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By Chris Sutcliffe | Senior reporter

March 17, 2022 | 3 min read

As part of The Drum Show’s ongoing look at the information war in and around Ukraine, this week we hear from someone with firsthand experience of creating journalism in the country.

Our guest – Jakub Parusinsky of The Fix and ex-editor of the Kyiv Post – joins the panel to discuss his crowdfunding efforts that have so far raised over 2.5m euros for Ukrainian newspapers. He takes us through how Ukrainian media is sustaining itself, the practicalities of providing bulletproof vests to journalists, and the difficulties of getting news in and out of the region.

The conflict between disinformation and accurate news has continued, and journalists are literally on the front lines of the conflict. Deepfaked videos of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy were broadcast on hacked Ukrainian TV channels, only to be immediately rebuffed by the man himself across social media.

The ongoing clampdown on information in and out of Russia has impacted those people who make their living on social media. A number of influencers have gone viral for presumably the last time, in tears at having their livelihoods on Instagram taken away as the collateral damage of the information war. Meanwhile the impact of tech companies clamping down on the ability of Russian state media to monetize themselves continues to be mitigated by the overall opacity of the digital advertising ecosystem.

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And finally, as brands need to be seen to be doing something in support of Ukraine, we examine whether Russophobia has already become purely performative. There are countless examples of brands across the UK, Europe and the US pulling or rebranding Russian products – but will this make any tangible difference, or are we in danger of the response spilling over into outright xenophobia of Russians instead of its government?

Missed the first episode? Catch up here.

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