Without Russia, Peace Summits Are Doomed to Fail. Russian Media Monitoring Report, June 10–16, 2024

Last week, the main topic in Russian media was the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland, organized by Ukraine. In our opinion, this attention indicates that the idea of the summit is very sound. The main theses of the propagandists were predictable: Ukraine experienced a diplomatic failure.

Читати українською

Key Points

Disinformers claim that the summit "failed" because Russia and China were not there. They say the countries of the so-called Global South did not want to support Kyiv, and the anti-Russian stance was taken by the well-established Russophobes from the USA and Europe. They argue that insignificant statements were signed that do not affect Russia in any way. It was interesting to see how Russian propaganda explained why supposedly friendly countries like Turkey, Hungary, and Slovakia signed the final communiqué of the meeting. The answers were also unoriginal: some surrendered their sovereignty to NATO or wanted to please Washington, while others were intimidated by threats of murder. Additionally, Russian propagandists manipulated the number of participants. For example, participation was measured by the level of the delegation. If a president or prime minister represented a country, it was considered unfriendly; if by someone of lower rank, the participation was discounted, as these were mere spectators who did not want to sever relations with either the West or Russia.

Read about this and more in the new issue of our monitoring of Russian state media and manipulative sites that specifically spread Russian disinformation.


Note that topics related to the attack on Ukraine are at the top of the list this week. This hasn't happened in a while.

Peace Summit in Switzerland

Ukraine organized the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland on June 15–16. Ukraine invited everyone except Russia to the summit, which included 100 delegations.

Global media had mixed assessments of the summit's results. But if you are a reader of Russian media, everything is clear and categorical—you will be told about Ukraine's failure: "Swiss fizz: 'peace summit' on Ukraine ends in global fiasco."

Main Arguments of Kremlin Propaganda.

Without Russia, any peace summit is doomed to fail. Indeed, Russia was not invited to Switzerland. And some participants at the summit stated that it is impossible to end the war without Russia.

Russian media write that to end any military conflict, all participants must be at the negotiating table.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, during his speech, noted that Russia might be invited to the next summit. According to him, it was important at this stage to demonstrate that the war in Ukraine remains among the world's top priorities. Kyiv has the support of allies both in actions and morally. And Ukraine has secured this status. Few believed that the summit would achieve specific successes, but the absence of Russia does not indicate Ukraine's failure.

Propaganda claims that the West planned to force Russia to admit defeat in the war against Ukraine at such a summit. However, the Russian army did not allow Moscow to be brought to its knees. And that's why Russia is not at the summit, which means it's a defeat for Zelensky and the collective West: "The logic of the Peace Summit. Informally. 1. They intended to beautifully present an ultimatum to Russia on behalf of almost all countries when Russia was losing. 2. Russia, on the contrary, is not losing but advancing, so the initial plan failed."

Devaluation of Participants. China's diplomatic play benefits Russia. Beijing refused to participate in the summit, and propaganda seized on this case to attack. Disinformers assert that no major problem in the world today can be solved without China. China is "strength and influence," and most countries, especially those of the so-called Global South, respect Beijing's "reasonable, balanced" policy. Moreover, China is Russia's "true friend", understanding Moscow's national interests. The absence of China in Switzerland is a slap in the face to Zelensky and Co., who strive to bring Russia to its knees.

Other participants, according to propaganda, are representatives of the collective West, who are inherently Russophobes and hostile to Russia, as well as political dwarfs who do not influence the world order: "They dragged in dwarfs like Palau and East Timor."

The participation of Global South countries is also justified. For example, Argentina's full participation is explained by the pro-American leadership of the country, which is under Washington's colonial influence: "From the non-West, the most significant participant is Argentina. But its president is known as a freak and staunchly pro-USA. Or under Western occupation."

The participation of Turkey, India, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia is explained by the absence of high-ranking representatives, which means these countries "weren't serious players": "Participating at the level of demonstratively not leaders, like India, Turkey, KSA, Brazil. That is, observers. On the principle of 'both ours and yours.' The Summit in Switzerland is a Summit of the Collective West. The South ignores it."

Attacks on the Rank of Participants. Attacking the rank of participants became an important issue for propaganda. Top propagandist Olga Skabeyeva manipulatively "cut down" the number of participants. Like other propagandists, she focused on who was present among the leaders, not counting lower-ranked representatives: "So, the summit on Ukraine in Switzerland failed... There was no diplomatic breakthrough. Out of 195 countries, the leaders of 56 states attended the conference, of which 38 were European countries. The program of the meeting was severely cut down—starting late and ending early." Thus, according to propaganda, if Biden was not there, then the US's participation does not count. This is done to downplay the scale of the event.

The worthlessness of Signed Documents. The final document of the summit included three of the ten points of Ukraine's "peace formula": nuclear security, food security, prisoner exchange, and the return of deported Ukrainian children. More than 80 participants of the meeting signed the final communiqué.

On the one hand, this is a victory for Russia. The signed final documents did not contain sharp calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

On the other hand, these are still demands, and propaganda does not like it when Russia demands of something:

1. Nuclear safety. The proposals of the Summit are simply absurd. Everyone knows that the main threat to nuclear safety is the authorities of Ukraine, who shell the Zaporizhzhia NPP. And instead of condemning Zelensky, the Summit demands that Russia hand over the ZNPP to the UN—IAEA. And they are under Western control and will hand over the ZNPP to Ukraine. That is, to nuclear terrorists.

2. Food security. This beautiful term implies that Russia should not shell Ukrainian ports. And in these ports, attacks by sea drones on Russia are being prepared.

