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Annual
Report
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES
KYIV, UKRAINE
2020
Annual
Report
3
Dear Reader,
It is our great pleasure to present you with the overview of activities we at Ukraine Crisis Media Center
have accomplished and the results we have achieved in 2020.
No doubt, the past year was the most challenging one not only for our organization or our country. The
entire world had to switch the railing and learn driving the new way. We took the pandemic threat very
seriously and put the health and safety of our employees, beneficiaries and stakeholders we touch as a
key priority. At this, every day we were witnessing the pressing needs for our work in supplying reliable
information in the situation, which even World Health Organization named an “infodemic”.
And we enhanced our efforts, explored and immediately adjusted our work in a belief that UCMC’s mission
of strengthening communications outreaching citizens across Ukraine and beyond has become highly
relevant and urgent at this time of pandemic.
People say, every crisis is a new opportunity. This saying has proved its verity as we unveiled many
benefits, whereas reaching out to many more citizens became one of them. The newly discovered
opportunities demonstrated that there could be no borders or limits in the modern world, the ideas and
exchange of best practices can go all around the world within beats. And we lavish these opportunities
generously in a combination of online and offline events, where our experts can speak from any place in
the world and our audiences are not limited by the physical space or logistics.
Having said that, we are looking forward very much to the upcoming year with a hope that the world will
come out of the lasting lockdown in a better shape, healthier and stronger. We’ve got a chance to learn a
lot from the crisis – let’s build on the knowledge we gained and grow sustainably insightful.
UCMC Team
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2020
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Who We Are
Ukraine Crisis Media Center, founded in the spirit of the Revolution of Dignity in March 2014, has been
effectively working for more than 6 years to strengthen the voice of Ukraine abroad and improve as well
as facilitate internal and external communications. To reach these goals, we carry on in-depth work with
regional journalists and editors, communication of ongoing reforms, enhancement of youth media literacy,
and complex hybrid warfare analysis with the focus on informational and influence operations. In doing
so, we serve as a platform for expert, multilateral and inclusive dialogue, having grown to one of the most
recognized communication hubs in Ukraine.
Our vision is that of a free democratic world that includes Ukraine as integral part of Europe, a successful,
competitive and secure state. We adhere to this vision by sustainable contributions to strengthening
European identity and bringing Ukraine and international community closer.
Our mission lies in bolstering and applying strategic communications to secure the values at the core of
the Revolution of Dignity in order to promote self-sufficient Ukrainian state as a constituent of European
community. We have no illusion of the fast remedies but believe in ethical, professional and sustainable work
with complex issues to deliver real results.
These claims constitute the core of our values as an organization. We pursue Ukrainian statehood,
patriotism, courage, originality and creativity, honesty and accountability.
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2020
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What we do
UCMC is formed by five directional units:
• UCMC Media Center
• Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group (HWAG)
• UChoose
• National outreach: Media Reboot
• Decentralization Communication Team
(DOBRE communication component)
In 2020,
 The Media Center worked under three major strategic areas:
1) Serving as a communication hub for civil society organizations in Ukraine, helping to outreach
wider audiences with the socially important topics;
2) Acting as a civil society leader in organizing public dialogues on key social topics for the Ukrainian
audiences;
3) Outreaching to audiences abroad to promote Ukraine.
2020
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 HWAG worked under its strategic areas:
1) Monitoring and analysis of the Russian hybrid narratives and influences and producing expert materials
2) Keeping the global community informed on the means, tools and channels as well as effects of the
informational war and hybrid threats
3) Making impact over the national politics and helping to shape the state position on the issues
 UChoose direction worked under its primary goal introducing young Ukrainian citizens to political life of
the country, but also doing so with critical thinking in mind.
 National Outreach: Media Reboot continued to collaborate with the regional journalists across Ukraine,
providing them with necessary support in accessing first-source information and learning modern tools to
improve their professional skills as well as media strength.
 Decentralization Communication Team, responsible for the communication component of USAID’s
DOBRE (Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency) Program, continued to roll out its
programs in the targeted regions, having added 25 new communities in Chernihiv, Zaporizhia and
Chernivtsi regions in 2020.
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2020
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UCMC Media Center
325
50,364
923
305
54
1,729
events hosted and supported with
complex media facilitation and
endorsement upon requests of
Ukrainian NGOs
own media events initiated, organized
and hosted in response to the topics
of significant social importance
speakers enjoyed the
opportunities to share
their opinions on socially
important issues
journalists attended
the events hosted at
the Media Center
unique materials
were released
for international
audiences in
English, French,
Italian and German
people follow Media Center
pages in Ukrainian, English,
French, and German in
Facebook, Twitter, Telegram
and YouTube networks.
Media Center in 2020:
2020
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UCMC’s Media Center is a unique civil society platform that allows top Ukrainian and foreign institutions, NGOs,
experts and community activists to reach the general public via live streamed briefings and extensive mailers.
Since 2014 the platform provides a continuously working press room, complete with professional equipment for
broadcasting, and provides on-demand streaming, interpretation and press-release services.
2020
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2020 was a challenging year for the Media Center: under the COVID-19 restrictions, press events and
public discussions became impossible to conduct in a traditional way, with physical presence of speakers,
journalists and audience in the press room. With all the equipment available, the Media Center team
managed to immediately re-format its working processes and transitioned the activities to online format.
This change unveiled even some benefits that were underleveraged before: convening unlimited number
of speakers and visitors via Zoom e-meeting platform; involving the best experts from all over Ukraine and
beyond, notwithstanding geography, general quarantine limitations or self-isolation.
Under the lockdown conditions, cultural and educational spheres as well as small and medium
entrepreneurs became the most affected. People working in these areas faced anxiety and frustration, and
we are very proud of the Center’s two-month initiative in support of these sectors of national economy.
Over unique interviews with prominent Ukrainians like Serhiy Zhadan, Ivan Lenio, Yulia Fediv, Dmytro
Komarenko, Anna Mazur and others were recorded to share the prospects on the developments and advice
on possible action plans.
The number of requests for press briefings with the ease of quarantine restrictions promptly returned to
almost the same level as before the pandemic times. We are extremely proud for this fact, which, to our
point of view, confirms the credibility UCMC has won among the key stakeholders in Ukraine and abroad
and, on the other hand, the need for the services Media Center renders, especially to the civil society
organizations and movements. Our honored guests are always confident that their messages will be widely
disseminated thanks to the UCMC Media Center support.
2020
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UCMC Media Center also works as a “media for media” platform, creating own informational products,
which result from the public events organized and hosted by the Center, build public awareness around
important facts or inform on major social issues. For this purpose, the team continuously work to
improve and launch new types of informational pieces – like long reads, quotes, photo announcements,
etc. – all to keep the audience updated with fact-based, relevant and reliable news.
“Ukraine Crisis Media Center holds an absolutely unique niche role. In fact, this is perhaps the only opportunity for civil
society organizations, think-tanks and other third-sector actors to access a quality media outreach platform to present
information of significant importance for the Ukrainian and international audiences. To us, UCMC has been a reliable
partner for many years, and it’s hard to image our work without this collaboration”
Oleksandra Matviychuk,
Head of the Board
NGO “Center for Civic Freedoms”
2020
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“Ukraine Crisis Media Center has become a place where a lot of positive changes in Ukraine first saw the world.
Having the capital-based equal-spaced professional media platform helps a lot of independent Ukrainian researchers,
experts, analysts, think-tankers to sound clearly and be heard. UCMC has become an up-and-up place for a lot of NGOs
during the galloping pandemic as well as the safe cooperation point for the timely immediate initiatives. We highly
appreciate the BRDO-UCMC cooperation and hope to prolong it for upcoming years“
“In Ukrainian realities, when the leading media platforms are owned by oligarchs and a large number of them work for
Kremlin, the role of independent media is extremely important. UCMC provides unique opportunity to honest people
who cannot afford information support for their activities and do not wish to promote reputation of oligarch-owned
media. It is so important to keep up!
Thanks to UCMC, our public discussions around important for the country topics were recorded and
broadcasted at the best, but on top of that were translated into English, allowing to inform international
partners on the progress Ukraine makes towards European integration, security issues and other urgent topics.
I greatly appreciate UCMC’s work!“
Oleksiy Dorohan,
Director,
Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO)
Hanna Hopko,
Head of the Board,
NGO “Network for Protecting National Interests “ANTS”,
MP of the 8th (previous) convocation
2020
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International Outreach
International Outreach, a sub-direction with the Media Center, works in synergy with other departments of
UCMC to promote Ukraine abroad.
The team focuses on foreign and domestic political processes, economic challenges and cultural features of
the country, and seeks to explain its target audience the main trends of the Ukrainian present, but also give
a historical perspective of events. We cover the processes in the country without political bias, and strive to
rebuild trust between Ukraine’s international partners and stakeholders within the country.
International Outreach produces informational pieces in English, French, Italian and German, which are
are read by journalists, experts, politicians and opinion shapers in nearly 50 countries around the world.
The team maintains contact with over 3000 representatives of foreign media, private journalists and foreign
organizations in order to spread success stories of modern Ukraine as well as to bring their attention to the
existing issues in reforming our country. 325 publications were released in four languages and distributed
via the growing contacts database.
Under the challenge caused by the pandemic, the International Outreach continued to work but havng
adjusted to the new conditions. Every week we were informing our audience about the situation with
COVID-19 in Ukraine: statistics, trends, quarantine restrictions set forth by the government, etc. We used to
and continue to promptly provide practical advice for travelers, business, tourists on the rules of crossing
the border. We pay special attention to informing about the situation in the occupied territories and in the
Crimea, which are hardly covered in the international press. In total, there were around 30 publications
covering the topic of how Ukraine is fighting COVID-19 in our weekly digests in four languages.
avaient fait allégeance à l’Union
soviétique,dontMoscouétaitlacapitale,
et donc n’estiment pas avoir retourné
leurveste. »
Plus loin, Natalia, 55 ans, s’apprête
à partir en randonnée avec une amie :
« Noussommesdébarrassésdelamenace
desnationalistesukrainiensetjemesens
protégée par un pays fort », déclame-
t-elle.Elleseréjouitdunouveaumontant
de sa pension, bien que le quotidien
Kommersant évoquât récemment le
mécontentement de Criméens russo-
phones. Mais elle préfère ne pas en
parler :onnesaitjamaispourquitravaille
l’interlocuteur. « Les autorités locales
étaient dans le secret du référendum »,
glisse-t-elle néanmoins. Ce ne fut pas
compliqué à organiser. Dans les années
1990, à l’époque de Boris Eltsine, une
première consultation – sans suite –
avait déjà mis en évidence la proximité
culturelleentreRussesetCriméens.
