Saturday, April 4, 2015

Social media and information warfare: A Thunderclap Case Study

There should be no doubt in any sane individual's mind that Russia is waging a very hybrid war against Ukraine, which includes social media and information warfare, with all its trolls and scum that try to distract those working in Ukraine's interest from being positive. As pointed out by Paul Goble, Vladimir Putin is clever but not very creative. Just as he uses the Goebbels play book of propaganda, he has used Joseph Stalin's hybrid warfare playbook.

From what I experienced last week on social media the trolls have really gotten under the skin of some individuals who are concerned about the well being of kidnapped Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko and one in particular who started the Million Tweets campaign for her release with the hash-tag #FreeSavchenko. Clearly, when the trolls discovered that this campaign existed they began subversive moves in creating hash-tags which looked very similar to the campaign's hash-tag. If one was not careful and aware, they would inadvertently re-tweet these "troll-injected" hash-tags and thus in principle stealing from potential number of tweets that the #FreeSavchenko Twitter Storm campaign. The lead on the Twitter Storm campaign clearly was annoyed with this theft, which he claimed was a hack of Twitter by Moscow. In focusing his energy on dealing with this he was distracted from his main goal, to raise the awareness of Nadiya Savchenko's plight in a Moscow remand prison who had started a hunger strike on December 13, 2014.

I personally had been involved in this Twitter Storm campaign, but had made a conscientious decision to also drive the Thunderclap campaign started by a fellow Canadian living in Kyiv. This second campaign which I backed and drove became extremely successful and even got coverage on UAToday, a recent media project of Ihor Kolomoiskyi. The reaction of some involved in the #FreeSavchenko Twitter storm was extremely surprising to this airtime, was nothing short of childish. I vented about their reaction on Twitter but here I hope to lay the facts to bare, both as why a Thunderclap campaign can be an example of working smarter not harder, and some lessons learned from the two different campaigns I have run.

Why to @ThunderClapIt and my Ukrainian cases

The day after Yanuckovych's storm-troopers descended on students who voicing their interest in the move towards standards of the European Union, on Ukraine's Independence Square, I was contacted by a friend living in Kyiv in order to start, what was called a Thunderclap campaign to reach as many with one simple message. "Ukraine's government has gone too far. Bloodshed is not a a democratic value! Ukraine's people want to be in Europe."

For those of you who don't understand how Thunderclap works, here is a very simple explanation.

Thunderclap allows for those involved in social media, right now on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter to amplify their social reach through asking their contacts, followers and friends to lend their social contact to the particular Thunderclap. This is very personal when in doing so because most have a hard time in sharing their social reach. I can understand most people for not doing so, however, I still feel that those who are overly anal on this issue is totally out of touch with reality. If you are a person of interest of any security agency globally they have already hacked all your social media accounts. So don't worry about joining Thunderclap! You really are not a person of interest, unless you are ready to commit terrorist acts, or someone who is trying to battle Moscovy's trolls.

One of the biggest problems with Thunderclap is that when you invite others to lend their social reach, that is pretty intrusive for most. However, like I mention above, most are a little too paranoid about sharing such social reach. Such paranoia leads to health problems, so stop it.

Before, I will launch into the case of this Thunderclap I would like to share some the reasons for using a Thunderclap in the realm of social media. This is totally for the free version of Thunderclap, as I am certain if I had a sponsor to conduct my project I may have been able to determine many more interesting insights to this technology and social interaction on social media.

Reasons for using Thunderclap
  1. You have a dead line to announce an event. You want many thousands if not millions of people to know about your message at the same time. The deadline helps get your solitary message out at one particular time and it is shared at that time by all those that support the message;
  2. You need people go to a particular URL- you have a live event and you want to get people there regardless where they are on this big blue marble, you have to create a message that will be shared to visit that online event. By sharing your social reach you can reach out to thousands of more individuals than you could yourself or through your friends and organizations;
  3. Short and Tweet compliant message. This means you are with in the 140 character limit set by Twitter, you must be short and sweet in you final message. It will resonate to all those who lend their social reach to you.
  4. While the Thunderclap message may not be something that could be edited effectively for disseminating a message, it could be effectively be used to guide those in the cause to help distribute other pre-prepared messages from a particular website.
Amongst these mentioned reasons, it is very important to work smarter and not harder. While I know there are people out there that don't like my stance on this, that is their problem not mine.

