Ask for help in Russia or die
Russian propaganda around the world is trying to exploit the situation with the spread of the coronavirus to achieve the Kremlin’s strategic goals. As for Ukraine, it adapts informational pretexts to narratives that remain unchanged: the collapse of the state, the collapse of the economy, the Nazi state. Ukraine also has signs of a global softpower campaign to position authoritarian Russia and China as countries that have proven more effective in combating the coronavirus and helping other countries than the democratic US and EU.
The pilot case of influence on Ukrainian society against the background of the spread of the coronavirus was the New Sangjars. The information attack against the background of lack of knowledge and communication of the authorities with citizens and the active actions of the Russian agency led to disturbances and a lot of interesting headlines in the Russian media. Not all propagandists wrote about the fact that Covid-19 was splitting up Ukraine , that the coronavirus led to pogroms , that hospitals would burn down soon , and also about the ” riots “.
The collapse of Ukraine
With the exacerbation of the situation in the world and with the advent of the first patients in Ukraine narrated about centrifugal processes only gained momentum. An ex-deputy and former press secretary of fugitive Viktor Yanukovych, Anna Herman, was quoted in the Russian media . On air of pro-Russian TV channel NewsOne, she said that “the coronavirus is changing Ukraine ” and that ” weak Kiev no longer needs Kharkov “. The former regional leader asserts that the regions are allegedly rallying around “local bright leaders against the backdrop of a weak center, which, if not led to collapse, will fundamentally change the Ukrainian state .” She says openly that the current government is supposed to show “the inability to govern the stateAnd will have to leave. Kharkiv mayor Gennady Kernes, in this context, called ” Ukrainian Roosevelt “, who enjoys an authority sufficient to dictate the conditions of the center, not the other way around. Thus, according to Herman’s forecast, it will be with other Ukrainian regions, which ” may ” remain within one state, but the coronavirus, she continues, will change the leaders and Ukraine itself. Some media outlets have echoed her more eloquent words – “death of Ukraine” from “hatred virus”.
The message, voiced by Herman and a number of her colleagues in the political camp, was further developed by Russian political commentator Dmitry Radionov. According to him, the coronavirus is a ” deadly danger” and threatens “catastrophic consequences” because it can lead to “the beginning of a full-fledged civil war” in Ukraine. The propagandist noted that this was allegedly facilitated by a socio-economic situation that was ” difficult and pandemic “. Immediately the authors of the channel “Political Argument” in “Yandex. Zen ”was also mentioned by political commentator Mikhail Pogrebinsky, who reported to Moscow about a“ panic in Kiev ”via Covid-19.
I tried to provoke prejudice citizens in Western Ukraine eksministerka Justice of Ukraine Olena Lukash, which aired on Channel NewsOne dismantled for quotes Russian media. She blamed the authorities for the coronavirus infection to ” spread “ from this region. According to her, such consequences will be caused by the queues on the border with Poland, which were in the last days before the closure of the passage in quarantine, where there were people ” without means of protection and masks”. Lukash noted that there are “ tens of thousands of specially trained and paid people (customs and police) in Ukraine who could prevent the spread of the virus». However, she did not mention that the majority of those wishing to return to Ukraine did not reach on foot through the already closed border, but by road through various checkpoints and special flights.
” Ukrayna.ru ” published original articles French publications L’Opinion and Le Figaro, which were issued by ” look western media ” and ” total doubt international organizations alarmed by recent actions of the Ukrainian president.” The interpretation boils down to the fact that they ” prophesy to Ukraine the end of the world and statehood” and, to be more precise, “the collapse of the country with IMF money.”
The media of pro-Russian fighters gave the floor to propagandist Pavel Rudyakov. He continued the general line about ” situational decentralization of power” , which Covid-19 is supposed to bring us. According to him, such a scenario would involve different approaches in the regions to the treatment of coronavirus, which would not be coordinated with the center. At the same time Rudyakov said that he did not see any specific subjects of the political process who would purposefully go to the “quarantine Maidan” .
