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Lviv Media Forum

Russia attacked Ukraine

Lviv Media Forum appeals to fellow journalists, editors, other media workers and concerned people worldwide. This text is a story about what is happening in a European country, where it is scary to go to bed today because the life of every Ukrainian is in danger. And an explanation of how you can help our country withstand Russian aggression.

What's going on?

Russia attacked Ukraine. On the morning of February 24, a rocket fire began on several military facilities and airfields; dozens of civilians were also killed in residential buildings and civilian buildings. At the same time, military equipment entered Ukrainian territory from Russia, Belarus and the previously occupied territories of Ukraine - parts of Luhansk and Crimea. Russian helicopters landed at the military airfield in Gostomel, ten kilometres from Kyiv. Among the facilities seized by the Russian army are the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the Kakhovka Reservoir dam, which control water supplies to the Russian-occupied Crimea, and Snake Island off the Romanian coast. By the evening of February 24, the Russian army had captured several settlements in Kherson, Luhansk, Chernihiv, and other oblasts and was trying to advance by firing hundreds of missiles. The Ukrainian army repulses the aggressor. Ukrainian society is more united than ever, helping the army and supporting people forced to flee the war zone.





What is Russia saying to the world?

Russian President Vladimir Putin called what the Russian army is doing in Ukraine a "special military operation in Donbas." It is not true - places where Russian tanks are advancing and Russian missiles are falling - hundreds of kilometres away from Donbas. The Russian army is trying to surround Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Putin also explained his actions by the desire and "demilitarization" of Ukraine and called the reason for the invasion "genocide of civilians" in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. In the days leading up to the invasion, Russian propaganda produced fakes designed to simulate attacks, mass shelling, or intentions to attack the Ukrainian army, which occupied the Donetsk and Luhansk regions occupied in 2014-2015. In fact, the opposite was true - pro-Russian militants fired heavily at the positions of the Ukrainian army, which had no intention of advancing on the occupied territories.

The President of Russia does not hide that he intends to return Ukraine to the zone of Russian influence, to deprive it of the right to determine its future at any cost. He uses several manipulative arguments to explain his actions, including accusing the Ukrainian government of "Nazism" and even denying Ukraine's right to state sovereignty. Putin says he does not intend to occupy Ukraine. Still, his precise intentions are to create a puppet regime in the occupied territories, similar to that in Belarus today. And there is every reason to believe that Russia will not stop in Ukraine if he manages to seize it.

What can the world do?

Ukraine does not give up and defend itself, but it needs the help of the whole civilized world.

Words of support, solidarity and protests against Russian aggression are essential, and we are grateful for them. Of course, they will not protect Ukrainians from bombs and missiles; they will not stop tanks advancing on Ukrainian soil. Every manifestation of solidarity with our people and our state signals to the aggressor that he is opposed not only by Ukraine, but also by the entire civilized world. But today, to withstand, we need more.

The world community, governments, international organizations can:

·  put pressure on Russia through diplomatic and economic levers, forcing the cessation of aggression;

·  provide financial, organizational and military assistance to Ukraine;

·  receive and support displaced persons who have lost their homes and are forced to flee the Russian offensive;

·  confirm in words and deeds that they do not leave Ukraine alone and do not agree to its dismemberment or occupation to "pacify the aggressor."

Ukraine is not just a geographical name in the headlines. The entire world must learn about Russian aggression, understand its essence, purpose and danger, which it carries not only for our country.

What can the media and journalists do?

Call a spade a spade. It is not a "crisis" or a "conflict", but a full-scale war launched by Russia against an independent European state.

Do not repeat the Russian propaganda and disinformation thesis, even in the status of "point of view" or "party position". When Putin says that Ukraine is a "Nazi" state, it is not a point of view, but a lie designed to justify aggression.

Inform your audience more about events in Ukraine. This war may not seem threatening enough for the inhabitants of countries far from Ukraine, but it is a threat to the whole world because of the right of one state to seize another simply because it wants to destroy the world order.

Get information about Russia's aggression against Ukraine from reliable and truthful sources. Ukraine's information space is full of fakes created by Russia and its agents. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian media may also contain false information or difficult to verify allegations.

Therefore, we recommend using official sources:

·  Official website of the President of Ukraine (in English) https://www.president.gov.ua/en

·  Minister of Defence of Ukraine (in English) https://www.mil.gov.ua/en/

·  Armed Forces of Ukraine https://www.zsu.gov.ua/en

·  The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (in English) https://www.rnbo.gov.ua/en/

·  Joint Forces Operation (in Ukrainian) https://www.facebook.com/pressjfo.news

·  Official site of the ArmyInform news agency (in Ukrainian) https://armyinform.com.ua/

·  Centre for Strategic Communication (in English) https://spravdi.gov.ua/en/

You can check the information and learn about common fakes and manipulations that Russia throws into the information space of Ukraine on the websites of fact-checking organizations:

·  Vox Ukraine» (in English) https://voxukraine.org/en/

·  StopFake (in English, Russian, Spanish, German, French and other) https://www.stopfake.org/ru/glavnaya-2/

·  «Detector Media» (in Ukrainian) https://detector.media/

Ukrainian media whose information can be trusted:

·  Suspilne (Public broadcasting) (in Ukrainian) https://suspilne.media/

·  The National News Agency of Ukraine or Ukrinform (Russian, English, Spanish, German, French and other versions) https://www.ukrinform.net/

·  Hromadske (in Ukrainian) https://hromadske.radio/

·  RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service (known locally as Radio Svoboda) (in Ukrainian) https://www.radiosvoboda.org/

·  BBC News Ukraine (in Ukrainian) https://www.bbc.com/ukrainian

·  Euromaidan Press (in English) https://euromaidanpress.com/

The websites of these organizations and the media may be inaccessible due to Russian cyberattacks; in this case, information can be obtained on their pages on social networks.