Measuring Success With Thunderclap

Unfortunately measuring of success with many social media initiatives is truly impossible, the social reach one obtains with Thunderclap is very clear.
  • When you set your initial goal of social reach with Thunderclap, you will know throughout your campaign what percentage of your goal has been reached;
  • There is no second guessing and the entire social reach will receive on your dashboard;
  • Your reach, or access to a particular site will be measurable in an ongoing and final methodology.
As mentioned earlier, I was personally involved in driving two Thunderclap campaigns. Measuring success is very different because of both their causes and their goals.

The first campaign was very ambitious, and lets provide some reason why this was the case.

For any Thunderclap campaign there are a possibility of three different goal levels of supporters for your cause and who you believe will end their social reach to your campaign.
  • 100 supporters;
  • 250 supporters;
  • 500 supporters.
These are key components when structuring your Thunderclap campaign, and many people, particularly venturing into this very new domain where there is a trust matter have to consider. Just how many supporters can you bring into your particular Thunderclap cause?

Understanding this number as a goal in starting a Thunderclap campaign is probably one of the most important factors which will determine success or not! Simple!

During our first Thunderclap we attempted to reach 500 supporters, the two of us running the campaign really thought this was possible though we were mistaken. Looking back over the last year I can understand there were many different reasons why this didn't happen, they included, but not limited to:
  1. Not clearly understanding how suspicious users are of sharing their social media in any way, shape or form;
  2. Along with this was the problem of just how naive users are about how technologies actually work, information technology education is in fact lacking in society as a whole;
  3. A clear marketing campaign had not also been developed to market the Thunderclap campaign itself to explain the technology and how it works.
The first campaign reached a social reach of 188,975 individuals with 53% for of our goal of the number of supporters. As a result of not meeting or goal for the number of supporters not being met by 100% our message that was to go out to every individual within the social reach of 188,975 individuals was never Thunderclapped, and thus could be considered an unsuccessful campaign; however, the lessons learned during that campaign were invaluable in running the second campaign which became an information warfare tool in ensuring more people heard a very simple and plain message.

Doing it right for your cause

When I came on board to lead the second Thunderclap campaign, the cause to me was just. It was to make as many people globally aware of Nadiya Savchenko by sending out a single message to as large of a social reach as possible using the three social media platforms supported by Thunderclap: Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Unlike the first Thunderclap I had driven, the goal was much more reasonable and attainable based on our previous experience a year earlier where we had attained 53% of 500 supporters, or 265 individuals and their entire social reach of 188,975. This time we had set our goal for 100 supporters who would be willing to lend their social reach to our very simple message: "Unite with Ukraine to #FreeSavchenko from Russian imprisonment Разом визволимо Надію Савченко із російського полону." I thought how could anyone not want to join very clearly defined cause that had been clearly trending and that I personally had contributed to.

Unlike the first campaign which I had driven, this time I avoided one specific thing! The hard sell! If I was to gain the social reach I desired from the start which was quarter of a million social reach as discussed by my partner on this project, there was no reason I should waste time on trying to hard sell someone. My focus had to be finding my social contacts with great social reach and those which I new believed in the cause. They would help and they did!

In particular there was one fellow, who contributed over 77K of his social reach to our cause, and there was one moment during this informational war where I went one step further than most would. Maybe some people remember a journalist by the name of Irma Krat. She was held from some time by the terrorists of the DNR in Slovyansk. Irma and I have been social contacts for some time and as I was inviting my contacts to join this Thunderclap I discovered that Irma had become a victim of Moscow's trolls on Facebook and had been banned. This pissed me off a great deal, because it had limited the voice of journalist.

I spent some time to get Irma out of Facebook purgatory, not because I needed her on my Thunderclap campaign, but because I have lost a number of journalist and activist friends in Ukraine over the years. By be-all-and-end-all was not the Thunderclap campaign but to be involved in justice. I think anyone who has taken the time to dig deeper into my pages will know I'm not new to Ukrainian matters. Those of you who think you are new heroes, particularly Alex Smith aka @GlastostGone - think again. Your ego like that of so many Ukrainians harms Ukraine and doesn't help it!

