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'Life in cold and dark': Ministry of Energy responds to resonant FT article

'Life in cold and dark': Ministry of Energy responds to resonant FT article Media PSYOP campaign against power outages in Ukraine is gaining momentum (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Ministry of Energy of Ukraine has labeled an article in the Financial Times, which discusses an impending disaster in Ukrainian energy, as disinformation and a psychological operation (PSYOP) serving Russia's interests, according to Ukraine's Ministry of Energy.

The ministry noted that the sensational article bears signs of a psychological operation is manipulative and promotes enemy narratives.

For instance, the article cites anonymous sources within the Ukrainian government. This calls into question the credibility of the information provided, as official sources do not confirm it.

"The audience must understand that references to anonymous sources without concrete confirmations are not reliable information, and the conclusions may be manipulative. For example, an unnamed representative of the Ukrainian authorities in the article claims that 'we must prepare to live in cold and darkness.' This statement is aimed at spreading fear and panic among the population," the ministry says.

Additionally, according to the Ministry of Energy, the article contains false information presented as fact.

Specifically, it states that a decision was made on May 31 to double electricity tariffs for the population. The ministry called this claim "blatant lies and manipulation," noting that the tariff increased by 63% and "there is a significant difference between 60% and 100%."

"To give the material an appearance of credibility, the article mixes true and false data and contains appeals to the reader's emotions," the Ministry of Energy reports.

The ministry also noted a significant increase in information dumps related to energy in the Ukrainian information space, which have signs of PSYOP and are aimed at creating social tension, intimidating Ukrainians, and fostering distrust in the authorities during a difficult period.

The ministry urges not to spread false narratives and disinformation, thereby playing into the enemy's hands, not to speculate on a sensitive topic for society, and to trust only official sources of information.

Resonant Financial Times article

On June 5, the British Financial Times released an article titled "Russia has taken out over half of Ukraine power generation" which says that the situation in Ukraine's energy system will deteriorate, and by January, people in Ukraine will only have electricity for two to four hours a day, and they should "prepare for life in the cold and the dark".

Translated excerpts from the article were reshared by many Ukrainian media outlets, published in several Telegram channels, and caused a public outcry.

Increase in electricity prices

From June 1, the Cabinet of Ministers raised tariffs for household consumers from 2.66 UAH/kWh to 4.32 UAH/kWh. The reason was the massive destruction of thermal power plants and damage to hydroelectric power plants and other energy generation facilities by Russians. Thus, the state is trying to raise funds for the repair of facilities.

The tariff change will bring Energoatom and Ukrhydroenergo an additional 50 billion hryvnias.