Russia Wants to Keep UN Hostage Forever while their War Correspondents Reel from a Shock. Russian Media Monitoring Report, 5-11 September
Last week, Russian media continued to trample Anti-Russian sanctions. Russia was claimed to be so successful in countering the sanctions that even China was taking notice. The propagandists also published triumphant statements of the Ministry of Defense on the Russian victories in Kharkiv oblast, scared the readers with American biolabs and scorned at Josep Borrel. This monitoring report covers these and other topics of the disinformation spread by Russian state media and online parajournalists to manipulate public opinion.
Reality Strikes Back
“In the last 24 hours Russian troops eliminated three headquarters of the Ukrainian army”, “AFU units in Kharkiv oblast have been cut off from supply lines” — such was the cheerful tone of the spokespeople of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation while their army was fleeing in chaos during the lightning-fast Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kharkiv oblast. To somehow avoid mentioning Russia's disgraceful defeat in Kharkiv oblast, the Ministry of Defense came up with a story about a ‘force regrouping operation’: “to meet the said objective, a three-day operation was executed to withdraw and redeploy the Izium-Balakleya group of troops onto the territory of Donetsk People's Republic. The operation included a number of diversions and demonstration activities with simulation of actual engagements to gain a strategic advantage”.
At the same time, Russian military observers were much less optimistic. “There has been an evident lack of personnel in infantry units, there just aren't enough shooters”, “… our country just cannot admit fighting a war”, “… if only there was at least partial mobilization, they moaned. Certain “war correspondents” did not hold back their emotions about the lack of battle-ready troops: “The battle of Balakleya must become a lesson learned. Why are the AFU advancing while the Russian army is falling back? This is because the AFU has twice as many soldiers as the Russian army does. However, the population of Russia is five times larger than Ukraine’s. This ten-fold imbalance is shocking”.
The advance in Kharkiv oblast was a huge revelation for Russian propagandists forcing them to admit defeat: “The retreat of the Russian army in Kharkiv oblast is bound to have aftershocks for Russia's domestic and foreign policy”. Nevertheless, they convinced the readers that the situation was under control while some of them even presented the defeat in a positive way: “This defeat may provide a valuable lesson — exactly what happened in 1942 when some important decisions were made which later turned the tides of war”, “The Kherson advance was nothing but a diversion. The Ukrainians split their forces in half, and that was a fatal mistake. They would have achieved a lot more by concentrating all the firepower in a single place”.
Russian “bloggers” and “war correspondents” were openly bitter about Russia’s defeat. Conspirology and hate speech were their only consolation: “[Western] war machines adorned with Balkenkreuz crosses of the Wehrmacht are already plowing the fields of Slobozhanshchina, and many more will come as Ukraine has plenty of cannon fodder. Ukrainians are not ashamed to call the war what it is, and they are so proud of it that now they are sending women into the fight. What next, arming children? This wouldn’t be surprising as the Ukrainian Nazi have been doing just that for the last eight years sending children into the Donbass grinder.
However, it was the disparate messages appearing on various Russian resources that caught our attention, an all-time first. They may have resulted from internal conflicts between the “Kremlin Towers” which have been fueled by the military defeat in Kharkiv oblast and the war taking longer than the Russians expected.
China Learns from Russian Success in Overcoming Sanctions
Russian mass media keep reminding the readers about the catastrophic sanction policy of the collective West which is nothing but a joke: “Senator Aleksey Pushkov noted that anti-Russian sanctions had been raising eyebrows in the West while Kremlin wasn't impressed very much”, “While trying to hinder our country’s economic development, ”punish its citizens for its independent foreign policy, the European Union continues to pursue the course of unilateral restrictions”, “The sanctions imposed on Russia brought self-inflicted damage upon Europe”.
News writers are convincing the readers that not only does the collective West punish Russia — it bends other countries, whose policies are based on multipolarity, to its authority. For example, they claim that China is being constantly targeted just for that: “Although the severity of sanctions is beyond comparison today, they have existed for much longer. China seems to be the West’s favorite punching bag when it comes to sanctions, and the situation is getting worse”.
The propagandists claim that China has a lot to learn from Russia’s countering sanctions: “China is actively studying Russian counter-sanction legislative efforts”.
And, of course, last week's reports also highlighted the benefits of the sanctions for Russia — for example, its aircraft industry: “Despite all the claims of the former Western “partners” that the Russian aircraft industry is dead, the sanctions did in fact stimulate its development. Now how do you like that?”
