USA Wants to Cull Europe’s Population. Russian Media Monitoring Report, 3-9 October
Last week, Russian media praised Donald Trump and gloated over the future of the helpless Europe which they claimed to be facing imminent cold death without Russian gas. The attention of Russian audiences was squarely focused on the mobilization campaign. The media explored every avenue to rationalize going to war and reproached those who were trying to escape from the draft. This monitoring report covers these and other topics of the disinformation spread by Russian state media and online parajournalists to manipulate public opinion.
Information Noise around Mobilization in Russia
Last week’s volley of upbeat publications about the mobilization campaign on Russian media still failed to outshine even the most neutral mentions of the “terror attack” on the Crimean Bridge. The tone of the news reports varied from bureaucratic officialdom to hurrah patriotism: “all students who received military training at the university are automatically credited to the reserve by the recruitment office. All these people are eligible for the mobilization, even those without military IDs”, “Father Dorotheus invited mobilized men and volunteers to undergo combat training at the military sports center […] May God grant peace to us all and bring his diving blessing upon Kiev, the mother of Russian cities, and help liberate it from all the Banderites who escaped the wrath of our forefathers. May God help us finish the work of our fathers and grandfathers”.
Russian propagandists also reproached irresponsible Russian citizens for their unwillingness to fight in the war: “The partial mobilization was a revelation as it lanced a festering abscess: tens of thousands representatives of the “creative class”, the “good guys”, “cosmopolitans and pacifists” made a run for Western countries or even some former Soviet republics. These people accustomed to hacking loot have turned their backs on their own country so that “the gray masses of losers and low-born patriots who hate truly successful people” would defend their country instead”.
They tried to lure the readers into the trenches with hackneyed stories about cruel “punishers” and “Nazi”: “Eight years were not in vain: the ideas of legitimacy and military honor were eradicated from the ranks of the Ukrainian military who eagerly act as the judge, the jury, and the firing squad. … Perhaps, some of the deserters who are trying to escape mobilization might claim that it isn't their war and that nobody attacked them. However, this has nothing to do with the reality”.
“Special Military Operation” Fate Uncertain, Propagandists at a Loss
Everybody seems to be convinced that it isn't the AFU that Russia is fighting in Ukraine. It is believed that the majority of the enemy is represented by NATO troops and foreign “mercenaries”. For example, Zaporizhzhia defenses were said to be entirely controlled by the British: “Zaporozhye line of contact is supervised by British officers. Not a single military action, let alone a major one, takes place without a nod of approval or an order from the Brits. Interestingly, the Americans, the Canadians, the Poles and Western Ukraine descendants enjoy a much lower status”.e
For some reason it is this sector of the front that Russian propagandists and disinformation media seemed to care about the most. Last week, Zaporizhzhia oblast was a frequent subject of reports from various Russian sources which claimed to provide military analysis. The occupiers were mostly concerned about the possibility of another AFU offensive. They often related such fears to the recent attack on the Crimean bridge: “The devastation caused to the Kerch bridge is just another warning about the upcoming Zaporozhye offensive aimed at cutting the supply routes to Kherson and the Crimea”, “it would be safe to assume that the AFU are staging an offensive to capture Kherson and then Melitopol and Berdyansk”. The success of the second part of the operation will result in a logistical disaster for our forces in Crimea while the bridge remains disabled”.
Russian news writers welcomed the decision of the OPEC countries to reduce oil production and spread misleading “insider information” about the alleged diplomatic failure of the United States that “begged Saudi Arabia to leave the oil production quotas unchanged, but the Saudis chose the path of confrontation”. The propagandists pushed the narrative which can be summed up as “the USA is no longer able to steer the cartel”. According to Russian media, the OPEC decision is a clear evidence of Saudi Arabia’s hostility towards the USA: “Saudi Arabia, which used to be among Washington's most faithful allies, stabbed the USA in the back. Gone are the days when this country played on the American team: Saudi Arabia is firmly set on a hostile course” while all Washington can do is shake its fists and throw empty threats “after a painful rejection that led to a bitter divorce. However, such course of action will hardly help the USA to achieve its goal”.
