Spilnota Detector Media

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: “Anglo-Saxons”

About 1600 years ago, Germanic tribes migrated to the British Isles. Today these tribes are known as the Anglo-Saxons. In the terminology of Russian propaganda, this word is used in relation to the British, residents of Great Britain, Americans, Australians, Canadians and representatives of other nations who speak English. Moreover, the term “Anglo-Saxons” designates English-speaking Westerners specifically as “evil”, “warlike”, and “morally corrupt”. “Arrogant Saxons” is a word with the same meaning as “Anglo-Saxons”, but with an additional emphasis on the supposed arrogance, rudeness and insolence of citizens of Western countries.

In November 2021, the press secretary of the Russian President Pieskov, commenting on publications in the American press that Russia was preparing an invasion of Ukraine, said that “the Anglo-Saxon media are whipping up hysteria”. In January 2022, Pieskov again resorted to similar rhetoric: “The Anglo-Saxons, of course, are significantly increasing tension on the European continent. Here we Europeans have something to think about”. In these two cases, one can trace the tactics of reflection typical of Russian propaganda, used, in particular, to divert attention from the real state of affairs.

In 2022, while presenting the World Cup match between England and the USA, a “journalist” from a Russian TV channel called British football players “arrogant Saxons”,  thus demonstrating his disrespect for them. And he did it twice in half a minute. It is not surprising in fact, because a few months earlier in the mentioned incident, the same “journalist-TV presenter” called the Polish football players who refused to play with Russia in the selection for the 2022 World Cup “vile creatures”. It is significant that he said this with a “Z” symbol on the T-shirt - a symbol of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The use of the words “Anglo-Saxons” or “arrogant-Saxons” serves to reinforce narratives of supposedly Western imperialism and interventionism, portraying these countries as orchestrators of events or policies that harm Russia and perhaps even its allies. That is, the “Anglo-Saxon world” in the minds of Russian propaganda is trying to conquer and dominate.

Contrasting the Western community and Russians, propaganda also resorts to the term “Westerns”. As a negative universal term, the word “Anglo-Saxons” is also widely used by propagandists in the context of conspiracy theories. The Detector Media has a section with the appropriate name, the materials of which can be viewed here.

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

The appointment of Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi to the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on February 8, 2024 led to a new surge in popularity of the word “vyrus” on pro-Russian resources. This is what propagandists call a person of Russian ethnic origin who has “lost his Russian identity”. According to propagandists, Syrskyi is trying to seem like one among strangers, however, for example, for the Ukrainian military he will allegedly always be an outsider because he has Russian roots. For Russia, he is a “corrupt collaborator”.

The reason for the “denazification” of the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was that he was born in Russia (Volodymyr region) and graduated with honors from the Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School in 1986. It should be noted here that after his studies, Syrskyi served in Lubny, Poltava region, and Chuhuiev, Kharkiv region. And after the declaration of independence of Ukraine, he continued to serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Previously, the term “vyrus” was more of a jargon and was used in subcultural movements, but in recent years it has become the norm among the general public. For example, propagandist Simonian uses this word to call those Russians who ridicule Russia.

Also in Russia, the term “vyrus” can be used to designate a person who “breaks his native language about a foreign language”, that is, uses broken Ukrainian when he spoke Russian from birth. They say that this is self-humiliation for a person, because in this way he “expels “Russianness” from himself”. This word, in particular, can be applied to officials or people in the media space who have switched from Russian to Ukrainian.

Russians explain the imaginary existence of the “vyrus” by the influence of “Ukrainian propaganda”, as well as commercialism and miscalculations of “corrupt collaborators”. Propagandists include the current Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksii Danylov, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klymkin, ex-Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov and many others as the “vyrus”. In particular, in relation to them in Russia they are promoting the message that “Galicians do not perceive them as real patriots.”

The purpose of calling Ukrainians of Russian ethnic origin “vyrus” is nothing more than to sow discord among the people of Ukraine, as well as to cast doubt on Ukrainian civic identity. Propaganda seeks to assure that there is only one identity - Russian, and that any attempts to communicate in Ukrainian, to live in Ukrainian space, are classified as ignorance of Russia.

However, if you look into the past, in particular, to the creation of the USSR, the deportations and destruction of entire nations, it is not surprising that many can be born in Russia, but with Ukrainian roots or not. People are ready to choose any country to live in, and this also proves that Ukraine exists as a separate sovereign state.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: overseas masters

On February 22, 2022, two days before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the self-proclaimed President of Belarus Oleksandr Lukashenko, Putin’s henchman, addressed the Ukrainian people and the country’s leadership with a call that “the Slavic peoples must live in peace and harmony”. At the same time, he suggested that Ukraine “should brush aside its overseas masters”, since they supposedly would not bring any happiness to the Ukrainians.

Russia claims that Ukraine cannot resolve a single important issue of its domestic and foreign policy without agreement with its “overseas masters”. And on one Russian website they even offer synonyms for this phrase: “Western leadership”, “agents of influence”, “a sect of lepers, rootless parasites”.