Results of a not so perfect campaign

Just as a reminder! A Thunderclap campaign is either ALL or NOTHING. I'd gone through a nothing campaign and now I was going through an all campaign. A Thunderclap in which I knew the social reach would be whatever it was knowing that the goal of supporters was attainable.

I am one of the first to admit that I am not perfect, though that in itself is a strength and not a weakness. I have learnt a great deal over my nearly twenty-eight years working with Ukrainian and other non-governmental and volunteer organizations. For the most part, I find most organizations in Ukraine much more professional than their counterparts in the west; however, newly formed organizations during civil upheaval are staffed by totally non-professionals who make inappropriate judgement calls. While I have evidence of this I do not to expose individual, but their non-professionalism really pisses me off. I had been approached by this organization to consult on both social media and potential Thunderclap campaigns. In all honesty the hypocrisy of these individuals is criminal to say the least!

While this piece was to look at how to use Thunderclap, it has and will become a way of exposing the hypocrisy of those trying to take advantage of a political situation. But no, I will not do that. The culprits know who they are. They are not better or worse than I am, they are just very misinformed and misguided in what they are trying to do.

If you are trying to increase a social reach or global understanding of what allies are trying to do, you to become an enemy of the state you are part of by putting down others. The Thunderclap campaign which I directed was covered on UAToday - not because we tried to push on TV but because journalist from that station contacted my friend and partner on this project - Luc Chenier. Yes, I know there are some of you who hate professionals, well it's time to soak it up. Take some time to listen to this interview to better understand what we accomplished:

Continuing the conversation

"Changing the subject in order to change the conversation," this is the way that trolls work for globally. The Thunderclap that I was driving was very much aimed in that direction. This is a key element for any Thunderclap campaign. How to continue a conversation and ensure that it gets into the public eye!

In any Thunderclap campaign it is important to ensure that you get to the final goal. Though this is also the campaign that should exist when dealing with any type of media. I happen to understand old and new media, thought not as a professional but as a user. No, I am wrong, I understand all media better than most having been on the media divide.

So, I put forth the following posit! Why were individuals so anal about the success of our Thunderclap campaign? I hope that they are not afraid in entering into a discussion a little longer down the path. Some of the comments I know about regarding not even seeing the above mentioned TV segment is a enough to show the hypocrisy of NGO's in Ukraine. I have no need to do that, but what I do need to do is share my positive experience.

We were two individuals, with a desire to let the world know that Nadiya Savchenko was on a hunger strike and illegally detained in a Russian reprimand prison. Clearly there were some individuals who felt we were doing the wrong thing! Using a technology to disseminate information in a sensible manner! Sorry to the people we may have pissed off, but we reached our goal. You on the other hand, are still struggling and totally misguided in terms of social media.

While those who are misguided, there are those who do appreciate the work of professionals. In particular, my partner on this project, Luc Chenier, received a message from Ukraine's Minister of Finance, Natalie Jaresko on February 15, 2015. The daunting task that Ukraine's government now has after years of kleptocracy is a daunting one, the this is the shout out which a government official took the time to send.


Message From Ukraine's Minister of Finance, to Luc Chenier Regarding Message From Ukraine's Minister of Finance, to Luc Chenier on LinkedIn Regarding Our ThunderClap Campaign
Message From Ukraine's Minister of Finance, to Luc Chenier
on LinkedIn Regarding Our ThunderClap Campaign
For those who want to continue to deny that we are all a drop in the bucket towards positive activities contribute to public awareness about Ukraine, continue doing so, we know who you are; and clearly government officials also know that there are people who look at things professionally and who will continue to do so!


For anyone, who wants to learn how to work smarter and not harder, take some time to follow the following very primitive flow chart.

A simple flowchart of how Thunderclap works! If you are wondering how to run a successful @ThunderClapIt I am more than willing to provide consulting services based on my experience and lessons learned. Please feel free to contact me.
The Thunderclap process!
I together with one partner, gained a social reach of over 350K, and it was not because we worked hard, but we leveraged the technologies that were available to us. You can see that particular extremely successful Thunderclap campaign here. I am completely ready to share more of the lesson's I have learned on how to complete a successful Thunderclap campaign, though for this we have to discuss these matters on a personal and commercial level.

