MONS, Belgium – Representatives from Ukrainian security and defence sector institutions visited Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) on Friday, Apr. 21, 2023, providing valuable insight into the role of strategic communications during times of war.
The visit was part of a collaborative effort between NATO and the Ukraine government to share knowledge and expertise in the field of military communications.
Strategic Communications is not a luxury, it is a necessity in modern warfare
"Thank you for this great opportunity to visit SHAPE, engage with its staff, and share Ukraine’s defence forces’ unique experience of fighting the war waged by the Russian Federation against our country. Discussing common challenges and learning from each other’s experiences has been of great value,” said Colonel Iryna Makarchenko.
SHAPE J10 Strategic Communications Director, Jay Janzen, responds to questions from Ukrainian visitors following a briefing on Strategic Communications - NATO Photo by SHAPE Public Affairs Office
Representatives from Ukrainian security and defence sector institutions visited Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe on Friday, Apr. 21, 2023, providing valuable insight into the role of strategic communications during times of war - NATO Photo by SHAPE Public Affairs Office
The Ukrainian visitors represented their Ministry of Defence, Armed Forces, Ministry of Interior, National Guard, State Border Guard Service, National Police, State Emergency Service and Security Service. They delivered a unique perspective of war-time strategic communications, as well as governmental policies and strategies to address the challenges facing the country.
One key point that the Ukrainian officials made was the need for a clear and consistent message. In times of conflict, there can be a lot of noise and confusion, both on the battlefield and in the media but it is essential to have a well-defined message that can cut through the noise and resonate with key audiences and at the same time does not violate operational security concerns.
As President Volodymyr Zelensky stated, “Strategic Communications is not a luxury, it is a necessity in modern warfare.” The importance of clear and consistent messaging, tailoring communication to different audiences, being proactive in communications as well as tackling the challenges of countering disinformation and propaganda are vital during conflict.