Mordor is mobilized. Review of the penetration of Russian propaganda into the Ukrainian media space in September 2021
Ukrainian intelligence has made a “gift” to Russian propagandists, and the Kremlin has launched a discrediting campaign to mark the anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy.
“ Not only does Russian despotism put neither ideas nor feelings into anything, it also reshapes facts, fights against evidence and wins in this struggle !!! After all, neither obviousness, nor justice, if they are inconvenient for those in power, find no defenders with us. “
Astolphe de Custine “Russia in 1839”
“Neither icons, nor Berdyaev, nor the Third Eye program will save you from the villains who seized oil and gas”
Victor Pelevin “Generation P”
If we do not take into account the “State Duma elections” and “voting” in the occupied territories, as we wrote earlier, we will see that in September, Russian propaganda focused on the systematic humiliation of the Ukrainian leadership, hyperbolization of risks associated with rising prices for energy, and the traditional suggestion of the imminent defeat of Ukraine in the war with Russia.
However, let’s start with the election theme. And let’s remember the strange gifts to Russian propagandists from independent media and allegedly Ukrainian secret services.
September 26 “Donbass. “Realities” reported with reference to Ukrainian intelligence that the Russian government allegedly had a document according to which 12 billion US dollars (900 billion Russian rubles) would be spent on the “socio-economic needs” of the occupied territories of Donbass in 2022-2024. Allegedly, this will be done to equalize pensions and salaries in the occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and to bring these territories up to the level of the Rostov region. Intelligence interprets this as ” full integration of the occupied Donbass into the Russian economy .”
This thesis was immediately picked up by the pro-Russian media. The “country” constructed a false “causal link”: they say that this program is a consequence of the voting of the inhabitants of the occupied territories in the elections to the State Duma and “evidence” of Russia’s real concern for the people. In addition, such a policy of Russia is a “consequence” of the intransigence and inconsistency of the Ukrainian government, which threatens the complete loss of the occupied part of Donbass. By the way, the same “Country” spoke about “elections”.
“ In parallel, Zelensky began political repression against the political forces that expressed the views of the South-East and called for peace with Russia. That is, it was already obvious that no settlement within the framework of “Minsk” and with this Ukrainian government would be possible to agree on anything. What, apparently, is connected with the strengthening of the economic integration of the “DPR” and “LPR” into Russia. So far, we only see the start of this process. But after its completion, even the theoretical possibility of returning Donbass to Ukraine by diplomatic means will be closed , ”the e – mail said.
What do you say here? The amount of 900 billion rubles can impress only those who are unfamiliar with the scale of Russian corruption. It is not necessary to go far from the occupied part of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts: in Rostov oblast, 100 billion rubles were “buried” in only one stadium in preparation for the World Cup, although the quality of work, according to local activists , does not fully meet the stated costs. Also in Rostov-on-Don, in just one year, local Russian authorities spent 750 million rubles on “trifles” such as personal transport, maintenance of manual media and decoration of administrative buildings . But the occupation administrations are not even the level of the Russian region, but the level of the whole “state”, so the costs will also be several orders of magnitude higher.
Is it possible to “integrate” the occupied parts of the Ukrainian regions into Russia for three years at the cost of nine “sprayed” Rostov-Arenas and bring salaries and pensions in these territories closer to the Russian level? In Russia itself, this problem has not been solved : the regions are increasingly dependent on Moscow and the distribution of resources, and local needs are constantly underfunded.
Given these facts, it is difficult to see who made the bigger mistake and gave Russian propaganda the opportunity to spread a plausible fake about the “integration of the occupied territories” worth the mythical $ 12 billion: short-sightedness of Ukrainian intelligence or unreliability of sources and unprofessional information. .
If we talk about the Russian messages on the “Ukrainian question”, which appeared in September, the following deserve attention:
- Negotiations between the Presidents of Ukraine and the United States ended in vain , and America’s support for Ukraine’s course in NATO threatens Russia : Mykola Skoryk from the Opposition Platform – For Life and Vesti reproduced this message in the Ukrainian media ;
- under the auspices of the United States, Ukraine is conducting sabotage and reconnaissance operations against Russia and Belarus : this undisguised message from the FSB was allegedly disseminated by Vesti with reference to CNN . The same distortion of information of the American TV channel was done by “Country” . Also, Vesti, following the FSB, repeated the version about the involvement of the Crimean Tatars and the Mejlis in the sabotage on the gas pipeline in the occupied Crimea;
- Ukraine groundlessly accuses Russia of aggressive intentions and preparing for another war, because it is politically advantageous Zelensky ( Kosachev , Kalashnikov , Slutsky ), “Country” published a separate article to “prove” that because of the aggravation of the Donbas Zelensky seeks to prevent protests in the fall and sabotage judicial reform;
- Ukrainian authorities do not comply with obligations to implement the Minsk agreements ( September 8 and 17 with reference to the negotiations in the Normandy format): information leaks from the Russian side both times – on the 8th and 17th – were disseminated by “Country”, and “Vesti” ” September 15 quoted Russian representative charges corresponding to TKG Boris Gryzlov. Earlier, on the 12th , Strana imposed general responsibility on Ukraine for the aggravation in Donbas and linked it to Zelensky’s desire to find an excuse not to approve Steinmeier’s “formula.”
