Photo of Ukranian in Parliament from CNA

In order to justify the upcoming censorship laws, the Singapore government broke it’s own rules of stopping foreigners to comment on local political issues by inviting an anti-Russian Ukranian to speak at the public hearing. The PAP-controlled Select Committee for Online Falsehoods specifically invited the editor of Ukranian StopFake.org, a website that claims itself to be a “grassroots initiative to fight fake news from Russia”.

Ruslan Deynychenko told the Select Committee that he woke up one day to see Ukrainians shooting each other with machine guns because the TV told them to do so:

“Ukraine did it for years, and it might happen with any country, that one day you wake up and look out the window and see people with machine guns who kill each other, because someone on TV persuaded them that they should hate each other. Our experience demonstrated that this is a powerful weapon and it could be pointed to any country at any time, very, very quickly.”

The Ukrainian then claimed that the Ukrainian government used his data as evidence to ban Russian television channels in Ukraine:

“Based on the data collected by our organisation, the Ukrainian government implemented the court’s decision to ban the broadcasting of Russian television channels in Ukraine. This decision was a formidable blow to the impact of Russian propaganda, as it lost one of its main channels of influence in Ukraine. At the same time, it became easier for the Ukrainian government to explain its position on Russian propaganda to its Western allies.”

The Ukrainian told Singapore to disregard accusations of “impending freedom of speech” and said that his country is censoring Russian TV channels regardless of what European officials say:

“Some European officials considered the decision to ban Russian television as undemocratic and labelled it as censorship, he stressed that the evidence of the deliberate spread of Russian falsehoods” compiled by his team convinced many that this was “not about censorship, but about countering Russia’s informational war in Ukraine.”