Russia is planning to engage in large-scale propaganda efforts to create a platform for a pro-Russian candidate for Ukraine presidency, according to Dmytro Tymchuk, a Ukrainian MP, coordinator of the Information Resistance analytical group.
"On the eve of the 2019 presidential elections in Ukraine and this year's start of campaign, as well as in line with the chosen strategy for Ukraine, the Kremlin (under the auspices of [Russian presidential aide Vladislav] Surkov) has plotted several large-scale propaganda efforts to create an information narrative about 'fraternal peoples' and the need to resume 'Ukrainian-Russian friendly relations.' (Noteworthy, it is Ukraine that they blame for the crisis in such relations). They also intend to provide a platform for a pro-Russian presidential candidate in Ukraine who will stand for 'global peace' and use messages of the 'Ukrainian-Russian expert circles,' developed under Moscow's supervision, to influence the electorate," Tymchuk said in a comment, according to QHA news agency.
As reported, Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov will oversee the propaganda campaign.
Russia hopes on experts and political scientists from Ukraine, who will play along with Kremlin's candidate.
"According to our information, the conference, titled 'Russian-Ukrainian Relations: Problems and Prospects' with the involvement of Russian and Ukrainian experts and journalists, as well as representatives of the so-called "DPR" and "LPR" [unrecognized self-proclaimed "Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics"], the unrecognized Transnistrian Moldovan Republic, and the Republic of Belarus will be held in the annexed Crimea on October 5-9, 2018, on the initiative and with support of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the Institute of Peace Initiatives and Conflictology, equally close to both the Presidential Administration and Russian intelligence," the report said.
Tymchuk earlier said that the puppet authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea and the Kremlin-controlled organization "Ukrainians of Russia" intended to launch a so-called "Yuzhnyi Veter" ("South Wind") initiative, a set of anti-Ukrainian and propaganda efforts.
The project aims to legitimize in the eyes of Ukrainians Crimea annexation and Ukraine's gradual return to the zone of Russia's exclusive influence. The effort will attract to the "dialogue" a wide range of the Ukrainian "pragmatic public, expert, cultural and business circles."
Particular attention will be paid to the regions of Ukraine adjacent to Crimea - Odesa, Mykolayiv, Kherson and Zaporizhia, the MP wrote.
At the initial stage of the project implementation, to reduce effectiveness of any possible response from the Ukrainian side, priority will be given to topics not related to politics, but still important for residents of both the occupied peninsula and mainland Ukraine - environment, healthcare, culture , support and dissemination of the Ukrainian language and literature, sports, religion, etc.
"Experts" from both Russia and Ukraine will be involved in the project.
MP Tymchuk says participants from the Ukrainian side will be entering Crimea through the checkpoints in Kherson region.