The government of Ukraine recently published a list of individuals who it believes are “promoting Russian propaganda.” As Finn McRedmond of UnHerd noted, this list includes “a number of prominent Western intellectuals.”
On July 14, 2022, the “Center for Countering Disinformation”, published a list on its website of academics, activists, and politicians who are “promoting Russian propaganda.” These included notable intellectuals and politicians such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, geopolitical analyst Edward Luttwak, international relations scholar John Mearsheimer, and independent leftist journalist Glenn Greenwald.
The list does not provide any specific consequences for the people who are mentioned on it.
This institution was set up in 2021 under the watch of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and was headed by former lawyer Polina Lysenko. The CCD is under the purview of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.
The CCD’s goal is to find and combat “propaganda” and “destructive disinformation” and to stop the “manipulation of public opinion.”
McRedmond observed that the “exact criteria for inclusion are also unclear, although next to each name the report lists the ‘pro Russian’ opinions the individual promotes.” In the case of Edward Luttwak, he earned the Ukrainian state’s ire by suggesting that “referendums should be held in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”, referring to the breakaway republics that declared their independence following the Maidan Revolution of 2014. Mearsheimer is an outspoken critic of American involvement in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. His remarks that “NATO has been in Ukraine since 2014” and that “NATO provoked Putin” were what prompted the Ukrainian government to label him as a “pro-Russian propagandist.”