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Title [en]
Propaganda and management of information in the Ukraine-Russia conflict: From nation branding to information war
Abstract [en]
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has once again reminded the world that wars are not only fought with guns and physical violence, but also with information technologies. In Western mass media, attention has foremost concentrated on Russian propaganda, directed both towards Russian-speaking populations and international publics. With the rise and establishment of social networking media in conjunction with the spread of personal and mobile media technologies such as laptops, mobile phones and tablet computers, propaganda and information management take on new forms, and thus also involve a new set of agents. This project focusses on Ukraine as an arena for propaganda. This project aims at analysing the new types of actors engaged in information war, and how these impact on the practice and expressive character of information warfare. It covers three domains of communication activities: 1. Pro-Ukrainian propaganda directed towards international audiences outside of Ukraine. 2. Domestic propaganda in support of the government. 3. Communication efforts to counter Russian propaganda. The focus is on actors and institutions, and on the ways in which the type of actors involved have an impact on the forms and contents of the communicated messages. The research questions focus on actors, audiences and messages in and around information management and propaganda. The basic point of departure is the assumption that new actors trained in commercial campaigning and PR will have an impact on the ways in information management is orchestrated, and hence will affect the messages disseminated (and, presumably, its reception). Methodologically, it will interview key informants engaged in information management in Ukraine, as well as textual analysis of information material of various kinds. It can be expected that the project adds to the existing literature on (a) War and the media; (b) Opinion formation, persuasion and propaganda; and (c) Public diplomacy, soft power and nation branding. The team consists of two senior researchers with extensive experience in researching media campaigns, nation branding and information management and two junior researchers with cultural and linguistic expertise in the area (Russia and Ukraine). The project will also recruit one PhD-candidate.
Publications (1 of 1) Show all publications
Voronova, L. (2019). Conflict as a point of no return: Immigrant and internally displaced journalists in Ukraine. European Journal of Cultural Studies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conflict as a point of no return: Immigrant and internally displaced journalists in Ukraine
2019 (English)In: European Journal of Cultural Studies, ISSN 1367-5494, E-ISSN 1460-3551Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The Ukrainian Euromaidan protests in 2013, alongside the Brexit vote and the so-called ‘refugee crisis’, have strongly changed the imaginary of Europe. Apart from ideological shifts and geopolitical changes, the situation in Ukraine has led to a geographic relocation and displacement of media producers and audiences alike. Yet, in the Ukrainian context and beyond, little is known about dislocated journalists in conflict situations. This article addresses the specific experiences of immigrant and internally displaced journalists, their imagined audiences and the overarching construction of post-revolutionary Ukraine as an imagined community. The argument draws empirically from the dislocatory experiences and relocatory trajectories of two groups: immigrant journalists, who moved to Ukraine from Russia, and journalists who migrated internally – to Kyiv and other government-controlled Ukrainian regions from Crimea and non-government-controlled areas of Donbas. For immigrant and internally displaced journalists, the search for new identities and positions is strongly related to their imagination of the audiences. The journalists notice a simultaneous fragmentation and unification of the audiences driven by both top-down and down-up intentions of post-revolutionary nation building. They hope to contribute to turning the fragmented communities into a media nation that will perceive them as ‘us’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
Imagined audience, imagined community, immigrant, internally displaced, journalists, Ukraine
National Category
Media Studies
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies; Critical and Cultural Theory
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38934 (URN)10.1177/1367549419869351 (DOI)000485370000001 ()2-s2.0-85073924216 (Scopus ID)
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 3033701

Published ahead of print on September 9, 2019

Available from: 2019-09-10 Created: 2019-09-10 Last updated: 2019-11-04Bibliographically approved
Principal InvestigatorStåhlberg, Per
Co-InvestigatorVoronova, Liudmila
Co-InvestigatorYurchuk, Yuliya
Co-InvestigatorBohlin, Göran
Coordinating organisation
Södertörn University
2016-01-01 - 2018-12-31
National Category
Communication Studies
DiVA, id: project:1722Project, id: 56/2015_OSS

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