The collapse of the economy
There is no less manipulation on the topic of “ probable default”. Former Minister of Economy of Ukraine Viktor Suslov’s comments are broadcast by interested media with such frequency, as if he were still in office. The titles with it are also eloquent. ” In Kiev, they stated that the economy of Ukraine will not survive the quarantine,” – reported ” PolitNavigator “, ” Novosti Lugansk “, ” FAN ” and other propaganda media. Suslov says the measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus “will have grave economic consequences for the country.” The budget is ” unambiguously unbearable” without additional sources of revenue, “and is not yet visible.” He also retransmits the Russian narrative that the quarantine measures are excessive, the president and the Cabinet will not be able to fulfill their promise, and the consequences will be felt in two weeks.
This topic was also discussed in the program “Evening with Solovyov” on ” Russia 24 ” ” Between quarantine and default, what is happening in Ukraine “. Recall that on April 1, 2777 cases of coronavirus disease (in 75 regions) were officially declared in Russia and 24 deaths were registered. There were 669 patients in Ukraine, 17 died. In addition, Russia, not Ukraine, depends on oil and gas exports. And it was Russia, not Ukraine, that got involved in a price war in the oil market, which caused the country’s gold and foreign currency reserves to record lows since 2008, and on average , about six billion dollars evaporated from the Russian treasury every working day . But the propagandists will not say that.
Derzhumy deputy Yevgeny Fedorov expressed concern about the fiction voiced by Russian Channel 5 that ” the first economic victim of the coronavirus” appeared on the political map of the world. The politician said that with the return of the workers, “Ukraine received about five million extra workforce – no salary, no income.” ” Plus they brought with them diseases, ” he said.
“The crisis will affect everyone, and it will hurt us. Very weak economy was before the crisis and very big contradictions in society. Unfortunately, both the previous government, the previous government, and the peace process have been deadlocked, ”Yuriy Boyko, the co-chairman of the Opposition Platform – For Life, quoted the Russian Channel 5 as presenting an “ anti-crisis plan for the opposition ”. Pro-Russian boarding publication “Country” and issued a ” crisis plan” “OPZZH” who doted to assume “full responsibility for what happens in the country.” «The epidemic is not going to recede. Due to the chaotic actions of the authorities and quarantine, entire branches of the Ukrainian economy stopped. Millions of employees have been sent on forced leave, many without compensation or pay. People will soon just run out of money for life, ”Boiko muses, condemning the steps already proposed by the government.
In unison with former regionals and Russian speakers, the current People’s Deputy from the “Servant of the People” Alexander Dubinsky spoke: ” As a state we are going to default, it is impossible to repay the debt here without global financial assistance. It is not known what the course will be. “
The propagandists ” Ukrayna.ru ” concerned that the Ukrainian government allegedly ” does nothing to support the economy and business.” This was discussed in a video interview with Yuri Dudkin, who calls himself a political and military expert. He said that “the treasury is empty, the country is in debt, the IMF does not release loans, ” and if it is released, it will not help Ukraine , but will only increase the debts. However, on March 30, it became known that the EU had allocated 80 million euros to Ukraine to fight Covid-19, supporting small and medium-sized businesses.
Former Representative of the Commissioner for Human Rights Valery Lutkovskaya, Mykhailo Chaplyga, also said in an interview with Ukraina.ru that ” Kiev will miss the chance to save Ukraine from the economic crisis”. Chaplya assures that the “serious socio-economic consequences of the crisis ” should be expected by early summer. Russian Regnum took a quote from Chaplyga’s Facebook post for his material. There, he argues that after three waves of crisis in Ukraine is expected to collapse and loss of statehood. According to his forecast, which is unknown on what figures, in mid-May 2020, small businesses and consumers will “run out of money” and the country will begin “first wave of crisis”, inSeptember is the second wave of the crisis, which he sees as a need to pay off debt to international lenders. “It will be a political crisis. Crisis of legitimacy of the authorities of all levels … And in November the third and final wave will come – the crisis of statehood ”, – Chaplyg’s forecast concludes.