Les Tatars stigmatisés
L’enthousiasme est bien moindre chez
les Tatars. Ils ne sont plus que 15 %
de la population, après que Staline
a déporté au-delà de l’Oural plus de
190 000membresdecettecommunauté
musulmane, car accusés de sympathies
avec les nazis. Jusqu’à cette époque,
Bakhtchissaraï était leur capitale cultu-
relle. A mi-chemin entre Sébastopol et
Simferopol, cette petite ville entourée
d’un cirque rocheux abrite le magni-
fique Hansaray, seul palais des khans
subsistant en Crimée. Ce jour-là, il était
fermé. « Du temps de l’Ukraine, j’au-
rais pu vous ouvrir la porte », signale
un guide. Le regret de l’annexion est
manifeste, alimenté par des atteintes
aux droits humains  : déportations,
conscription forcée, raids policiers sur
deslogements…
Bien que les minorités qui ont souf-
fert sous Staline aient été réhabilitées
par Poutine, Moscou a suspendu le
Mejlis, le parlement semi-officiel des
Tatars de Crimée après en avoir pris le
contrôle et mis en prison des dizaines
d’entre eux, soupçonnés d’appartenir
au groupe islamiste Hizb ut-Tahrir.
« Prévention du terrorisme », argue
Moscou, alors que les Tatars n’y voient
qu’un moyen pour faire taire des oppo-
sants. De fait, la communauté n’a cessé
dedéclarerquel’annexionétaitillégale,
et notamment le chef du Mejlis, Refat
Chubarov.Actuellementpoursuivipour
incitationàlaviolence,ilavaitannoncé
une « marche de la dignité » le 3 mai
prochain, avant de l’annuler à cause de
la pandémie du Covid-19.
Les Ukrainiens aussi sont amers, avec
ladifférencequ’ilsnesontpasreconnus
comme groupe ethnique, et doivent
s’assimiler. Il ne reste pas grand-chose
deleurprésence,àl’exceptiondel’hôtel
UkrainedeSébastopol,leplusimportant
delaville,etquitraîneunparfumsovié-
tique. Certains ont gardé leur plaque
ukrainienne pour circuler plus facile-
mentdansleurpays,etpassentàpiedla
frontièreverslaCrimée.Ilneleurfautpas
devisa.Unloueurdevoiturestémoigne :
« Beaucouptententderécupérerlepasse-
portukrainiencariloffreplusdefacilités
pourvoyagerenEurope.LesUkrainiens
souffrent aussi d’une législation russe
plus stricte pour l’urbanisme, et d’une
bureaucratieplustatillonne. »
Autresvictimesdel’annexion,les800
patients qui étaient sous traitement
substitutifàlaméthadone.« C’étaitl’un
des projets les plus réussis en Ukraine.
Maislapratiquedelathérapiedesubsti-
tutionestinterditeenRussie »,explique
la journaliste Natalia Goumeniouk,
dansunentretiensurlesitedel’Ukraine
Media Crisis Center, basé à Kiev.
Résultat, les patients sont revenus à la
drogue de la rue, et se laissent mourir.
« Silamoitiéd’entreeuxsurvit,çaserait
déjà bien. » La liste des patients a d’ail-
leursdisparu…« Deplus,latoxicomanie
estpoursuivieenRussie,donccommu-
niqueraveclesjournalistesestunrisque
absolu pour ces personnes. »
La Crimée a-t-elle définitivement pris
lelarge ?« L’annexiondelaCriméeestla
réponse russe au rapprochement entre
l’Ukraine et l’Occident, en particulier
avecl’Otan,etlarestitutiondelapénin-
sule n’est pas à l’ordre du jour », répond
Laetitia Spetschinsky. « Les sanctions
occidentalesserventdavantageàmani-
fester la réprobation qu’à déclencher
un véritable changement de cap. » Pour
NataliaGoumeniouk,laCriméesetrans-
formeenunezonedeconflitgelécomme
l’OssétieduSudetl’AbkhazieenGéorgie.
Une« îleégarée »,pourreprendreletitre
de son livre paru en Ukraine ? « J’ai le
sentimentqu’elleestdansunisolement
total, répond-elle. La Crimée a disparu
de nos discours. Elle est égarée dans
l’agenda international. » Mais pas dans
celuideVladimirPoutine.V
MONDE UKRAINE/RUSSIE
74
➜
LE VIF • NUMÉRO 16 • 16.04.2020
FACEBOOK
Des Tatars manifestent pour leurs droits sur la place Rouge
à Moscou, en 2019, avant d’être interpellés par la police.
2020
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International Outreach also conducts press tours for foreign journalists, organizes interviews with local
and foreign news-makers, and produces its own analytical materials. Due to COVID-19, visits of foreign
journalists became extremely limited. A this time, our team helped to meet the requests the media had with
regard to Ukraine, via online consultations: there were 123 such direct consultations to foreign journalists.
This collaboration of UCMC International Outreach results in unique publications and TV programs about
Ukraine in international media. For example, French TV Channel ARTE approached UCMC with a proposal for
“remote filming” of stories about Ukraine for the Viral series – a part of their program about the countries
meeting the pandemic worldwide. The UCMC team shot 4 stories about Ukraine, which allowed to increase
the visibility of Ukraine in the global context.
The protracted nature of the military action in Donbas becomes less and less of interest to the international
media, but it shall be kept on the radar of the international informational environment. In these
circumstances, the UCMC International Outreach continued to report weekly on the situation in the war zone,
as well as analyze the processes in the Minsk Contact Group and political trends, possible relocation of the
Contact Group to another country due to events in Belarus, etc. In 2020, we also stepped out of Ukrainian-
centric narrative to analyze the neighbouring countries and the region. Since the beginning of the protests in
Belarus, the International Outreach has been widely reporting about the developments in Belarus and their
significance for the region. A separate focus of the coverage was Ukraine’s reaction to the protests in Belarus
and the analysis of Ukraine’s foreign policy.
2020
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Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group
9,407,000+
total outreach with the HWAG
produced, presented, and/or
facilitated topics
176video
clips and videos
demonstrating Russian
propaganda narratives
7,325
followers in Facebook,
Twitter and Telegram
100+
meetings with experts,
opinion shapers, politicians
on topics related to
countering disinformation
HWAG in 2020:
2020
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Ever since the annexation of Crimea and the start of
the War in Donbas, Ukraine Crisis Media Center has
dedicated its efforts to counteract Russian influence
on public opinion in Ukraine and to help our allies
learn about these activities. With its Hybrid Warfare
Analytical Group (HWAG) established in late 2017,
UCMC aims to identify ongoing information threats from
Russian Federation, and to notify national, European
and American stakeholders of the ways to negate its
influence on democratic processes in their respective
countries and regions.
2020
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HWAG’s work is a combination of research, advocacy and coordination with local and international
stakeholders, built on 6 years of UCMC’s expertise in countering hybrid warfare, which resulted in the
formation of Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group. The team monitors the evolvement of Russian narratives,
establishment of new ones, their exploitation in information operations and their transition to Ukrainian
landscape via Kremlin’s agents of influence. Among several new formats HWAG has launched this year
despite the COVID-19 pandemic, is a respective rubric #KremlinNarratives, based on a careful monitoring
of pro-Russian media on daily basis. The team watches closely not only the established and well-recognized
pro-Russian actors, but also the emerging ones, raising awareness.
Having a firm position in Ukrainian countering disinformation community, HWAG enjoys an opportunity to
unite efforts of our colleagues from different organizations and build a productive dialogue with Ukrainian
government. Head of HWAG, Liubov Tsybulska, is an advisor to Minister of Foreign Affairs on hybrid warfare,
providing insight on latest disinformation trends and ways to deter them throughout coordination platform
meetings and strategic sessions at the Ministry.
HWAG also shares the expertise on both local and international levels, being participants of Donbas Media
Forum (which was widely covered by key Ukrainian media outlets such as Hromadske and Ukrinform),
Biannual Conference: Transatlanticism 2020, Atlantic Council and many others. Making contributions to
Ukrainian and foreign media and expert platforms, UCMC’s HWAG team engages both audiences at once,
uniting Ukraine and its Western partners in a joint fight against disinformation as one of the aspects of
hybrid influence. Moreover, the team strongly believes in raising awareness and building skills to counteract
malign influences among young generation and generously shares knowledge with students in Ukraine and
2020
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abroad at various trainings and as invited lecturers at universities – Czech Masaryk University, Prague
Charles University, Kyiv Mohyla University.
Within its activities and under separate small projects, the team has introduced and participated in
unique initiatives, among them:
With support from the UK’s Open Information Partnership (OIP), HWAG and UChoose teams jointly launched
the “Elves Network Project” aimed at uniting and empowering activists from various regions of Ukraine to
enhance their capabilities in countering malign hybrid influence. Based on the Baltic experience of “elves”
network, UCMC teams initiated project engaging local citizens with different backgrounds in joint response
to Russian hybrid influence, are set on creating an engaged, trust-built, autonomous community via a
“concentration circle” model. Trusted and recommended activists that go through the training and establish
professional relations with each other involve other colleagues, thus expanding the network. Education
element is important to balance different skill-sets of individual participants (which create an opportunity for
multilayer, flexible and proactive response to malign information operations), but so is creating a sense of
unity and motivation in civic community throughout Ukraine.
