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Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: the “Ukrainian trace”

Russian propaganda traditionally resorts to rhetoric about the “Ukrainian trace” to explain the causes of internal problems or tragedies on Russian territory. They say that all dangers for Russia are necessarily somehow connected with Ukraine. Yes, official Moscow searched and supposedly even found a “Ukrainian trace” in the Jewish pogroms in the Caucasus, the terrorist attack at Crocus City Holi in the Moscow region, etc.

In particular, during a telephone conversation between Russian Defense Minister Serhii  Shoihu and the newly appointed French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu on April 3, 2024, the former spoke about the information available in Russia about the “Ukrainian trace” in the Crocus terrorist attack. However, in response, Lecornu said that France does not have any information to establish a connection between this terrorist attack and Ukraine. He also called on Russia to stop any instrumentalization of this event. The United States also stated that Ukraine was not involved in the terrorist attack, and Putin’s inner circle does not believe that Ukraine was involved in the terrorist attack in the Moscow region. It is also known that the Islamist terrorist state ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting at Crocus, however, in this situation, Russian propaganda insists on various versions with a “Ukrainian trace”, which in some places contradict each other.

In addition, the Kremlin can talk about the “Ukrainian trace” in the event of crisis events outside Russia, often directly affecting it. Insisting that “all the ills of the world” are to blame for Ukraine. So, for example, in the case of the Nord Stream explosion, the emergence of weapons from the Hamas terrorist group from the Russian-Ukrainian war (allegedly Ukraine “sold” Western weapons to terrorists) and many others.

For example, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Pieskov spoke about Ukraine’s possible involvement in sabotage on the Nord Streams: “Ukrainian traces of this sabotage and terrorist act are increasingly appearing in various reports, investigations, and media reports. This is true”. In fact, there is no real evidence to confirm this, except for some additional “details”. In addition, in the West questions are being asked, “Why did Ukraine need to blow up gas pipelines that were already under sanctions and were not working?”

Consequently, Russia’s rhetoric about the “Ukrainian trace” in certain troubles of Russia or the world is aimed, first of all, at fixing in the minds of as many people as possible the associative series: “Ukraine = terrorism”. And this while Russian terror against the Ukrainian population continues. Also, in this way, the Kremlin seeks to strengthen anti-Ukrainian sentiment among its own population, in particular. And in this way, Russian propaganda discredits Ukraine at the international level and throws another “argument” into the information space to justify aggression, which sounds like “protection from terrorism on the part of Ukraine”.

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