Manipulation of public agenda, transfer, the use of mythology, demonization are one of few approaches, Russian TV channels manipulate public opinion in Russia to portray Ukraine as chaos and Russia as cosmos, the symbol of stability. Russian professor of history Valeriy Solovei delivers a bright lecture to expose propaganda in Russian media.
Note: Valeriy Solovei is a professor of Moscow State University after Lomonosov. He has academic freedom to share his knowledge of media technologies to students. Valeriy Solovei tweets via @V_Solovey.
Russian media are famous for biased coverage of politics, especially regarding the war in Ukraine, led by insurgents and backed by Russian military. Many Russians see the war in Ukraine just as a minor episode of a greater geopolitical conflict – the one between West (civilized world) and East (Russia). Thus, the humanitarian catastrophe in Donbass and thousands of lives of local population and soldiers do not matter.
In video bellow, Russian journalists discuss so-called “parade” of Russian troops to Warsaw, Berlin and other European capitals. Initially, I thought, the program is a kind of John Stewart’s “The Daily Show”, but those journalists pretend to do reporting – discussing the scenarios of the future preparations to May 9 celebration – anniversary of the victory in the World War II. Meanwhile some pro-Ukrainian activists prepared subtitles in the video to target the international community.
Second video shows insurgents in Lugansk regions addressing to public on the eve of Orthodox Christmas. A girl sends best wishes with Christmas and hopes for the victory in a fight against Ukraine. “But if we gonna loose, we will blow the world”, – she says to threaten the world with nuclear blast. That’s how the creativity for so-called “ruskiy mir” (Russian world) works.
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While the international media and world political leaders question if regular Russian troops fight in hybrid war in Ukraine, Russian soldiers in Donbas shoot amateur video and post it online. Officially, Russia declines the presence of its troops in Donbas, but civic activists and journalists have collected dozens of evidences of Russian aggression in Ukraine. Most of it published in social media. In the first video, Russian soldiers are preparing to drive to Vuhlehirsk, a city in Debaltsevo area where heavy fights are led by insurgents against Ukrainian army. “Hello, Chita!”, “Hello, Ulan-Ude!” – Russian soldiers shouting out the names of Russian cities. Chita is located in Zabaikaliye, Russia, while Ulan-Ude – in Buriatia, Russia.
In the second video, Russian soldiers in Donbas are fighting against …fish. They used grenades to get fish from the lake in Donetsk region. Soldiers identify themselves, shouting out the names of Russian cities: Cheliabinsk, Perm, Belgorod.
Ukrainian media regularly publish pieces about Russian military involvement. On Feb 6, 2014, Cenzor.net.ua published a story about Russian tank captured by Ukrainian soldiers near Debaltsevo.
Recently, Ukrainian activists and bloggers have launched a site to collect the names of separatists supporters. The information about more than 22,600 peoples collected so far.
Information war against Ukraine run by Kremlin-backed media is supported by pro-Russian puppets, employed by Russian strategists. The recent evidence of this scheme leads to Dragana Trifkovic, a 38-year old woman from Serbia, who joined other foreigners on so-called LNR and DNR elections in Lugansk and Donetsk temporary occupied regions on November 2, 2014. As a Serbian citizen, Trifkovic left many traces of her visit to Donbass via social media – she was posting photos of her meetings with Russian terrorists in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Known as a supporter of Russia, Trifkovic was linked to neo-Nazi Russian groups and was heavily commented in Twitter.
On November 9, 2014 she deleted her Twitter account – @DrTrifkovic. Nevertheless, Google cache kept screenshots of her profile:
While her Twitter account is deleted, her Facebook profile is active. A supporter of terrorists exrpesses her love to Russian President Vladimir Putin:
Serbian “expert” might have different reasons to love Putin, but her links to neo-nazi groups in Russia question self-proclaimed good intentions of so called LNR and DNR authorities.
Anton Shehovtsev analyses in his blog.
