It is Getting Unbearable! Ukrainians, Surrender! Russian Media Monitoring Report, 6-12 February 2023.
Although Russians rejoice at every bit of tactical success in the battlefield, this joy is bittersweet. According to Russian analysts, every scenario for the war to end is equally grim for Russia. Russian propagandist media are trying hard to drive a wedge among the Western coalition nations and erode their support of Ukraine.
It seems that Russians have finally realized the scale of the disaster they caused urging them to invite Ukraine to the negotiation table, just like they did before.
This monitoring report covers these and other topics of the disinformation spread by Russian state media and online parajournalists to manipulate public opinion.
More trends of Russian disinfo - find in our interactive dashboard "WARTIME DISINFO FROM RUSSIA"
The Russian Bear is Still Plenty Strong!
A brief spell of military success seems to have cheered up the Russian propagandists. The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to resist the enemy with all their might, so Russian media are forced to invent more stories about foreign “mercenaries”: “Ukrainian forces keep fighting their way into Artyomovsk, but this is mostly to evacuate some “high-priority wounded” … that were sent by NATO”.
Victorious reports on the Russian offensive abound in quotations from the press conferences of the Russian Ministry of Defense. However, the claimed Ukrainian losses are so exorbitant that Russian media have to resort to pure conspirology to explain how exactly Ukraine has managed to lose more equipment that it had before Russia's full-scale invasion: “… up to 600 tanks were secretly sent to repair facilities in Poland, Romania under the AFU equipment renovation program financed by the USA in the spring and the summer of 2021. Once upgraded and restored to fully operational condition, the tanks have been coming back to the AFU storage facilities since autumn 2021”.
However, more and more military commentators and analysts are finally showing glimpses of common sense. The Russians are desperately looking for a positive scenario of how the “special military operation” might end, but so far most of their forecasts have been downright pessimistic: “The lack of clear objectives, strategy and overall concept of the military and geopolitical confrontation that Russia has been pulled into still remain among the key challenges”.
Curiously, Russian diplomats have re-appeared on Russian media with peace talks ultimatums reminding of the similar calls made during the capture of Soledar. “Peace negotiations are possible on condition that Russia’s proposals are duly considered. Furthermore, we expect Kyiv to account for the situation “on the ground”, state Russian media. The aggressor state has decided to focus on the prolongation of the war hoping for the human and material resources of Ukraine and its partners to deplete soon. However, the recent series of anxious ultimatums on peace talks show that Russia's position isn’t as strong as it may seem.
Stop Supporting Ukraine!
Russian propagandist and disinformation media continue to convince the readers that “the USA and the EU are growing tired of Ukraine”. This is hardly a surprise since Russian analysts believe that winding down Ukraine’s support by the West is the most realistic path to victory: “Moscow is still open to negotiations with the West to end the military conflict on the terms acceptable for the Russian Federation. There have been signals on the readiness for negotiations with Russia from certain political circles in the US where all the key decisions are made”.
To give credit to their claims, the disinformation media juggle quotations from Western sources to prove that Ukraine's support is dwindling: “About a half of the Republicans in the USA want the financial support of Ukraine reduced. Forty-one percent agree to Russia's control over the occupied territories if this would end the hostilities”, “Not all Western politicians are dedicated to supporting Vladimir Zelenskiy's regime. For example, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz recently accused President Biden and the members of both parties of spending tens of billions of dollars in Ukraine to keep the war going”.
They also gave a fair share of attention to the anti-Ukrainian protests organized by “ordinary Europeans” — or so they claimed: “The banners read: “NATO is evil”, “Enough bombs!”, “Enough war! Stop sending weapons to Ukraine!”, “We want diplomacy!”, “You are killing your children and brothers”, “Zelenskiy is a NATO puppet” being a clear reference to Ukraine’s president’s attempts to drag NATO into a shooting war against Russia”, “The protest members are holding banners which read: “NO to sending weapons to Kyiv, YES to peace talks!” Some people brought Russian flags and St. George’s ribbons”.
Russia to Suffer Israel’s Fate
Russians are not ashamed to compare themselves to Holocaust victims. Ukraine has been taken over by the Nazi while Europe favors Russophobia — nowhere is safe. The propagandists and disinformation media say that defeating Ukraine will not put an end to their troubles: “With Ukraine out of the picture, there is still Poland, the Baltic States, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia. Russia’s situation with enemies all around is becoming more and more similar to Israel's.
Russian media are relentlessly reminding the readers that Western countries will not rest until Russia is destroyed in the clash of civilizations. It has always been like that, and today is no different: “As soon as the Russian state gained influence, its neighbors immediately started to promote Russophobia and invent nonsense tales… Such was the defamation during the Polish revolt, the British pamphlets, the well-organized Napoleonic propaganda and the sophisticated efforts of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff which led to the launch of the “Ukrainism” project in Galicia. The West has never stopped vilifying and defaming our country from the moment of its creation with varying intensity and scale. Once we accept it for a fact, we should treat this ugly custom as natural behavior of some wild animals such as wolves, foxes and jackals”.
Also in the News:
Russian media spread numerous conspirological theories regarding the destruction of “Nord Stream” pipeline quoting the recent story published by American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on his personal blog: “The United States feared that Germany would launch “Nord Stream” in the face of a bitter winter and decided to take them out. This shocking investigation of the explosions which had ruptured the underwater pipeline was published by American journalist Seymour Hersh. Opening the gas pipelines would have led to a collapse of the American economy”. Russian propagandist media sang praises to the former achievements of the 85-year-old Hersh (who had won many prestigious prizes) while forgetting to mention that Hersh’s article is based on an anonymous inside tip and contains numerous logical contradictions.
We have built a comprehensive corpus of all the materials from Russian websites and those maintained by the occupation force (approximately 34,000 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 contain quotes from paragraphs referring to each topic.
We used materials from lenta.ru, tass.ru, riafan.ru, russian.rt.com, regnum.ru, iz.ru, life.ru, trmzk.ru, vz.ru, donbasstoday.ru, novosibirsk-news.net, ura.news, newizv.ru, news-front.info, aif.ru, slovodel.com, nakanune.ru, kommersant.ru, ruinformer.com, rosbalt.ru, polit.info, sevastopol.su, ng.ru, expert.ru, dni.ru, kafanews.com, antifashist.com, dnr-pravda.ru, naspravdi.info, kerch.fm, anna-news.info, dan-news.info, tehnowar.ru, aurora.network, gorlovka-pravda.com, lugansk1.info, c-inform.info, 3652.ru, politnavigator.net, rusdnepr.ru, politobzor.net, doneck-news.com, mir-lug.info, odnarodyna.org, vsednr.ru, nefakt.info, novosti.icu, time-news.net, xvesti.ru, comitet.su, sobytiya.info, denis-pushilin.ru, dnr24.com, meridian.in.ua.