Observers record the use of "black PR" technology in the 2019 elections

Observers record the use of "black PR" technology in the 2019 elections

During the 2019 presidential campaign in Ukraine the use of "black PR" against the candidates for the post of head of state Vladimir Zelensky and Yuliya Tymoshenko, who according to the majority of opinion polls are among the leaders of the presidential race, has been recorded.

In particular, in the article “Zelensky is not a new face! This is the mask of Kolomoisky”, which was published in the press of a number of regions, describes the approach of oligarchs to the elections, the study of people's expectations, opinion polls, the creation of parties, and the process of the nomination of Vladimir Zelensky as a presidential candidate. It quotes bloggers who express their negative attitude towards the candidate and urge not to vote for him.

“Everyone who votes for Zelensky will be voting to preserve the old corrupt system and the former ‘masters of life’ - oligarchs, who are actually the cause of all our troubles and low standard of living," summarized the article.

Identical material was published in several regional publications during the month of February.

The head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) Sergey Tomilenko, on his page on Facebook, noted that this article was also published in media outlets in the Dnepropetrovsk and Volyn regions and has a custom-ordered character. He also added that there is a line that journalists and the media should not cross. In addition, the NUJU made an official statement in which he urged the media not to succumb to the pressure of politicians and HQs, to honestly inform their audience about the election, and to abandon the "blackening", and to not resort to fakes and manipulation.

Signs of “black PR” were also recorded in Donbass. In Kramatorsk, Druzhkovka, and Konstantinovka on the night of 21st-22th February posters bearing the words "Donbass Yulya" and the image of barbed wire appeared on the streets. This was reported by representatives of the civil network “OPORA”.

According to representatives of "Batkivshchyna", unknown persons pasted posters on shop walls, trees, bus stops, and other facilities. The representative of the political force in the Druzhkovka City Council, Tatiyana Bukharova, filed a statement with the police about the fact of the offence.

Lawyers remind that according to Article 152 of the Administrative Code, the placement of printed materials outside certain places of local self-governance constitutes a violation of the norms of beautification.

As was previously noted by the human rights activists of “Uspishna Varta” on Facebook, on January 18th the All-Ukrainian public organisation “Uspishna Varta” received permission from the Central Election Commission to have their official observers in the elections. The number of long-term and short-term observers from “Uspishna Varta” during the campaign is more than 50 volunteers in different regions of Ukraine.

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