I've don't have to be a hero for Ukraine, I've done my time on the ground. I will do things for Ukraine and others who can understand my knowledge and experience. I'm not a whore, and will never be. I know my value, and right now I can say that my value and if you try to put me down, it simply shows you are idiots and falling into the hands of Moscovy.

Yes, there was a political bent to this piece, but at the same time I hope someone out there learns a bit about Thunderclap as a tool in information warfare. Clearly, there are many who seem to not understand what side we are fighting. I hope they grow up and stop being children soon! The sooner the better!

Vasyl Pawlowsky Independent Consultant

The commentary of this was first published on the site.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Andrei Sakharov's Theory of Symmetry

It has been a quarter of a century since the passing of Andrei Sakharov a Nobel Prize winning physicist, dissident and civil rights activist, and I sometimes wonder how little has changed in Russia since then? Particularly since Russia's invasion of Crimea and its incursion into the Donbass region with some of the finest of its elite troops and hired mercenaries from over four-thousand kilometres away. These actions on behalf of the Kremlin, while now different from those which were part of Sakharov's “theory of symmetry” on Soviet society, have created much of the same effect as during Soviet times.

Additionally, the West's reaction to the Kremlin's “debonaire terrorist” attitude towards Ukraine and all aspects of international law has resulted in the Russian rouble being the worst currency in the world. I a typical isolationist and Soviet mentality, there has been a call to make it illegal for retailers to advertise the price of their goods in any currency other than roubles. Paired, with this the Kremlin is recruiting a whole new echelon of “patriotic snitches” known as “stukachi” in Soviet times; let's not forget that the Russian Orthodox Church has played such a role for the Kremlin since the passing of Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow.

While many individuals would probably never remember such a day, the day that I heard of Andrei Sakharov's death is frozen in my mind's eye like it was yesterday. In the mid to late 1980s I became extremely active in the Ukrainian-Canadian students' movement, both in helping to revive Ukrainian Student's Clubs at the universities I attended and taking an active role in the Ukrainian Canadian Students' Union, hereafter SUSK, leadership as Vice-President Laurentian as the position was then called. As anyone who knows me I have always tried to maintain contact with friends wherever we end up on the face of the planet and in December of 1989 while studying at McGill University and in my official position with SUSK I was informed by colleagues in Ottawa that we would be having a visiting scholar from Ukraine who had spent a semester at the University of Alberta, and who was returning to Ukraine, via the standard route in those days – Montreal – Moscow -Kyiv.

Our Visitor – My Task

After his stint at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Vasyl Yaremenko travelled eastward before returning to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as part of the USSR. A good friend of mine Wally Barabash drove him from Ottawa to Montreal where he delivered a talk on the situation and revival of the Ukrainian language in Gorbachev's period of “perebudova”. While our visitor stayed with well-known Holodmor historian professor Roman Serbyn, my friend Wally stayed with me until he had to drive Vasyl Yaremenko to the now non-existent Mirabel Airport some sixty-five kilometres north of Montreal and designated as our international airport of the day.

The day he was to leave was a cold sunny and bright December day. Vasyl Yaremenko had made one request of myself and Wally before he drove him to the airport. It was a simple request and one that was not uncommon for the time. It was to help him in selecting a boom-box for his son Bohdan. Clearly it would have to run on the 220 alternating current which electric and electronic devices operated in that part of the world.

Vasyl Yaremenko told me the price range he had budgeted for the day before Wally and I picked him up at Professor Serbyn's. This was not something I was not familiar with and thus I selected two electronics stores located proximate to Roman Serbyn's home, knowing both the quality of goods sold at the store and understanding the possibility of haggling with the shop-keep.

The News

When we walked into the shop cluttered with wall-to-wall electronics the first thing the three of us heard was the familiar hourly call signal of RFE/RL for shortwave broadcasts. It turned out that my first choice of shops was that of a former Refusenik who had managed to emigrate under the work carried out by Nathan Sharansky. It was then that we heard the news, in that cluttered but welcoming shop, that Andrei Sakaharov had died. He was sixty-eigth.

