Fear of Western Weapons, the Collapse of the EU, and “Nazi Zelenskyy”. Russian Media Monitoring for May 2nd-8th
Russian disinformers continue to cover every third item of news about the war in Ukraine and its consequences for Russia. And we continue to analyze the news of Russian websites and review what the enemy is telling its own population about the attack against Ukraine. To do this, we analyzed more than 33 thousand pieces of news from the Russian state media and manipulative websites that are targeted to spread Russian disinformation.
Fear of Western weapons
The Russian mass media still do not call the war the war, but they are changing their rhetoric due to the successful counter-offensive actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region and other areas of hostilities. “The situation near Kharkiv is becoming dangerous for Russia… our army is fighting back fiercely, but this does not remove the threat of its expulsion from Ukrainian territory,” Russian media write.
The growing supply of Western weapons is causing fear and concern among the mouthpieces of the Russian regime. Some of them called on the Russian leadership to bomb Ukrainian cities and use nuclear weapons: “... our Aerospace Forces must not only inflict massive strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure - bridges, tunnels, roads, railway junctions, and logistics centers. We must destroy key objects of the Ukrainian economy in order to weaken Kyiv as much as possible... We have no one and nothing more to fear and dread, as all the worst in terms of politics and economics has already happened to us... I advocate the use of absolutely any means for this [reaching the goals of the Russian Federation - ed.], up to tactical nuclear weapons.”
At the same time, we have documented many publications aimed at discrediting the use of Western weapons in Ukraine. “In two months, we have technically destroyed almost all of Ukraine’s military potential, and are already disposing of Western supplies,” boast Russian propagandists, trying to convince that the war is progressing well.
“Western weapons supplied to Kyiv are quite difficult to operate. They require a different level of military education than that of the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Russian pseudo-experts calmed themselves down. This narrative was also added with assertions that “Western countries, especially the United States, are reluctant to supply weapons to Ukraine”, or that we are supplied with “obsolete weapons, sometimes not intended for military operations in the current conditions.”
Information preparation for the annexation of Kherson region
Last week, Russian propaganda media replicated statements by Kherson collaborators Kyrylo Stremousov and Volodymyr Saldo. This may indicate informational preparations for the annexation of the Kherson region by the Russian Federation. Saldo called the Kherson region “an integral part of the big family - the Russian Federation” and promised to return to “traditional history and official Russian language.” Stremousov announced “maximum integration into the Russian Federation” and “the right to obtain Russian citizenship, Russian passports.” Stremousov also promised to ban Facebook and Instagram in the region.
NATO has started a war in Ukraine, and the EU will soon fall apart
Russian mass media traditionally throw mud on all allies and sympathizers of Ukraine.
NATO and the US blocs get a sound hiding most of all. The war in Ukraine is called the «“proxy war” of the collective West with Russia.» According to Russian disinformation, it is the Alliance’s fault: “Euro-Atlantic politicians are actively pushing them to do so in pursuit of NATO’s eastward expansion,” “Washington is the main ideologist of the conflict in Ukraine,” and “NATO is deliberately unleashing wars against sovereign states, causing enormous losses among the population, and humanitarian disasters.”
The leaders of the country who resist Putin are belittled: “the leader of America greets the invisible. It seems that Biden sees ghosts,” “Polish leader Andrzej Duda openly declares the intentions of the country, and also celebrates the annexation of Ukraine, which has not yet happened.”
It was even said that the actress Angelina Jolie “never went to really scary places where people really suffered. She has not ever expressed interest in the cities of Donbas since 2014.”
Together with NATO, they are discrediting the EU, which “does not have sovereignty in the current conditions.” The news is trying to convince Russians that the EU will soon disintegrate because “European unity is failing.” Separately they propagandize about “the desire of Poland and Hungary to take back under their control the current Ukrainian territories, which they still consider theirs.”
The independent media are under fire as well, as, according to the Russian version, “they are working out a political order. In particular, this is done by the press in the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, and other countries.”
In the news of a country where there is no freedom of speech, and all independent media are closed or in exile, there are reports that “Western media preferred to cover the Russian special operation in Ukraine using the language of fakes and disinformation,” “despite the fact that Moscow’s statements contain only verified information and objectively cover the situation.”
