Defense Intelligence of Ukraine warned on May 17, that a special event is organized by russian occupation "authorities". The "press-tour for foreign media", as they call it, is held on May 18–21, Interfax-Ukraine reports. The most important stage of this "large-scale political provocation", according to the Ukrainian defense ministry, is to show the ruined districts of Mariupol to the media representatives.
According to the data collected by intelligence, russians have already prepared for that: they brought fragments of Ukrainian ammunition collected from all occupied territories and transferred "local eyewitnesses" comprised of paid actors to tell the media about the "crimes" of the Mariupol garrison.
Read more: Russia’s Terminator Tank Support Vehicle Spot Again in Luhansk Oblast, the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ready to Fight Back
The "decorations" are aimed to discredit Ukraine's role in this war, claimed Oleksandr Tkachenko, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
"We highlight that such behavior of ruscists will only contribute to spreading their propaganda statements and narratives. We can't talk about press tours to places controlled by the enemy. Because they can stage any picture that is favorable for russia," the official said at the briefing at Ukraine Media Center.
The minister also emphasized that any activity of the media in the occupied territories is regulated according to Ukrainian and international law. He pointed out the illegal crossing of the state border and the demarcation line which is scheduled by the occupiers.
This fact of illegal crossing can be found out from the papers published by Oleksandr Kovalenko, the military and political columnist at Information Resistance. He stated that a group of journalists arrived in russian city Rostov-on-Don across the Ukrainian border which violates the legislation of Ukraine. The destination would be the occupied city of Simferopol.
"In my opinion, it is the same as if in 1943 the Nazis organized press tours to Auschwitz for foreign journalists. They would be shown how fed, provided with water are the Jews, how ecologically clean are the places the prisoners are kept in, and how well hygiene is respected together with regular showering…"
The columnist called out to the media to abstain from complicity with the occupiers. He said that following their rules is a disgrace and even a crime, recalling that media supporting Hitler's propaganda were recognized as accomplices of his crimes against humanity.
In addition, Kovalenko published the list of media representatives invited to this "press tour". It includes journalists and photographers from France, the United States of America, Germany, Japan, Greece, China, Belarus, India, Venezuela, Bulgaria and the UAE to participate in the "press tour". Some major media are present there: Associated Press, France Press, Al Jazeera, EPA, and many more.
Ministry of culture, too, urged all foreign media representatives to refrain from participating in "this theater of russian propaganda", especially in the temporarily occupied territories, and condemned the invaders' intentions to distort the real situation in Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities.