The United States and the European Union are organizing a global famine, and Ukraine is giving weapons to Islamists. Russian media monitoring for May 16th-22nd
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 34 thousand pieces of news from the Russian state media and manipulative websites that are targeted to spread Russian disinformation.
Disinformation veil around the events in Mariupol
Last week, the main focus of the Russian media was on the process of evacuating the defenders of Mariupol. Russian propagandists called Ukrainian servicemen “lousy heroes” and also imposed the point that they were not needed by the official authorities: “Kyiv wrote them off a long time ago”, “Ukrainian authorities do not want this surrender to be discussed at all”, “Ukrainian media began to avoid mentioning Mariupol and Azovstal.” Of course, there were dozens of publications about the “atrocities of the Ukrainian Nazis”, which contained propaganda calls for the most brutal massacre of “war criminals”.
Russian propagandists also tried to exaggerate their successes. They called the final capture of Mariupol “a turning point in the whole special operation” and compared the evacuation of the city’s garrison with the surrender of the Germans during the battle of Stalingrad. The Russians reported on nearly 2,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war and stressed that it was “a formation that outnumbers us.” Ukrainian authorities do not mention the number of servicemen captured at Azovstal. While the fighting continued, Ukrainian official sources spoke about approximately 600 fighters. However, the exact figure is not known for sure. Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross said they had collected contact information from hundreds of Ukrainian prisoners of war.
Erdoğan and Orbán are good NATO members. Sweden and Finland surrender their sovereignty
Finns and Swedes are preparing to join NATO because of their neighbor’s aggressive behaviour, but Moscow “sees no real reason for the two countries to join NATO.” To somehow explain another strategic failure, Russian media accuse the Alliance of aggressive “expansion” and claim that Russia is “not hostile to Sweden and Finland.” At the same time, there are old propaganda points that “the accession of Sweden and Finland into the North Atlantic Alliance will undermine security on the European continent”, “both countries will lose autonomy in relations with Russia”, as “they will have to conduct relations with Russia passively, in accordance with the interests of the United States, and not actively, based on their own interests”.
In this context, journalists write a lot about Turkey’s position, which seems to oppose the US-NATO project “against countries with powerful armies and economies, namely Russia, Turkey, China, and Iran”, while forgetting that Turkey is also a member of the Alliance.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan even became the third foreign leader in the number of mentions in the Russian media.
Earlier, Erdoğan said he would block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. These statements caused a tangible wave of approval from Russian political observers. They wrote that Erdoğan “so far is confidently banking”, as “the Western alliance is mired in the Ukrainian campaign and in self-shooting sanctions. The economy is bulging at the seams, and weapons from the scanting Western arsenals are flowing in a massive flow to Ukraine for subsequent transformation into secondary siderurgy.”
Another NATO member leader, Viktor Orbán, has also received applause and praise for his opposition to a new package of anti-Russian sanctions. In Russian news, Victor Orbán is a defender of conservative and traditional values, who “offers to save ourselves from migrants sent to the EU by Soros and eroding the identity of the peoples of Europe”, and who “rigidly thwarts Kyiv’s attempts to tell the Hungarians how they should regard the flow of rampant Ukrainian Nazis that flooded the streets of Budapest.”
Russia accuses US, EU of organizing “global hunger”
Sanctions continue to put a lot of pressure on the aggressor country, but Russian propagandists are reluctant to talk about the reasons for their introduction. In their informational reality, Western sanctions have fallen on Russia just like a bolt from the blue. But “the hopes of the countries of the collective West for victory over Russia are not destined to come true,” Russian political commentators say and assure that the consequences of sanctions will primarily affect those who imposed them: “the consequences [of anti-Russian sanctions] for the economy of Europe and the whole world are as devastating as for the Japanese economy from the US use of nuclear weapons in 1945.”
Commenting on the impact of sanctions on Russia’s economy, the propagandists intimidated the world with “destabilizing the world economy” and shifted responsibility for the future food crisis on to the United States and the European Union. “The main reason for the global famine that will happen this year is the ill-considered economic actions of the United States, the European Union”, the speakers of the Russian authorities cynically stated as if it is not the Russian navy and the army that are blocking Ukrainian grain exports and destroying our logistics infrastructure.
Military aid to Ukraine by Islamists and Ukrainian weapons for Islamist terrorists
The issue of supplying Western weapons to Ukraine, as always, is accreted with fakes and lies. So this week they convinced that “most of the weapons end up in the hands of the allied forces of the DPR and LPR and are used against Ukrainian militants, or, before reaching the front line, it is sent straight to Europe. There it ends up on the black market and in the hands of the Islamists, who, with the help of the same weapons, will then carry out terrorist acts in European cities.”
In addition, the Russian media report that “the United States even attracts mercenaries from the ISIS terrorist organization to participate in hostilities in Ukraine,” and “weapons massively supplied to Ukraine by the Americans and their allies are not capable of changing the course of hostilities.”
They also wrote:
They still promoted anti-Polish rhetoric and “informed” about “Warsaw full of greed”, which “at first convenience, will bite off Western Ukraine from Ukraine.”
For the second week in a row, they were outraged by Eurovision and Ukraine’s victory at it, because it is “a political project that has nothing to do with a creative competition ... Ukraine’s victory at Eurovision 2022 was foregone.” 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.