“Russian roulette” for the Ukrainian government

The ban on Ukrainian territory of the Russian social networks “Classmates” and “Vkontakte”, online services “Yandex” and “mail.ru” and also the accounting program 1C and Kaspersky anti-virus for a period of three years seems to be in the Wake of the Ukrainian state policy on the protection of the country in the difficult and exhausting hybrid war. However, the decree of the President No. 133/2017 causes a great amount of political and social challenges, for which reason can be considered as an indicator of managerial and political competence of the Ukrainian authorities as such, the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian political elite.

1. Most of the illicit services and products — it’s part of the post-Soviet mashkulture, mass consciousness and mass communication. This electronic agents political-ideological reality, known under the name “Russian World”, it’s “cannon” information-psychological and cognitive warfare, network recruitment of “rebels”, Gopnik and “aunts”, a tool for the construction of “historical memory” — “common past” and “present General”. This is the environment that effectively generates specific General emotions, “cotton discourse” and “new obedient majority” — loyal citizens for whom “Putin is always right”, “we are one people”, “what country lost!”, “thank you grandpa for the victory”, “to Berlin!”, “Odessa Khatyn”, “America attacked Russia in the Donbass”, etc.

2. At the same time these services are convenient communication tools, effective analogues of which in Ukraine is not created (in Silicon Valley is another matter). And the blocking of a search engine “Yandex” — the attack on Ukrainian intellectuals.

3. The fact that four projects of the prohibited absolutely transparent to the Russian special services — not someone else’s suspicions and guesses about this a few times stated on the official level. In the context of a hybrid war, and especially in situations of armed conflict, such resources can be used (and are) the party that has influence on the founders and owners of projects. Although many cases of “Vkontakte” became an effective means of communication and self-organization to the Ukrainian volunteers and volunteers that are blocked in other networks.

4. For Ukraine, known worldwide as the birthplace of many advanced “it people”, it’s a real shame not to create any popular at least in the post-Soviet space of the Internet service or network. The idea is that “Vkontakte” and “Yandex”, and much more could be created by Ukrainian programmers and Internet entrepreneurs. But the Ukrainian provincialism, subjectest colonial syndrome are also found in “it subjectest”: the Ukrainians were good performers, man power, “blacks”, “all remote workers”, “outsourcers”, but not yet been fulfilled as those who designs and creates online reality, as those who set the rules and assessment criteria. (The author of these lines personally know of several projects created in Ukraine, which could become a viable alternative not only the “VC” or “OK”, but even “Facebook”. But they are not implemented or unwound because of the predatory state and the lack of a conducive environment for honest businesses).

5. Everlasting Ukrainian subjectest is also manifested in the fate of the national domain zone “.UA”: in most countries, the domain names in your zone is a web — based space. Ukraine did sign up with “.UA” difficult and expensive, the majority of the Ukrainian sites registered to “.COM”, “.COM.UA”, “.ORG.UA” etc. It is also not a subject for national pride. (Registration and support of domain name in the zone.”UA” Ukrainian hosters worth 11 times more than in the zone.”EN”, up to 6 times higher than in the zone.”COM.UA” in 4 times more than in the zone.”COM”.)

6. Whatever the pros and cons of a ban in Ukraine, the Russian Internet services, the road spoon for dinner, and any ban — at the time. For example, in 2014-2015, the wave of indignation caused by the annexation of Crimea, war in Donbas, stories with the defense of the Donetsk airport and two boilers, such a ban would be understandable, logical, wouldn’t a large protest potential. Now it enhances the already great annoyance in society. The removal companies out of your comfort zone by such decisions understandable, or in critical situations or in a situation of economic prosperity and development. In conditions of stagnation, degradation and depression similar protests undermine the credibility of the government not only because of the restrictions, but also because in critical situations the government has no answers to key questions of the socio-political and economic development, but knows everything on the topic — what and when it is necessary to prohibit or restrict. To take an example in this matter with the Russian authorities is inappropriate (although it is a complicated issue and in any appropriate?).

7. Any restrictions on the Internet is ineffective. Power walking on these steps, one immediately acquires the image of the reactionaries of the past. Know that even in Russia, where Roskomnadzor has become synonymous with censorship Committee in the heyday of the latter. However, this thread is funny “consumed” several Russian officials (including the Deputy Minister of communications) who are trying to prohibit to circumvent the prohibitions in the Russian Internet. But Ukrainian users they suddenly began to learn to use “anonymizers” and other antiseizure achievements.

8. An unexpected call to the Russian authorities was “shkolota” — students and senior high school students, published in Moscow in a protest rally on March 26. I wonder if weaning from the mother for the vast majority of students “Vkontakte” and vast library of the network to mobilize them for the protest and disobedience? In General, where goes the community of “Classmates” and “Vkontakte”? Students — “Facebook” and “guys from our yard”, Housewives and glamorous aunties — in “Instagram”? Anyway, such decisions can bring the big and most problematic politically part of society: the relatively apolitical citizens, perceiving only material factors on the brink of loyalty and disloyalty to the regime.

9. Whether the Ukrainian authorities the technical possibility to block prohibited network and services? Or they can work through proxies or in the form of mobile applications on smartphones? Apparently, the main consequence of a ban would be not so much a blow to the ability to communicate in these networks, how suspension and expulsion legal entities that support these services, from Ukraine. It turns out, we are talking about the redistribution of market? But who will come now?

10. By the way, the decree Poroshenko may be very hard hit by the blocked resources not only in Ukraine but throughout the former Soviet Union. The logic of Russian, Belarusian or emigrant of a user can be on the “Classmates” I won’t be able to communicate with their classmates who live in Ukraine. Yes, there are only a few people, but frustrating. Maybe I should move to some other resource? Or: of course, I rarely go to Ukraine, but when I’m there I will be, won’t be able to read your mailbox on “mail.ru”. Maybe I should switch to something less vulnerable?

11. The ban of broadcasting of Russian TV channels in 2014, was logical and predictable. It was explained that they are from the media turned into a weapon. Immediately a satisfactory explanation is not forthcoming. The biggest disadvantage of the current solutions, and in General — the biggest problem of the current Ukrainian authorities in General — unwillingness (inability? lack of understanding of this need?) talk to the society. Clearly and consistently explain the logic of those or other political decisions, especially the unpopular (and in war most of the decisions are unpopular). Instead of building a solidary relations between the state and society, instead of the policy of austerity from the government see vague, poorly trained, not fit into a greater strategy emotional decisions whose consequences are not thought through.

It would be logical prior to the announcement of the decision in detail to explain to the public why and why it is done. Whether because on the “Classmates” and “Vkontakte” great promotional thread where you earn does not Ukrainians? Whether because these sites and services are promoting war, inciting Ukrainophobia diminish the sovereignty of Ukraine? Whether because the personal data of Ukrainian citizens are kept outside Ukraine (for this reason in Russia late last year banned network “LinkedIn”)? Whether because private communications of users, including fighters ATO, you can read the FSB and FAPSI? Whether because these networks are used to recruit “cannon fodder” for the LDNR? Whether because in these networks a lot of criticism of the Ukrainian government?

If no explanation, anger and emotional negativity will be more than twice. And in the background the whole problem situation in the country the amount of negativity could become critical. However, it can not be, because social media is not the media, and service with samokopaniem content. In General, the Ukrainian government once again started to play with the fate of “Russian roulette”…