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The Internet as a tool of geopolitical confrontation in the conflict in Ukraine
Material posted: Publication date: 09-11-2014

Since the Internet plays a huge role in politics, the urgent question is how social and digital media are changing the sphere of political governance. In the 25 years since its birth, the Internet has become an integral part of people's daily lives.

Political consultants and political parties have taken this on Board, and now the last few years actively promoting their visions and goals on the web.[1] As Aristotle said: “Man is by nature a political animal”. Today's “political animal” has access to all existing in the world of information, practically any citizen in any country may become a full participant in the political process.[2] Modern citizen – the citizen is politically active. Today we have access to all adopted laws and decrees are in the public domain, a programme of the party can be viewed on my sites, there is round the clock access to domestic and foreign media. But this openness and accessibility has opened the way for new methods of political propaganda and political mobilization.

Political mobilization is a major component of any geopolitical conflict. Mobilization is the process by which party leaders, politicians, activists and various political groups and organizations are encouraged to participate in "politics" with the goal of winning elections, passing bills, changes in the existing political situation or existing solutions. The purpose of mobilization is to influence policy. With the help of political mobilization in the Internet can actively promote one idea or another, to organize people to support this or that political course. Range resources of political strategies on the Internet is enormous – it can be social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. These can be personal blogs or websites, video channels, and much more. The most striking examples – a personal blog of Dmitry Medvedev, the Twitter A. Navalny, Boris Nemtsov. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin in his article "Russia and changing world" notes: "the Internet and social media has become an effective policy tool and are often used to manipulate public consciousness, and direct interference in the internal Affairs of sovereign States"[3]

The Internet is a constantly changing system, the number of new sites for discussions constantly growing, it is difficult to track them all, and this is why the Internet remains the fastest and most convenient way of political mobilization. Network technologies can provide interactivity, consolidation of citizens, eliminate apathy, increased interaction with government, eliminated geographic, socio-demographic barriers.

However, it is worth noting that in Russia the Internet is still a developing platform, mainly for young people. The total level of Internet literacy and technical support in Russia and CIS countries is still very low and the main form of information for most citizens is television and print CM[4]. At the moment the Russian political culture turns its attention to the West, where Internet technologies are used much more widely.

It is worth noting that Russia has increasingly used various methods of pressure on mass media. In particular, there were adopted such laws as "law on bloggers". The state Duma adopted a law that equates popular bloggers and social media users to media. Bloggers who have more than 3000 readers have to work within the rules of the press: to follow the rules of election campaigning, not to spread extremist materials, marking their books by age category. This law entered into force on 1 August 2014 and caused a negative reaction among the population. So, a well-known blogger Anton Nosik said: "the media registration is voluntary. Under article 8 of the law on mass media, Internet sites have the right to register as media and may not be registered"[5]. Already, many major blog services bypassing of the law and begin to hide the number of subscribers has its users. Why this is done? Authorities have already not the first time trying to take control of the Internet, as there is almost no censorship, and private personal life. On the Internet it is possible to get any information, openly discuss any topic, to say anything about anyone – and this is extremely beneficial to those who are in power. There is an opinion that if the Russian government continues to adopt such laws, it ends like a “great firewall” in China.

The use of political technologies on the Internet can now be seen in the context of geopolitical confrontation in Ukraine. Social media is an active discussion of current events, as many Pro-Ukrainian and Pro-Russian activists prizyvayut on their personal pages to those or other actions.[6] you Can easily keep track of how different motive, the style, the content of this political mobilization in Russia and Ukraine, as well as in America and Europe.

I especially want to demonstrate the impact of the Internet on recent developments in Ukraine. The political crisis was triggered in November 2013 by the decision of the Ukrainian government to suspend signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union. This decision led to mass protests in Central Kiev and in other Ukrainian cities, have received in social networks and the media called "Euromayday".

Thousands of people took to the main square of Kiev demanding the release of arrested activists of euromaidan and all political prisoners; the resignation of interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and other officials, as well as the imposition of sanctions against the Ukrainian government and return the "stolen money from the Ukrainian abroad". Many Ukrainian politicians on their pages on Facebook have been urging the Ukrainian people to those or other actions. For example, Yuriy Lutsenko, former interior Minister, wrote the following: "We call on the residents of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kharkov, Nikolaev, Kherson, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Simferopol, Odessa, exit 5 March at anti-war rallies. We have to win, even to win back their independence."[7]

Oleh Lyashko, people's Deputy of Ukraine, stressed that the recent events in Donetsk and Luhansk on April 6 "the next aggression by Russia".[8] Anatoly Gritsenko, Verkhovna Rada Deputy of Ukraine from party "Our Ukraine – national self-Defense" is going to run for presidency at the elections in may 2014 and on the page in Facebook actively encourages people to vote for him and invest in his political campaign. [9]