3. Exchange of all prisoners. And the return of children. But Ukraine has five times more prisoners of war in Russia than Russia has in Ukraine. Many Ukrainian prisoners do not want to return to Ukraine because they will be forced to fight there. That is, Zelensky wants the prisoners returned to him because the inhabitants of Ukraine are fleeing mobilization. I think Russia should clearly state that all three points are in the interests of terrorists. And any country that votes for them is an enemy of peace."

Disinformers are pleased to write that key regional and global countries refused to sign the document: "Key regional and global powers, including Brazil, India, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia, did not sign the joint communiqué."

Propaganda calls the document worthless. And one that does not consider Russia's position and the real situation on the front.

And those who signed are called countries sitting on two chairs or colonies of the West. For example, in Russian media, Turkey's position, which signed the communiqué, is explained by the desire to be a peacemaker: "In support of Kyiv, the document was signed by Turkey, which maintains close trade ties with Russia and seeks to be a peacemaker." And on social networks, it is stated that Ankara is ready to give up part of its sovereignty: "Those who are ready to give part of their sovereignty to the West. Among significant countries, NATO member Turkey and junior allies like Argentina and Serbia."

Kremlin's regular "talking head" Sergey Markov has his own original explanations for why the document was signed by countries considered friendly to Russia. For example, Hungary signed because "after many months of secret negotiations, Hungary and NATO concluded a secret agreement: Hungary does not obstruct any actions of the pro-Ukrainian war party. And for this, NATO and the EU do not force Hungary to participate in any joint NATO actions in support of Ukraine. And not a penny from Hungary will go to the war in Ukraine," and also "Orban is afraid he will be shot like the prime minister of Slovakia." Slovakia signed because "Fico is simply trying to stay out of harm's way. The prime minister of Slovakia voted for the resolution, although he is against it, but because he fears terror."

In this article, we did not try to explain whether the Peace Summit in Switzerland was a victory or a defeat for Ukrainian diplomacy. We only noted how Russian propaganda reacted to the event.


Other Topics Covered:

Operation "Anadyr 2.0". On June 12, Russian naval ships entered the port of Havana, the capital of Cuba. Cuba stated that the visit was standard practice for naval ships from countries friendly to Havana. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the communist government stated that there was no nuclear weapons on the ships, which was confirmed by US representatives.

Russian propaganda claims that in this way, Moscow shows its strength to the USA: "We have activated the process of bringing our warships and submarines to Cuba. TodayToday, the Russian multipurpose nuclear submarine of the 4th generation "Kazan" approached the Island of Freedom. Its arsenal includes a bunch of self-guided torpedoes, "Physik," and missiles, "Zircon," or maybe "Caliber," or maybe "Onyx." ... And the American prison Guantanamo with the US military base must be expelled from Cuba. Yankees go home. It's time, brother, it's time." Propaganda reminds about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

At that time, there was an extremely tense confrontation between the USSR and the USA as a result of the Soviet Union secretly placing nuclear missiles in Cuba. The United States forced the removal of weapons from the island but also dismantled its missiles in Turkey. Russian propaganda claims that now the US is forced to listen more to Russian arguments and will have to engage in direct negotiations, as Russia continues to demonstrate its power with such moves.

Future Defeat of Macron. We have repeatedly written that Emmanuel Macron has become a target of Russian propaganda. The President of France cannot be forgiven for his active support of Ukraine and statements about the possible presence of French troops in the future and instructors now on Ukrainian territory.

On June 9, Macron dissolved the National Assembly—the French Parliament. He made this decision after his party's defeat in the European Parliament elections. Russian propaganda convinces that the upcoming elections to the National Assembly will be a disaster for the president. Disinformers actively spread statements from Macron's opponents: "Re-elected MEP from the French right-wing political party 'National Rally' Thierry Mariani shared his opinion on the defeat of President Emmanuel Macron's party in the elections." They note that the French choose the right because they are not Russophobes.

In particular, agitprop bets on the "National Rally" party of Marine Le Pen, which, after winning the elections, will return to the policy of Business as usual, i.e., establishing business relations with Moscow: "If Marine Le Pen's National Rally wins the elections in three weeks, political cooperation can be restored."

Sanctions Against the Moscow Exchange. On June 12, the USA imposed sanctions on more than 300 legal entities and individuals supporting Russia's defense-industrial complex and helping the Kremlin in its aggression against Ukraine. The US included the Moscow Exchange in the SDN list (Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List). The Moscow Exchange announced the suspension of trading in dollars and euros from June 13, and the Central Bank of Russia suspended trading in the Hong Kong dollar due to its peg to the US dollar. Disinformers decided to twist the interpretation of events and stated that this is even beneficial for the Russian currency: "The dollar trembles in Russia with fear. After the sanctions against the Moscow Exchange were imposed, it was announced that the dollar rate would be determined not on the exchange but on some accounts, according to some declarations." They decided to cover the micro-panic in the financial market cautiously and assure that "the dollar will not be neither 50 nor 150. ... And it will not jump like a mad doe from 75 to 125... And most importantly, the dollar will not be banned."

After stabilization, propagandists began to write that the dollar rate was not that high: "The dollar rate of 95 was established in crypto exchanges." Therefore, anti-Russian sanctions do not work.

If you are interested in receiving an extended version of our monitoring report, please fill out this brief questionnaire.

The Methodology

To monitor the information published on disinformation websites, we analyzed approximately 500,000 news reports collected from ~ 1,000 Russian websites. The data for the analysis was collected and provided by SemanticForce.

Each paragraph was processed using an 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.

If you are interested in receiving an extended version of our monitoring report, please fill out this brief questionnaire.

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This article was originally written in Ukrainian. It has been translated into English using AI tools such as DeepL, ChatGPT, and Grammarly. If you encounter an error that requires immediate attention, please inform us via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Your understanding and support are appreciated.

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