HWAG has been a proud member of Open Information Partnership-organized team of regional disinformation
experts from 6 countries, which has for several months monitored domestic and foreign COVID-19 related
disinformation. Several months of collaboration allowed us to further investigate how Russian disinformation
penetrates Ukrainian media landscape with the assistance of local agents of Kremlin’s influence.
2020
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The team observed the revitalization of old narratives on American biological labs, weaponized by local pro-
Russian forces and employed by occupying authorities in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Cooperation with
colleagues from other countries, also extensively targeted by Russian disinfo, highlighted the similarities
and differences. The final report, which was presented at the closed online meeting in August, spiked the
interest of the UK Ministry of Defense, representatives of which were present at the event. In addition to the
monitoring reports, fruitful discussions with colleagues and HWAG’s own findings gave birth to a number of
separate materials, such as analytics and infographics. Project findings were also presented and discussed at
Donbas Media Forum, one of the key annual media events in Ukraine.
The feedbacks from key stakeholders speak best for the HWAG performance
and importance of their work:
“Thanks to cooperation with UCMC we were able to reach synergy in many fields. First, we empowered each other
and strengthened outreach to our target audience by creating a coalition to share each other’s output. Second, I am
grateful to UCMC for the constant and fruitful cooperation in countering hybrid warfare, thanks to which we were
able to hold a presentation and discussion of a report on Surkov’s hacked e-mail and to visit a countless number of
both formal and informal events where slowly but steadily a coalition of organizations working in our field is being
established. I am also grateful for the opportunity to be a training specialist and share my experience at the events
organized by UCMC“
Alya Shandra,
Editor-in-Chief,
Euromaidan Press
2020
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“As of today, Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group of UCMC is, to say the least, one of the strongest centers of expertise
on countering aggressive propaganda in Ukraine. They provide the fullest monitoring and the deepest analysis
of instruments and narratives used by the Russian government in Ukraine. At the same time, they are skilled in
disseminating this knowledge within the audience: they combine in-depth analytical pieces with easier formats (such
as short viral videos on social media), which makes this expertise accessible not only for the narrow expert circle,
but also for the citizens who are not part of it. Moreover, they engage a growing number of people in countering
information threats. They educate journalists and civic activists; with OIP’s support they establish teams of Ukrainian
elves according to the Lithuanian model. If we add the constant consultations of Ukrainian policy-makers on the
issues of hybrid warfare to the picture, the result is a complex strategic work of UCMC, which has evident influence on
Ukraine’s ability to counter these threats“
“HybridWarfareAnalyticalGrouphasbeendoinganexcellentjob.AsaspokespersonandmediaadvisortotheMinisterof
ForeignAffairsofUkraine,IneedtobeconstantlyawareofRussia’smaliciousactivities,particularlytheirnarrativesregarding
UkraineandUkraine’sforeignpolicy.It’sincrediblyhelpfultohaveHWAG’sanalysisathand.Allinall,there’slittlepleasurein
monitoringRussianmediaandit’satruegiftwhensomeonedoesitforyou,socarefullyandprofessionally“
Roman Shutov,
Regional network manager,
Open Information Partnership
Heorhii Tykhyi,
Spokesperson,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
2020
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UChoose
3,834,720
total outreach with the
UChoose materials
119 website
publications promoting
critical thinking 1,000+
engaging posts
targeting young
audience
10,916
followers in Facebook,
Twitter and Telegram
UChoose in 2020:
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UChoose is one of UCMC’s most daring projects to date – it uses a combination of modern communication tools, colorful
and memorable visuals, quirky and sometimes outright “hooligan”-ish language to reach youth audiences.
2020
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Uchoose.info is a resource that deals with critical thinking, countering propaganda, media hygiene,
analytics, designed to explain certain concepts, quench panic and debunk fakes and populist myths. The
team actively responds to the information challenges of today by conveying information in an easy way
with elements of gamification that is popular among young audiences.
Our complex activity includes web-portal with articles and videos, we regularly produce new quizzes with
help of most prominent specialists and actively engage on social media. UChoose prominently involves
respected experts, celebrities, bloggers and provides live lectures to university and high school students
on critical thinking.
Under the conditions of quarantine and “coronavirus crisis”, when people have reduced their social
offline activity and intensified their online presence, while populism, manipulation and propaganda
increase their influence accordingly, the work of the UChoose media resource becomes even more
demanded for thanks to the unrestricted access to the audience. It is also extremely relevant, because we
all learn to think critically, to check the facts, not to share fakes, to make conscious choices.
Given the increase in the UChoose’s targeted audience and reach in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2019,
it is important to maintain this platform for scaling and consolidating values based on the rule of law,
democracy, education, anti-populism, and for involving people in constructive discussions based on
critical thinking rather than emotions and labeling.
2020
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2020 has become a tremendous growth year for the team’s work within the same size in personnel. UChoose
activity has traditionally been online (exactly where its target audience is), and the team has intensified its
efforts to expand its presence in the digital space and to measure its performance. UChoose Facebook page
has grown to 10,114 followers from 7,800 at the beginning of the year, and continues to grow monthly. On
top of that, readers’ engagement level increased to 114,206 compared to 10,952 at the beginning of the year.
UChoose team closely monitors the growing and continuously evolving demand for information from
its target audience. That is why and thanks to the flexibility, new formats are regularly introduced to
the UChoose platforms, and they are positively received. The team also partners with other resource
organizations to enhance each other and reach out to wider audience. UChoose materials are often shared
and re-posted by Ukrainian opinion leaders, expert platforms and public officials, which adds credibility and
increases reputation of the platform. In April UChoose’s account in Twitter was blocked by intended cyber
bot attack, which is an indirect evidence of our importance to malign actors in the Ukrainian informational
environment and real influence over public opinion. Thanks to the joint efforts of UCMC teams and strong
partnership relations with other civil society organizations, UChoose has not lost its followers but started to
swiftly enroll new after re-launching its Twitter account.
In this way, the team has overdelivered the 2020 plan in terms of public outreach already in 6 months.
UChoose publications collect numerous comments and feedbacks from their readers. Here are
just a couple of such to demonstrate the high demand, relevance and importance of the online
communication on the hot topics.
28
Media literacy is highly important in the era of
informational society, and for us with the lasting
Russian aggression, even much more important.
Annual
Report
2020
Subscribed. Thank you!
I follow your activity across various social networks and invite my friends to
follow you. Thank you for the interesting information and wish more Ukrainians
read it and grow own critical thinking. You’re really cool!
Post 2:
I recommend UChoose_info. Perfect team from UCMC, published interesting
and quality Ukrainian content. This is not about news but about critical
thinking and sharing conscious mindfulness among Ukrainians. Interesting
new reading pieces almost every day: articles, short-reads, quotes, quizzes.
Here’s a great online game by UChoose_info
– share it with your children
29
I lean with you. Thank you.
Interesting. This is perhaps the most
appropriate way to deliver the key
messages, “briefly on the most important”.
Annual
Report
2020
	
My father-in-law has been confident that Ulyana Suprun’s
[former Minister for Health in Ukraine] relatives launched bio
laboratories.
I shared your article, and he asked for the link, it changed his
mind.
Thank you very much…
We had really tough family discussions, and it’s been difficult
to tell in few words. Suprun and those biolabs had been as a
red cape for him…were really blowing my mind)))
2020
Annual
Report
30
National Outreach: Media Reboot
628media spots
released as an outcome
of the team’s efforts
6,011,000+
total outreach
42
press events
organized
411
journalists participated
in the events organized
by the team
Media Reboot in 2020:
2020
Annual
Report
31
National Outreach: Media Reboot works to support Ukrainian regional media. We aim to help regional media outlets to meet
modern challenges, produce better and more reliable content, provide them with opportunities for learning, professional
exchange and technical support. We organize trainings, seminars, workshops, consultations for regional journalists on
relevant for them topics, meetings and collective interviews within press-tours, study tours abroad, press events in Kyiv
and in partnership with regional media centers. Through our activities, we provide access to the source of information when
regional media receive answers to the most pressing issues in a wide range of areas (health care system, education, energy
sector, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, etc.). We also build horizontal links between regions of Ukraine, providing
opportunities to our beneficiaries for sharing experiences and successful practices, networking and combining new
knowledge with their local realities.
2020
Annual
Report
32
The National Outreach team systematically works with regional media: trainings for journalists always
combine group events (trainings, webinars, etc.) and individual targeted consultations. This approach allows
to respond the requests and needs that come directly from the participants and, if needed, come back to the
topics that are important or require deeper touch.
From the beginning of the lockdown, when the opportunities to meet experts, representatives of authorities,
have live exchanges with colleagues or join traditional trainings and workshops became impossible, UCMC
supported journalists, focusing specifically on the regions. The National Outreach team provided their
beneficiaries with the opportunity to obtain exclusive quality comments from experts, facilitated search
for new topics for journalistic materials so that the media continued to keep their audiences informed.
Developing capabilities of the regional journalists, UCMC improves the quality of media in Ukraine and
reaches out to the information consumers. In 2020, this outreach constituted 6,011,000 contacts with the
readers of the regional media.
“KnowingandlovingourUkraineisespeciallyimportanttoday.JournalistsarecalledtomaintaintheprideofUkrainiansfor
theirnativeland,thehistoryoftheirpeople,tonurtureourcollectivedignityandhighnationalawareness.Andthisrequiresnot
onlyprofessionalismfromthemedia,butalsoconsiderableknowledgeandmemoryoftheheart.ThankyoutotheUkrainian
CrisisMediaCenterfororganizingeducationalpresstoursthathelpusgainnewimpressionsandpositiveemotions,todiscover
firstforourselves,andlaterforouraudiences,uniquefeaturesfromdifferentpartsofthehomeland“
Natalia Zvorygina,
Editor-in-Chief,
Zaporizka Pravda newspaper
2020
Annual
Report
33
In 2020, the team has successfully completed “Modern Regional Media – Quality Assurance for a
Mediacompetent Democratic Ukraine” project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the
duration period from October 2019 through September 2020. In addition, two big projects were launched with
the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership:
1) Building Democratic Resilience in Ukraine through Strengthening Local and Regional Media,
funded by USAID and Estonian MFA to end in December 2021, and
2) Countering Disinformation in Southern and Eastern Ukraine, funded by the European
Commission, and to last through January 2022.
