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Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: Russian spring

Russian propaganda uses the term “Russian Spring” to refer to the Kremlin-orchestrated events of February-May 2014, which led to the annexation of Crimea and the proclamation of puppet quasi-state entities in eastern Ukraine. Propagandists are positioning this as mass unrest in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, which supposedly had the goal of declaring a desire to either secede from Ukraine, which has become completely dependent on the West, or join Russia. According to propaganda, the “Kyiv regime”, together with Western curators, planned the Revolution of Dignity, tried to hand Ukraine over to the West, but did not take into account the public opinion - they say that the majority of people did not support the European integration course, but were oriented towards Russia. Moscow's target was Crimea, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Kherson and Odesa regions. And in February-March 2014, they began to organize pro-Kremlin actions in regional or smaller cities, hung tricolors, and tried to seize local regional state administrations. And finally, there appeared “little green men” who positioned themselves as local self-defense, although in fact they were Russian special forces. Actually, propagandists convince that a series of actions carried out with the participation of Russian special services, mercenaries and Ukrainian citizens dissatisfied with the events of Euromaidan, as well as referendums, are exclusively the expression of the will of the Ukrainian people, an attempt to legitimately fight against the arbitrariness of power.

“The events of the “Russian Spring” bring a smile to my face - when the anti-Maidan protesters, armed from head to toe, showed their desire, the desire to become part of Russia”, the authors recall in pro-Kremlin telegram channels long before the big war. They explain that these events are framed by the widespread joy and admiration of supposedly ordinary people who rebelled against the Ukrainian authorities after Euromaidan.

The term “Russian Spring” is not new; it dates back to the mid-19th century, when a series of national movements that fought against reactionary monarchies swept across Europe—the “Spring of Nations”. In recent history, the events of the early 2010s, when mass protests and sometimes full-fledged revolutions against autocratic regimes took place in Arab countries, received a similar name. It is ironic that Russian political strategists created the term by analogy with these revolutions, although the Russian empire was directly involved in suppressing the “spring of nations”, and the Russian Federation supported the regimes of Arab autocrats, even to the point of intervening in the civil war in Syria on the side of dictator Bashar al-Assad. . So, we see another substitution of concepts characteristic of the ideologists of Russian imperialism. The People's Spring and the Arab Spring were democratic popular movements that led their nations toward progressive change. While the “Russian Spring” was a special operation organized by the Kremlin that spread authoritarianism in the occupied territories, and created real military dictatorships (juntas) in the occupied part of Donbas.

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