But the most attention is drawn to Russia’s well-planned, organized and implemented information campaign aimed at discrediting Ukraine during the planned events to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.
Here are a few excerpts from Russian material, which collected almost all the main false accusations against Ukraine – ” Baby Yar: alive and dead. Kiev is trying to reconcile the victims of the Holocaust and their executioners “:
“By their joint efforts under Poroshenko, a cross was erected on the territory of Babi Yar in honor of the so-called“ Bukovinian kuren, ”who carried out executions here, and the street leading to the memorial was renamed in honor of Elena Teliga, a nationalist who called for the extermination of Jews …
This fashionable, European and postmodern concept of the anniversary of the mass murder is opposed by its newest Ukrainian interpretation: they say, if the perpetrators of the murders were mainly Ukrainians, and the inhabitants of the Ukrainian SSR were also killed, then the tragedy is not Jewish or global, but exclusively Ukrainian …
This center also organizes a conference “Babi Yar: Remember in Ukrainian” by the date, where one of the speakers will be Ukrainian “writer” Laura Podgornaya, who promotes the popular idea in Ukraine that the Holocaust was a punishment for Jews for the famine of the thirties. This idea, by the way, is actively promoted by the Church of the OCU, which is not recognized in world Orthodoxy, but has a state status …
So, between the “immersive excursions” from Khrzhanovsky and anti-Semitic symposia from Vyatrovich-Zisels, on the street named after one of the ideologues of the Holocaust, the presidents of Ukraine, Germany and Israel will grieve over hundreds of thousands of murdered people, before the memory of which, it seems, in Ukraine itself, no one no matter. Otherwise, a memorial plaque in honor of Dmitry Miron-Orlik, commandant of the Ukrainian police in Kiev, who issued an order to collect Jews and Communists for sending them to execution, would not have appeared at the Kiev Opera House. “
To understand where this mixture of half-truths and fakes, about which the “Bukovynian hut” we are talking about and who was or was not the ” commander of the Ukrainian police of Kyiv “, comes from, it is necessary to read the article of Kyiv historian Vitaliy Nakhmanovych.
The article describes how and why the technology of historical falsification and propaganda campaign, launched in the late 1970s, was implemented. The falsification of historical facts about the tragic events of World War II on Ukrainian territory was used to fight the Ukrainian diaspora, which did not abandon the struggle for Ukraine’s independence, and the Jewish community, which tried to cooperate with the Ukrainian diaspora in the fight against the USSR. And on the thirtieth anniversary of independence and the eightieth anniversary of the mass killings of Jews in Babyn Yar, the Kremlin is hastily extracting old archives of Soviet propaganda, but is already promoting this misinformation through new methods and new media.
For example, accusations based on unverified data and aimed at disrupting joint actions of Ukrainians, Germans and Jews to honor the memory of the victims of Babyn Yar are spread through Facebook and yellow publications . Relevant news is very quickly picked up and reproduced by the Russian media .
Several facts indicate that the discrediting campaign, “dedicated” to the anniversaries of Babyn Yar, was prepared in advance.
In particular, on August 24, RIA Novosti (the link was blocked due to sanctions, so we use a translation) and Rossiyskaya Gazeta , citing the FSB, published “facts” that “the autocephalous Ukrainian church was created with the help of the Nazis ” and the disobedient were ” killed by Banderites. ” .
Thus, the Russian secret services construct a false connection and negative associations between the modern Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Nazi crimes of the past.
However, the Russian leadership is not interested in the events of eighty years ago in themselves. In fact, the successful falsification of the past, in which the target audience will believe, will be an important step towards the falsification of the facts of the present . Against the background of “obvious” guilt of Ukrainians in crimes during World War II, it is easier to convince the audience that numerous crimes of Ukrainian “death battalions” are taking place in Ukraine , the country’s systematic policy of glorifying Nazism and its accomplices, censorship and persecution of journalists oppressed by Russian Orthodox church, anti-Semitism for the period from 2017 to 2020. “
As we have repeatedly written, the main purpose of Russian propaganda is to undermine citizens’ trust in the state, to sow doubts about the ability and expediency of resistance in the event of a new crisis. However, Russia’s efforts look pale against the background of the selective attitude of the President of Ukraine to serious violations of his entourage , the tendency to selective justice and clumsy legislation , to indulge in arbitrariness in the regions , to backstage politics in the style of “late Yanukovych . ” By their actions, Zelensky’s team legitimizes the spread of any rumors or versions about a “helper-purse” or about “coal trade with the occupied territories.”. That is, it works to undermine not only its rating, but also public confidence in the state. We should not forget that such a policy contributed to the Russian aggression in 2014.
The preparation of this monitoring report was made possible by the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which was provided through the project “Media Program in Ukraine”, which is implemented by the international organization Internews. This program strengthens the Ukrainian media and expands access to quality information. The contents are the sole responsibility of Media Detector and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government or Internews.