Ukrainian Crisis Media Center
December 24, 2020
A network of activists that will fight pro-Kremlin disinformation has been formed in
Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center. Similar networks already exist in other European countries, where they coordinate to push back against Russian
disinformation and influence operations. What follows is a translation of the news release
Elves are not only characters from fiction books. This network of activists, who have
chosen a fantasy name to oppose Russian trolls, has long existed in the Baltic countries,
Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Since the fall of 2020, they have been operating in Ukraine as well. “Elven” trainings gathered people from many regions of Ukraine.
These trainings were held, of course, in the mystical forests, but the lecturers were very real people with competencies in countering propaganda and disinformation, as well as the military, journalists, volunteers – those who have actively fought against Russian
aggression over the past 6 years.
The first elves appeared in Lithuania in 2014, when local activists decided to unite to give
an organized rebuff to Russian information attacks against Lithuania, Ukraine, and other
democracies. The movement, which includes people with different professional and life
experiences, has grown to include about 40,000 Lithuanians, and then residents of other
countries, who on a voluntary basis invest time and effort in the struggle
for the integrity of the information space.
Ukrainians need no explanations that information manipulation and propaganda pose a
direct threat to state security and the well-being of Ukrainians, so they have always made
their own contribution to the fight against Russian interference — online and offline.
Now Ukrainians have borrowed the Lithuanian experience and created their own network of activists, which covers 8 regions from Kyiv to Donetsk and will only grow – and with it the resilience of Ukrainian society.