UN Reform: Mission Impossible/Possible
Russia has been clinging to its veto vote on the UN Security Council — and so far quite successfully. Therefore, US statements on the need for UN reform were met with skepticism on Russian media.
According to Russian media, “The USA are pushing the UN into being Washington's mouthpiece”, “The United Nations remains the last stronghold of multipolar world with sovereign actors” whereas the US initiative for a UN Security Council reform “is intended to replace the consensus of independent nations with dictatorship of globalists”.
In order to lend more weight to the criticism, Russian media quoted Deputy Head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmytro Medvedev, who has been recently acting as a war hawk: “The attempts to reform the UN Security Council, which are being forced by the US, are bound to fail as we shall not allow ‘hacking’ the authority of the permanent members of the Security Council of the organization”.
Interestingly, this statement contradicts earlier messages spread by Russian propagandists: the calls for leaving the UN untouched since “any re-formatting of the UN in the current situation would lead to its imminent collapse” seem to be able to co-exist with the claims that “gone are the days when the UN was a force to be reckoned with — the organization has long lost its course and purpose. Its members are at Washington's beck and call. They are effectively on American payroll. They vote as told. They are irrelevant. The entire United Nations is a joke”.
Also in the News:
Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is still in the focus of disinformation campaigns waged by Russian propagandists: “IAEA still considers ZNPS Ukrainian. Any successful efforts to establish international control will cause the power plant to fall into Ukraine’s hands without any shots fired. Considering the scale of brainwash and the deepness of complexes, Ukraine would not hesitate to blow it up to prevent Russia from having it”.
The propagandists generated a plethora of fakes on how women are being treated as cannon fodder in Ukraine. They wrote about state-mandated military service claiming that “as soon as women are issued military IDs, they will no longer be able to leave the country. The Verkhovna Rada has already warned that draft dodging will be treated as treason to be punished with all severity”. In fact, the launch of draft registration has been delayed for one year and there is a bill to revoke this practice.
They lied that “Ukrainian women have less than two months to bail out of the country in order to avoid the draft”, and that “Ukrainian authorities have announced that beginning 1 October draft registration will become mandatory for women in a wide variety of professions. As a result, women and men alike will not be able to leave Ukraine since they will all become liable for military service. According to military analyst Victor Litovkin, the West has no compassion for Ukrainian women, and all international feminist organizations will turn a blind eye”.
The propagandists have also been attacking the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel for his harsh statements regarding Russia’s fascist leadership: “Medvedev said that Borrel must become a political outcast for his words about 'fascist Russia’, “Borrel, who comes from the Frankoist Spain, is known for indiscriminate labeling (not to mention Salazar who reigned in close proximity), but for the Russian nation who took a horrendous death toll leaving no family untouched there are no shades of meaning”, “this time a European politician openly attempted to dehumanize all Russian people. There is no doubt that the term ‘fascist’ was used for this purpose — be it intentional or not”.
It should be noted that this statement propelled Borrel to Top 10 politicians mentioned by Russian news writers.
Top-secret laboratories and American biological weapons also got a fair share of attention: “The US Department of State acting through its proxies and limitrophe allies is hurrying to disavow any and all exposure of American military biologists working the territory of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ahead of the UN conference on the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention”, “The US gained control of the laboratories previously maintained by Japan, France, and West Germany. Finally, the United States managed to spread its network to other regions of the world”.
We have built a corpus of all the materials from Russian websites and those maintained by the occupation force (almost 22,000 news items) for our weekly disinformation monitoring report. Each paragraph was processed by the algorithm which defines its topic automatically. The resulting topics (i.e. groups with similar content) were short-listed by the topics relating to the war or its consequences for Russia. The number of mentions of a certain topic was then counted for each publication. Our conclusions are based on the respective findings and the quotes from paragraphs referring to each topic.
We used materials from tass.ru, riafan.ru, lenta.ru, russian.rt.com, aif.ru, life.ru, slovodel.com, news-front.info, kommersant.ru, ruinformer.com, politnavigator.net, donbasstoday.ru, sevastopol.su, politobzor.net, naspravdi.info, antifashist.com, kafanews.com, anna-news.info, lugansk1.info, c-inform.info, dnr-pravda.ru, dni.ru, rusdnepr.ru, 3652.ru, comitet.su, odnarodyna.org, vsednr.ru, time-news.net, xvesti.ru, sobytiya.info, doneck-news.com, meridian.in.ua, dnr24.com