On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine constitutes the biggest threat to peace and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War. The invasion has likely resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II.
On Tuesday 27th September 2022, the U.S Mission In Uganda hosted a cohort of civil society leaders, academics, and journalists for the Dignity Dialogues, a series of conversations between Ugandan and Ukrainian experts on issues of global interest related to the war in Ukraine. The dialogue held at the American Center in Kampala was moderated by Anna Thompson, Public Diplomacy Officer, U.S Embassy Uganda.
Dignity Dialogue Series.
This first of a series of six sessions, the discussion centered on Media and Disinformation surrounding the war in Ukraine. The upcoming conversations in the Dialogue series will be:
- Food and Energy Security
- Combatting Corruption
- The Arts & Social Change
- Protecting Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders
- Innovations in NGO Management and Humanitarian Assistance
Media and Disinformation Dialogue.
The dialogue was led by two distinguished speakers, Solomon Sserwanjja the Executive Director of the African Institute for Investigative Journalism and Prof Yevhen Fedchenko the Director Mohyla School of Journalism.
Prof Yehven Fedchenko stated that Russia was using online platforms like Telegram which it owned to push a narrative and spread propaganda that the attack on Ukraine is justifiable and supported by majority of Russians. This has led to a widespread of a false narrative among many people who think that Russia’s attack on Ukraine was done out of good will hence pushing further their agenda.
Watch video below as Prof Yehven Fedchenko speaks on how Russia is using social media to spread propaganda about their invasion of Ukraine.
Influence of Russia on African leaders.
Solomon Sserwanjja alluded to an earlier tweet that was sent out by the Commander Land Forces Uganda, Ltn General Muhoozi Kainerugaba that indicated the solidarity and bond the Russian government has with some African military generals. He stated this a concern for countries that are attempting to bring peace to Ukraine by putting a halt to Russians military assault on the sovereign nation of Ukraine.
President Putin does not have to threaten nuclear war. We hear him. An attack on Russia is an attack on Africa! pic.twitter.com/r2Xpe56V5Q
— Muhoozi Kainerugaba (@mkainerugaba) September 24, 2022
‘Sham referendum in Ukraine’
Prof Yevhden Fedchenko condemned the ‘sham’ referendum in Ukraine in stronghold Russian controlled areas. Within the occupied territories, Russian-installed officials took ballot boxes from house to house in what Ukraine and the West said was an illegitimate, coercive exercise to create a legal pretext for Russia to annex the four regions.
Ukraine Solidarity Committee Uganda, Sub Sahara Africa.
The Ukraine Solidarity Committee Uganda condemned the ongoing war and invasion of Ukraine by Russia and demanded for a quick solution to pacifying the sovereign state. Led by Patron Alenyo George William, the committee vowed to continue to use all existing means of dialogue to bring peace to Ukraine.
Watch video below as Prof Yehven Fedchenko suggests amicable solutions to end the war on Ukraine.
The next Dignity Dialogue will be on Food and Energy Security on October 18th 2022.
Watch full recording of dignity dialogue series on media and disinformation.
Listen to full recording of dignity dialogue series on media and disinformation