Driven by revolution, social media and Internet continue to play significant role in Ukraine

Ukrainian revolution would have not resulted if social media and the Internet had not been available to the citizens. The first call to come to the Independence square to protest has been posted in Facebook by a journalist Mustafa Nayem on Nov 21, 2014. But even more, the development of digital culture will be crucial for the success of Ukraine in the nearest years.

How do social media and the Internet influence the social order? Here is a digest of recent developments:

The New York Times refers to Facebook as a source by quoting Ukrainian officials:
“Berkut is gone,” the acting interior minister, Arsen Avakov, announced in a posting on Facebook. Many Ukrainian progressive politicians see social media as a direct tool to spread a word of their appeals and calls.

UT-1, an official first TV channel in Ukraine agreed to provide Hromadske.tv, which is online TV channel, couple of hours of broadcasting per day. The context: UT-1 has bebe the most manipulative TV channel during Yanukovych regime and it was fully controlled by the previous government.

A new news site HUBs http://hubs.com.ua has been launched on Feb 21. The project is run by ex-journalists of Forbes Ukraine, who retired from the magazine in Nov 2013 as a protest against censorship by a new owner. The project has been working for two months, initially the articles have been published in Facebook until the site was built.

The issue of lustration for politicians and ex-state officials is widely discussed in the Internet. Hundreds of Facebook posts have been published during last days. There are couple of sites targeting the issue:
– #НеБутиСкотом http://skoty.info/ – a comprehensive crowdsourcing approach to collect information about politicians, police, judges and thugs (titushki) on one resource.
– We remember http://lustrationukraine.org/ – a site I have launched two days ago to collect video with the speeches of the most outrages politicians.
– Activists have published a questionary on state officials in Kyiv, asking users to report in those who should be under lustration.

We remember their activities – a site about lustration in Ukraine

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Today I have launched a site which collects evidences for the lustration in Ukraine –lustrationukraine.org. The site primarily features speeches of Party of Regions politicians, those who defended riot police, rejected European integration or violated the laws by voting for other deputies in the Parliament. Such Party of Regions members as Olena Bondarenko, Oleg Tsarov, Sergey Efremov, Myhail Dobkin, Gennadiy Kernes, Mihail Chechetov have to be banned from taking any government posts in the future due to their unethical behavior, lie and corruption.

Everyone can join the resource by sending me the links on video to info@lustrationukraine.org

Protesters toppling Lenin monuments across Ukraine

32 monuments to Lenin were toppled in the last 24 hours, Ukrainska Pravda reports. Protesters gathered on the central squares of cities and towns and initiated toppling Lenin statues.

One of the biggest Lenin monument was built in Dnipropetrovsk, Eastern Ukraine. It took protesters more than three hours to topple it.

Dnipropetrovsk:

Chernihiv:

Manevychi, Volyn:

Social media to retaliate titushka Sasha Starchenko

Titushka Sasha Starchenko is a 30-year old pro-government supporter who came to Kyiv from Kharkiv, the second biggest city in Ukraine. On February 18, during severe clashes between protesters and riot police, he was on the side of police. Starchenko switched on his camera and started shooting video when riot police was attacking protesters from Self Defense units. He shot five videos and posted them to YouTube. Those videos were one the bloodiest ones from this day in Ukrainian Internet.

The videos showed riot police and thugs, including the author himself, were beating to death protesters. Starchenko himself was shouting “Beat them, beat!”, picked up stones to throw them into protesters and bet them with bat. Video also showed thugs shooting wounded protesters with a gun. The video has been viewed 226,000 times on YouTube in two days.

Since Sasha Starchenko have registered accounts in social media under his real name, users have easily identified him in VKontakte, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. The information about Starchenko has been widely disseminated in social media and users rushed to comment against him. On Feb 20 Starchenko deleted all his accounts in social media. Nevertheless, the video and his public photos have continued to circulate in the Internet. On Feb 22 someone registered a fake Sasha Starchenko account and posted all five original video changing the original titles.