By the term “overseas masters”, propagandists mean “Washington and London”, in particular, because of their allegedly selfish policy towards Ukraine for quite a long time. However, Ukraine is an independent and sovereign state, and the reproaches of propaganda depending on Kyiv from the “overseas masters” are aimed at declaring the fictitiousness of the Ukrainian government and discrediting it in the eyes of the whole world. In addition, in this way Russia wants to assert that Ukraine is a country of error (“country 404”), and therefore its existence as a whole is supposedly unacceptable.

The assistance provided to Ukraine by the United States and Great Britain can be measured in tens of billions of dollars. They transfer weapons and military equipment, therefore, as a result, they allegedly allow themselves to set a “simple task” for Kyiv: to fight at any cost. Ukraine, in the eyes of propaganda, is a chessboard and supposedly realizes the interests of its “overseas masters”. All its actions are the fulfillment of the will of the latter, and the Russian-Ukrainian war is a proxy war, and not a struggle for independence and upholding the Euro-Atlantic course. According to the conclusions of Russian propaganda, the West’s position regarding Ukraine is aimed at destroying Russia, and so it is “defending itself”. Moscow's retaliatory rhetoric serves as yet another justification for bloody aggression and an unprovoked war.

Yes, without the military support of the West, it is unknown whether Ukraine would have survived the war against Russia. At the same time, this does not give grounds to assert that the Ukrainian state is subject to someone “from overseas”, since it defends the democratic values of the entire civilized world and that is why allied countries continue to support it.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: “a retaliatory strike”

According to the Russian version of Wikipedia, “strike” (or second strike) is a nuclear strategy concept that means a massive nuclear retaliatory strike against an aggressor. However, Kremlin propaganda rather uses this term, as well as the phrase “retaliation operation”, not in a nuclear context. Moscow resorts to such rhetoric when it talks about shelling the territory of Ukraine with its “high-precision weapons”, supposedly in response to the “unprovoked” actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Thus, the Russian Ministry of Defense called the Russian massive missile attack on the temporary deployment points of Ukrainian Armed Forces units in Kramatorsk on the night of January 8, 2023, an “operation of retaliation”. As a result, they allegedly managed to eliminate more than 600 Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel. This Russian attack was a response to the “insidious attack of the Kyiv regime” on the vocational school building in Makiivka on the night of January 1, 2023, which resulted in the death of about 400 Russian military personnel.

However, Advisor to the then Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Kopytko said that Russia’s statement about a “retaliatory strike” is an IPSO. It was aimed at “killing the negative” from the attack on Makiivka. In this case, the Russians resorted to reflexive tactics. The information itself about the death of more than 600 Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers in Kramatorsk was fake - it was refuted by foreign media, the Ukrainian military leadership and even Russian “patriotic channels”.

The missile and drone attack on Mykolaiv and Odesa already on the night of July 18, 2023 was called by the Russian Ministry of Defense a “group retaliation strike” in response to the explosions on the Crimean Bridge the previous night. However, then military-political observer Oleksandr Kovalenko said that too little time had passed since the explosions on the Crimean Bridge (one day) for Russia to be able to prepare such an attack as a “retaliation strike”. In fact, the Kremlin gave it away as such. Cruise missiles and kamikaze drones, then flying towards two Ukrainian cities, had to be given coordinates and target objects, and a route built - this should have taken about 48 hours, Kovalenko added.

That is, after the Kremlin experiences any crushing blow, it resorts to rhetoric, saying, “we have everything under control” - this is a “strike of retaliation”. Thus, propagandists console the internal population of Russia, blur their eyes, and in fact cover up the defeat of the Russian army at the front with new so-called “achievements”.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with newspeak: the “dirty bomb”

The Russians first started talking about a “dirty bomb” on the eve of a full-scale invasion. In December 2021, a fake video was posted on one of the propaganda resources, allegedly filmed by the Ukrainian National Corps, demonstrating some kind of “radioactive-filled device”. The video stated that such weapons would be used if Russian troops advance across Ukraine. At the beginning of February 2022, this story was picked up in a slightly improved form by other pro-Russian media and telegram channels. Subsequently, in the first days of March 2022, after the start of a full-scale war, propagandists claimed that “on the secret order of Zelenskyi”, work was underway in Ukraine to create a “dirty bomb” at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. Allegedly, the increased radiation background characteristic of the Chornobyl zone, which was a consequence of the 1986 tragedy, made it possible to hide the conduct of such work, so the Russians attacked Ukraine, thus delivering a “preventive strike” and protecting themselves.

However, the story of the “dirty bomb” gained the most publicity in October 2022. The Russian Defense Minister Serhii Shoihu telephoned the defense ministers of France, Great Britain, Turkey and the United States to say that Ukraine was preparing a provocation with a “dirty bomb”. France, Great Britain and the United States responded to this with a joint statement in which they called Russia's message a lie.

