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Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with a newspeak: country 404

With the help of various definitions or linguistic features, Russian propaganda tries to portray Ukraine in the eyes of Russians in the most profitable way. For example, they say “on the Ukraine”, hinting at the colonial past and dependence on Russia, or  “outskirts”, allegedly located on the edge of “one great state”.

Propagandists seek to deny the existence of Ukraine in any way and use the term “country 404” or even simply “404”. First of all, they draw a parallel with the well-known, understandable symbol “Error 404” - an error loading a web page. This error is thrown when the page doesn't actually exist. That is, the authors transferred the attribute of one object to another. With the help of an understandable majority of images, propaganda shows that Ukraine is a country that allegedly does not exist, it literally does not exist. This meaning is given a negative connotation when propagandists maliciously describe Ukraine's successes or want to accuse it of certain actions. Like, how can this “country 404” achieve anything? Thus, one of the propaganda channels described the events of the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station by the Russians, shifting the responsibility to Ukraine: “It is obvious that the destruction of the hydroelectric power station was beneficial - earlier they announced such plans there”. That is, they emphasize the criminality of Ukraine, they assure that such a country “should not exist". All this cherishes hatred and rage towards Ukraine among Russians.

In general, such rhetoric is part of the conspiracy theory that Ukraine is a fictitious state. Thus, the authors seek to deny the existence of the country and blur the eyes of Russians and others who will not perceive Ukraine as another, sovereign state. Such messages will encourage stereotypes that Ukraine is part of Russia or that there never was a Ukrainian state.

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