasing with each passing day, can believe this delusion.