To meet the goals set within these projects, a series of learning sessions aimed at increasing profits and
improving financial situations of the regional media were held. Supervised by a mentor, the participants
accomplished 18 homework assignments after these webinars. On top to other important outcomes, 30% of
participants indicated they have significantly increased the revenues from selling advertisements.
“Lookingback,beforethewebinarsonthemonetizationformedia,andwhatwebecameafterthetrainings,Iwouldsay
frankly-it’sheavenandearth.Wereceivedalotofnewandusefulinformationonhowtoselladvertisementsexpensively
(thisissomethingwedidnotknowandrarelysucceeded),howtonegotiatedwithcustomers,howtostimulatetheadvertising
manager,etc.BigthankyoutoUCMCfororganizingsuchcoolandrelevantwebinarsforthereformedmedia!“
Liudmyla Arman,
Editor-in-Chief,
“Tavria” newspaper (Kherson region)
2020
Annual
Report
34
“Webinar«Workingwithvisualsandhowtocreategraphiccontentwithyourownhands»becameextremelyuseful,and
oneofthereasonsthattwogroups,for“beginners”andfor“intermediatelevelusers”wereformed.Beinghighlyinterested,
weleveragedbothanddelegated2participantsfromoureditorialstaff.Weimmediatelystartedworkingwithseveralfree
resourcesuponadvicebyUCMC’sexpertOlgaTkachenko.Thewebpageof“NyzhniSirogozy.City”mediaenrichedwithnew
modernandaudienceengagingelements:polls,voting,etc.“
Vita Kopenko,
Editor-in-Chief,
Chervonyi Promin newspaper
Nyzhni Sirogozy. City online media
Another series of webinars covered the topics of how media can be more effective in modern digital
environment as COVID-19 has facilitated many regional outlets to move or intensify their online presence.
UCMC helped to revive websites and social media accounts, trained to efficiently manage these resources,
create visuals and become more visible for the general public.
Despite the low offline activity, the team managed to organize two press tours for journalists from the
Southern regions of Ukraine to the Northern regions. 29 media representatives participated in the press
tours. 78 publications were released by the participants in their regions based on the knowledge, information
and emotions brought from the tours.
2020
Annual
Report
35
Decentralization Reform Communication
(DOBRE Program Communication Component)
63 events organized
for local governments,
national and regional media
30,164,158+
total outreach
49
press events
organized
12,296
followers in Facebook
1,561 media
spots about DOBRE
Program appeared
across Ukraine
UCMC DOBRE Communication Team in 2020:
2020
Annual
Report
36
Decentralization Reform Communication Team is a principal direction of UCMC aimed at communicating the reform at all
levels. Currently, the Team is responsible for communications component of Decentralization Offering Better Results and
Efficiency (DOBRE), 2016-2022 initiative sponsored by USAID and managed by Global Communities.
2020
Annual
Report
37
In time of COVID-19 pandemic, UCMC DOBRE team was among the first who
started online communication with their main target audiences – representatives
of self-governments at local, rayon and oblast level, regional and national media.
The team initiated a series of practical webinars with well-known experts in
the areas of public health safety and crisis communications to cover lack of
information and tools for local governments on tackling the new epidemic and
maintaining the effective work under imposed restrictions.
“WithUCMC’ssupport,we’vereceivedalotofknowledgethatempoweredustocombatcoronavirusinfectionand,using
theproposedpractices,informthepublicaboutquarantinerestrictions,theworkoflocalauthoritiestopreventthespreadof
COVID-19,providingcitizenswithreliableinformationfromofficialsourcesinanaccessibleformat”
OleksandrKorinnyi,
Chairperson of the Association of
amalgamated territorial communities,
Head of Novoukrainska amalgamated community,
Kirovohrad region
2020
Annual
Report
38
Year 2020 has brought many changes to administrative and territorial structure within the
Decentralization reform. All communities in Ukraine became amalgamated and subregional level was
consolidated as well: new rayons were formed. UCMC DOBRE contributed a lot to raise public awareness
on the changes by initiating and organizing open public discussions, arranging public dialogues that
involved all sides of the process, starting from the relevant Ministry, parliamentary committee, local
governance experts and up to representatives of local governments at all levels, regional media,
residents in communities across Ukraine.
In addition, anticipating local elections in October 2020, UCMC DOBRE also worked hard to communicate
changes in the election rules and procedures that were adopted and entered into force this year. We held
5 public discussions with representatives of Central Election Commission, Ministry of Health, members
of parliament and experts explaining to the voters and candidates the peculiarities of the amended
Election Code, challenges of the COVID-19 and its impact on the election process along with other
pressing issues in front of the local elections.
Jointly with Global Communities, UCMC provided local governments with opportunities to speak on the
national and international level about their problems and difficulties as well as good practices initiated
in time of pandemic. Several online conferences were convened for the purpose to establish a dialogue
between different levels of governments and unite them in finding effective solutions and supportive
cooperation.
2020
Annual
Report
39
Expert discussion «Local elections 2020 and СOVID-19» organized by DOBRE team on
October 2, 2020 convened members of Parliament of Ukraine, member of the Central Election
Commission, Deputy Minister for Health - Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine, representatives of
local governments associations and election experts.
2020
Annual
Report
40
In addition, UCMC DOBRE team has issued a handbook for communities “Communication and crisis.
How local governments can stand up against challenges and work successfully in crisis time”, which will
be a lasting practical advisory based on the 2020 challenges.
The team also organized discussions around other topics on major changes within the Decentralization
reform: transfer of hospitals and culture houses from district to community governments; land reform,
changes to taxation system for agrarians and its impact on the income for the local self-governance.
“AlmosttwohoursansweringthequestionsofjournalistsfromalloverUkraineonthefinishoftheDecentralizationReformand
perspectiveplans.Utmosthonestyandstraighttothepoint!Thankstoeveryonewhojoined.Thankstotheorganizers.Thanks
toDOBREDecentralizationProgramandUkraineCrisisMediaCenter.
We’llmakesuchpresseventsregular!
Everything will be decentralization!“
Vitalii Bezhin,
Member of the Parliament,
Chairperson of the Parliament’s Sub-committee
on Administrative-Territorial Organization
2020
Annual
Report
41
UCMC also supported 12 communities with producing high quality visual materials, having dispatched photo
expeditions there. This activity helps the communities in building their image on own examples of great
results achieved thanks to the Decentralization Reform.
All the topics raised by the team were of high public demand, which is confirmed by the interest from
journalists and demonstrated by the outreach number of 30 164 158 contacts with the audience through the
media, including print and TV spots.
“Reformingthesystemoflocalself-governanceandterritorialorganizationinthecountrygoingalongsidewithintroduction
ofanewelectoralsystemprovokemanyquestionsamongthejournalists.Inadditiontotheoreticalknowledgeandlegislative
nuances,itisimportanttofindtheanswersthatourreadersarewaitingfor.Andfirstly–howthelifeoftheterritorieswill
change,whowillberesponsiblefortheirwell-beinganddevelopment,whowillmanagethefundslocally,makeimportant
decisionsfortheresidents,whotoaddresswithaspecificproblem,andsoon.DOBREProgramprovideduswiththe
opportunitiestolearntheanswerstotheseandotherquestionsduringtrainings.Professionalandcompetentspeakers,
qualifiedexpertsspokecomprehensivelyandindetailaboutthefeaturesofbothprocesses.Thankstothem,wewillbeableto
clearlyandindetailtellpeoplewhatawaitsthemasaresultofoneofthekeyreformsinthecountry.And,ofcourse,journalists
hadtheopportunitytoincreasetheirprofessionalandciviccompetence“
Oksana Rybchenkova,
Editor-in-chief
Newspaper “Narodne Slovo”, Kirovohrad region
2020
Annual
Report
42
The picture is from Stanislavska territorial community of Kherson region made in 2020 within one of 12 photo
expeditions organized by DOBRE team.
2020
Annual
Report
43
Our Strength in Our Synergy
The UCMC’s team collective skills and knowledge in the wide spectrum of directions is what makes the
organization flexible and impactful at the same time, enabling the high results. All UCMC teams closely
collaborate and join efforts, enhance each other with specific expertise and enrich wider audiences with
information on the topics of significant social importance.
Thus, all UCMC teams shared the view that COVID-19 awareness must be addressed through extensive
communication campaigns at all levels – similarly to how it touched all spheres of life. The materials
produced by one group were readily grasped by others and amplified, taking into account the specifics of
target audience.
The UCMC’s synergy became handy when the need to support people of Belarus sprang up. It’s been a great
pleasure and honor to be known in Belarus, so that when the need arose, UCMC has become a major rostrum
for the Belarussian activists and all teams worked as one so that the civil society from Belarus is heard
around the world.
Thanks to joint efforts of Media Center and DOBRE teams, a series of expert public discussions were
organized around the local elections in Ukraine covering the numerous legislative changes and their
outcomes, election processes at pandemic limitations. It allowed experts to exchange opinions and deliver
principal information on the amendments, provide valuable advice for the voters, members of election
commissions and election participants.
2020
Annual
Report
44
HWAG’s analytical materials, unique findings and expertise are highly valued among the disinformation,
propaganda and hybrid influences internationally, but first and foremost within UCMC. The organization’s
representatives are regularly involved as information security experts in trainings for students of journalism
and regional journalists, organized by Media Reboot team. International Outreach and UChoose directions
regularly leverage HWAG’s analytical materials for their audiences respectively.
