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InformNapalm: separatist movement in Ukraine began with the groups in Russian social networks

"You can ramble about freedom of speech as long as others perish in the trenches for you."

InformNapalm: separatist movement in Ukraine began with the groups in Russian social networks
Photo: Photo: vk.com/mdk

A spokesman for the international intelligence community InformNapalm Mykhailo Makaruk supported the ban of Russian social networks in Ukraine.

"All the separatist movements began with groups in VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. The groups that were going to block military bases in Crimea, the same [Donbas separatist battalion] Somali took has originated from a public in VKontakte, which Ukrainian special services could not prevent. They couldnot have this content to be deleted because these companies are directly supervised by the FSB," Makaruk told a round table conference in Gorshenin Institute on 17 May.

In western social networks like Facebook, Instagram or Google+ Ukraine has at least some levers of influence, he went on.

Makaruk admitted that anyone who wants to access Russian social networks will be able to do this despite the ban, but this will take some effort. "Meanwhile, people are lazy," he said.

He recalled that Ukraine is living through the fourth year is a hybrid war, and the ban of Russian social networks is a hybrid response to it. In Makaruk's opinion "Either we give a hybrid answer in a hybrid war, or it's full-time martial law, and then the current sanctions will seem a light version, because cellular communication and any social networks will be banned," Makaruk said.

"One thing in conclusion: one can talk a lot about freedom of speech and be a fancy liberal as long as others perish in the trenches for you," he said.

The decision of the National Security and Defense Council, which President Petro Poroshenko put into effect on 16 May, expanded the list of individuals and legal entities of the Russian Federation, against whom sanctions were imposed. The expanded list includes 1,228 individuals and 468 legal entities. In particular, the access to social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, as well as to Mail.ru and Yandex will be banned in Ukraine.