Ukrainian folk artists also not ostavljajut without attention to recent events. Ukrainian Executive Kamaliya wrote the following message on his page in Facebook about the events of February 2014: "I call on all those, whose power to stop the bloodshed, President, Power, Politicians, Power structures, Opposition In the name of the Lord God! Stop this Diabolical evil!!! Stop killing your people! Veer brother against brother! There women, children, the elderly, in the end, the peaceful protesters who have the right to freedom of expression, and to defend their civil position! The Lord will forgive you not, not, not in this world!!! Fear of his justice! Not the wrath of God! Put the gun down! You fathers too, and you all have families not what is not guilty!!!"[10] on the Russian side of the Ukrainian events often comment on the actor Sergei Bezrukov. "It's hard to watch the Olympics and pretend that nothing is happening. Because people die...so will refrain until positive tweets" – he wrote in his Twitter.[11]

Widely known in Russia and Ukraine, the Dutch journalist Olaf Koons (the angel pool Villa Olaf) publishes on his page in Facebook and Twitter photos and posts with hot spots in Ukraine, traveling to different cities and shows the situation as it actually is. [12] In particular, in a recent message on Facebook he said he "saw no traces of the Russian army in Ukraine. The Russian army hiding somewhere, but nobody knows where." [13]

Another striking example is the Creator of many of the media holding Lifenews Aram Gabrelyanov, which every day publishes on Twitter dozens of messages about Ukraine and the Maidan in particular. "What a wimp the President of Ukraine Yanukovych", [14] "They're there all the mediocrity, all Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Klimkin, etc." [15], "Something that is not allowed to do in 41-45 Hitler, will make Merkel the hands of asshole Poroshenko" [16] - about such remarks is replete with Twitter Aram Gabrelyanov.

You can see coverage of the news in Ukraine. Just go to Ukrainian news portals, such as the Ukrainian crisis media center (Ukraine Crisis Media Center), which has become very popular and influential source of information. This center is involved in the exposure of disinformation — for example, articles in the Guardian, which States that the power in Kiev was captured by the neo-Nazis. It is quite a powerful Internet portal, leading a review of the leading foreign mass media, as well as gives their own news and commentary. Or Ukrainian independent information Agency of news (UNIAN) often publishes news of far-fetched, such as "in Kharkiv Pro-Russian activists fire at the office, in which barricaded members of the Right sector". [17]

The examples above perfectly proves the famous quote by Otto von Bismarck: ""don't lie Never so much as during the war". And now there is a real war – informational, geopolitical, war in cyber space.

The events in Ukraine are widely covered by different media journalists from many different countries, and they all use the Internet. The growing role of the Internet contributes to democratization of society, namely democracy and we are fighting. Therefore, the main task of the authorities is not "clamping" the Internet in the narrow confines of censorship, but rather to encourage its development, to stimulate open and active dialogue between citizens and organami authorities, to ensure full access to information, to provide full freedom of speech and expression. Ukraine is now universally prohibit Russian channels on TV, introduce a ban on Russian bloggers suggest to use only Ukrainian products – such a policy only leads to a society that lead to revolution and civil war. Instead of hiding the facts, you need to give people access to a complete picture of the world, the opportunity to get acquainted with the different points of view, people should have a choice. Because the choice – the key to democracy and development of society.

 

Mikheeva T. I.

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  1. Henry Farrell, "The Consequences of the Internet for Politics" http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-polisci-030810-110815
  2. Trygve Olson / Terry Nelson "The Internet's Impact on Political Parties and Campaigns" http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_19706-544-2-30.pdf?100526134302
  3. Vladimir Putin “Russia and the changing world” http://www.mn.ru/politics/20120227/312306749.html
  4. Olga Tropkina, "the Internet as an instrument of policy" http://www.ng.ru/politics/2000-08-19/3_tool.html.
  5. Anton Nosik http://www.gazeta.ru/business/2014/04/18/5998185.shtml.
  6. Valery Vyzhutovich "Network mobilization" http://www.rg.ru/2012/02/03/vizhutovitch.html
  7. Yuriy Lutsenko. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=214224312110085&set=a.132856146913569.1073741833.100005675529100&type=1&stream_ref=10
  8. Oleg Lyashko https://www.facebook.com/O.Liashko/posts/623560751045859?stream_ref=10
  9. Anatoly Gritsenko https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=524437361010042&id=100003313481489&stream_ref=10
  10. Kamaliya https://www.facebook.com/kamaliya.zahoor/posts/701550476532091
  11. Sergey Bezrukov https://twitter.com/s_bezrukov/status/435874425863696384
  12. Olaf the angel pool Villa https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152755493214579&set=a.10150425898319579.417271.672084578&type=1
  13. Olaf the angel pool Villa http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152720858634579&set=a.10150425898319579.417271.672084578&type=1
  14. Aram Gabrelyanov https://twitter.com/AramAshotich/status/429521161836589057
  15. https://twitter.com/AramAshotich/status/504903907924271104
  16. https://twitter.com/AramAshotich/status/504627329533227008
  17. http://www.unian.net/politics/896745-v-harkove-prorossiyskie-aktivistyi-obstrelivayut-ofis-v-kotorom-zabarrikadirovalis-chlenyi-pravogo-sektora.html

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