The four of us looked at one another. It was like the end of an era. Sakharov had embodied so much energy that was totally against what the entire Soviet system stood for. We all looked at one another, there was a complete silence in our space, with the exception of the announcer's voice, of the other relevant news from that part of the world. A part of the world still captured under the yoke of Moscow – in an evil system of domination and subjugation.

The shop-keep held his fore-head in his right hand when he heard the news, Yaremenko shook his head, stating that this was a great loss for freedom loving people everywhere, but particularly in the USSR.

It took a little while to shake this, but clearly longer for Yaremenko and the shop-keep. Once the initial shock wore off, I together with Wally took the time to narrow down the selection of the appropriate unit. Then we left the haggling on the price to the two, pretty-well peers, to work out the price. The entire haggle session which lasted about ten minutes was carried out in the Russian language and eventually Vasyl Yaremenko made a decision with our help. We walked out of that cluttered shop with a boom-box which would be appreciated in the future by his son Bohdan.

I'll never forget that day that when I heard of Andrei Sakharov's passing.

Before and After

Andrei Sakharov while in the Soviet Union fell very much in line with what was Dwight Eisenhower's concept of Atoms for Peace. The role he had as a physicist who understood his own nuclear undertaking came out in the early 1960s against nuclear proliferation. As time went on, Sakharov was branded as an enemy and traitor of the Soviet Union. Interesting now Moscow has returned to such labelling and ostracizing of their critical members of their society. Today, if Sakharov were still here he would face the same shit he faced when he protested against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He would be against Russia's Invasion of Ukraine and that is twenty-five years after his death we should honour him.

As for the decisions I made with Vasyl Yaremenko, I would learn about that connection during the summer of 1990.

During a SUSK planned trip to Ukraine in the summer of 1990 which started on July 1, I would learn of some close connections on a trip that meant a great deal to me. The first connection was primarily a connection with my deceased father. He unlike many who had travelled to the new world by ship had made a decision to fly to Canada his adoptive home after the great war.

My father flew from Brussels to Shannon, Ireland. This was followed with a hop to Gander, Newfoundland, and then on to Montreal. At about the same age as he was coming to the “New World” I was flying in the opposite direction with stops in Gander and Shannon. Howecer, my final stop in Kyiv and not Brussels, my paternal homeland.

Our Ukrainian student contacts of the day had contacts in Kyiv whom we would eventually be staying with for our first few days in Ukraine's capital – Kyiv.

On the first day of our stay I was introduced to a number of students and even one who I had know as one of the first graduands of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program – Ivan Tkachenko whom I had met the in Ottawa the summer before, while I was employed at the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa. When our small group of six students finally met Ivan and his family we were instantly introduced to his like-minded friends.

A Visit to Kharkivskiy Massiv

While it never really hit me at the time, during my first visit to Kyiv in July of 1990, I was getting some extremely privileged experiences. Ivan Tkachenko's father walked us from their flat on Gorkovoho, now Antonovycha, over to Pushkinska Street and through Shevchenko Park on that muggy July afternoon the day of our arrival. Ivan's father, a film maker, told us of how Jews were marched along Volodymyrska and then north to Babyn Yar. As we walked past 33 Volodymyrska Street my fellow student and friend playfully opened the door what was still the KGB HQ in Ukaine and fired off a few snaps with his camera. None of the officers were thrilled with his antics, and they followed him out on to the street as we passed his camera amongst our group, denying any such “espionage” had taken place.

We then went to the sight of the Church of the Tithes, looked out on Podil and Obolon'. In 1990 Ivan Tkachenko clearly stood out. He was wearing a pair of long-shorts with the cartoon character “Yosemite Sam” blazing his guns and clearly a shout out to the people of Ukraine of 1990.

While chronology doesn't matter in this retelling of this tale, eventually we all ended up at an apartment at Kharkivskiy Massiv. At the moment we arrived there we only knew we were at Bohdan's place and that his parents were at their “dacha”, or cottage.

