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National Security and Defense Council Presents Aims of New International Center for Countering Disinformation

April 6 – At a briefing held on April 6, Polina Lysenko (appointed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 2 as head of the International Center for Countering Disinformation, at the National Security and Defense Council) announced the goals and key activities of the newly established center. Olexiy Danilov (secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Andriy Yermak (chief of the Office of the President), Ihor Zhovkva (deputy chief of the Office of the President), and Olexandr Olshanskyy (deputy head of the Executive Committee of Reforms) participated in the briefing.

Earlier, on March 11, Danilov, at his briefing at the National Security and Defense Council announced about the Center’s launch, said the Center will monitor information streams round the clock and every day of the year, and specified that part of its activities will be public. On the same day (March 11), at the forum “Ukraine 30. Culture. Media. Tourism,” Olshanskyy, when answering the question about funding this Center, said nothing about specific amounts, but mentioned that certain portions of work will be done by the Security Service (SBU) and the Ministries of Defense, and Culture and Information Policy.

According to Lysenko, the main goals of the Center are: the protection of the information environment for the purpose of Ukraine’s national security; countering propaganda, disinformation and malign campaigns; and prevention of manipulation of public opinion. The Center will process information from both open and confidential sources.

The key activities are:

  • Policy development for countering disinformation threats;
  • Countering malign propaganda and disinformation;
  • Establishment of a strategic communications system;
  • Interaction of state and civil society institutions in countering information threats towards national security;
  • Countering special information operations of the aggressor state;
  • Formation of a positive image of Ukraine worldwide;
  • Establishment of a system for assessment of and reaction to information threats; and
  • Raising media literacy levels in society. 

Lysenko announced her readiness to cooperate with Lyubov Tsybulska, head of another newly established Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy.

PhD in law (2019), Polina Lysenko previously served at the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the Office of the Prosecutor General, and the department for information policy of the Ukrainian Railway Company (Ukrzaliznytsia). From 2020 she was working for the Office of Simple Solutions and Results – the executive body of the National Council of Reform (co-founder Mikhail Saakashvili).

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