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What kind of research is this?

This study analyzed people and media that are not publicly a part of Russian propaganda. In Russia, they are classified as "liberals", and in Ukraine and the West - as "good Russians".

In general, the statements about Ukraine (2014-2022) of 91 public Russians and publications in nine Russian media, which position themselves as opposition to the Putin regime, were analyzed.

The list is not exhaustive and is not a ranking. It is an illustration designed to show Ukrainians and foreigners how the public position of famous Russians, who criticize Putin, actually strengthens/weakens the position of Ukraine. That is:

  • Does the person/media broadcast Russian propaganda (knowingly or not)?

  • Does the person/media advocate a position that brings the Ukrainian victory closer?

  • How consistent is the person/media broadcasting the position?

One of this study’s goals is to change Ukrainian society’s discourse from "good Russians" to "useful actions of Russians". If there are actions/utterances of the Russians that bring us closer to victory, these are valuable actions for Ukraine.

However, one specific helpfull step cannot nullify other statements that duplicate Russian propaganda or contradict the interests of Ukraine in the war with Russia. Unfortunately, for Ukrainian society, one loud statement about support for Ukraine can overshadow a number of statements/actions of this person that harm Ukraine or disorient Ukrainians. And vice versa.

Public Russians and Russian media are primarily Russian. Naturally, they put Russian interests first. Accordingly, their presence in the Ukrainian information field mainly pursues Russia's interests or their own.

Who was the Object of the study?

The list of 100 public people and media was formed based on their citation/discussion in Ukrainian and foreign information spaces. It consists of public figures and "liberal" media who publicly criticize Putin and his regime. Why Ukrainians called them "good" in different periods. That is, they were counted among the supporters of Ukraine.

Since the criterion "good Russian" is a subjective category, the research sample included for comparison Artemiy Lebedev, Oleg Kashin, and Tetiana Tolstaya. They systematically broadcast Russian propaganda messages (although they spoke out against full-scale war). This is done for the sake of comparison: to what extent their (opposite manifestation of "good") messages coincide with the messages of those Russians whom Ukrainians mostly classify as "good".


Serhiy Loznytsia, Oleksandr Rodnyansky and Yuriy Shvets, who constantly communicate with Ukrainian and Russian audiences, were also included in the list for comparison. Although the first two people emphasize the fact of belonging to Ukrainian citizenship, their professional interests are mainly related to Russia.

Also, for comparison, the media list included "Nastoyastchee vremya".

The information hygiene initiative "How not to become a vegetable" plans to update and supplement the list in the future.


as part of this study, we did not analyze whether a person currently has a Russian passport. Systematic work on the Russian-speaking audience and significant influence on it (citations, reach, authority) were taken into account



What did we analyze?

In the study, we analyzed to what extent the public statements of the Objects that were/are being disseminated in the Ukrainian or foreign information field correspond to Ukrainian interests. In other words, if they help bring the Ukrainian victory closer. Both, the essence of the statements and the consistency of the position were taken into account.

A position on online platforms was considered a public position:

  • statements on their pages in social networks (including discussions in comments under posts);

  • statements in the mass media (including on YouTube channels or other platforms of bloggers/media in social networks)


if the position of the Research Object was expressed outside online platforms, it was not included in the analysis.

Searching for statements mimicked the actions of an average Internet user who does not have access to professional monitoring systems as much as possible. That is, if a Ukrainian or Russian wants to find information about a specific public figure or media, what they can find using the Google search engine.


in this study, the search was conducted from the territory of Ukraine. The research does not consider the difference in the search engine's output of information in different geographies.

Five key questions, according to which we analyzed the public position of the Objects:

"War since 2014 is a war"

  • Recognition of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, ideological, financial, organizational and military support from the Kremlin - "yes".

  • The recognition of Russia's guilt/aggression combined with the use of the terms "militia", "separatist republics", "DPR" and "LPR", which emphasizes their existence as independent political subjects - "no clear position".

  • The positioning of armed aggression as a "civil war", the desire of the ORDO population to secede - "no".

"Is Crimea an integral part of Ukraine?"

  • Recognition of the peninsula as illegally occupied, as it belongs to Ukraine and should be returned to it - "yes".

  • Recognition of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine with the subsequent annexation of the peninsula, but combining this with statements about the "historical Russianness of Crimea", the guilt of Ukraine, which did not protect the population that wanted to "join" Russia, or calls to hold a second referendum to make the peninsula independent/ controlled by both countries - "no clear position" or "no", depending on the number and intensity of previous public statements.

  • Recognition of Crimea as historically Russian, justification of its occupation for various reasons, or statements that the peninsula cannot be given, because de facto it is already the territory of the Russian Federation - "no".

"Is the war of 2022 a war?"

  • Unequivocal recognition of the war as a war, not using the term "special operation" - yes.

  • Condemnation of war as a phenomenon, but not of the aggressor country, the position "for peace" — "there is no clear position."

