Zelensky praised Ukraine’s fortitude since Russia launched a full-scale invasion in late February, but added that the conflict requires Ukrainians to be more cautious in the “information field” than ever before.
He claimed that false information about a “massive” Russian missile strike on Ukraine on Saturday had spread. He claimed that the creation of “horror stories” by Russian officials and propagandists, as well as the trust placed by some Ukrainians in anonymous sources, exacerbated the conflict.
“This sometimes takes on simply unhealthy forms when social networks and websites deliberately stuff fake information from Russia, with the sole purpose of adding media terror to the missile and artillery terror against our country,” Zelensky explained.
Throughout the war, Russia has waged a vigorous disinformation campaign, accusing the Ukrainian government of genocide in order to justify its invasion and exaggerating Russian military victories.
According to Zelensky, Ukrainians must have “emotional sovereignty” in order to avoid relying on Russian propaganda. He believes that media weapons are sometimes more effective than military weapons.
“It is obvious that any Russian missiles and artillery will fail to break our unity and knock us off after all,” he said. “It should also be obvious that lies or intimidation, false information, or conspiracy theories cannot break Ukrainian unity.”
Zelensky emphasized that the only way for Ukraine to win the war is for Ukrainians to unite, which he described as their obligation to all those who have fought for Ukraine’s freedom.
His remarks come as the war nears its five-month mark. After capturing nearly all of another province in the region, Luhansk, earlier this month, Russian forces are attempting to take control of the Donetsk province in the Donbas region.
In his address, Zelensky stated that Ukrainian forces have liberated regions taken by Russia at the start of its invasion in February and will gradually liberate other territories under Russian occupation.