Kremlin will employ puppet “election monitors” that will “observe” and legitimise the “elections” held by the terrorists. Evidence suggests that two “election monitoring organisations” have been in charge of setting up the “election observation missions” for the DNR/LNR: the Eurasian Observatory of Democracy and Elections (EODE) run by Belgian fascist Luc Michel and the European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis (ECGA) run by Polish far right politician Mateusz Piskorski – both have been in the service of the Kremlin’s foreign policy since 2005-2006.
Trifkovic describes herself as a Director General of Center for Geostrategic Studies in Belgrade and claims she is an author at some Serbian sites, such as Fond Slobodan Jovanović, Geopolitika and Novi Standard. Seems, the intellectual level of Serbian elites is quite low if such experts represent Serbian think tanks.
Hashtag #russiainvadedukraine was suggested by a student from Belarus who writes by the name @belamova in Twitter. As a result of awareness campaign by Twitter users to inform international community about Russian direct military invasion into Ukraine, the hashtag appaared in Twitter world trends.
According to Topsy data, almost 500,000 tweets with #russiainvadedukraine have been published between August 26-28, 2014. Ukrainian politicians, such as Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and Minister of Foreign Affairs Klimkin used the hashtag in their tweets.
Here is a link to the article about the user – http://www.belaruspartisan.org/politic/278304/
Pro-terrorists users have created a fake Facebook page for Press-Center of Anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine to misinform users about the Ukrainian army fighting against terrorists in Eastern Ukraine. By layout the fake page is identical to the official one – it has the same cover photo, avatar and mission statement.
Many pro-Ukrainian users liked the fake page, in particular 13 my Facebook friends did. While official page of Press-Center of Anti-terrorist operation has 52 300 fans, the fake one – just 3800 fans. The fake page was launched on July 16, 2014 and publishes pro-Russian news and updates from the terrorists – the creators chose the tactic to repost statuses of Russian pro-terrorist users containing propaganda and misleading information.
On August 5, 2014, influential page Euromaidan SOS published a poster to bring attention to the fake page. Many users have submitted appeals to the Facebook abuse team but meanwhile the page is active as of July 13, 2014. Also, Pro-Ukrainian users publish warning messages on the wall of the fake page and in comments to each of its post.
The launch of such fake page might serve another evidence of the Russia informational war against Ukraine.
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On July 18, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has crashed in Ukraine, on the border with Russia, with 298 people onboard. The investigation of the incident examines three main versions of the party responsible for the missile strike: Russian military, Ukrainian military, pro-Russian rebels/terrorists.
The investigators should draw their attention to the social media run by terrorists. In the early hours of the strike, the page devoted to the terrorists’ leader Strelkov (Girkin) informed that “rebels shot down Ukrainian AN-26 plane”. The footage added to the news showed the smoke of the crashed MH17.
In the aftermath, when it was clear that the target of the missile was a Malaysian passenger plane, the terrorists denounced news about shot of Ukrainian AN-26 plane and deleted it. Nevertheless, dozens users have captured screenshots of the news and published it. It might be used as an evidence of pro-Russian terrorists involvement into the biggest plane catastrophe of the recent ten years.
Later, terrorists published the news accusing Ukrainian military planes in shooting Malaysian MH17 down. The inconsistency of the coverage questions terrorists’ informational war. Also, Security Service of Ukraine has published a phone conversation between terrorists discussing the crash of the plane. It identifies the names of those responsible for the missile strike.
Post by terrorists aboit the successfull missile strike of “Ukrainian” plane
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Anastasiya Dmytruk, a Ukrainian poet, wrote a poetry in which she emotionally explained why Ukrainians will never treat Russians as “brothers” after Crimea invasion. The notion of “Slavic brotherhood” has been of the strongest myths in among Russians who claimed the unity among Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
The original poetry was published in YouTube on March 19 and since then it received 1,712,000 views (as of May 20, 2014). Another version with a song performed by Lithuanian singers Virgis Pupšys,Jaronimas Milius,Kęstutis Nevulis,Gintautas Litinskas got 2,278 million views.
Russian users were outraged since the poetry affected their nationalistic feelings. Dozens of replies were published in YouTube, but none of them did not get more views as original one.