2020
Annual
Report
45
Media Center provides necessary support and plays a role of a hub for all teams in their efforts to deliver the
messages to the wider audiences via direct access to media and extensive distribution across its contact
database. It’s only this collaborative approach and unique combination of diverse expertise and capacities
that results in UCMC’s 2020 achievements. We are especially proud that altogether, within 8 projects and
despite COVID-19 limitations throughout 2020, UCMC had:
510
325
198
32
1,534
15,917,000
27
367
91,200
61
events for media,
experts and local
governments
own publications
in foreign
languages
video
pieces
trainings for journalists,
civil activists and local
governments
direct contacts
with media
contacts reached with UCMC’s
own digital platforms
infographics
press
releases
subscribers
and followers in
social media
longreads
2020
Annual
Report
46
2020 expenditures by donors

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UCMC Annual Report 2020

  • 2. EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES KYIV, UKRAINE
  • 3. 2020 Annual Report 3 Dear Reader, It is our great pleasure to present you with the overview of activities we at Ukraine Crisis Media Center have accomplished and the results we have achieved in 2020. No doubt, the past year was the most challenging one not only for our organization or our country. The entire world had to switch the railing and learn driving the new way. We took the pandemic threat very seriously and put the health and safety of our employees, beneficiaries and stakeholders we touch as a key priority. At this, every day we were witnessing the pressing needs for our work in supplying reliable information in the situation, which even World Health Organization named an “infodemic”. And we enhanced our efforts, explored and immediately adjusted our work in a belief that UCMC’s mission of strengthening communications outreaching citizens across Ukraine and beyond has become highly relevant and urgent at this time of pandemic. People say, every crisis is a new opportunity. This saying has proved its verity as we unveiled many benefits, whereas reaching out to many more citizens became one of them. The newly discovered opportunities demonstrated that there could be no borders or limits in the modern world, the ideas and exchange of best practices can go all around the world within beats. And we lavish these opportunities generously in a combination of online and offline events, where our experts can speak from any place in the world and our audiences are not limited by the physical space or logistics. Having said that, we are looking forward very much to the upcoming year with a hope that the world will come out of the lasting lockdown in a better shape, healthier and stronger. We’ve got a chance to learn a lot from the crisis – let’s build on the knowledge we gained and grow sustainably insightful. UCMC Team
  • 5. 2020 Annual Report 5 Who We Are Ukraine Crisis Media Center, founded in the spirit of the Revolution of Dignity in March 2014, has been effectively working for more than 6 years to strengthen the voice of Ukraine abroad and improve as well as facilitate internal and external communications. To reach these goals, we carry on in-depth work with regional journalists and editors, communication of ongoing reforms, enhancement of youth media literacy, and complex hybrid warfare analysis with the focus on informational and influence operations. In doing so, we serve as a platform for expert, multilateral and inclusive dialogue, having grown to one of the most recognized communication hubs in Ukraine. Our vision is that of a free democratic world that includes Ukraine as integral part of Europe, a successful, competitive and secure state. We adhere to this vision by sustainable contributions to strengthening European identity and bringing Ukraine and international community closer. Our mission lies in bolstering and applying strategic communications to secure the values at the core of the Revolution of Dignity in order to promote self-sufficient Ukrainian state as a constituent of European community. We have no illusion of the fast remedies but believe in ethical, professional and sustainable work with complex issues to deliver real results. These claims constitute the core of our values as an organization. We pursue Ukrainian statehood, patriotism, courage, originality and creativity, honesty and accountability.
  • 7. 2020 Annual Report 7 What we do UCMC is formed by five directional units: • UCMC Media Center • Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group (HWAG) • UChoose • National outreach: Media Reboot • Decentralization Communication Team (DOBRE communication component) In 2020,  The Media Center worked under three major strategic areas: 1) Serving as a communication hub for civil society organizations in Ukraine, helping to outreach wider audiences with the socially important topics; 2) Acting as a civil society leader in organizing public dialogues on key social topics for the Ukrainian audiences; 3) Outreaching to audiences abroad to promote Ukraine.
  • 8. 2020 Annual Report 8  HWAG worked under its strategic areas: 1) Monitoring and analysis of the Russian hybrid narratives and influences and producing expert materials 2) Keeping the global community informed on the means, tools and channels as well as effects of the informational war and hybrid threats 3) Making impact over the national politics and helping to shape the state position on the issues  UChoose direction worked under its primary goal introducing young Ukrainian citizens to political life of the country, but also doing so with critical thinking in mind.  National Outreach: Media Reboot continued to collaborate with the regional journalists across Ukraine, providing them with necessary support in accessing first-source information and learning modern tools to improve their professional skills as well as media strength.  Decentralization Communication Team, responsible for the communication component of USAID’s DOBRE (Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency) Program, continued to roll out its programs in the targeted regions, having added 25 new communities in Chernihiv, Zaporizhia and Chernivtsi regions in 2020.
  • 10. 10 UCMC Media Center 325 50,364 923 305 54 1,729 events hosted and supported with complex media facilitation and endorsement upon requests of Ukrainian NGOs own media events initiated, organized and hosted in response to the topics of significant social importance speakers enjoyed the opportunities to share their opinions on socially important issues journalists attended the events hosted at the Media Center unique materials were released for international audiences in English, French, Italian and German people follow Media Center pages in Ukrainian, English, French, and German in Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and YouTube networks. Media Center in 2020:
  • 11. 2020 Annual Report 11 UCMC’s Media Center is a unique civil society platform that allows top Ukrainian and foreign institutions, NGOs, experts and community activists to reach the general public via live streamed briefings and extensive mailers. Since 2014 the platform provides a continuously working press room, complete with professional equipment for broadcasting, and provides on-demand streaming, interpretation and press-release services.
  • 12. 2020 Annual Report 12 2020 was a challenging year for the Media Center: under the COVID-19 restrictions, press events and public discussions became impossible to conduct in a traditional way, with physical presence of speakers, journalists and audience in the press room. With all the equipment available, the Media Center team managed to immediately re-format its working processes and transitioned the activities to online format. This change unveiled even some benefits that were underleveraged before: convening unlimited number of speakers and visitors via Zoom e-meeting platform; involving the best experts from all over Ukraine and beyond, notwithstanding geography, general quarantine limitations or self-isolation. Under the lockdown conditions, cultural and educational spheres as well as small and medium entrepreneurs became the most affected. People working in these areas faced anxiety and frustration, and we are very proud of the Center’s two-month initiative in support of these sectors of national economy. Over unique interviews with prominent Ukrainians like Serhiy Zhadan, Ivan Lenio, Yulia Fediv, Dmytro Komarenko, Anna Mazur and others were recorded to share the prospects on the developments and advice on possible action plans. The number of requests for press briefings with the ease of quarantine restrictions promptly returned to almost the same level as before the pandemic times. We are extremely proud for this fact, which, to our point of view, confirms the credibility UCMC has won among the key stakeholders in Ukraine and abroad and, on the other hand, the need for the services Media Center renders, especially to the civil society organizations and movements. Our honored guests are always confident that their messages will be widely disseminated thanks to the UCMC Media Center support.
  • 13. 2020 Annual Report 13 UCMC Media Center also works as a “media for media” platform, creating own informational products, which result from the public events organized and hosted by the Center, build public awareness around important facts or inform on major social issues. For this purpose, the team continuously work to improve and launch new types of informational pieces – like long reads, quotes, photo announcements, etc. – all to keep the audience updated with fact-based, relevant and reliable news. “Ukraine Crisis Media Center holds an absolutely unique niche role. In fact, this is perhaps the only opportunity for civil society organizations, think-tanks and other third-sector actors to access a quality media outreach platform to present information of significant importance for the Ukrainian and international audiences. To us, UCMC has been a reliable partner for many years, and it’s hard to image our work without this collaboration” Oleksandra Matviychuk, Head of the Board NGO “Center for Civic Freedoms”
  • 14. 2020 Annual Report 14 “Ukraine Crisis Media Center has become a place where a lot of positive changes in Ukraine first saw the world. Having the capital-based equal-spaced professional media platform helps a lot of independent Ukrainian researchers, experts, analysts, think-tankers to sound clearly and be heard. UCMC has become an up-and-up place for a lot of NGOs during the galloping pandemic as well as the safe cooperation point for the timely immediate initiatives. We highly appreciate the BRDO-UCMC cooperation and hope to prolong it for upcoming years“ “In Ukrainian realities, when the leading media platforms are owned by oligarchs and a large number of them work for Kremlin, the role of independent media is extremely important. UCMC provides unique opportunity to honest people who cannot afford information support for their activities and do not wish to promote reputation of oligarch-owned media. It is so important to keep up! Thanks to UCMC, our public discussions around important for the country topics were recorded and broadcasted at the best, but on top of that were translated into English, allowing to inform international partners on the progress Ukraine makes towards European integration, security issues and other urgent topics. I greatly appreciate UCMC’s work!“ Oleksiy Dorohan, Director, Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) Hanna Hopko, Head of the Board, NGO “Network for Protecting National Interests “ANTS”, MP of the 8th (previous) convocation
