How to stay in touch and receive information

There may be no mobile communication in an emergency. If it is, but it’s weak, you can use lightweight versions of many applications (Facebook Lite, Messenger Lite, Google Go, Google Maps Go). As a result, they take up less space and run faster, even with poor Internet access.

You should also install the maps app on your smartphone, which does not need the network. For example, mapy.cz, or enable the appropriate feature on Google Maps. Note that applications do not automatically download the necessary maps – you must do so in advance.

Consider purchasing an additional spare push-button phone. It can work longer than a smartphone if you use it only for conversations.

How to use a walkie-talkie

In the absence of mobile communication, a walkie-talkie can replace the phone. For example, when you need to move to a safe place, these devices will help a family communicate with each other.

Modern walkie-talkies are easy to use and have a built-in FM receiver. However, we recommend that you prepare a spare battery.

Do not turn on the walkie-talkie on the police or other services frequencies: this will interfere with their work.

How to protect yourself from disinformation

Follow these tips:

  • Distribute information only from verified sources. Reliable information comes from state bodies – on their official pages in social media or the Public Broadcasting Channel (UA: Pershyi, former UT-1).

  • Do not believe the message about the cessation of the struggle by the Ukrainian army. Such information is a typical way to demoralize the population. Moreover, you have to remember that in the event of hostile aggression, the Ukrainian security forces will steadfastly resist.

  • If the Internet connection is interrupted or the pages of state bodies are not available, contact the Public Broadcasting: UA: Pershyi and Ukrainian Radio for information. Tune the radio to the frequency of your city in advance; you can find out the frequency of the broadcast on the website If you have a fixed radio station, use it.

  • Do not disseminate information about the movement of Ukrainian troops. You can harm those who protect you.

  • Do not believe the reports of deliberate shelling of civilians by the Ukrainian military. In this way, the aggressor wants to undermine your trust in the defenders.

  • Do not share unverified information about the course of hostilities. Only the security and defense authorities of Ukraine have such data. Information from other sources or private pages on social media may not be true.

  • Check out patriotic-looking but questionable messages and appeals. Slogans and Ukrainian symbols may cover the aggressor.

What sources of information can be trusted

First of all, focus on the primary sources of government agencies. Follow the information from the SES, the army, and the government on the pages of their websites or social networks and the messages of the Public Broadcasting.

Below you will find a list of verified sources. Please note that verified (officially confirmed) accounts on social networks have a special mark next to the name – a blue tick. In this way, the social network ensures that this person or institution maintains this page. Not all official institutions in Ukraine have received it yet, so consider the accounts from the list.

Public Broadcasting:

TV Channel UA: Pershiy (Public Broadcasting)
Radio Promin
Ukrainian Radio

Websites of public services:

State Service of Ukraine for Emergencies
Armed Forces of Ukraine
Ministry of Defence Ukraine
Ministry of Internal Affairs

Basic tips how not to fall victim to enemy information operations

Desinformation is fake, manipulative content created intentionally to harm. It is designed to create false meanings, intimidate, mislead and strike.

Desinformers falsify everything – news, books, documents, works of art and even public events. Russian propagandists are constantly fabricating and distorting information about events. They are organizing fake events to legalize their crimes and use them in public against Ukraine.

To protect yourself from Desinformation, it is important to follow a number of simple rules and distinguish information attacks.

How to detect a fake?

Disable “autopilot mode” in the consumption of information and ask yourself:

  • Why do I see this information?
  • What source disseminated this information (social media page, media or suspicious site)?
  • Who is the author of the message (official, journalist or anonymous reporter)?

Pay attention to:

  • Availability of links to sources of information.
  • Presentation of facts, assessments and comments, generalizations.
  • Photos or videos used to verify information.
  • Commentators, experts involved.

Signs of manipulative information:

  • Emotionally colored presentation – “incredible” or “shocking” information.
  • No original source.
  • Suspicious account that is disseminating information.

Desinformers also often use fake photos. How to check them?

  • Open Google Chrome. Right-click on the photo you want to check and select “search for images on Google”.
  • If you have a different browser, open Google there. Go to the “image search” section. Copy the link to the image and paste it into the search bar.

This way, you can check to see if the image was stolen, where and in what situation it first appeared.

What to look for when you find the original source of photography?

  • Publication dates: same or different?
  • Place of publication: who published this photo? Can this source be trusted?
  • Does the title and content of the article correspond to the photo?
  • Are there any differences between the original photo you found and the photo you wanted to check? For example, a photo is cropped, elements are added or changed.
  • In which country was the photo taken? Which country is mentioned in the link?

Sources

Warning! Information should be read only on official resources – websites or channels of ministries and other public authorities, as well as on the platforms of the Public Broadcaster “Suspilne”.

Information obtained through unofficial channels and social media pages may be false. For example, in 2021, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) exposed a network of malicious telegram channels linked to Russia’s intelligence services. Under the guise of “insider information”, they broadcast hostile appeals and fakes. Among them “Resident”, “Legitimny», “Cartel”, “Spletnitsa” and others. In February 2022, the Center for Countering Disinformation published an expanded list of such channels.

There are also many “garbage sites” in the information space that will make money on discrediting messages. However, users often trust questionable sources of information, because the information is presented there emotionally, so as to immediately scare, shock or outrage and turn off the ability to cold analysis.

Signs of a “garbage site”:

  • Simulates a real media site (bbc-cnn, ua24ua, informator.su, etc.).
  • There is no information about the editors of the site (rubrics “About us”, “Editors”).
  • The content is suspiciously the same.

Follow 5 simple steps in media literacy:

  • Consciously shape your information space.
  • Counteract digital dependence and turn off the “autopilot mode”.
  • Master your thoughts and emotions.
  • Check the information received from various sources.
  • Check the information you intend to share.

Can’t catch your mobile network? How to automatically connect to another operator. National roaming

Vodafone, Kyivstar, and Lifecell launches testing of national roaming in Ukraine. If your operator’s network isn’t available, you can now switch to other networks.

How to do that (all points are obligatory):

  • Disable automatic network selection (on Android: Settings – Mobile network (or Connection) – Operator, on iOS: Settings – Cellular data – Network selection)
  • Find and select an available network: Vodafone UA, UA-KYIVSTAR or LIFECELL
  • If registration fails, try again or choose another
  • Check the possibility of an outgoing call, SMS

Important: Once a day try to return to your native network. Because the connection of national roaming loads networks and can affect the quality of work of some services. 

Important information for the media, bloggers and all citizens who photograph or write about war and the army

According to the ORDER of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, GENERAL VALERY ZALUZHNY:

What is categorically prohibited to be covered by the mass media during wartime:

  • names of bases and subdivisions, as well as their locations

  • the number of soldiers in bases and units

  • the number of weapons and equipment, their condition and place of storage

  • conditional marks of objects

Any information about:

  •  operations carried out or planned

  • system of protection and defense of military units

  • available military protection such as: weapons and equipment(except visible or obviously expressed)

  • procedure for engaging forces (military) and facilities (weapons)

  • intelligence gathering

  • movement and deployment of troops (names, numbers, routes)

  • military units and their tactics, methods of action

  • unique operations and their execution methods

  • the effectiveness of the enemy’s electronic warfare

  • postponed or canceled operations

  • missing or crashed aircraft, ship and search and rescue operations

  • plans for the security of our troops (disinformation, camouflage, countermeasures)

  • informational and psychological operations carried out or planned

  • propaganda or justification of russia’s large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine.

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