Once described as a "weapon" by President Volodymyr Zelensky, many Ukrainians after nearly two years of war say they are getting tired of the government-backed Telemarathon broadcasted 24/7, the New York Times reported on Jan. 3.
Oksana Romaniuk, chief of the Kyiv-based Institute of Mass Information, called it state propaganda, saying “Everyone is fed up with this picture that says, We’re winning, everyone likes us and gives us money."
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, Ukrainians have been shown a single source of tv news that circles around political leaders rallying support abroad and troops blasting Russian positions. It features catchy slogans and mood-lifting themes.
Most Ukrainians saw the Telemarathon as vital at the beginning of the war. “It was lifesaving content,” according to Khrystyna Havryliuk, a well known local journalist.
But as the war enters its third year, the number of Ukrainians who trust the Telemarathon has dropped significantly from 69 percent in May 2022 to just 43 percent in December 2023, according to a poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.
A similar study revealed that more than two-fifths of Ukrainians support possibly moving on from the program.