Yevhen Fedchenko

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Person.png Yevhen Fedchenko TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Deep state operative, journalist, political scientist)
YevhenFedchenko.jpg
NationalityUkrainian
Alma materKiev-Mohvla National Academy of Sciences
Member ofDisinfoPortal, Integrity Initiative/Cluster/Leaders, Integrity Initiative/Cluster/Netherlands, StopFake
Interests • Russia
• Fake news
• 2014 Ukraine coup
Interest ofIntegrity Initiative/Cluster/Netherlands

Yevhen Fedchenko is a journalist, political scientist and teacher who founded the Ukrainian anti fake-news organization Stopfake. He is connected to the Dutch Cluster of the II.[1] He is a member of DisInfoPortal, an online site dedicated in "stopping kremlin-propaganda".[2]He started Stopfake after the 2014 Ukraine coup.


Early career

Fedchenko enrolled at the prestigious Kiev-Mohvla university in the 1990s, received his Bachelor degree in 1996 and his master in 1998 in political science. He has an Ph.D. in international relations from the Kiev National Academy of Sciences. Apart from Russian, English & Ukrainian he also learned Spanish and French. During his study he became a foreign news editor for STB-TV, the leading Ukrainian cable-TV station since the 1990s. He hosted the program "Windows into the World" on STB from 1998 to 2002.[3]

He was also the correspondent for the Eastern Economist Weekly in 1994, and was part of the Reuters Foundation Journalism Program receiving a certificate after finishing the course along with a "risk assessment course on hostile environments for journalists" during the exchange to London, and achieving an US Grant from the Department of State as an international visitor to Washington D.C regarding "Television Broadcasting in the U.S".[4]


Media Mogul

After finishing university Fedchenko joined an Ukrainian nation-wide program set-up by the government in cooperation with the OSCE, the UK-based DFID and other NGOs under Leonid Kuchma. He was appointed a official in "teaching reporting skills". Fedchenko became the co-founder of Digital future of journalism in 2007, a post-graduate organization for journalists to educate them on new media-techniques and their handling, such as the internet, receiving funding from Rinat Akhmetov, a rich Ukrainian billionaire, king of Ukrainian Oil and a steel and heavy industry head-figure, being member of the 300th most richest man in the world.[5] Akhmetov is unsurprisingly a influential figure connected to Viktor Yanukovych.[6] The Rinan Ahkmetov sponsored Ukrainian foundation Digital Future of Journalism employs multiple prolific journalists and professors form the U.S, UK and Spain, and gives public lectures with at least 25 students being selected for national and international media companies with their own institution at the Mohyla School of Journalism in the Kiev-Mohyla University.[7]

Consultant

In 2008 Fedchenko was a member of the editorial board for the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine for a year, chairing on the editorial board. Fedchenko has visited the US a few times, the Fulbright program gave him a position at the University of Southern California in 2010[8] and he became a guest professor for 3 years at Ohio University receiving US grants for them on behalf of the Department of Defense.[9] From 2011 to 2013 Fedchenko was a member for the Ukrainian National Media Regulator and member of the Ukranian Fulbright Society, one of the 300 chapters in the world of the alumni project by Bilderberger J. William Fulbright, during his tenure he went to Spain in 2008 heading the PhD program on Mass Communication and remained there until 2016. The Autonomic University of Barcelona appears to be a major sponsor of Fedchenko's Ahkmetov foundation. Fedchenko became a notable Ukrainian speaker on Russian and Ukrainian topics, appearing on TV and radio for the BBC, Politico, RTE, the NPR, CBC, Sky News, Le Figaro and Le Monde, he has been a speaker in over 16 countries, from the University of Illinois, U.S Media conferences in Las Vegas to the UAE. He was the presenter of the 2013 Annual Conference of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe in Tel Aviv.

Russia

Robin Lustig of the BBC interviewed Fedchenko in 2005 after Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko and Leonid Kuchma were targeted in nation-wide protests better known as the Orange-revolution. He implied the supreme court - elected by the government in Ukraine - simply chose the side of Yushchenko and the demonstrators resulting in overturning the election of Yanukovych - after media reports and U.S/EU pressure calling the election a fraud - because they knew "the person in power would change."[10]


Freezing assets of journalists

His opinions include the refusal of the claim of any Ukrainian involvement in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, citing a BBC speculative piece that also blamed Russia Today and said all non-official narratives are being state-sponsored.[11] He calls Russian TV disinformation, and argues the Russians Weaponize media-outlets like Facebook. He apparently is 24/7 involved in stopfake.org watching banned Russian networks in a chair swearing at TVs. He argues not using the first amendment with Russia, reasoning Russian influence and the fact - along with Russia's facts offering differing opinions with his - that TV stations in Russia are funded by the government (which is something happening all over Europe as public broadcasters are the most-viewed), not explaining how 95% of Russian media is already banned and geo-blocked in Ukraine is not enough (if at all), along with VKontakte, better known as the Russian Facebook. He urged other European governments do to the same.[12][13] He called the Euromaidan "a grassroots operation". One journalist recalled he talked about Russian TV-Networks being guided by doomsday-music reciting George Orwell and comparing the passages to examples of moments he saw on Russian TV when speaking to national NGOs regarding a bill that would make it a crime to purposely share untruthful information.[14] His position on a government-subsided ban on networks spreading disinformation seemingly has changed as he called it "dumb" as people who want to will circumvent it anyway in the British BBC interview.


Stopfake

In 2015 Yevhen Fedchenko joined the Russian Language Infosphere Project working group, funded by the European Endowment for Democracy, a group advocating more democracy in Eastern-Europe and beyond. He started the site Stopfake.org. Calling the site a volunteer project ignited by the Euromaidan in 2014 when Viktor Yanukovych came under fire for - according to the official narrative at first - rejecting an cooperative EU-treaty, better known as the 2014 Ukraine coup. The goal of stopfake.org was to "refute disinformation and propaganda about events in Ukraine, which were disseminated by Russian media", "study the influence of propaganda on Ukraine" and more regarding propaganda.[15] Fedchenko urged European governments to treat journalists that spread "fake news" as criminals and to not only be blacklisted and prohibited from operating in a country or reporting at all, but also be put on a no-fly-list, getting a travel ban and freezing their assets, putting them on the same level as criminals on the list of Interpol in the EUObserver in 2015 [16], arguing that only differentiating from the official narrative should be enough to disown a journalist from actually being one, giving the paper a list of 18 names that Europe should start with, calling them "warmongering". The International Press Association (or API) and the European Commission actually responded by calling the idea 'problematic' as it would put media not in favour with usual government policies on it as a result of public opinion, with the API reasoning "we do check journalists that are given accreditations, but blacklisting has never happened for this reason."


Institute for Statecraft

Answering Russia's Strategic Narratives was a one day event on 22 June 2017 organised by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, which described it as a "conference", although it was by invitation only. Reports from the HCSS from after the meeting revealed Stopfake and the East StratCom Task Force granted their database (of files on media sources, individuals and their role in reporting Russian news or interests of Russian media) to the HCSS for an "offensive" to set-up sites and institutes that would "monitor Russian dinformation", seemingly explaining the reason Fedchenko became part of the Dutch Cluster of the IfS.[17]

Yevhen Fedchenko was named as member of the Dutch II Cluster, he is the third named after Sijbren de Jong and Ida Eklund-Lindwall with the same status of "coordinator". His website had a Dutch translator from 2014 to 2017, but that person apparently quit due to budget constraints. This person's identity is unknown. [18]



References