The online newspapers Politics Today and PolitNavigator spread the words of Ukrainian political commentator Yuri Romanenko about the ” collapsed model” of the Ukrainian economy, adding that the country was facing a ” terrible crisis”. “Ukraine is poorly organized, poorly structured, it can only exist as long as there are good external conditions, when there is stability in foreign markets, ” Romanenko said , repeating Russian narratives about the approach of default. “Today, with credit-default swaps, the percentage increase is two or three times, it indicates that Ukraine has appeared in the eyes of foreign capital in the problem area, ” he assures.
Before that, the Russian RBC and the Ukrainian Glavred highlighted Romanenko’s opinion that Ukrainians should be prepared for collapse due to ill-considered decisions by the authorities. “ There is no point in thinking about the future of Zelensky and such Ukraine. He is gone. It is better to prepare for life carefully after the collapse , ”he said, claiming that the situation had been caused by the actions of previous President Petro Poroshenko. But with the advent of other power, he says, after the collapse, “gigantic opportunities” will open .
The IMF is evil
One of the main myths that roam the Russian press is that the collapse of Ukraine will happen for the money of the International Monetary Fund: the creditors seem not to support the national economy, but to plunge into a debt-free hole. Regnum , a popular Russian news agency and Kremlin RT speaker, issued a statement by Viktor Medvedchuk in response to talks between the Ukrainian authorities and IMF officials. Adhering to the Kremlin’s general line of propaganda, he said that the IMF exercises ” direct external control” on Ukraine, using ” cynical methods ” in the context of a pandemic and ” ill-considered and unprofessional government policy” when our country’s economy and financial system ” are on the verge of collapse.” Going on the IMF’s terms for a quick tranche, including the land market and the “anti-Colombo” law on the non-return of insolvent banks to their former owners, according to Medvedchuk, the government is “destroying the country”.
Oleg Nemensky, an expert at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies affiliated with Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, also claims that “the IMF debt trap will lead to the final sale of Ukraine.” ” FAN ” again says that the Ukrainian budget no money, and the country gradually ” goes into full-blown crisis” and in order “not to fall into default and not to close Ukraine to any investment for many years, this country needs foreign financial assistance. ” “ Ukraine is now trapped by the IMF, and no one is asked at political level to refuse the services of the Fund. Ukraine has to fulfill the conditions set by the Fund, even if it does it very badly ”, – concludes Nemensky. The Maidan also mentioned: “It is a payment for the geopolitical choice of the Ukrainian authorities in 2014, which condemned Ukraine to poverty and devastation.”
Former Kremlin bloc Nadiya Savchenko called the money Ukraine can receive from the IMF “a breath of air before dying . ” She said the air NewsOne, and advocates such as Life , RIA “Novosti », MK.ru and dnr-news.com took her words further in the world. On the eve of the ZIK TV channel the day before Savchenko said that the IMF should be forgotten in general, because “they will not give anything”.
She was supported by the coordinator of the advocacy movement “Donbass for the Eurasian Union” Anton Bredikhin. In an interview with the FAN , he referred to Savchenko, saying that “the IMF tranche is a very dangerous thing for the Ukrainian economy” because allegedly “to give credit to Kyiv is objectively nothing – only the land remains.” He also expressed his conviction that the new IMF tranche would “settle in Kolomoisky’s pockets” and that the repayment of the debt, Bradikhin said, would lie with the Ukrainians because of ” additional tariffs” or “lack of social benefits”.
Co-chairman of OPZZh Vadim Rabinovich on NewsOne said that Ukraine ” should cease playing with all our strategic partners today” . According to him, “the country was left alone with its own misery,” and therefore we must address those who “can help us.” He regards Russia and China as such: “I think today we have to apologize to Communist China for our decommunization. I think we need to turn to Russia for help – there is nothing shameful here. ” Rabinovich’s words were quickly stretched on quotations from RIA Novosti , KP.ru and Russkaya Vesna .
