How Russia is using Telegram channels to prepare occupied territories for a “reunification”

As soon as the Russian troops launched their offensive on February 24, another offensive took place in the media. Within a few days after the full-scale invasion, Russian propagandists created dozens of information channels on Telegram – one of the most popular messaging services in Ukraine – to prepare the population of southern Ukraine for Russian occupation. Using the already available pro-Russian media resources, they broadcasted a message of hatred for Ukraine and gratitude to Russia. In cooperation with the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, we launched a research series studying the use of Telegram channels in the newly occupied territories of Ukraine.

Does staying behind mean collaboration with occupiers?

This is a painful question for those who remained in the occupied towns and villages.Is putting out a fire, rescuing people, assisting with childbirth or teaching children mathematics considered betrayal if you live in occupied Berdiansk?We talked to a firefighter, a teacher and a doctor from Berdiansk who love Ukraine and are awaiting the arrival of the Ukrainian military. Two of them did not leave Berdiansk that was captured by the Russian army in the first days of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

And where is Gondor?

On February 24 I woke up in the night suddenly. I felt some strange pressure in my heart. I never felt like that in my life. It was a peaceful and quiet night in London, only some fox barked in the distance. I checked the time on my phone. Five in the morning. Instinctively I opened Facebook and saw awful news. “Russia launches rockets on Ukraine”. The whole country was on fire. I've read it many times but couldn't grasp any sense of it.Antonina Maliei, London

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