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21.12.2012

More “western experts” used for propaganda purposes

   

The “authoritative” western firm which supposedly called the Head of Ukraine’s National Bank Serhiy Arbuzov “the most effective banker in Eastern Europe” would appear to have gone into hiding and are not answering their phone. .

Olha Burda from the Institute for Mass Information writes that in 2 years as chief banker Serhiy Arbuzov “has not dared to communicate publicly with journalists.  He has, however, learned to use concealed forms of advertising (dzynsa) no worse than Azarov (the latter’s prowess is reported here http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1349819630 ).

She notes that when on 30 November they learned that the National Bank was preparing a nationwide campaign to explain to the public about why they shouldn’t keep foreign currency under the bed, journalists were delighted. They assumed that this would finally give them the opportunity to put questions to Arbuzov.  The latter’s first press conference following his appointment two years ago was postponed indefinitely.  The first and the last, since he has still to appear before journalists.

Over these two years the National Bank has mainly communicated with the public over the – increasingly bad – state of affairs via written reports. Then it got its own television channel on which the top management were largely interviewed by its own journalists. 

This safe and convenient channel of “information” seems to have proved inadequate, and on 4 December a number of Internet resources published two lyrical odes to Arbuzov.

All of them cited European experts, specifically supposed research from something called the Cologne Inter-cultural Centre for Cooperation and Communications (ZIKK).  This outfit’s press release reported that 25 of its “experts” had assessed the effectiveness of the actions of European officials in fighting the economic crisis. They had, purportedly, chosen Angela Merkel; the head of the European Central Bank and … Serhiy Arbuzov.  A day later Forbes.ua published the results of its own investigation.  ZIKK had, it transpired, recently been set up by two emigrants from Ukraine – Ihor Dementiev and Anton Synyavsky.  The only research which the “Centre”, located in a residential apartment block on the outskirts of Cologne, has published was a study of an increase in nationalism during the 2010 presidential campaign. Then these “experts” called Yushchenko and Tymoshenko “radical nationalists” and advised Ukraine to develop “the rights of the regions”.

Forbes.ua reports that the first mention of this “story” was from a publication which, as reported here, is notorious for its level of dzynsa or covert advertising – Fakty.  This consolidated the text of the press release with commentary from “the well-known Germany political analyst Oleksandr Rar about how Ukraine had – obviously thanks to Arbuzov – achieved financial stability.

On the same day a number of publications, including those not notorious for dzhynsa posted “news” in which a Hungarian political analyst called Ukraine’s National Bank an “innovative think tank”

The author says that it is not clear why there was such a flurry of commissioned “news” reports just at that time, though it was a moment when the National Bank was trying to stop mass buying of dollars.

What she does not ask, but would also be good to know is whether the Ukrainian taxpayers are coughing up for these feeble, but doubtless expensive, measures aimed at misleading them and concealing the situation in the county. 

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