Anastasiya Dmytruk has recently published a book of poetries. Find her updates in Facebook – siadmytruk
While working on my research on agenda setting effects in Ukraine, I have collected The New York Times headlines featuring Ukraine during last three months. Through the analysis of The New York Times e-newsletter, sent to the readers on the daily basis, I have found that 45 headlines had appeared in Top News on the site of The New York Times. The period analyzed – January 25-April 24, 2014. The list includes the following headlines:
January 26 – Opposition Says No to Ukraine on Power Share
February 6 – Ukraine Chief Loses Support in Stronghold
February 7 – Russia Claims U.S. Meddling Over Ukraine
February 20 – Ukraine Leader Strains for Grip as Chaos Spreads
February 21 – Ukraine’s Forces Escalate Attacks Against Protesters
February 22 – Ukraine Has Deal, but Both Russia and Protesters Appear Wary
February 23 – Archrival Is Freed as Ukraine Leader Flees
February 24 – Ukraine Rushes to Shift Power and Mend Rifts
February 25 – Wary Stance From Obama on Ukraine
February 28 – Grab for Power in Crimea Raises Secession Threat
March 1 – With Military Moves Seen in Ukraine, Obama Warns Russia
March 2 – Kremlin Deploys Military in Ukraine, Prompting Protest by U.S.
March 2 – Making Russia Pay? It’s Not So Simple
March 5 – Putin, Flashing Disdain, Defends Action in Crimea
March 5 – No Easy Way Out of Ukraine Crisis
March 6 – U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin
March 7 – Crimea Approves a Secession Vote as Tensions Rise
March 8 – For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea
March 11 – Titans in Russia Fear New Front in Ukraine Crisis
March 14 – Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine
March 15 – U.S.-Russia Talks on Ukraine Fail to Ease Tension
March 16 – Russia Seizes Gas Plant Near Crimea Border, Ukraine Says
March 17 – Obama’s Policy Is Put to the Test as Crises Challenge Caution
March 18 – Putin Recognizes Crimea Secession, Defying the West
March 19 – Putin Reclaims Crimea for Russia and Bitterly Denounces the West
March 19 – If Not a Cold War, a Return to a Chilly Rivalry
March 21 – Obama Steps Up Russia Sanctions in Ukraine Crisis
March 22 – Russia’s Shifting of Border Force Stirs U.S. Worry
March 22 – As Sanctions Start, Russia Feels a Sting
March 24 – 3 Presidents and a Riddle Named Putin
March 25 – Russia Is Ousted From Group of 8 by U.S. and Allies
March 27 – Obama Renewing U.S. Commitment to NATO Alliance
March 29 – Putin Calls Obama to Discuss Ukraine, White House Says
April 8 – In East Ukraine, Protesters Seek Russian Troops
April 14 – Ukraine Forces Storm a Town, Defying Russia
April 15 – Ukraine Falters in Drive to Curb Unrest in East
April 16 – Russia Is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine
April 16 – Ukraine Sends Force to Stem Unrest in East
April 17 – Russia Economy Worsens Even Before Sanctions Hit
April 18 – Deal is Reached to Ease Tension in East Ukraine
April 19 – Pro-Russian Insurgents Balk at Terms of Pact in Ukraine
April 20 – In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin
April 21 – Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia
April 22 – Under Russia, Life in Crimea Grows Chaotic
April 22 – New Prowess for Russians
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У Росії достатньо ресурсів аби вести інформаційну війну проти України, однак недостатньо аби тягатися з західними медіа. ИТАР-ТАСС, РИА Новости, Russia Today та російські телеканали оперують величезними бюджетами, працюють роками практично в цілодобовому режимі, а віднедавна перейшли й в онлайн. Арсенал російської пропаганди виглядає наступним чином: Russia Today в Фейсбуці має 1,4 мільйони прихильників, в Tвітері – 630 тисяч. РИА Новости – 1,1 мільйони, в Твітері – 550 тисяч. До порівняння – найбільш впливова у вітчизняному інформаційному просторі Українська Правда має у Фейсбуці 185 тисяч прихильників, у Твітері – 146 тисяч. – Читати увесь текст