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In early March 2014 the StopFake.org site was launched in Ukraine to identify and debunk Russian disinformation that was specifically targeting Ukraine. Journalists, editors, IT specialists and others came together as volunteers to tackle this critical element of modern hybrid warfare. At that time Ukraine faced both the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of a Russian invasion of Donbas, after then-president Viktor Yanokovych fled following the shooting of over one hundred demonstrators in Kyiv during the Maidan revolution.
The recent escalation in violence in Donbas has again been preceded and accompanied by an increased amount of disinformation in pro-Kremlin media. This has been reported by the EU East StratCom Task Force, who have tracked the upsurge of hate-speech and aggressive rhetoric in a number of discussion programmes on Russian TV.
After months of limited coverage of Ukraine in world news, the renewed fighting around the town of Avdiivka has thrust the story back into the headlines. This is a town I visited in April 2016 as part of a project to document the impact of the war with Russia in Donbas...