  • 15. 2020 Annual Report 15 International Outreach International Outreach, a sub-direction with the Media Center, works in synergy with other departments of UCMC to promote Ukraine abroad. The team focuses on foreign and domestic political processes, economic challenges and cultural features of the country, and seeks to explain its target audience the main trends of the Ukrainian present, but also give a historical perspective of events. We cover the processes in the country without political bias, and strive to rebuild trust between Ukraine’s international partners and stakeholders within the country. International Outreach produces informational pieces in English, French, Italian and German, which are are read by journalists, experts, politicians and opinion shapers in nearly 50 countries around the world. The team maintains contact with over 3000 representatives of foreign media, private journalists and foreign organizations in order to spread success stories of modern Ukraine as well as to bring their attention to the existing issues in reforming our country. 325 publications were released in four languages and distributed via the growing contacts database. Under the challenge caused by the pandemic, the International Outreach continued to work but havng adjusted to the new conditions. Every week we were informing our audience about the situation with COVID-19 in Ukraine: statistics, trends, quarantine restrictions set forth by the government, etc. We used to and continue to promptly provide practical advice for travelers, business, tourists on the rules of crossing the border. We pay special attention to informing about the situation in the occupied territories and in the Crimea, which are hardly covered in the international press. In total, there were around 30 publications covering the topic of how Ukraine is fighting COVID-19 in our weekly digests in four languages. avaient fait allégeance à l’Union soviétique,dontMoscouétaitlacapitale, et donc n’estiment pas avoir retourné leurveste. » Plus loin, Natalia, 55 ans, s’apprête à partir en randonnée avec une amie : « Noussommesdébarrassésdelamenace desnationalistesukrainiensetjemesens protégée par un pays fort », déclame- t-elle.Elleseréjouitdunouveaumontant de sa pension, bien que le quotidien Kommersant évoquât récemment le mécontentement de Criméens russo- phones. Mais elle préfère ne pas en parler :onnesaitjamaispourquitravaille l’interlocuteur. « Les autorités locales étaient dans le secret du référendum », glisse-t-elle néanmoins. Ce ne fut pas compliqué à organiser. Dans les années 1990, à l’époque de Boris Eltsine, une première consultation – sans suite – avait déjà mis en évidence la proximité culturelleentreRussesetCriméens. Les Tatars stigmatisés L’enthousiasme est bien moindre chez les Tatars. Ils ne sont plus que 15 % de la population, après que Staline a déporté au-delà de l’Oural plus de 190 000membresdecettecommunauté musulmane, car accusés de sympathies avec les nazis. Jusqu’à cette époque, Bakhtchissaraï était leur capitale cultu- relle. A mi-chemin entre Sébastopol et Simferopol, cette petite ville entourée d’un cirque rocheux abrite le magni- fique Hansaray, seul palais des khans subsistant en Crimée. Ce jour-là, il était fermé. « Du temps de l’Ukraine, j’au- rais pu vous ouvrir la porte », signale un guide. Le regret de l’annexion est manifeste, alimenté par des atteintes aux droits humains  : déportations, conscription forcée, raids policiers sur deslogements… Bien que les minorités qui ont souf- fert sous Staline aient été réhabilitées par Poutine, Moscou a suspendu le Mejlis, le parlement semi-officiel des Tatars de Crimée après en avoir pris le contrôle et mis en prison des dizaines d’entre eux, soupçonnés d’appartenir au groupe islamiste Hizb ut-Tahrir. « Prévention du terrorisme », argue Moscou, alors que les Tatars n’y voient qu’un moyen pour faire taire des oppo- sants. De fait, la communauté n’a cessé dedéclarerquel’annexionétaitillégale, et notamment le chef du Mejlis, Refat Chubarov.Actuellementpoursuivipour incitationàlaviolence,ilavaitannoncé une « marche de la dignité » le 3 mai prochain, avant de l’annuler à cause de la pandémie du Covid-19. Les Ukrainiens aussi sont amers, avec ladifférencequ’ilsnesontpasreconnus comme groupe ethnique, et doivent s’assimiler. Il ne reste pas grand-chose deleurprésence,àl’exceptiondel’hôtel UkrainedeSébastopol,leplusimportant delaville,etquitraîneunparfumsovié- tique. Certains ont gardé leur plaque ukrainienne pour circuler plus facile- mentdansleurpays,etpassentàpiedla frontièreverslaCrimée.Ilneleurfautpas devisa.Unloueurdevoiturestémoigne : « Beaucouptententderécupérerlepasse- portukrainiencariloffreplusdefacilités pourvoyagerenEurope.LesUkrainiens souffrent aussi d’une législation russe plus stricte pour l’urbanisme, et d’une bureaucratieplustatillonne. » Autresvictimesdel’annexion,les800 patients qui étaient sous traitement substitutifàlaméthadone.« C’étaitl’un des projets les plus réussis en Ukraine. Maislapratiquedelathérapiedesubsti- tutionestinterditeenRussie »,explique la journaliste Natalia Goumeniouk, dansunentretiensurlesitedel’Ukraine Media Crisis Center, basé à Kiev. Résultat, les patients sont revenus à la drogue de la rue, et se laissent mourir. « Silamoitiéd’entreeuxsurvit,çaserait déjà bien. » La liste des patients a d’ail- leursdisparu…« Deplus,latoxicomanie estpoursuivieenRussie,donccommu- niqueraveclesjournalistesestunrisque absolu pour ces personnes. » La Crimée a-t-elle définitivement pris lelarge ?« L’annexiondelaCriméeestla réponse russe au rapprochement entre l’Ukraine et l’Occident, en particulier avecl’Otan,etlarestitutiondelapénin- sule n’est pas à l’ordre du jour », répond Laetitia Spetschinsky. « Les sanctions occidentalesserventdavantageàmani- fester la réprobation qu’à déclencher un véritable changement de cap. » Pour NataliaGoumeniouk,laCriméesetrans- formeenunezonedeconflitgelécomme l’OssétieduSudetl’AbkhazieenGéorgie. Une« îleégarée »,pourreprendreletitre de son livre paru en Ukraine ? « J’ai le sentimentqu’elleestdansunisolement total, répond-elle. La Crimée a disparu de nos discours. Elle est égarée dans l’agenda international. » Mais pas dans celuideVladimirPoutine.V MONDE UKRAINE/RUSSIE 74 ➜ LE VIF • NUMÉRO 16 • 16.04.2020 FACEBOOK Des Tatars manifestent pour leurs droits sur la place Rouge à Moscou, en 2019, avant d’être interpellés par la police.
  • 16. 2020 Annual Report 16 International Outreach also conducts press tours for foreign journalists, organizes interviews with local and foreign news-makers, and produces its own analytical materials. Due to COVID-19, visits of foreign journalists became extremely limited. A this time, our team helped to meet the requests the media had with regard to Ukraine, via online consultations: there were 123 such direct consultations to foreign journalists. This collaboration of UCMC International Outreach results in unique publications and TV programs about Ukraine in international media. For example, French TV Channel ARTE approached UCMC with a proposal for “remote filming” of stories about Ukraine for the Viral series – a part of their program about the countries meeting the pandemic worldwide. The UCMC team shot 4 stories about Ukraine, which allowed to increase the visibility of Ukraine in the global context. The protracted nature of the military action in Donbas becomes less and less of interest to the international media, but it shall be kept on the radar of the international informational environment. In these circumstances, the UCMC International Outreach continued to report weekly on the situation in the war zone, as well as analyze the processes in the Minsk Contact Group and political trends, possible relocation of the Contact Group to another country due to events in Belarus, etc. In 2020, we also stepped out of Ukrainian- centric narrative to analyze the neighbouring countries and the region. Since the beginning of the protests in Belarus, the International Outreach has been widely reporting about the developments in Belarus and their significance for the region. A separate focus of the coverage was Ukraine’s reaction to the protests in Belarus and the analysis of Ukraine’s foreign policy.
  • 17. 2020 Annual Report 17 Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group 9,407,000+ total outreach with the HWAG produced, presented, and/or facilitated topics 176video clips and videos demonstrating Russian propaganda narratives 7,325 followers in Facebook, Twitter and Telegram 100+ meetings with experts, opinion shapers, politicians on topics related to countering disinformation HWAG in 2020:
  • 18. 2020 Annual Report 18 Ever since the annexation of Crimea and the start of the War in Donbas, Ukraine Crisis Media Center has dedicated its efforts to counteract Russian influence on public opinion in Ukraine and to help our allies learn about these activities. With its Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group (HWAG) established in late 2017, UCMC aims to identify ongoing information threats from Russian Federation, and to notify national, European and American stakeholders of the ways to negate its influence on democratic processes in their respective countries and regions.
  • 19. 2020 Annual Report 19 HWAG’s work is a combination of research, advocacy and coordination with local and international stakeholders, built on 6 years of UCMC’s expertise in countering hybrid warfare, which resulted in the formation of Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group. The team monitors the evolvement of Russian narratives, establishment of new ones, their exploitation in information operations and their transition to Ukrainian landscape via Kremlin’s agents of influence. Among several new formats HWAG has launched this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, is a respective rubric #KremlinNarratives, based on a careful monitoring of pro-Russian media on daily basis. The team watches closely not only the established and well-recognized pro-Russian actors, but also the emerging ones, raising awareness. Having a firm position in Ukrainian countering disinformation community, HWAG enjoys an opportunity to unite efforts of our colleagues from different organizations and build a productive dialogue with Ukrainian government. Head of HWAG, Liubov Tsybulska, is an advisor to Minister of Foreign Affairs on hybrid warfare, providing insight on latest disinformation trends and ways to deter them throughout coordination platform meetings and strategic sessions at the Ministry. HWAG also shares the expertise on both local and international levels, being participants of Donbas Media Forum (which was widely covered by key Ukrainian media outlets such as Hromadske and Ukrinform), Biannual Conference: Transatlanticism 2020, Atlantic Council and many others. Making contributions to Ukrainian and foreign media and expert platforms, UCMC’s HWAG team engages both audiences at once, uniting Ukraine and its Western partners in a joint fight against disinformation as one of the aspects of hybrid influence. Moreover, the team strongly believes in raising awareness and building skills to counteract malign influences among young generation and generously shares knowledge with students in Ukraine and
  • 20. 2020 Annual Report 20 abroad at various trainings and as invited lecturers at universities – Czech Masaryk University, Prague Charles University, Kyiv Mohyla University. Within its activities and under separate small projects, the team has introduced and participated in unique initiatives, among them: With support from the UK’s Open Information Partnership (OIP), HWAG and UChoose teams jointly launched the “Elves Network Project” aimed at uniting and empowering activists from various regions of Ukraine to enhance their capabilities in countering malign hybrid influence. Based on the Baltic experience of “elves” network, UCMC teams initiated project engaging local citizens with different backgrounds in joint response to Russian hybrid influence, are set on creating an engaged, trust-built, autonomous community via a “concentration circle” model. Trusted and recommended activists that go through the training and establish professional relations with each other involve other colleagues, thus expanding the network. Education element is important to balance different skill-sets of individual participants (which create an opportunity for multilayer, flexible and proactive response to malign information operations), but so is creating a sense of unity and motivation in civic community throughout Ukraine. HWAG has been a proud member of Open Information Partnership-organized team of regional disinformation experts from 6 countries, which has for several months monitored domestic and foreign COVID-19 related disinformation. Several months of collaboration allowed us to further investigate how Russian disinformation penetrates Ukrainian media landscape with the assistance of local agents of Kremlin’s influence.
