Ukraine War Diaries: How to fight Russian disinformation | world news
Ukrainians are increasingly turning to encrypted intelligence services to combat Russian disinformation, according to a Kyiv-based IT expert.
Speaking in the latest edition of Sky News War Diaries of Ukraine Podcast, Ilyas Verdiev, says that while millions of people around the world rely on mainstream digital news platforms to cover the war, these places are shunned by many Ukrainians.
They fear online platforms will be contaminated by Russian disinformation efforts.
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“This fake news war is huge these days,” explains Ilyas.
“Obviously the internet has swallowed us up.
“Telegram is becoming more and more of a social network. It has become very popular in the post-Soviet countries.”
Telegram is a messenger service that has become a popular alternative to Facebook’s WhatsApp. Many organized groups, including political activists, use the platform’s broadcast feature as a sort of newsletter for subscribers and supporters.
“The great thing about Telegram is that it’s encrypted and considered secure,” explains Ilyas. The 40-year-old worked to secure Ukraine’s digital infrastructure during the war.
“You need to filter everything you subscribe to and all the news you read.”
Encrypted instant messaging platforms have grown exponentially in recent years. Telegram claims to have over 700 million users worldwide.
And Ilyas explains that citizens of Ukraine are increasingly trying to avoid disinformation.
This prompted the IT specialist to look for reliable, independent reporting.
“There’s a channel I read all the time,” he continues. “This guy is from Kyiv. He’s really good at analytics.
“At the very beginning, even before the great invasion, he wrote about the possible war, [that] it’s not going to be quick and you need to prepare for that.
“These words helped me to assess the situation more realistically.”
From the creators of Sky News’ award-winning StoryCast, Ukraine War Diaries is a weekly podcast following the people living on Europe’s new frontiers and those who escaped.
Producer: Robert Mulhern
Digital Promotion and Additional Writing: David Chipakupaku