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Russian disinformation in Ukraine: facts and legal assessments

Online workshop from ITM Münster on June 13 at 2 p.m. via Zoom: Follow this link to join

General information

Russian disinformation has been in the limelight for several years. Its goals and instruments were obvious, and yet defied rational conclusions. Besides seeding discord, its direct intention was to lay the grounds for an aggressive war. It is being weaponised during the war to discourage the fighters and to suppress dissent. References to genocide have occurred in propaganda materials. The EU took the unprecedented measure to ban media channels due to their systematic instrumentalisation for disinformation purposes. 

This workshop will provide latest information about the most recent occurrences of Russian disinformation directed at Ukraine, and the Ukrainan factcheckers‘ efforts to fight it; it will  highlight how it compromises scientific discourse; and discuss the European and international legal assessment of these occurrences of disinformation and propaganda.


Moderator: Olga Batura

14.00 – Opening 

14.05 – Olga Yurkova ( Disinformation support of Russian aggression in Ukraine

14.20 – Dariia Opryshko (Senior Fellow, ITM Münster): Legal aspects of combating disinformation in Ukraine

14.35 – Discussion

15.00 – Andrey Skolkay (University of Bratislava): How Russian scientists and a scientific journal produces what can be termed „scientific propaganda“ related to international affairs or foreign policy analysis

15.15 – Judit Bayer (Senior Research Fellow, ITM Münster): Relationship of disinformation and hate speech (Hate speech as prohibited under international law); legal basis for prohibition (RT) 

15.30 – Discussion 


Andrey Skolkay is scientist in charge of the research team of the School of Communication and Media since its establishment 14 years ago in Slovakia. He has published widely on various aspects of the media and political sciences with a specific focus on political communication, social media, and populism (about 80 scientific publications, including research and policy papers for the European Commission and the government) in the last 25 years. He has obtained PhD. from Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia in 2000. Lead national teams for international H2020 or FP7 projects such as DEMOS (populism and the media), COMPACT (CSA project), MEDIADEM (Media and democracy), ANTICORRP (Media and corruption), Media plurality Monitor, Media Law In Hungary, and many others. He has written a book on Media Law in Slovakia (Kluwer Law International, irregularly-updated) and is the author of Media and Globalisation (2009). He received fellowships in Austria (Institute for Human Sciences), Hungary (Central European University), USA (New School University) and UK (The University of Liverpool).

Olga Yurkova is a journalist and co-founder of, an independent Ukrainian organization that focuses on fighting propaganda and disinformation in the media. She teaches different audiences on how propaganda works and on how to identify fake news, as well as consults a number of organizations and collaborates with mainstream media as a journalist. She was included to the Financial Times‘ „New Europe 100“ list in 2016 in recognition of her fight against propaganda and was named a TED Fellow in 2018.

Dariia Opryshko, Senior Fellow (International and European Media Law) in the Institute for Information, Telecommunications and Media Law (Muenster, Germany). She is a media law expert from Ukraine (Kyiv) with more than 8 years of experience in the field of freedom of expression and a broad experience in working with international organisations (i.e. the Council of Europe, Freedom House in Ukraine and others), state bodies (Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights) as well as NGOs. In the beginning of March she had to flee from Ukraine due to the full-scale invasion of Russia. Currently she is a Senior Fellow (International and European Media Law) in the Institute for Information, Telecommunications and Media Law (Muenster, Germany).

Judit Bayer, Ph.D. habil is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Münster, ITM, and associate professor of media law and international law at the Budapest Business School, Hungary. Her research field is freedom of expression, media freedom and pluralism, and privacy. She has a PhD in constitutional law (internet regulation). Judit Bayer has authored several books, policy papers and articles in the field of media law. Most recently she specialised in disinformation, hate speech, SLAPP, and the human rights requirements of AI systems. She is an experienced speaker at conferences and public lectures, as well as university lecturer.

Dr. Olga Batura, LL.M. is a legal researcher and public policy consultant specialised in electronic communications, digital economy and competition law. Her recent research includes studies on Cost of non-Europe on artificial intelligence in transport and on Ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies for the European Parliament Research Service. Olga holds LL.M. Eur. from the University of Bremen, Master of European Studies from the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg and Dr. jur. from the University of Bremen. Before becoming a full-time consultant, she has worked as a researcher and lecturer at universities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lüneburg, was an associate professor at the European Humanities University in Vilnius (Lithuania) and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law at the University of Münster.


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