  • 22. 2020 Annual Report 22 The team observed the revitalization of old narratives on American biological labs, weaponized by local pro- Russian forces and employed by occupying authorities in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Cooperation with colleagues from other countries, also extensively targeted by Russian disinfo, highlighted the similarities and differences. The final report, which was presented at the closed online meeting in August, spiked the interest of the UK Ministry of Defense, representatives of which were present at the event. In addition to the monitoring reports, fruitful discussions with colleagues and HWAG’s own findings gave birth to a number of separate materials, such as analytics and infographics. Project findings were also presented and discussed at Donbas Media Forum, one of the key annual media events in Ukraine. The feedbacks from key stakeholders speak best for the HWAG performance and importance of their work: “Thanks to cooperation with UCMC we were able to reach synergy in many fields. First, we empowered each other and strengthened outreach to our target audience by creating a coalition to share each other’s output. Second, I am grateful to UCMC for the constant and fruitful cooperation in countering hybrid warfare, thanks to which we were able to hold a presentation and discussion of a report on Surkov’s hacked e-mail and to visit a countless number of both formal and informal events where slowly but steadily a coalition of organizations working in our field is being established. I am also grateful for the opportunity to be a training specialist and share my experience at the events organized by UCMC“ Alya Shandra, Editor-in-Chief, Euromaidan Press
  • 23. 2020 Annual Report 23 “As of today, Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group of UCMC is, to say the least, one of the strongest centers of expertise on countering aggressive propaganda in Ukraine. They provide the fullest monitoring and the deepest analysis of instruments and narratives used by the Russian government in Ukraine. At the same time, they are skilled in disseminating this knowledge within the audience: they combine in-depth analytical pieces with easier formats (such as short viral videos on social media), which makes this expertise accessible not only for the narrow expert circle, but also for the citizens who are not part of it. Moreover, they engage a growing number of people in countering information threats. They educate journalists and civic activists; with OIP’s support they establish teams of Ukrainian elves according to the Lithuanian model. If we add the constant consultations of Ukrainian policy-makers on the issues of hybrid warfare to the picture, the result is a complex strategic work of UCMC, which has evident influence on Ukraine’s ability to counter these threats“ “HybridWarfareAnalyticalGrouphasbeendoinganexcellentjob.AsaspokespersonandmediaadvisortotheMinisterof ForeignAffairsofUkraine,IneedtobeconstantlyawareofRussia’smaliciousactivities,particularlytheirnarrativesregarding UkraineandUkraine’sforeignpolicy.It’sincrediblyhelpfultohaveHWAG’sanalysisathand.Allinall,there’slittlepleasurein monitoringRussianmediaandit’satruegiftwhensomeonedoesitforyou,socarefullyandprofessionally“ Roman Shutov, Regional network manager, Open Information Partnership Heorhii Tykhyi, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
  • 24. 2020 Annual Report 24 UChoose 3,834,720 total outreach with the UChoose materials 119 website publications promoting critical thinking 1,000+ engaging posts targeting young audience 10,916 followers in Facebook, Twitter and Telegram UChoose in 2020:
  • 25. 2020 Annual Report 25 UChoose is one of UCMC’s most daring projects to date – it uses a combination of modern communication tools, colorful and memorable visuals, quirky and sometimes outright “hooligan”-ish language to reach youth audiences.
  • 26. 2020 Annual Report 26 Uchoose.info is a resource that deals with critical thinking, countering propaganda, media hygiene, analytics, designed to explain certain concepts, quench panic and debunk fakes and populist myths. The team actively responds to the information challenges of today by conveying information in an easy way with elements of gamification that is popular among young audiences. Our complex activity includes web-portal with articles and videos, we regularly produce new quizzes with help of most prominent specialists and actively engage on social media. UChoose prominently involves respected experts, celebrities, bloggers and provides live lectures to university and high school students on critical thinking. Under the conditions of quarantine and “coronavirus crisis”, when people have reduced their social offline activity and intensified their online presence, while populism, manipulation and propaganda increase their influence accordingly, the work of the UChoose media resource becomes even more demanded for thanks to the unrestricted access to the audience. It is also extremely relevant, because we all learn to think critically, to check the facts, not to share fakes, to make conscious choices. Given the increase in the UChoose’s targeted audience and reach in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2019, it is important to maintain this platform for scaling and consolidating values based on the rule of law, democracy, education, anti-populism, and for involving people in constructive discussions based on critical thinking rather than emotions and labeling.
  • 27. 2020 Annual Report 27 2020 has become a tremendous growth year for the team’s work within the same size in personnel. UChoose activity has traditionally been online (exactly where its target audience is), and the team has intensified its efforts to expand its presence in the digital space and to measure its performance. UChoose Facebook page has grown to 10,114 followers from 7,800 at the beginning of the year, and continues to grow monthly. On top of that, readers’ engagement level increased to 114,206 compared to 10,952 at the beginning of the year. UChoose team closely monitors the growing and continuously evolving demand for information from its target audience. That is why and thanks to the flexibility, new formats are regularly introduced to the UChoose platforms, and they are positively received. The team also partners with other resource organizations to enhance each other and reach out to wider audience. UChoose materials are often shared and re-posted by Ukrainian opinion leaders, expert platforms and public officials, which adds credibility and increases reputation of the platform. In April UChoose’s account in Twitter was blocked by intended cyber bot attack, which is an indirect evidence of our importance to malign actors in the Ukrainian informational environment and real influence over public opinion. Thanks to the joint efforts of UCMC teams and strong partnership relations with other civil society organizations, UChoose has not lost its followers but started to swiftly enroll new after re-launching its Twitter account. In this way, the team has overdelivered the 2020 plan in terms of public outreach already in 6 months. UChoose publications collect numerous comments and feedbacks from their readers. Here are just a couple of such to demonstrate the high demand, relevance and importance of the online communication on the hot topics.
  • 28. 28 Media literacy is highly important in the era of informational society, and for us with the lasting Russian aggression, even much more important. Annual Report 2020 Subscribed. Thank you! I follow your activity across various social networks and invite my friends to follow you. Thank you for the interesting information and wish more Ukrainians read it and grow own critical thinking. You’re really cool! Post 2: I recommend UChoose_info. Perfect team from UCMC, published interesting and quality Ukrainian content. This is not about news but about critical thinking and sharing conscious mindfulness among Ukrainians. Interesting new reading pieces almost every day: articles, short-reads, quotes, quizzes. Here’s a great online game by UChoose_info – share it with your children
  • 29. 29 I lean with you. Thank you. Interesting. This is perhaps the most appropriate way to deliver the key messages, “briefly on the most important”. Annual Report 2020 My father-in-law has been confident that Ulyana Suprun’s [former Minister for Health in Ukraine] relatives launched bio laboratories. I shared your article, and he asked for the link, it changed his mind. Thank you very much… We had really tough family discussions, and it’s been difficult to tell in few words. Suprun and those biolabs had been as a red cape for him…were really blowing my mind)))
  • 30. 2020 Annual Report 30 National Outreach: Media Reboot 628media spots released as an outcome of the team’s efforts 6,011,000+ total outreach 42 press events organized 411 journalists participated in the events organized by the team Media Reboot in 2020:
  • 31. 2020 Annual Report 31 National Outreach: Media Reboot works to support Ukrainian regional media. We aim to help regional media outlets to meet modern challenges, produce better and more reliable content, provide them with opportunities for learning, professional exchange and technical support. We organize trainings, seminars, workshops, consultations for regional journalists on relevant for them topics, meetings and collective interviews within press-tours, study tours abroad, press events in Kyiv and in partnership with regional media centers. Through our activities, we provide access to the source of information when regional media receive answers to the most pressing issues in a wide range of areas (health care system, education, energy sector, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, etc.). We also build horizontal links between regions of Ukraine, providing opportunities to our beneficiaries for sharing experiences and successful practices, networking and combining new knowledge with their local realities.
