Sloviansk, psychological warfare and its effects

Sloviansk (Slavyansk) is a city in the Donetsk Oblast, in 25 km distance to the area hold by separatists (DNR, ATO zone). As a transport hub (including the highway to Mariupol) and administrative center the city is of strategic importance.

10-04_eng(Ukrainian MoD)

The city was contested during the beginning of the fighting in Eastern Ukraine. It has been recaptured by Ukrainian forces in July 2014. According to media reports, documents have been recovered, suggesting secret trials with at least three prisoners sentenced to death and executed. (Kyiv Post)

The situation in Sloviansk is tense, a (most probably) fabricated story about a little girl, killed by Ukrainian artillery that is reproduced in the Russia-friendly media cycle is heating up the situation additionally – spreading concerns that separatists are ‘preparing the ground’ for further basal operations. (WaPo)

The psychological warfare on people’s hearts and minds in the region is in full swing. According to Ukrainian officials, separatists are using equipment that mimics text massages of mobile phone operators in order to discredit Ukrainian authorities. On April 6 the following message was received: “Hr 10 has been deducted from your account to support anti-terrorism operations.” Military spokesman Andrey Lysenko denied days later: “In reality, no money was taken from these accounts. It’s a psychological operation aimed at inattentive mobile phone users. We call on all residents to be careful and not fall for these provocations from our enemy.” (Kyiv Post)

Events are complemented by statements like the one of separatist official, Alexander Zakharchenko on March 17 on the need to take control of all cities in Donbass region. (Interfax)

In order to counter such attempts of separatists, on April 6, people rallied in Sloviansk and distributed leaflets, describing how to identify domestic (бытовой) separatists. The term ‘domestic’ refers to inside the household/family as well as inside the city/country).


So here is a handy guide to detecting enemies of the state:
The separatist…

– Calls for deployment of Russian troops or suggests forfeiting to Russia
– Propagates Russian symbolism, spreads the phenomenon of “Russian realm”
– Humiliates the values of Ukrainian people, questions the existance of Ukrainian nation, Ukrainian language, etc.
– Spreads rumors about nonexistent threat to the Russian language (Russophone population) on the territory of Ukraine
– Humiliates the symbols of Ukrainian sovereignty – the flag, the hymn, the coat of arms
– Praises so-called dnr and lnr [sic]
– Protests against mobilization
– Initiates events calling for overthrow of the government and mass riots
– Spreads lies and sparks national intolerance (racism, xenophobia, antisemetism)
– Spreads fears and panic, decadent moods


I case you encounter instances of domestic separatism, call SBU hotline, govermnt hotline and record the evidence on your phone, video recorder, camera.
0 800 507 309 Government hotline
0 800 501 482 SBU hotline
Toll free from landline phones
(Vesti, via reddit & thx for translations)

As legal base serves Article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Article 110. Trespass against territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine
1. Willful actions committed to change the territorial boundaries or national borders of Ukraine in violation of the order provided for in the Constitution of Ukraine, and also public appeals or distribution of materials with appeals to commit any such actions, –
shall be punishable by restraint of liberty for a term up to three years, or imprisonment for the same term.
2. Any such actions, as provided for by paragraph 1 of this Article, if committed by a member of public authorities or repeated by any person, or committed by an organized group, or combined with inflaming national or religious enmity, –
shall be punishable by restraint of liberty for a term of three to five years, or imprisonment for the same term.
3. Any such actions, as provided for by paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, if they caused the killing of people or any other grave consequences, –
shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of seven to twelve years.

Meanwhile, the military fighting is intensifying in Shyrokyne / Mariupol at time of writing – stressing the definition of ‘cease fire’ in general and deteriorate the significance of the Minsk II agreement even more. The psychological warfare is not just a echo of events at the frontline, it is part of it. Countering the war on information with the military logic of mutual destruction is counterproductive since information cannot be destroyed.

La Révolution est comme Saturne: elle dévore ses propres enfants.
Pierre Vergniaud, 1793