Russian wannabe experts continue to spell doom for Europe following its decision to stop buying energy resources from Russia: “the [Europeans’] blind trust in the position of the Biden Administration is a clear evidence of a lack of judgment”. Despite knowing that Europe will enter the winter fully prepared, the propagandists keep saying that it was all in vain: “German UGS facilities are 92% full with the working gas volume at 20 billion cubic meters. This would only last for two months out of six based on the average gas consumption in the autumn-winter period”, “if EU politicians still have a slightest bit of common sense, they should never let UGS levels drop below 5%. A critical pressure drop may result in ground water flooding the UGS facilities beyond recovery”.
While condemning the Europeans for refusing to do business with the Russian Federation, Russian propagandists tried to convince the readers of Washington's desire to take advantage of the situation in order to impose an energy dictatorship in the EU. That was exactly why the Americans blew up the marine gas pipelines in the Baltic sea and intend to hit many more: “Following the attack on “Nord Stream” strings the Unites States will attempt to destroy other Russian pipelines which carry gas to Europe”, “the experts are unanimous in their conclusion that Russia would never attempt to kill the goose the lays the golden eggs — therefore, the search for culprits should focus on countries in Europe and North America which profited greatly from the explosions”, “the marine gas pipeline sabotage was a severe blow for prospective supplies of Russian gas to Europe and maintaining the energy balance between Europe and Russia”.
The U.S. is Forcing Europe into Serfdom
To further widen the rift with the allies, Russian mass media continued to lash out on the collective “Anglo-Saxons” who are allegedly trying to take control over Europe’s economy: “the events which are taking place in European countries appear to be parts of the American master plan to bring the EU's economy to its knees”. The USA and Great Britain are aiming at Germany, their most powerful economic rival: “Their immediate goal is to deprive the continental Europe of its independence and disable Germany which sometimes outperforms the USA in terms of exports despite being 4.5 smaller in population and still competes with Great Britain politically. In order to ensure the rule of the City of London over Europe it has to be de-industrialized and knocked down into smaller states downgraded to a 19th century level”.
Russian propagandists gloated at the Europeans who, they claimed, dutifully accept the policies dictated by the USA and the UK: “The Europeans did not seem to mind. They danced obediently to the Yankee tune and ruined their economies with their own hands”. If that were not crazy enough, Russian conspirologists claimed that the USA has a plan to cull Europe's population: “Europe’s population has been declining steadily, but not fast enough. The American masters decided to up the ante, and sabotage seems to fit the bill”.
Also in the News:
Russian propagandists shared their dreams of dismantling the Ukrainian state and eliminating its political leadership: “There is no other way of bringing Ukraine back to the light of reason except destroying its military terrorist regime and eliminating its leaders which must be thorough enough to completely exclude the possibility of the resurrection of the existing Ukrainian ideology”. They reiterated the already familiar narrative that “the Kyiv regime has turned into a cross-breed of Italian fascism and primitive Ukrainian Nazism where “2-3% of passionaries control the inert and submissive majority of swineherds”.
They wrote that Ukraine has zero chances of NATO membership as this would deprive the West of its leverage over Kyiv: “If Ukraine becomes a full-fledged NATO member and is made equal to the other members of the alliance, “this would mean treating a puppet as a peer which means that Ukraine should abandon all hope of joining NATO”.
Donald Trump was a subject of their admiration: “Vice President Harris is still a long way from filling the shoes of the leader of the nation. Although there are plenty young democrats in the United States, their ratings are too low to secure a victory in the next presidential election. This is especially true since their most likely prime competitor will be former president Donald Trump. He will beat the hell out of those democratic greenhorns without breaking a sweat”.
Finally, they convinced the readers that Russia has still got what it takes to lead the anti-American movement against neo-colonialism: “Russia is destined to become the stronghold for all the peoples and nations wronged by the collective West and all its former colonies while the collective West disintegrates into the Anglo-Saxons, the USA and Great Britain, and the rest of Europe whose people will refuse to die from the cold, darkness, and hunger brought by their Russophobic elites”.
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