Right to Left - Top to Bottom: Bohdan Yaremenko, Ivan Tkachenko, Yuriy Tatukh, Greg Kindiak, Nadia Homonko, Kateryna XXX, XXX XXX, Vasyl Pawlowsky, Serhiy Taran, Roman Ivanus

It was not long after we arrived there, our host Bohdan put on some music and we were invited to have some drinks. In less than half an hour of being there, one of my fellow Canadian students asked Bohdan where he had gotten his “boom box”. Of course he went on to explain how his father had been in Canada a few years earlier, and how this guy Vasyl had picked out such a great piece of equipment for him. In all honesty, it didn't take me or anyone else to realize the connection and that I had been a principle of advising Bohdan Vasylovych on this particular product for his son.

Full Circle - 25 Years Less a Year

As we all know, Viktor Yanukovych – for anyone with normal vision, understood him as both a criminal and vassal of Moscovia decided to change Ukraine's publicly declared vector towards Europe, towards one aimed in a different direction; that of Tsar Putin's Eurasian Economic Union as a manner to re-establish the Soviet Union in USSR 2.0.

When it became clear that Yanukovych was not going to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, Mustafa Nayyem called on students to come out to Maidan, Kyiv's main square, though I think he is given too much credit for this movement as new generation had come to fruition from the Orange (R)evolution. They were not going to be fooled again, and it wasn't simply his call to action, but their own initiative and the witnessing of empty promises of Viktor Yushchenko, the poster boy of democracy in Ukraine. Unfortunately, too much credit is being given to people like Nayem who may be great at what they did and do professionally but are far from ready to be involved in politics in a still very immature political culture with no party discipline and no political checks and balances.

While, many like to credit Nayyem with what happened and what started the EuroMaidan movement – they are all mistaken and have oversimplified the situation and once again catapulted, a number of individuals who are popular, into politics for the wrong reasons. This,which seems to have bevcome a phenomenon of Ukraine's last two revolutions, will once again retard political development in Ukraine. It is equally as stupid as Yulia Tymoshenko's populist tact of utilizing Nadia Savchenko as a political candidate in their retarded and non-democratic but populist list system.

A few days after Nayem, purportedly started the Euromaidan movement via Facebook, there was a brutal crack-down on the peacefully protesting students on Maidan.

When that happened, my old acquaintance, Bohdan Yaremenko, then in Ukraine's Foreign Service and then posted in Istanbul, called a spade a spade. He equated the crack down on student's on Maidan as being the same as the Nazi regime upon Jews in Germany during the Third Reich. He wasn't far off, but given the criminal regime of Yanukovych then he was recalled from Istanbul and his political post.

Let's Not Repeat Mistakes

I hope for the sake of those who died of the Heavenly Hundred and those who are continuing to die in the Donbass region, that those who've been elected to the Verkhovna Rada will continuously check themselves and the reasons they are there. They must all realize that if they become complacent in the requirements for change that there are still plenty of civic watch-dogs ready to snap at their heels, and if necessary, bite them in the ass.

The newly formed Cabinet of Ministers has been in principle been given carte-blanche for a year. How well the government will perform will not only be their responsibility, but that of the VR in ensuring that required reform legislation is passed. Though we've seen a similar scenario, where some good legislation made it through the VR, though it was never implemented or enforced – and when people broke the law they were never punished. This has to change if Ukraine wants to move forward, and not besmirch those who have paid the ultimate price.

There is unfortunately a group of members of Ukraine's VR that will do everything possible to throw a spanner into the works and make it more difficult to pass legislation. The extremely unimaginative and ass-backwards thinking group that calls themselves the “Oppositional Block” consists of twenty-nine members in the Verkhovna Rada. A good number of these individuals are dubious characters and leftovers from Yanukovych's criminal regime who should all be sitting in prison for their voting behaviour on January 16, 2014, for a package of laws which would restrict practically any type of civil dissent and give law-enforcement agencies wide-ranging powers to suppress such dissent. This legislation came to be known as the “Dictatorial Laws” passed on Black Thursday.