The West will not help
It is logical that the propaganda press is spreading arguments why the European Union should say so. there is no case for Ukraine as the coronavirus has eaten away the visa waiver and which Europe is disoriented and not consolidated, as everyone is now ” on their own.”
According to the Kremlin’s instructions, the Russian portal of the Federal Security Service, in an “analytical article” on the shelves, ” how” almost instantly the European Union turned out to be divided by a coronavirus into separate states, each of which saves itself . In this context, the authors referred to a hybrid PR campaign by Moscow with the deployment of military personnel to Italy in the guise of helping to combat Covid-19 and 80% useless cargo of medical supplies. The Russians are blaming the EU, ironically calling it a “united Europe “, for failing to lend a helping hand to the Italians. However, even Emmanuel Macron urged not to overestimate Russian aid, as France and Germany have made a significant contribution to fighting the country’s epidemic. “Against this background, Ukraine and Moldova, who are constantly stating their desire for Europe, look thrown overboard: no visa waiver, which came to Ukraine through a coup and civil war, is now inactive, ” the portal manipulatively writes, forgetting that most Russian regions have restricted the movement of citizens, and ordinary Russians by the thousands are signing a petition to have Putin send doctors to these regions and not to Italy .
Former Ukrainian People’s Communist MP Spiridon Kilinkarov, who now lives in Russia, says that Ukraine could get help from Western countries if the crisis were local, but in this situation the Western countries’ financial resources are limited, so he says in an interview ” FAN “, “Ukraine was left alone with him” .
In the program “Evening with Solovyov” on “Russia-1” went further. The propagandist Sergei Kurginyan said on the air that Ukraine, while choosing a course on European integration, wanted to “enter into a rather capricious world, but it is gone, it is over ” and less affluent countries will “breathe under the lenient views of many countries.” Ukraine , as he put it, continues to “lick those who will wipe your feet and give you nothing.”
In the newspaper ” View ” journalist Gleb Prostakov wrote: “As a result, everything will be as usual: the Ukrainian authorities are spreading to the IMF and other creditors of the last instance with the cry that” we did everything we could “, and referring to all draconian decisions, that were approved the day before. The problem is that it may not help. The world is clearly not in Ukraine now. ”
Soft power, or Who will save the world
Former politician Natalia Vitrenko also gave her ” estimates of Ukraine’s readiness to fight the coronavirus ” in mid-March . Their content, which interested Russian media, boils down to the fact that “the effectiveness of the struggle of socialist China is several times higher than the praised capitalist countries.” “There are particular problems in weak countries, where reforms have destroyed the socialist health care system and imposed a paid fiction, as is done in Ukraine, ” she said.
Mykola Azarov, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine hiding in Russia, also said that China is a new world leader. “To whom is it not obvious?” – said he. “The country that has managed the most organized with the least losses to go through such a test. The same cannot be said about the US, it cannot be said about the countries of old Europe. It is obvious that after this pandemic, the world will clearly appreciate the benefits of the socio-economic system currently in China, ”the former politician assured. Meanwhile, world leaders are concerned that the Chinese Communist Party is still hiding information from the world to prevent a pandemic. This, for example, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Life , FAN , Economy Today and other Russian media at the same time write that the termination of export to Russia seemed to have “caused a powerful blow to the economy of Ukraine” , “Ukraine could not compensate for the losses from the termination of export with Russia”, “The cessation of Russian exports has hit the Ukrainian economy. The cake on the cake is statements such as Rabinovich’s proposal to apologize to Russia , which he calls “Ukraine’s only assistant in the fight against C ovid- 19.” This informant appealed to separatists from the site ” Russian Spring “, ” Tsargrad “, “Izvestiya »and others.
