Spilnota Detector Media
Русскій фейк, іді на***!

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: “military correspondents”

“Voienkor” (short for “war correspondents”) are propagandists who pretend to be journalists. Although they work in a combat zone, in fact the so-called “military correspondents” are full-time employees of Russian military information units serving aggression.

In modern Russia, the concept of “military correspondent” began to come into everyday use in 2014, when the Russian-Ukrainian war began. Then many patriotic Russians began to cover the events taking place in Donbas. With the start of a full-scale war in 2022, “military correspondents” became a phenomenon, and the term itself became entrenched in the Russian-language segment of the Internet. During the first months of a full-scale war, Russian “military correspondents” gained great popularity, since the Russian audience needed alternative sources of information about the progress of the war, other than the official ones. And above all on telegram as a convenient platform.

In fact, “military correspondents” have become such a significant and widespread phenomenon that the Russian State Duma even proposed equating “war correspondents” covering the war with combat veterans. In addition, some Russian military officers were awarded medals supposedly for their dangerous work in the combat zone.

Despite their feigned criticism, the “military correspondents” always remain in line with the key Kremlin narratives. When necessary, they extinguish indignation and panic. When necessary, on the contrary, they raise the temperature to the required level, looking for the culprits among military commissars, commanders or governors. The main thing is that Putin is never among the culprits of the problems that military correspondents write about. He’s good, it’s just that everyone deceives him and doesn’t tell him the whole truth.

Most military correspondents, after the flight of the Russian army from the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions, sharply shifted their focus to events in other regions where the Russians had at least some success. “Kyiv was not and could not be the main direction”, “Regrouping is a military necessity, often contrary to political expediency”, “the main thing is the South, where there is grain and access to the Black Sea - Odesa, Mykolaiv”. This was followed by hundreds of messages that convinced that the civilians killed in the Kyiv region were a “staged act”. One of the popular Russian “military correspondents”, Kots, positioned himself as an “eyewitness” who did not see the bodies of the dead.

And a similar principle followed whenever the authorities needed the help of “military correspondents” to divert attention or reduce the level of public disappointment due to bad news from the battlefield. For example, while Zmiinyi Island was in Russian hands, it was a “strategic object” that gave Russia control over almost the entire Black Sea. However, when the Russians were kicked out of there, the “military correspondents” at first did not write anything, but about a week later they began to talk about Zmiinyi as “a territory that is important only with complete control over Odesa and Mykolaiv”. And the Ukrainian banner on the island was called a “PR campaign”.

NGO “Detector Media” has been working for our readers for over 20 years. In times of elections, revolutions, pandemics and war, we continue to fight for quality journalism. Our experts develop media literacy of the audience, advocate for the rights of journalists, and refute Russian disinformation.

“Detector Media” resumes the work of our Community and invites those who believe that the media should be better: more professional, truthful and transparent.