U.S. ambassador calls formation of 'Ministry of Truth' serious mistake, urges Ukraine to focus on progress and development
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has said that the formation of the 'Ministry of Truth' that tries to generate alternative stories would be a big mistake for the Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian people, while the information warfare can only be won by the truth and the formation of a successful, European, democratic Ukraine.
The ambassador said that the Kremlin as part of its strategy has been deploying a Goebbels-like propaganda machine against Ukraine.
"The biggest mistake that we could make, the biggest mistake that Ukraine could make, is to spend all of your time and all of your energy trying to counter those lies – to spend all of your breath saying: 'There are no fascists! What are you talking about?' That's exactly what Russia wants," read the ambassador's remarks from the "Countering Information War in Ukraine" conference posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
He warned Kyiv about a phenomenon in psychology called mirroring, where one falls into the habit of simply reflecting the behaviors of their opponent.
"And that is, for me, one of the risks for Ukraine. It's a huge mistake for the Ukrainian government, for the Ukrainian people, to create a troll factory like St. Petersburg, churning out counter-propaganda in social media. It's a huge mistake to create a 'Ministry of Truth' that tries to generate alternative stories. That is not the way to defeat this information warfare," Pyatt said.
He said Ukraine doesn't need more state-sponsored media.
"What Ukraine needs is a successful Ukraine. And I would argue… the single most powerful refutation to the Kremlin's hybrid war and information campaign against this country is a successful, modernizing, European, democratic Ukraine," Pyatt said.
He also added that the number one priority for Ukraine and Ukrainian society in 2016 needs to be prevailing in the war against corruption.
"It is the key issue in demonstrating that Ukraine is moving forward. In that regard, I would argue the best weapon against the Kiselyovs of the world is your anti-corruption prosecutor. It's deputy prosecutors general like David Sakvarelidze, who are trying to hold criminals accountable. It's your NABU. All of which are institutions that the United States will strongly support," the ambassador said.