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Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the newspeak: “aggressor”

In the run-up to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Putin and Russian propagandists have increasingly spread the narrative that Ukraine is the aggressor in the war, which began back in 2014. They say that then the Ukrainian Armed Forces began shelling the civilian population of the Luhansk region and Donbas. This Russian propaganda narrative intensified in late 2021 after more than one year of a so-called “comprehensive truce” that Russia repeatedly violated. In this regard, it was decided to allow the Ukrainian military in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) zone to return fire to the occupiers without the approval of senior leadership. Thus, in particular, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi deprived the military of the need to fill out unnecessary documents. However, according to propaganda, Ukraine allegedly “sabotaged the truce”. Moreover, according to propagandists, sooner or later Ukraine would have attacked “defenseless” Russia, since it was also increasing weapons production.

The rhetoric of the Russians that Ukraine is the aggressor can in no way be justified, since it is our country that has been suffering from a war unleashed by a neighboring country for more than nine years. Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine began on February 20, 2014, when Russian troops without insignia entered the territory of the Crimean Peninsula with the aim of occupying it. Only after this did the Ukrainian military begin to resist Russian attempts to seize military installations in Crimea by force. Some time later, at the beginning of April 2014, the Russian military, under the cover of the newly formed quasi-state entities - the DPR and the LPR - declared their intention to establish control over the Donbas by armed means. That is, in the war against Ukraine, from the very beginning it was Russia that was the aggressor.

By spreading the thesis that “Ukraine is the aggressor”, Russian propaganda is trying to justify Russia’s bloody war against Ukraine, in particular, the presence of Russian troops on the territory of our state. They say that if the “liberators” had not come, the “oppression” of Russian-speaking Ukrainians and the killing of Donbas residents by the Ukrainian Armed Forces would have continued. Ultimately, Russia must answer for all war crimes committed in Ukraine and pay reparations for the harm caused to our country.

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