To not repeat many of the same mistakes made in the past in particular on deputies who've been elected to the VR – is that their immunity which puts them above the law must be eliminated immediately. This immunity is similar and a hold over to a period when Sakharov postulated a “theory of symmetry”. “...Our state is similar to a cancer cell – with its messianism and expansionism, its totalitarian suppression of dissent, the authoritarian structure of power, with a total absence of public control in the most important decisions in domestic and foreign policy, a closed society that does not inform its citizens of anything substantial, closed to the outside world, without freedom of travel or the exchange of information.”

This quote of Sakharov's is the exact direction to which the Russian Federation is returning. A Russian Federation guided by a KGB crony with a Napoleon Complex.

Supporting Rule of Law: Quick Wins

While, Ukraine is making very valiant efforts to breakaway from its Soviet legacy, the most important changes it must make are in Rule of Law. This is something I have written about in the past, though at this time, I would like to direct you all to my fellow Canadian, Daniel Bilak's opinion piece in the Kyiv Post called Nine Quick Wins For Justice.

While, I am not an expert on legal matters, I can support those matters that I felt effected my decade experience living in Ukraine. We all know that i will agree with QW1, as it is something I have stated above.

QW2: I remember when I was still working in journalism and about to make my way back to librarianship/information services at one of Ukraine's leading law firms in early 2003 when Ukraine's new Civil Code came to light. I saw many things where the conflict of interest of the State and private interests created expenses to many parties which were unnecessary.

QW3: The issue of judges in Ukraine must be investigated, not only at the level that Bilak mentions but at all levels. Transparency and rule of law are once again important. In 2001 I had a family member in a regional city whose husband wanted to take things into his own hands and use a third party outside of the law. I convinced her and him to work with civic organizations in that city to resolve their issues.

QW4: Yes, the issue between civil servants and public masters needs a change, both between the understanding of those civil servants and on behalf of citizens expecting service and not being dictated to. Ukraine could benefit by removing up to three layers least of duplication in services which are to work for society and its people.

QW5: Over ten years ago there were projects supported by TACIS and other organizations for such important aspects of Ukrainian life. Unfortunately, internal corruption of the system, never let those project come to fruition.

QW6: Please remember that volunteerism and civic activism has been by many as a way to ingratiate themselves and close family members. I know this for a fact and I have plenty of evidence to prove it. Let's be careful with this area. I know it inside and out.

QW7: I know this area personally having spent easily close to five times at a least for equivalent services in Canada – and that was in the best case scenario. Along with this from a Canadian point of view; the idiocy of company seals and stamps is nonsense and an additional cost creating a nonsensical industry of stamps.

QW8: Under the current situation, the rule of law is not being satisfied.

Finally Daniel Bilak's “Quick Win's” and I hope that there will be an appropriate implantation of these Quick Wins.

QW9: Communication is key. There are plenty of top notch NGOs which I had the great opportunity to work with. Communication was always their key and they have trained many along the way. I hope that as in the past that the government of Ukraine and it's advisers continue to listen to the tell of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation.

I'm not someone dislocated from the needs many of us have had for a quarter of a century. I hope that those new “foreign” members of the government will make sure these matters are implemented, and they will bear the necessary fruit.

Foreign Input

Ukraine must take the proper steps that Ukrainians from abroad have taken for so many years. Ukraine, somehow always rejected a Jewish model. A model of inviting Ukrainians and foreigners to build a nation. Those who reject this approach are simply out to lunch, but at the same time only wanting to garner more than they are worth. This same approach of barring new approaches to investment took place during the 2012 Euro bid and unfortunately the transparency that is necessary will not tell us all who Sadoviy really is? I experienced this personally therefore I have a great scepticism of what Samopomich involved with Sadoviy is. If you followed the matter in 2012, you will have to wonder? Is Samopomich a criminal organization as all other political parties. I hope I am wrong, but at the same time I will love to say – I told you so. I have very little trust in Sadoviy and his team in terms of professionalism based on my personal professional experience.

Now,when experience is important, we again have the Soviet approach towards a new government that wants to gather the best people possible. Let's make every possible moment count for Ukraine's new government. Let's help Ukraine move as far away as possible from a theory of symmetry.

Vasyl Pawlowsky Independent Consultant

The commentary of this was first published on the site.

