Friday,
22 September 2017
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OpinionA tale of the "President’s letter"

Too bad, the Ukrainian president “never wrote any letter” to Nadia Savchenko. Even if he didn’t, he should have said he did, because he is “concerned, worried, and can’t but write to her.”

He did, here it is, come and see it (the President’s Administration is in a rush to show the scans of the letter): it’s long, nice, and insightful. It contains no nonsense about the post of the minister, but it has a call to save herself. He wrote it as president, as commander-in-chief, as a citizen, as a man.

But the forces of Evil interfered (the President’s Administration says distressfully) having decided to make a mess, and most importantly – to put the Ukrainian president into an unfavorable spotlight: the whole world supported the Ukrainian hero, people in Russia were arrested for going out on the streets rallying for her release, while he says he never wrote any letter…

The whole world supported the Ukrainian hero, people in Russia were arrested for going out on the streets rallying for her release, while he says he never wrote any letter…

So the bad guys rushed to write their own hoax letter, disguised as the president’s. Judging by pranksters’ confessions including the alleged records of telephone conversations published later that night, they mislead the Ukrainian Consul in believing they represented the Ukrainian President’s Administration, and told Savchenko’s lawyer the letter had to be urgently passed to Nadia. Of course, they were in a rush, fearing that the real presidential might be already on the way.

Of course, the Consul will get his share of trouble. Although, it’s not clear, whether he attempted to verify and confirm (via MFA, President’s Administration, or otherwise) information about the only-to-be-passed-via-consul president’s letter. But that’s not the most relevant issue.

The main thing (as the President’s Administration stresses) is that, despite the enemy’s plot to discredit - read "undermine the position" – of the president of Ukraine, which was almost successful, the truth was revealed and the situation – explained. Well, at least something... And the valiant special services could have reported at an extraordinary briefing on tracking down and neutralizing the perpetrators.

And the valiant special services could have reported at an extraordinary briefing on tracking down and neutralizing the perpetrators.

The sad thing is that in the third year of the war, we have learned how to create the Ministry of Information Policy, hold Hackathons at the National Security and Defense Council, replace the official news on the authorized websites with scraps from tweets and Facebook postings and add the ridiculous "My account is being hacked,” or – depending on the situation – simply delete the already-published media reports (as if they were never there). We have learned to hold endless multilevel meetings and discussions on information warfare. It’s just that we haven’t learned to fight in information wars.

We have learned to hold endless multilevel meetings and discussions on information warfare. It’s just that we haven’t learned to fight in information wars.

One can choose any possible way to address the situation with the "President’s letter." Some may view it as a joke of idiot pranksters, or an old trick of FSB operatives of planting a fake message into a prisoner’s mind through their lawyers, whatever. But, unfortunately, given that the incident did take place, the Presidential Administration failed to give birth to any response until afternoon. This is all considering that the “letter” has been top news since early morning.

Is there any operative communication at all, even across the power corridors? At least on the most pressing issues? Are there any protocols for decent response, or better – for avoiding such situations?

We, the media people, have long been accustomed to the fact that the press secretaries (in particular, in law enforcement agencies), as a rule, simply choose not to pick up the phone. Why listen to questions, often unpleasant and embarrassing, when you can just ignore them? In the best case, it would be: "Please, send a request.” You’ll get a vague and pale response, if any. That’s because, unfortunately, everyone is busy with information policy, rather than the information work.

... Getting back to Nadia Savchenko, in such a difficult moment, she decided to stop the hunger strike at the request of the people and the president, the request, announced in his letter. The letter he never wrote. Even if it’s someone else who inked the message, the main thing is that it helped stop the Ukrainian pilot’s self-destruction caused by desperation in the dungeon, where there is no trial and no truth.

Olena Myloserdova

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