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Sasha Starchenko profile in VKontakte.com – a Russian social media network. Commentators supported him in his fighting against protesters in Kyiv

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Starchenko’s public photo from his VKontakte profile – He stands with a bottle of beer in his hand in front of a military monument

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Starchenko’s public photo from his VKontakte profile – photo dated by 2010

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Since Feb 20 Starchenko’s profile in Vkontakte is not available. It has been deleted by user

When I published a post about Starchenko in my Facebook profile on Feb 22, it brought additional attention to the character – 2550 users reposted my post and left 90 comments. Many comments called to bring Starchenko to justice. The information about thugs fighting against protesters is being collected on a special site http://skoty.info/. The site has been launched by Democratic Alliance political party.

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Yanukovych and his allies organized a provocation trap for protesters – Orobets

Lesya Orobets,  Ukrainian MP, described Yanukovych’s dirty game towards protesters on Feb 18, 2014. Bellow the full text:

All the so-called peaceful negotiations were a well-planned trap. They were aimed to delay time and to prepare power operations against protesters. Yanukovych did not plan to make any concessions from the beginning. All those ‘dances’ around the political process, backroom negotiations on amendments to the Constitution – were intended only to lure protesters in trap.

Today’s day was a well-planned and directed by at least a week ago. Right now Kyiv subway doesn’t work, and all entrances to Kyiv are locked. In Kyiv, at least in some places (for example, hostel KPI) the internet is off. A state of emergency will be imposed in Kyiv in a few hours and do not tell me that all this was done without any preparation, plan and investigation. Continue reading

Ukraine in blood: police killing dozens of protesters

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 was the darkest day in the history of Ukrainian independence – at least 18 protestors killed, more than 1000 wounded during the clashes in Kyiv.

Clashes started in the morning, when pro-government parties refused to adopt a a legislation to limit the President’s power. Protestors moved in the direction of Parliament. Since then police started shooting at protestors. Photos of police with AK47 Kalashnikov fire arms were taken by journalists on Instytutska St. The hardest fight took place on Instytutska – two people, including a 60-year old woman, where shot. Their bodies were located in front of Khreshtatyk metro stations.

Father and son today in Mariyinskyi Park in the morning after clashes with police and thugs, called titushki. Both are lecturers in the largest technical university of Ukraine. Their last name stands for Kuznetsov.

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The government announced anti-terrorist operation in Kyiv against 30 000 protestors. Police attacked Maidan Nezalezhnosti.  Metro was closed since the afternoon. Thousands of people could not reach their destinations. Also thousands of Kyiv residents assisted wounded in hospitals. A protestor died on the hands of my online friend in Kyiv hospital #17 – he was shot in head and stomach – link to my friend reporting on it.

The President of Ukraine refused to stop violence – he demanded every protestor to leave Maidan Nezalezhnosti. Police continued to attack protestors. As my friend Yevgen Truhin wrote: “Riot policeman is paid 600 USD per month. For 600 $ he destroys and kill people to protect the regime, crazy. Is it worth?”

flame Dec 18

Media attention in social media worldwide switched from Olympic games to events in Ukraine:

ukrainesochi

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Twitter of Podrobnosti.ua has been hacked

The official Twitter account of Podrobnosti.ua, one of the leading online news site in Ukraine, has been hacked at midnight, Feb 17, 2014, by anonymous users.

Two tweets, that indicate the hacking of the account, were published on 12.36 am and 2.12 am respectively.

The first one said: “We are the most lying news”. The second one was an appeal to pro-government oligarch Dmytro Firtash, an owner of U.A. Inter Media Group Limited, a media holding that operates dozens media resources, including Podrobnosti.ua site. The tweet said “D.V. Firtash, unfortunately, you run out of funds to continue publishing lie on this resource.”

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First tweet: “We are the most lying news”

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Second tweet with an appeal to Firtash

Many Twitter users have retweeted those messages, wondering what were the reasons of publishing tweets. Some asked if the account was hacked.

Compared to other leading news resources, the edition of Podrobnosti.ua do not pay much attention to Twitter as a tool to inform audience. Twitter of Podrobnosti.ua had just 2402 followers on the time of hacking. It followed none users. Meanwhile, Twitter of Ukrainska Pravda had 97,000 followers, Liga.net – 61,200, RadioSvoboda – 54,500.

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