“It is obvious that Ukraine cannot count on the assistance of the International Monetary Fund, so the authorities should negotiate with the Russian Federation, China and other countries that can provide such assistance. This is the only real solution that will save Ukraine and get it out of the difficult economic and social situation, ” said Viktor Medvedchuk, whose statements were spread by Russian propaganda ZIK , NewsOne , UAZMI and, of course, RT , Regnum and other Kremlin horns.
The pro-Russian edition of Igor Guzhva’s “The Country ” decided to force an information campaign and sent a request to Putin’s press office asking whether Moscow was considering “the possibility of assisting Ukraine in the fight against C ovid- 19″. “In order to consider assistance, it is necessary for the Ukrainian side to voice Russia’s needs in one way or another, ” the Kremlin’s benefactors replied.
Pro-Russian Mikhail Pogrebinsky politkomentator in an interview with the newspaper ” Sight ” said coronavirus “can change the tone in relations between Russia and Ukraine ” because, he predicted, the situation of the disease can rapidly deteriorate. And if Zelensky’s statements are unlikely to be imagined, then some “non-public contracts”, dreams Pogrebinsky, may be. Armen Gasparyan also said in his personal blog on YouTube that Moscow could be relied on in a difficult moment . Former Ukrainian Transport Minister Yevgeniy Chervonenko has suggested that Ukrainians should ask politicians to ask for help in Russia, as he is sure that the West will not help Ukraine.
The virus of nationalism
The fact that relations between the two countries destroyed by the Russian aggression, the Donbas war and the annexation of the Crimea can be established under the pretext of fighting the virus, has reached out to MP Vladimir Oliynyk. He believes that it is only necessary to overcome the “virus of nationalism”. “Russia will try to help Ukraine as much as possible not only because it is a brotherly people, but also in the national interests. Ukraine is silent. What, Russia should come and ask why it lacks? The Ukrainian authorities are stricken with the virus of nationalism. It is incurable, this virus must be simply destroyed , ”Oliynyk summarized.
During an interview with Yuri Dudkin, a so-called political and military expert, the journalist Ukraina.ru asked if Ukraine would ask for help in Russia. To this the “expert” replied that such a scenario is ” far from reality” because the “Nazis ” interfere with the authorities .
People’s Deputy Yuriy Boyko spoke about the “attack” on the night of March 26 at the OPZZh reception room in Kharkiv, when unknown people damaged the nameplate and painted the facade of the office, updating the already raised theme of “Nazis”. Even RIA Novosti wrote about it .
Against this background, some of the propaganda media spread the news about ” minded muzzles “. This is what they call personal protection masks that they produce in Ukraine and decorate with national embroidery. Azarov urged the Ukrainian authorities to stop ” dancing in the tune of the repulsed Nazis” by backing up the photo with pictures of young masked men and ” fascist paraphernalia ” throwing up their hands in a Nazi salute. This was also written about, in particular, the FAN and Tsargrad .
Former first deputy Yanukovych administration, ideologist of discredit and de-ideation of the Maidan Andrey Portnov told NewsOne that on March 26 Rivne City Council considered allocating two million hryvnias to the monument to Stepan Bandera. “What’s wrong with their head?” Did the cuckoo go? ” – Portnov was indignant at the fact that during the pandemic the authorities are allocating money to the monument. However, he did not say that the deputies redirected this money to fight the coronavirus.
Threat to Ukrainians from Ukrainians
One of the key messages regarding Russia’s “disintegration of Ukraine” is that the health care system does not seem to be able to sustain the return from abroad of workers who, according to Russian media, “carry the disease.” ” Millions of Ukrainian citizens have been earning a piece of bread across European borders, but even if they now return to the country 20-30%, it will be a catastrophe for” reformed “Ukrainian medicine, ” FGC claims .
On March 30, in a comment on a Facebook post, the chairman of the Transcarpathian Regional Council, Mikhail Rivs, stated that ” in the area there are now about 5,000 infected people who sow the virus every day .” From these comments, taken out of context, ” Country ” made the news that was spread. including Lenta.ru and LIVE24 . Rivis also wrote that district hospitals are not ready for mass hospitalization. “In the world, stadiums and shopping malls are being converted into wards. And we do not even have enough beds, linen and mattresses, I am not talking about medicines and professional equipment , ”his propagandists quote.