A Call to Ukrainians and Supporters of Ukraine to Look at Something New

The Ukrainian community regardless of where it is, is always looking for money to support the countless projects that are underway. This has even become more of a reality in the last year. It is time that the community try to find something new in social media. Just over two weeks ago I wrote a piece about a disruptive social network which would change the way things work in social media in that it would actually feed back to those who made that platform successful! I said that Tsū was disruptive and I think I was right for a whole 100%. It is time for us to look at something new.

In the last month since this new social platform, that pays its members to post, comment and share content, they have beaten any growth records of social media in the past. In fact it is pretty incredible. Within a month they have one MILLION members!

One of the founders Sebastian Sobczak has already released a campaign to support the drilling of a well in Africa for clean drinking water in a particular village. The platform that Mr. Sobczak and his team at Evacuation Complete LLC has developed is not just to make money but to do good. Raise money for its members who can then give to organizations of their choice either through the platform but in the very least make money by creating content, sharing it, liking it and commenting on it and that of other content creators.

The background

In the early stages of my examination of this extremely new platform I thought it was some time of MLM scheme. But in conferring with a number of social media gurus through reading their take on things, and reviewing Google Hangout video recordings, I understood that this was something completely different. It was then that I wrote my first piece on this new disruptive social network, that was for a change letting content creators maintain ownership of their content. This was and is something that other social networks use to drive advertising revenue, and profit from users publication.

The management company of Tsū is called Evacuation Complete LLC, and they have acquired, from my research, 7 million capital to become whatever they want to become based on their platform. If they choose to become another type of PayPal then so be it.

The platform that they are developing can truly empower many people, including the Ukrainian community if it so chooses to take part.

If the Ukrainian community doesn't take part we will be left behind the eight ball. I in less than three weeks have earned one dollar! And this is without a network to support me, it is simply based on sharing of content, my own or of others, up to eight times in a 24 hour period; liking other people's content, and making comments.

I believe that if Ukrainians came together on this platform we would simplify many matters of financing that which we are already crowd sourcing.

The Mechanism

One can only become a member of Tsū by being invited. When you are invited to Tsū , you become a child of the person who invited you. Like in any type of structure of developing relationships, it is expected that you too will invite others to join you in your venture. Unlike, MLM schemes where you have to pay money to do this, your decision to join Tsū costs you nothing but your agreement with the company and some type of positive relationship with the person who invited you into a PARTICIPATIVE EXCHANGE. Yes that is what makes the system work, cooperation and participation of your NETWORK. It works well for everyone involved. And trust me, it is important that you support your friends. We all have done this on Facebook and other social networks, but have we ever been paid to do this? I would like to see our community grow stronger due to this new Social Platform that is fair to its users!Ninety percent of the money it makes from advertisers, sponsors and partners goes back to the companies users/members.

I have invited people and organizations I know that are Pro-Ukrainian, and along the way I have met friends and followers that like what I post and share it. This is how we make money.

I have had some people that are scum of Moscovy make comments on what I was putting forth and and I had no problem turning them off. The thing that drives this social network is quality content. It's a completely new network, something that is disruptive and new, and I believe we as Ukrainians, and supporters of Ukraine should join it en mass.

How To React

Currently I have invited a few people and organizations that I know and who could use some support. While I would like many of you to join me as a child, I do not think this is the best way to support our community. Right now I have three or four different organizations or individuals that need support on what they are up to.

The first is EMPR – EuroMaidanPRmedia – Please join them at
The second is an artist and Ukrainian patriot - Serhiy Kolyada -
And third is Tyler Gooden – Film Maker – American supporting Ukrainian values -

Please do not hesitate to sign up under their positions or mine: .

I will provide everyone what I know about how things work. The primary matter is providing quality content, this is what drives the system. By the end of the third week of the platform's operation a great deal of spammers and people who look at this as a get-rich-quick scheme have been eliminated.

In working together and supporting one another the Ukrainian community can generate income from a system that is totally disruptive.

Anyone who joins the system I will provide information on how to use this system. Right now there are people who are making money. Our support of one another can help us make money and in turn help us to support the things we would like to support.

Vasyl Pawlowsky Independent Consultant

The commentary of this was first published on the site.