Among the news about the inevitability of Russia’s victory in Ukraine, there are hints of difficulties and negative consequences of the “special operation” for Russian statehood. For example, the message about the need to mobilize efforts in the economic and, most importantly, ideological plane:
“The conflict in Ukraine has become a moment of truth for Russia - whether or not it is able to defend and preserve the cultural and historical type of Russian civilization, restore the integrity of the Russian people, and reach the frontiers of further development. Russian society is far from being so well off to solve these problems. A significant part of it does not trust the ruling class. One part of the Russian elite seeks to advance Russian civilization, and the other - to betray and integrate into the Western one.”
Justification of diplomatic blunders of the Russian leadership
After the war started, Russia suffered heavy losses on the diplomatic front, but pretends to have the support of most countries and to “abide by treaties and follow international law.”
However, anti-historical statements about the Jewish roots of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov forced the Russian media to support him and write: “Schicklgruber's son of shame was conceived in circumstances that force the Frankenbergers to pay child support for him. Based on this version, Hitler is a quarter Jewish.”
Another case is Putin’s statements about Kosovo. At a meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the Russian president tried to justify Russia’s recognition of the “independence” of the “Donbas republics” as a precedent for Kosovo’s independence. Russia-friendly Serbia liked it. That is why Putin also had to be acquitted.
“Putin did not say that he supports or acknowledges the independence of Kosovo, but that the West violated international law by supporting the declaration of independence of the false state of Kosovo. Therefore, Russia will no longer adhere to that part of international law that the West does not comply with. He did not say anything that would directly threaten us, and it was misinterpreted.”
Also, Russian disinformers continue to argue that Russia still has many allies:
“The Persian Gulf is clearly in no hurry to follow the lead of presumptuous Washington.”
“...Tbilisi does not dare to go into confrontation with Moscow. They decided not to join the anti-Russian sanctions of the West.”
“Beijing takes a position of friendly neutrality towards Russia in the Ukrainian issue, and continues to increase the pace of economic cooperation with Moscow. The Chinese side rejected Washington’s demands not to help Russia bypass trade sanctions.”
“Indian society is speaking hard against the United States after discovering that the US has imported more crude oil from Russia than India itself.”
“The countries of the Islamic, Arab world support Russia…”
“Indispensability” of Russia
News about the sanctions pressure is presented by the old scheme - everything is fine in Russia, and the world cannot do without it.
For example, this applies not only to Russia’s energy resources, but also to food security, after all “if, due to sanctions, the sale of products of Russian agrarians on the world market is limited, some African countries may face starvation,” “Europe without Russia will not even be able to switch to agricultural rails, because fertilizers are also very much tied to our country.”
Then they play the card of energy sources: “Rejection of Russian oil, complex logistics, the need to re-equip oil refineries for different raw materials will lead to a significant increase in the cost of fuel supplies for Europe.”
This is how they are trying to convince the Russian population that the EU will not dare to impose an embargo on Russian energy.
Zelenskyy is the greatest Nazi in Ukraine
Russian propagandists do not stop cultivating the image and bogeyman stories of the “neo-Nazi junta” and the nationalist “Ku Klux Klan”, which is in every way “supported and promoted” by the Administration of US President Joe Biden:
“The neo-Nazi Ukrainian junta has long been following a criminal way to rehabilitate the accomplices of Nazi Germany and destroy the historical memory of the role of the Soviet soldier in the victory over fascism.”
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the main Nazi in Ukraine. He “even surpassed Poroshenko in encouraging Ukrainian radicalism, neo-Nazism, and Russophobia.”
We searched all materials from the Russian and occupation sites, that have been used to traditional monitoring disinformation.
The algorithm is automatically determining topics was applied to each paragraph. Among these topics (groups of similar materials) were those related to the invasion. Then we received data for each material on the site regarding mentions of a particular topic. Conclusions were built on these data and examples of paragraphs on the topic.
Sites: regnum.ru, life.ru, kommersant.ru, naspravdi.info, lenta.ru, pravda.ru, antifashist.com, c-inform.info, kafanews.com, dni.ru, sevastopol.su, newc.info, vz.ru, ruinformer.com, sobytiya.info, meridian.in.ua, newsland.com, xvesti.ru, odnarodyna.org, nefakt.info, pravdanews.info, ukraina.ru, aif.ru.