The Americans Command the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russians Switch to Dumbphones. Monitoring of Russian Media for May 23rd-29th
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 29 thousand pieces of news from the Russian state media and manipulative websites that are targeted to spread Russian disinformation.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not want to fight, the Americans are in the General Staff
Last week, Russian propaganda media actively spread the narrative of allegedly declining morale in the Ukrainian army. “A mess reigns in the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, “Another brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces refused to fight” - these are typical examples of the headlines of their materials. The basis of publications on this topic were video appeals of individual units to Zelenskyy, as well as testimonies from anonymous “sources” and “radio interceptions” of unknown origin. All these materials were aimed at creating an information picture in which the Ukrainian Armed Forces fighters do not want to fight because they do not have the appropriate weapons and hate commanders:
“No one is helping us, we have no capable weapons, nothing. How can we fight for a country that doesn’t care about us? We do not want to become minced meat in a meat grinder,”
“The circle will now close, and we will fight with four magazines and a NLAW,”
“...militants who escaped from Ukraine ... are not supplied with proper weapons and are not trained before they are sent to the front,” the expert said. “According to the testimony of British mercenaries who were in Russian captivity, they were not even paid a salary for serving in the ranks of the Ukrainian army!”
It looks as if Russian propaganda is trying to “reflect” the sorrowful state of its own army, which manifested itself after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. It should be noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have indeed faced a number of problems with the supply and provision of the military. The Ministry of Defense and the volunteer community are actively working to eliminate them.
Russian disinformers also reported that Volodymyr Zelenskyy allegedly ordered “to mobilize an additional 700,000 people.” Because of this, the “Kyiv regime” decided to resort to “mass raids” with the distribution of draft notices right on the streets of Ukrainian cities, because no one wants to go to the army.
This decaying narrative is completed by an assorted conspiracy, the primary source of which is the long-known Russian Telegram trash holes “Legitimny” and “Resident”:
“A group of officers of the US Armed Forces is deployed in Ukraine, who have the authority to directly issue orders to Ukrainian units and formations ... In case of disobeying the commands of the Americans, Kyiv risks being left without financial and military support from Washington. ... the Americans demand more decisive actions from the Armed Forces of Ukraine - a counteroffensive, and not «sitting in the cities.» ... the Pentagon is not aware of the real capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces. So far, military advice from across the ocean has led the Armed Forces of Ukraine to defeat. All this is superimposed on a personal conflict between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi. ... Zaluzhnyi insists on the withdrawal of the Ukrainian grouping from Sievierodonetsk, where the story of Azovstal may repeat in the near future for the Armed Forces. However, Zelenskyy does not want to hear about that, saying that after the surrender of the Ukrainian military in Mariupol, Ukraine needs a new example of «courage and heroism.» The Americans are convincing Zelenskyy that it is necessary to keep Sievierodonetsk at any cost.”
Russian media reports are increasingly telling about the desire of other countries to divide Ukraine, which can be interpreted as an invitation to the “table” organized by Russia.
The fake campaign about Warsaw’s desire to seize part of Ukraine has been going on for more than a week: “This is nothing short of a preparation for the upcoming occupation of the western regions by Poland”, “It is assumed that a number of Polish managers will be appointed to key posts in Lviv, Uzhhorod, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, and Lutsk, after which the process of transferring power from one state to another will begin.”
Russia’s ideas on the division of Ukraine between neighboring states are far from new. Back in 2014, Zhirinovsky sent letters to the Polish Foreign Ministry with proposals to hold referendums in the western regions of Ukraine. “Part of Russia’s political elite is still thinking in terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact,” Poland responded to him at the time. As you can see, nothing has changed since then.
The United States is prolonging the war in Ukraine
The Russian media continue to claim that the war in Ukraine happened because of the United States, which did everything for “igniting conflict, and then it is doing its best to pretend that it had nothing to do with it” and “by its actions, it postpones the prospects for achieving peace.” “The United States is counting on a long war, on a long-term confrontation with Russia, and the funds for this have already been allocated”, “Washington is interested in the maximum extension of the conflict - no matter how many people die in the Donbas and other regions, not to mention the possibility of world famine due to the blockade of food exports from Ukraine” - such statements appear in the Russian media space almost every day.
Speaking of US military and financial assistance, in Russia they say that
“Washington, under the guise of «aid» to Kyiv, wants to allocate $40 billion in «kickbacks»”, “only 15% of the amount allocated directly to Ukraine remains out of $40 billion”, “Statement by US President Joe Biden on May 10th on the need to look for opportunities to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine coincided with the signing of the law on the Ukrainian lend-lease. It turns out that Kyiv will pay for the weapons with wheat.”
Brexit for the sake of Russophobia
Last week, the UK caught it a lot. However, the news does not have a unified strategy for humiliating Britain. On the one hand, London “does nothing on its own, but coordinates everything and does it on orders from across the ocean,” and on the other, “they are slowly scooping up Washington’s spheres of interest. In general, a classic picture of relationships in some corporation, where an ambitious first assistant schemes against the big boss who has stopped catching mice.”
The Russian media convince: “Britain still has a phantom pain for the Empire. Its ambitions to return to at least some kind of greatness do not stop, and of course the title of «Mistress of the Seas» does not allow it to sleep peacefully.”
Also, the news found a new reason for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, as “founding a «commonwealth of Russophobias» is London’s long-standing dream, which could not be realized to the end while the UK was in the European Union.”
BRICS is a new way of globalizing the world
Russian propaganda media assure their audience that “the countries of the world are buying oil from Russia in full blast.”
The Russians are also convinced that Russia is capable of organizing its own alliances, and that most structures and organizations at the international level are not needed. For example, the G7 was declared an organization established by the “Anglo-Saxon elites to manage the process of globalization, and consists of countries that depend on them, including in the military and ideological aspects.” According to Russian propagandists, only the BRICS organization (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) can replace the G7 on the world chessboard, as it is needed “not just to counter the globalist plans of the West ... but also to develop an independent version of globalization.”
Problems with “import substitution”
It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Russian media to maintain an optimistic tone in economic news. The Russian government is clearly failing to establish “import substitution”, so the population is cautiously reassured by articles that this is a “slow process” and “there is nothing wrong with the fact that not everything in import substitution was achieved in the previous period.” Russian high-ranking officials urge entrepreneurs to develop their “own technologies”, and propagandists publish reviews of dumbphones and “domestic-made smartphones”, as “the trend for such phones has intensified due to the restriction of technological imports.”
They also wrote:
While discussing the possibility of obtaining modern American MLRS in Ukraine, the Russians threatened “that in this case the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will take the necessary steps to zero out the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” Methodology
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.