The MDF was founded in 2013 by Jakub Parusinski, Daryna Shevchenko (the two of Kyiv Independent infamy), and Eugene Zaslavsky. It is an organization which, from it’s inception has partnered with the NED, Internews (a US government funded organization, as you can see on page 9 of their tax forms), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NATO itself, along with the far right Ukrainian World Foundation.
They tried to scrub this recently, but unfortunately for them the wayback machine does not forget.
As you can see, they carry out “training” seminars for journalists, all funded by NATO governments. They have been doing this for some time, and their extensive foreign backing means that they have a lot to offer to these often-struggling journalists.
The idea, if I am to speculate a bit, is to create an army of US/NATO aligned freelance journalists, who can now be deployed to regional papers all throughout Ukraine.
The Core of it all?
To that end, one of their latest efforts is called CORE. This US funded enterprise seeks to help expand smaller media outfits, which it can then fill with stories from it’s network of MDF trained journalists. Usually, a small paper could not afford to expand, but with MDF’s army of NED trained freelancers, the content mills can create nearly endless amounts of stories. Most will be bland, basic reporting, of course, but you only need to slip in a bit of propaganda here and there to influence opinions.
Then, they offer SEO and advertising support, so this new surge in reporting can be seen by the maximum amount of people possible. This increases revenue for the papers, of course, but also ensures that the propaganda is widely proliferated throughout Ukraine.
You have your NED trained writers doing work for hundreds of papers all throughout Ukraine. This seems like it would be a rather excellent way to spread propaganda, does it not?
The sites are lured in because they understand that there is much money to be made and grants to be won, and all they have to do is publish stories from the NED approved journalists. They have had some significant successes. Ukrayinska Pravda, who’s editor now works for them, is one.
They now offer another service, Core Consultancy & Mentorship (coremedia.network) which offers teams of consultants to fix up Ukranian papers, McKinzie style.
Let’s look at some of them, shall we?
Radio Journalist for “Radio Svoboda”, which is Radio Free Europe’s Russian service. Radio Free Europe was founded by the CIA and is operated by the US Government.
Gaygysyz was the executive producer for hromadske.ua, a news agency funded almost entirely by NATO governments and their cutouts.
I question, exactly, what sort of consulting work a CIA agent and former NATO news executive producer will be doing?
The influence network
Of course, without any influence, all this would be pointless and theoretical. We must now examine this octopus and see just how much reach it has. I have started the process of finding news outfits associated with CORE.
A NATO funded news agency as I have demonstrated above, Hromadske has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter for the Ukranian version. Previously, CORE member Geldiev was their executive producer.
Their current editor in chief, Yevheniia Motorevska, is also employed by the Public Integrity Council, a UK funded Ukranian government organization which works with USAID to hunt down “corruption.”
Prior to that, she worked for Новини України — читати останні новини в Україні онлайн | Слідство.Інфо (slidstvo.info), a “journalistic” outfit which seems to exist mostly to doxx and harass Russians in the name of anti-corruption. This is an offshoot of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a US based NGO which receives more than half it’s funding from the US government, and significant portions from other NATO governments.
AnnualReport2020.pdf (occrp.org) Funding report is on page 25.
investigation.info also recieves some amount of funding on it’s from NATO governments and their aligned NGOs and charities.
Sadly, not related to the original Pravda, this paper was founded in 2000 by Georgiy Gongadze, a Georgian right-wing terrorist (I should REALLY write more about him later.) This paper now has nearly 1 million followers on twitter.
This paper is far right, and openly lauds the OUN, Stepan Bandera, and justifies the massacre of Poles and Commuinists. I’ve been poking around this for a while and I still find it difficult to believe how brazen the Ukrainian right wing can be.
Their executive director, Andrey Boborykin, works for CORE. The editor in chief, and Andrey’s wife Sevgil Musayeva, got somewhat famous back during the Maidan coup for founding Crimea SOS, a NGO founded with NED cash working for the return of Crimea to Ukranian control, mostly by offering what they call “verified information” but given their funding, is likely anything but.
RIA Media Group
No dramatic NATO ties here, however the CEO, Oleg Horobets, runs papers in Vinnitsa, Zhytomyr, Ternopil, Khmelnytski and Koziatyn. Between these cities, there is a population of over 1.5 million greatly expanding the reach of CORE and the MDF, and therefore the NED.
Horobets, and his company RIA Media (they really do like naming their shit after old Soviet outlets) are proudly displayed as clients on the front page of CORE’s site.
There is more. CORE brags about their 100 brands and 15 million users a month. This outfit and therefore it’s paymasters in Virginia, has built considerable influence on the Ukranian press. This rabbit hole goes deeper than I know, and it could be the lynchpin of an entire national scale NED propaganda operation.
This is going to be a major work in progress, however I want to publish now to help get this out as I continue to work on the story.