  • 32. 2020 Annual Report 32 The National Outreach team systematically works with regional media: trainings for journalists always combine group events (trainings, webinars, etc.) and individual targeted consultations. This approach allows to respond the requests and needs that come directly from the participants and, if needed, come back to the topics that are important or require deeper touch. From the beginning of the lockdown, when the opportunities to meet experts, representatives of authorities, have live exchanges with colleagues or join traditional trainings and workshops became impossible, UCMC supported journalists, focusing specifically on the regions. The National Outreach team provided their beneficiaries with the opportunity to obtain exclusive quality comments from experts, facilitated search for new topics for journalistic materials so that the media continued to keep their audiences informed. Developing capabilities of the regional journalists, UCMC improves the quality of media in Ukraine and reaches out to the information consumers. In 2020, this outreach constituted 6,011,000 contacts with the readers of the regional media. “KnowingandlovingourUkraineisespeciallyimportanttoday.JournalistsarecalledtomaintaintheprideofUkrainiansfor theirnativeland,thehistoryoftheirpeople,tonurtureourcollectivedignityandhighnationalawareness.Andthisrequiresnot onlyprofessionalismfromthemedia,butalsoconsiderableknowledgeandmemoryoftheheart.ThankyoutotheUkrainian CrisisMediaCenterfororganizingeducationalpresstoursthathelpusgainnewimpressionsandpositiveemotions,todiscover firstforourselves,andlaterforouraudiences,uniquefeaturesfromdifferentpartsofthehomeland“ Natalia Zvorygina, Editor-in-Chief, Zaporizka Pravda newspaper
  • 33. 2020 Annual Report 33 In 2020, the team has successfully completed “Modern Regional Media – Quality Assurance for a Mediacompetent Democratic Ukraine” project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the duration period from October 2019 through September 2020. In addition, two big projects were launched with the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership: 1) Building Democratic Resilience in Ukraine through Strengthening Local and Regional Media, funded by USAID and Estonian MFA to end in December 2021, and 2) Countering Disinformation in Southern and Eastern Ukraine, funded by the European Commission, and to last through January 2022. To meet the goals set within these projects, a series of learning sessions aimed at increasing profits and improving financial situations of the regional media were held. Supervised by a mentor, the participants accomplished 18 homework assignments after these webinars. On top to other important outcomes, 30% of participants indicated they have significantly increased the revenues from selling advertisements. “Lookingback,beforethewebinarsonthemonetizationformedia,andwhatwebecameafterthetrainings,Iwouldsay frankly-it’sheavenandearth.Wereceivedalotofnewandusefulinformationonhowtoselladvertisementsexpensively (thisissomethingwedidnotknowandrarelysucceeded),howtonegotiatedwithcustomers,howtostimulatetheadvertising manager,etc.BigthankyoutoUCMCfororganizingsuchcoolandrelevantwebinarsforthereformedmedia!“ Liudmyla Arman, Editor-in-Chief, “Tavria” newspaper (Kherson region)
  • 34. 2020 Annual Report 34 “Webinar«Workingwithvisualsandhowtocreategraphiccontentwithyourownhands»becameextremelyuseful,and oneofthereasonsthattwogroups,for“beginners”andfor“intermediatelevelusers”wereformed.Beinghighlyinterested, weleveragedbothanddelegated2participantsfromoureditorialstaff.Weimmediatelystartedworkingwithseveralfree resourcesuponadvicebyUCMC’sexpertOlgaTkachenko.Thewebpageof“NyzhniSirogozy.City”mediaenrichedwithnew modernandaudienceengagingelements:polls,voting,etc.“ Vita Kopenko, Editor-in-Chief, Chervonyi Promin newspaper Nyzhni Sirogozy. City online media Another series of webinars covered the topics of how media can be more effective in modern digital environment as COVID-19 has facilitated many regional outlets to move or intensify their online presence. UCMC helped to revive websites and social media accounts, trained to efficiently manage these resources, create visuals and become more visible for the general public. Despite the low offline activity, the team managed to organize two press tours for journalists from the Southern regions of Ukraine to the Northern regions. 29 media representatives participated in the press tours. 78 publications were released by the participants in their regions based on the knowledge, information and emotions brought from the tours.
  • 35. 2020 Annual Report 35 Decentralization Reform Communication (DOBRE Program Communication Component) 63 events organized for local governments, national and regional media 30,164,158+ total outreach 49 press events organized 12,296 followers in Facebook 1,561 media spots about DOBRE Program appeared across Ukraine UCMC DOBRE Communication Team in 2020:
  • 36. 2020 Annual Report 36 Decentralization Reform Communication Team is a principal direction of UCMC aimed at communicating the reform at all levels. Currently, the Team is responsible for communications component of Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE), 2016-2022 initiative sponsored by USAID and managed by Global Communities.
  • 37. 2020 Annual Report 37 In time of COVID-19 pandemic, UCMC DOBRE team was among the first who started online communication with their main target audiences – representatives of self-governments at local, rayon and oblast level, regional and national media. The team initiated a series of practical webinars with well-known experts in the areas of public health safety and crisis communications to cover lack of information and tools for local governments on tackling the new epidemic and maintaining the effective work under imposed restrictions. “WithUCMC’ssupport,we’vereceivedalotofknowledgethatempoweredustocombatcoronavirusinfectionand,using theproposedpractices,informthepublicaboutquarantinerestrictions,theworkoflocalauthoritiestopreventthespreadof COVID-19,providingcitizenswithreliableinformationfromofficialsourcesinanaccessibleformat” OleksandrKorinnyi, Chairperson of the Association of amalgamated territorial communities, Head of Novoukrainska amalgamated community, Kirovohrad region
  • 38. 2020 Annual Report 38 Year 2020 has brought many changes to administrative and territorial structure within the Decentralization reform. All communities in Ukraine became amalgamated and subregional level was consolidated as well: new rayons were formed. UCMC DOBRE contributed a lot to raise public awareness on the changes by initiating and organizing open public discussions, arranging public dialogues that involved all sides of the process, starting from the relevant Ministry, parliamentary committee, local governance experts and up to representatives of local governments at all levels, regional media, residents in communities across Ukraine. In addition, anticipating local elections in October 2020, UCMC DOBRE also worked hard to communicate changes in the election rules and procedures that were adopted and entered into force this year. We held 5 public discussions with representatives of Central Election Commission, Ministry of Health, members of parliament and experts explaining to the voters and candidates the peculiarities of the amended Election Code, challenges of the COVID-19 and its impact on the election process along with other pressing issues in front of the local elections. Jointly with Global Communities, UCMC provided local governments with opportunities to speak on the national and international level about their problems and difficulties as well as good practices initiated in time of pandemic. Several online conferences were convened for the purpose to establish a dialogue between different levels of governments and unite them in finding effective solutions and supportive cooperation.
  • 39. 2020 Annual Report 39 Expert discussion «Local elections 2020 and СOVID-19» organized by DOBRE team on October 2, 2020 convened members of Parliament of Ukraine, member of the Central Election Commission, Deputy Minister for Health - Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine, representatives of local governments associations and election experts.
  • 40. 2020 Annual Report 40 In addition, UCMC DOBRE team has issued a handbook for communities “Communication and crisis. How local governments can stand up against challenges and work successfully in crisis time”, which will be a lasting practical advisory based on the 2020 challenges. The team also organized discussions around other topics on major changes within the Decentralization reform: transfer of hospitals and culture houses from district to community governments; land reform, changes to taxation system for agrarians and its impact on the income for the local self-governance. “AlmosttwohoursansweringthequestionsofjournalistsfromalloverUkraineonthefinishoftheDecentralizationReformand perspectiveplans.Utmosthonestyandstraighttothepoint!Thankstoeveryonewhojoined.Thankstotheorganizers.Thanks toDOBREDecentralizationProgramandUkraineCrisisMediaCenter. We’llmakesuchpresseventsregular! Everything will be decentralization!“ Vitalii Bezhin, Member of the Parliament, Chairperson of the Parliament’s Sub-committee on Administrative-Territorial Organization
  • 41. 2020 Annual Report 41 UCMC also supported 12 communities with producing high quality visual materials, having dispatched photo expeditions there. This activity helps the communities in building their image on own examples of great results achieved thanks to the Decentralization Reform. All the topics raised by the team were of high public demand, which is confirmed by the interest from journalists and demonstrated by the outreach number of 30 164 158 contacts with the audience through the media, including print and TV spots. “Reformingthesystemoflocalself-governanceandterritorialorganizationinthecountrygoingalongsidewithintroduction ofanewelectoralsystemprovokemanyquestionsamongthejournalists.Inadditiontotheoreticalknowledgeandlegislative nuances,itisimportanttofindtheanswersthatourreadersarewaitingfor.Andfirstly–howthelifeoftheterritorieswill change,whowillberesponsiblefortheirwell-beinganddevelopment,whowillmanagethefundslocally,makeimportant decisionsfortheresidents,whotoaddresswithaspecificproblem,andsoon.DOBREProgramprovideduswiththe opportunitiestolearntheanswerstotheseandotherquestionsduringtrainings.Professionalandcompetentspeakers, qualifiedexpertsspokecomprehensivelyandindetailaboutthefeaturesofbothprocesses.Thankstothem,wewillbeableto clearlyandindetailtellpeoplewhatawaitsthemasaresultofoneofthekeyreformsinthecountry.And,ofcourse,journalists hadtheopportunitytoincreasetheirprofessionalandciviccompetence“ Oksana Rybchenkova, Editor-in-chief Newspaper “Narodne Slovo”, Kirovohrad region
  • 42. 2020 Annual Report 42 The picture is from Stanislavska territorial community of Kherson region made in 2020 within one of 12 photo expeditions organized by DOBRE team.
  • 43. 2020 Annual Report 43 Our Strength in Our Synergy The UCMC’s team collective skills and knowledge in the wide spectrum of directions is what makes the organization flexible and impactful at the same time, enabling the high results. All UCMC teams closely collaborate and join efforts, enhance each other with specific expertise and enrich wider audiences with information on the topics of significant social importance. Thus, all UCMC teams shared the view that COVID-19 awareness must be addressed through extensive communication campaigns at all levels – similarly to how it touched all spheres of life. The materials produced by one group were readily grasped by others and amplified, taking into account the specifics of target audience. The UCMC’s synergy became handy when the need to support people of Belarus sprang up. It’s been a great pleasure and honor to be known in Belarus, so that when the need arose, UCMC has become a major rostrum for the Belarussian activists and all teams worked as one so that the civil society from Belarus is heard around the world. Thanks to joint efforts of Media Center and DOBRE teams, a series of expert public discussions were organized around the local elections in Ukraine covering the numerous legislative changes and their outcomes, election processes at pandemic limitations. It allowed experts to exchange opinions and deliver principal information on the amendments, provide valuable advice for the voters, members of election commissions and election participants.
  • 44. 2020 Annual Report 44 HWAG’s analytical materials, unique findings and expertise are highly valued among the disinformation, propaganda and hybrid influences internationally, but first and foremost within UCMC. The organization’s representatives are regularly involved as information security experts in trainings for students of journalism and regional journalists, organized by Media Reboot team. International Outreach and UChoose directions regularly leverage HWAG’s analytical materials for their audiences respectively.
  • 45. 2020 Annual Report 45 Media Center provides necessary support and plays a role of a hub for all teams in their efforts to deliver the messages to the wider audiences via direct access to media and extensive distribution across its contact database. It’s only this collaborative approach and unique combination of diverse expertise and capacities that results in UCMC’s 2020 achievements. We are especially proud that altogether, within 8 projects and despite COVID-19 limitations throughout 2020, UCMC had: 510 325 198 32 1,534 15,917,000 27 367 91,200 61 events for media, experts and local governments own publications in foreign languages video pieces trainings for journalists, civil activists and local governments direct contacts with media contacts reached with UCMC’s own digital platforms infographics press releases subscribers and followers in social media longreads