Earlier, the head of the Commission on Biosafety and Biological Protection at the NSDC of Ukraine Serhiy Komisarenko casually said on air ” 1 + 1 ” that the real number of coronavirus infected in the country could exceed the official data by 8-10 times. This was immediately taken up by Russian media such as Lenta.ru , Eadaily and others. Already mentioned Yuri Dudkin also told Ukraina.ru about “the inevitability of the epidemic due to uncontrolled return of guest workers” . According to him, ” Ukraine can expect the situation as in Italy.” ” FAN “, ” Sputnik “, ” Russian Spring“Even predicted” hunger riots “for returning to the country of compatriots. Azarov, who posted “shocking footage from the Transcarpathian hospital”, also joined this campaign . ” Design repair in a post-apocalyptic style, that’s what Suprun’s reform has led to,” he wrote.
Following the announcement by the authorities that Ukraine is closing the border, a number of media outlets began to panic with reports of the closure of President Zelensky by Ukrainians who had left behind. TASS , Vazlid and other pro-Kremlin media reported about it . Some have stressed that Kyiv will not take in those citizens who remained in other countries after the border was closed because it cannot give advice to those who are home. “At first, Ukraine was still trying to pretend that she did not care about her own. In February, Kiev even organized an evacuation of citizens from China. But then the whole world saw the new face of Ukraine… So it is not a fact that those who managed to break home at the end of this week. they did it right , ”the Russian Channel 5 wrote citing Oliynyk, an ex-MP, adding that companies “go off and stop one by one ” and hospitals “are ready to welcome everyone, but to receive and treat anyone.”
” Country “, ” 112 “, ” Vesti ” and other media reported about the ” crisis plan of the opposition “. Commenting on it, Yuriy Boyko called the actions of the authorities unprofessional, haphazard and chaotic. “We are told that regular headquarters have been set up, new restrictions have been introduced, and if the situation worsens, the state of emergency will be introduced, and at that time the economy will continue to decline. But how can all this help to fight the epidemic? Restrictions, bans and intrigues around authority will do nothing for either the people or the medics who stand in the forefront of the epidemic, or the economy that has stalled , ”its publications cite. RuBaltic.Ru , for example, called the measures to combat the coronavirus ” an attempt to seize the power”, and the methods themselves are “extremely cruel.”
” FSK ” and patriot-donetsk.ru distributed Article advocate Anton Kanev, who considers the actions of the Ukrainian authorities “incompetent” and ” panic ” . Among the measures he criticizes are the shutdown of bus and rail routes, the closure of food markets, and catering establishments. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov’s statement on the intensification of quarantine measures he called confirmation that this is not done to combat the virus.
” Any protest can be declared a violation of quarantine and disperse at least by troops. Not coincidentally, the first thing that Ukrainians immediately mentioned was Poroshenko with his declaration of martial law on the eve of the elections. But today, few people recall that the Ukrainian ex-president then had to give personal guarantees to his Western curators: martial law would have no effect on the election. Zelensky does not have to give guarantees – at least, no one demanded, “- writes” Look “.
The deputy Alexander Dubinsky was distinguished by having declared the lost “750 thousand tests for coronavirus”. His words that earlier the Ukrainian authorities claimed to supply one million tests from China, but eventually received only 250 thousand, were distributed by Regnum and FAN . Regnum propaganda journalists also pointed to the Telegram channel “Welder”, which at the same time wrote about alleged inspections by Pentagon inspectors in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which “may decide to freeze military assistance to this country.” An anonymous channel asserts that it is in the Armed Forces “There are no records, thefts and losses of communications, night vision devices and thermal imagers are taking place,” and 25-30% of what is present is “out of order.” According to Welders, the Armed Forces Command is in a panic .