  • The use of the term "special operation", "conflict" - "no".

"Is Russia an aggressor?"

  • Recognition of the absurdity of the so-called reasons for the invasion and placing the whole blame on Russia - yes.

  • The silencing of Russia's role, simply the position of "no war" — "there is no clear position."

  • Shifting partial/full blame to NATO, Ukraine — "no".

"Visas for Russians to cancel?"

  • Cancel - "yes".

  • Simply stating the fact that they can be annulled, or the position of "leaving" them for a separate group of Russians: oppositionists who have been standing up to Putin for a long time — "there is no clear position."

  • Acknowledging that Ukrainians have the right to demand this, but claiming that it will not be effective, will strengthen Putin, is a manifestation of "Russophobia", "chauvinism" - "no".


if a person is public, actively and regularly appears in the infospace but does not have a position on one of the key issues or has an "unclear" position, this is a reducing factor o their usefulness for Ukraine.


This table is only part of the Research Object evaluation. In addition to the key issues presented in the table, the statements of the subjects on other important issues for Ukraine were also studied (more on this later). Thus, even the presence of positive evaluations according to key criteria does not guarantee that other actions/utterances of a person were/are useful for Ukraine.

For example: Artemiy Troitsky has 4 out of 5 positive evaluations according to the main criteria (recognizes the annexation of Crimea, the Russian-Ukrainian war since 2014, the full-scale aggression of Russia since February 24, 2022) and one - "position not revealed", which is related to the need to ban visas for Russians . But at the same time, it has an overall rating of "More useful for Ukraine in the info field". After all, along with the previous principled positions, he denies the idea of ​​collective responsibility of Russians, has a negative attitude to the so-called "cancelling" of Russian culture, et cetera.

Besides the key issues, we analyzed the public statements of the Objects for the period 2014-2022 in the following vectors:

  1. recognition of the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine;

  2. recognition/criticism/distortion of Ukrainian history/language, et cetera.;

  3. attitude to the Orange Revolution;

  4. attitude to the Revolution of Dignity;

  5. recognition of Crimea as Ukrainian and condemnation of the annexation, "truthfulness of the referendum"/historical justice/return to Ukraine (including statements about the Crimean Tatars);

  6. recognition of the war as a war that Russia started and has been waging against Ukraine since 2014;

  7. condemnation of war;

  8. attitude to Putin;

  9. attitude to the "Russian world";

  10. attitude to Russian imperialism;

  11. attitude to the Holodomor;

  12. attitude to the wars started by Russia;

  13. real (not in words) help to Ukrainian refugees/military/prisoners of war, et cetera;

  14. emphatically uses "in the Ukraine";

  15. If a person is in the Peacemaker (Myrotvorets) database;

  16. use of Russian propaganda cliches;

  17. a call for an end to sanctions;

  18. the communication of "Putin is to blame for everything, and the Russians are not to blame";

  19. a call to forgive the Russians;

  20. appeals to Ukrainians to switch to the Russian language/not to "cancel" Russian culture, etc.;

  21. The communication of "the Russians cannot do anything";

  22. If a person was on the air of federal channels/media?

  23. If a person has participated in official events/received awards/signed propaganda letters of support, etc.

  24. If a person cooperated with the Putin regime

  25. were there facts of persecution/imprisonment/participation in protests

  26. if a person advises Ukrainians on how to live — the position of an older brother

  27. cooperation/friendship with Russian propagandists/representatives of the regime;

  28. the communication of the "fraternal nations" concept;

  29. The communication of "one culture"/"we will live happily together" concept;

  30. The communication of "great Russian culture and small Ukrainian culture" idea;

  31. emphasizing the greatness of Russia and the "decay" of the West;

  32. calls for any joint existence/life of Russia and Ukraine;

  33. positive attitude/nostalgia for the USSR/Stalin, etc.;

  34. support for the "victory frenzy" in World War II.

The analysis of the Research Objects statements was carried out in the following stages.

  1. Analysts collected preliminary information - quotes.

  2. Supervisors checked them for the correctness and completeness of the search.

  3. Supervisors' work was reviewed in three stages by three other supervisors.

Multilevel analysis was necessary to minimize the subjective evaluation of statements. It is minimized but not reduced to zero (this is a qualitative study).

If you see an error in the analysis or have additional information (from public sources), please send it to e-mail: If the information is confirmed, we will correct the data.

Who did the research?

The study was conducted by the information hygiene initiative "How not to become a vegetable" та платформою "Analyze"


Project team:

The key supervisor is Anna Loza. Supervisors - Valentina Bykova and Sofia Sokolova.


Analysts: Anna Povh, Alina Smyshlyak, Alyona Nesterenko, Natalia Bida, Hryhoriy Kostetskyi.


Project managers: Oksana Moroz ("How not to become a vegetable") and Oleksandra Babenko ("Analyze").


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