Turkey Leaves NATO, Ukraine Is Threatened with War. Monitoring of Russian Mass Media for July 11th–17th
Russian disinformers continue to devote every third piece of news to the war and its consequences for Russia. And we analyze the news of Russian websites and review what the enemy is telling its own population about the attack on Ukraine. To do this, we analyzed 22,000 news items from Russian state media and manipulative websites that purposefully spread Russian disinformation.
The Russians threaten to “declare war” and keep mum on the shelling of Ukrainian cities
Last week, Ukraine faced a new surge of Russian terrorism. Residents of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv were injured, two children were killed as a result of a missile attack on the centre of Vinnytsia. The bodies of 48 people were recovered from the rubble of a high-rise building in Chasovyi Yar in Donetsk region. Russian propagandists confined themselves to very meager comments on this topic. The Russians justified the attacks on peaceful cities by “the destruction of militants and nationalists” and “the liquidation of foreign mercenaries.” It is noteworthy that the comment of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation regarding the shelling of Vinnytsia was not included in our sample of 22,000 texts.
The Russians were silent about the crimes of their own army, but decided to recall the already forgotten narrative about the “genocide of the peaceful population of Donbas.” In this context, they highlighted the destruction of the ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka: “The brutal shelling of Nova Kakhovka is an act of state terrorism, and the most horrible is that such acts have been taking place in Ukraine for the past eight years. The Nazi state of Ukraine has long been shelling its own citizens, we have seen all this many times in the Donbas.”
Russian propagandists began to cautiously think about declaring war on Ukraine. Apparently, this is caused by the successful use of HIMARSes, which can destroy targets far beyond the front lines. “This pushes us to declare war against Ukraine. Perhaps that’s the point. We can’t stand it all the time when strikes are made on Russian territory,” “the Russian Federation has every reason to declare war on Ukraine,” “an attempt will be taken to oust Russia from the territory it acquired before this war, including Crimea, and then the question of war with Russia itself will arise,” the Russian military columnists say.
Ukraine provoked an ideological war in the USA, the Americans stop supporting Kyiv
There's treason across the ocean. The USA wants to come to an agreement with Russia, and because of this, it may cede Ukraine. “Vocally, Biden promises to support Ukraine for as long as necessary, but he is not going to do this at the cost of the well-being of his country,” Russian disinformers say.
Russian media assure that Washington will quickly remove sanctions from Moscow, because “it is not eager to burn all the bridges in relations with Russia: if cooperation in one area or another is more profitable with Russia, and not with one of the partners from other regions of the world, the Americans lift sanctions just as easily as they imposed them, «nothing personal, just business.»”
With such messages, Russian propaganda in a way assures the Russian population that the “special military operation” in Ukraine will not last long, as Western countries and the United States, as Ukraine’s main ally, are gradually losing interest in the war and are revising the scope of support for Ukraine.
To persuade the audience, they use messages that “the number of Americans who oppose further assistance to Ukraine has grown steadily in recent months... Ukraine has provoked a war inside America,” and “young US citizens are calling on the authorities for realism and restraint. They are sure that supporting Ukraine will lead to disaster, so it is worth focusing on problems within the country.”
Meanwhile, the USA is supplying Ukraine with new HIMARSes and allocated 100 million dollars for the training of Ukrainian pilots to master American military aircrafts.
Russians dream of Turkey leaving NATO
The future accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO is another strategic defeat for Russia. The Russians are afraid to aggressively criticize these northern countries. Instead, they are spreading waves of misinformation about Turkey and its role in the NATO expansion talks. It is beneficial for the Russians to show NATO as weak, and that is why last week there was many news in the Russian media that Turkey may leave the ranks of NATO allies.
“The head of the Vatan («Motherland») party, Özgür Bursalı, said that the Turkish people rebelled against NATO, as allegedly indicated by the number of signatures collected under the petition to withdraw from the alliance.”
Russian propaganda actively disseminated the words of the head of the Turkish opposition government party: “the secretary general of the «Motherland» party, Özgür Bursalı, who was collecting information and talking with citizens, that the majority of the population is categorically opposed to the republic’s membership in NATO.”
TASS also circulated the points of “experts” that “leaving NATO is the most effective practice against US threats and conspiracies. Freed from NATO, Turkey will be strengthened in the war for independence in the economy.”
Of course, correspondent news is accompanied by comments that “Turkey’s withdrawal from the Alliance will accelerate the process of the disintegration of NATO. This will contribute to the establishment of peace throughout the world” and “Turkey may not take the side of NATO in case of a war with Russia.”
They also wrote:
They praised the economic policy of China: “China’s approach to economic development strategy has changed significantly over the 10 years of Xi Jinping’s rule. Beijing hopes to make China the absolute world leader by 2050, and for this they focus on the four pillars of the new economic model” and accused the US of a pointless confrontation with Beijing: “realizing the fallacy of the sanctions imposed under Trump, the Biden administration continues to escalate the trade war with China today: the very case when politics precedes the economy.”
They wrote that Ukraine and Croatia can prevent Serbia from becoming a member of the EU: “Kyiv and Zagreb plan to prevent Serbia from joining the European Union,” since Serbia did not condemn the Russian Federation for the war in Ukraine: “Serbia turned out to be the only country in Europe that has shown prudence in a difficult world situation.”
For another week they were convincing that the sanctions do not affect the economy of the Russian Federation: “in the West they continue to punch the air, seeing that «hellish» sanctions .. do not affect Russia,” “After the first stunning blow to the financial sector with the removal from SWIFT, the blocking of gold reserves, the exclusion of Russian bank cards from the contactless payment system and other outrages, we somehow got up, shook ourselves down, and continued to live on, as if nothing had happened.”
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.