A Letter to Jenna – Episode #01 – Mariupol [Dec 2021, Feb 2022]
In the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, the city of Mariupol saw skirmishes break out between Ukrainian government forces and separatist militias affiliated with the so called Donetsk People's Republic and backed by Russia. Being located only 15km from the resulting front lines, it was subsequently attacked militarily by rocket shelling in 2015 – from DPR controlled territories, according to OSCE monitors.
Already alongside the geopolitical escalation of the conflict, scientific evidence showed that Mariupol’s population had been subject to foreign interference in connection with pro-Kremlin narratives, targeted disinformation campaigns and conspiracy theories.
After Vladimir Putin’s formal recognition of the Russia-backed so called Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics on February 21, 2022, Russian troops in a war of aggression started invading Ukrainian territory the day after, systematically destroying infrastructure and civilian homes in Mariupol. Since then, the city became a site of war atrocities and crimes against humanity through aggressive and continuous shelling from Russian troops. Numerous attempts to establish humanitarian corridors to protect the civilian population failed in the days that followed.
Various major political events in recent years have been profoundly influenced by the targeted spread of false information and massive interferences from social networks. This has had devastating effects on the decision-making processes in democratic states and is continuing to threaten to destabilise their societies.
Recently, an offensive war of aggression has been launched by Vladimir Putin, built on a range of blatant lies, the targeted dissemination of propagandist narratives, false accusations, and deliberate deception within a sphere of diplomatic norms.
›A Letter to Jenna‹ is an ongoing multidisciplinary documentary project exploring the topic of disinformation and focussing on existing counter-movements in consecutive episodes.
A Letter to Jenna – Episode #01A – Irina
Irina speaks about living in a war zone, Russian propaganda, and her view on the so called Donetsk People's Republic.
A Letter to Jenna – Episode #01B – Irina
Irina roams the area around her home, near the former frontline, twelve days before the devastating invasion of Russian troops.
A Letter to Jenna – Episode #01C – Diana
Diana speaks about her dilemmas with cultural diplomacy in view of an imminent Russian invasion as well as her experiences in a previous info-war and the methods of Russian propaganda in connection with the self-proclaimed People's Republics in the Donbas. The interview was conducted ten days prior to Vladimir Putin’s formal recognition of the so called separatist People's Republics on February 21, 2022 and the following military aggression against Ukraine. Diana was able to flee besieged Mariupol in early March 2022 in a life-threatening escape through two lines of Russian militaries.
A Letter to Jenna – Episode #01D – Diana
Diana about her state of mind in view of an imminent Russian invasion…