Photo from UNIAN

Anton Kolumbet, a member of the organizing committee of the March of Defenders of Ukraine, has said this year's march on Independence Day on August 24 will put forward the demand for the adoption of a law on the protection of statehood from collaboration and agents of hostile influence.

"This year, we will demand that the president of Ukraine submit to the Verkhovna Rada a bill on the protection of statehood from collaboration and agents of hostile influence as an urgent one," he said at a press conference hosted by UNIAN.

Kolumbet explained that the bill introduces into the legal field of Ukraine a concept of collaboration as cooperation with an enemy, assistance in the implementation of aggressive actions, assistance to the adversary during the preparation and conduct of aggression.

According to Kolumbet, any complicity in joint actions with the adversary aimed at harming Ukraine should be regarded as collaboration, that is, a collaborator is any citizen of Ukraine who assists occupiers, someone who in one way or the other contributes to the enemy's efforts – in organizational, informational ways, or through media.

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He explained what the concept of "agents of hostile influence" means. According to Kolumbet, these are legal entities acting as enemy collaborators, while hiding behind some formal, legal status.

The bill divides agents of influence into the three groups: media agents, that is, those who work for the adversary hiding behind the status of a media outlet; non-government agents of hostile influence – non-profits working for Russia; and political parties, whose actions, statements and program principles contain signs of undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Kolumbet said.

He also added a separate presentation of the bill would be held ahead of Independence Day, and that the march participants will demand that the president submit it to the Verkhovna Rada as soon as possible.