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Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with a newspeak: a “pop”

All explosions on its territory, Russia calls “pops”. This began before the full-scale aggression against Ukraine was launched, and is now firmly rooted in the lexicon of Russian propaganda. Russian media use this word to define absolutely all explosions, regardless of their nature and source.

According to a study conducted by the Russian publication “Meduza”, at the end of 2017, in the media, news with the word “pop” could be counted in the tens, and already in 2019, in the thousands.

Russia began to change words in order to avoid panic among the people. They say that the news about the “pops” will not frighten the society as much as the information about the “explosions”. At present, Russia's goal has not changed. This concept should still reassure society and inspire the opinion that nothing serious is happening. A “pop”, according to propaganda, on a subconscious level causes less anxiety and negative associations.

With the help of a newspeak, people in every possible way complicate the process of understanding the course of events and their meaning. In addition, the absence of war also implies the absence of explosions, therefore, after the start of the “special operation” on the territory of Russia, from time to time there are precisely “pops”, which have long been familiar to the inhabitants of Russia, and in Ukraine are better known as “cotton”, that is translation of the same Russian word but with different stress. 

This is the third text for the new section “Newspeak”, which Detector Media is launching as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project. In it, we will tell and explain new lexemes used by Russian propaganda to distort reality.

We recall that the newspeak is an artificial language from George Orwell's dystopian novel “1984”. In the novel, Newspeak names words that lose their original meaning and have a completely opposite connotation. For example: war - peace. According to the plot of the novel, such a technique was used by the totalitarian party. It was it that gained popularity among representatives of real totalitarian regimes. In particular, Nazi and Russian.

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