In fact, Ukraine has never developed a so-called “dirty bomb”, and all statements by propagandists on this topic are fake. The Russian propaganda explanation as to why Ukraine would detonate a “dirty bomb” on its territory is baseless. Russia claims that Ukraine allegedly wanted to increase the number of Ukrainian refugees abroad in this way (for an unknown reason), as well as to pass off a “dirty bomb” as the explosion of a tactical nuclear charge to Russia itself in order to accuse the latter of using nuclear weapons. Then the international community should have condemned such actions by the Kremlin and introduced new sanctions, perhaps even expelling Russia from the UN Security Council, as well as increasing arms supplies to Ukraine.

Russia is speculating on the use of a “dirty bomb” to sow distrust in Ukraine and force the world to waste resources on refuting accusations from propagandists. An IAEA commission came to Ukraine to check whether a “dirty bomb” was really being developed at the facilities that Russia claimed - the Eastern Mining and Processing Plant in Zhovti Vody and the Institute of Nuclear Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The result of the inspection was that the Agency did not identify any signs of such weapons at Ukrainian nuclear facilities.

A report from the American Institute for the Study of War says that Russian propaganda claims about the development of a “dirty bomb” are needed to slow down the process of arms supplies to Ukraine. At the same time, analysts believe that Russia is unlikely to detonate the so-called “dirty bomb” itself: this is just another attempt to “test” the international community in order to find out a possible reaction to the use of nuclear weapons by Russia.

After all, Ukraine has long insisted that Russia be recognized as a terrorist state. The fake news about Ukraine creating a “dirty bomb” is a mirror response from Russia, the purpose of which is to try to convince the world that it is Ukraine that is acting as a terrorist group. This, by the way, is one of the most common messages of Russian propaganda, constantly trying to accuse Ukraine of terrorism, saying that it itself fires at Ukrainian civilians and launches missile strikes on its own critical infrastructure.

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.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: “crimes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”

According to Russian propaganda, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have allegedly regularly committed war crimes since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2014. For example, propaganda resources blamed the Ukrainian side for the downing of a civilian Boeing 777 passenger plane near Donetsk in the first year of the war, while denying Russia’s guilt. Then 298 people died - all on board.

In conditions of a full-scale war, propagandists continue to use “reports” and “interviews of residents” who allegedly managed to leave the combat zones as evidence of “crimes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces”. They say that the Ukrainian military, for example, is firing at the cars of people who are trying to evacuate along humanitarian corridors, or they say that civilians are allegedly being used as “human shields”. Or, say, when in March 2022, the online publication Sky News took a comment from the Kremlin Ambassador to the UN Vasyl Nebenzia about the overthrown air bomb on the drama theater in the center of Mariupol, he denied Russia’s involvement in this.

The court in The Hague concluded, in particular, that the Boeing 777 aircraft mentioned in the text was shot down by a missile from the Buk anti-aircraft missile system and belonged to the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces. As for Mariupol, investigations by a number of foreign organizations unanimously indicate that it was a Russian plane that dropped an aerial bomb on the Drama Theater in the center of the city on March 16, 2022, where about 600 people could have died. The atrocities of Russians in Bucha and Gostomel in the Kyiv region, in Izium in the Kharkiv region and in other de-occupied territories have been confirmed and documented by journalists from the world's leading newspapers - and these are war crimes that Russia commits in Ukraine every day.

The October 2023 UN report on war crimes by Russia and Ukraine in the war for the period from February 1 to July 31, 2023 contains information that during this time six murders of Ukrainian prisoners of war and not a single murder of Russians in captivity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were recorded. There is also no confirmed information that the Ukrainian Armed Forces fired at civilians trying to leave dangerous territories.

By resorting to newspeak, in this case, Russian propaganda aims to shift responsibility for the war crimes of the Russian army onto the Ukrainian army. Like, “evil in the form of the Ukrainian Armed Forces must be punished”, and “peaceful Ukrainian citizens must be protected”. Deportations of civilians, their torture, massacres, the use of cover for the Russian military (“human shields”) - these and other violations of international humanitarian law by Russia are documented in the 50-kilogram book “Crime Without Punishment”, created in Ukraine and already represented in NATO and the European Parliament.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: “great Russian culture”

One of the factors that supposedly symbolizes the unity of Russian society and the state is the “great Russian culture”. In them, domestic literature is an important component of culture, the spiritual habitat of the people. This is about Pushkin, Dostoievskyi, Chekhov, Chaikovskyi, Gogol or Tolstoi in particular.

Russians use the term “great Russian culture” in fact with the goal of overcoming their inferiority complex and artificially exalting it in the international arena. They say that the cultures of different countries and peoples have the right to exist, but the “great” one, that is, with an exceptionally rich heritage, is Russian.

For centuries, Russia destroyed Ukrainian culture: language, history, customs and traditions, cultural elite, and this is not an exhaustive list. The Russians distorted facts and appropriated Ukrainian writers and cultural figures, for example, the writer Mykola Gogol or the artist Kazymyr Malevych. Ukraine is allegedly a territory that has always belonged first to the Soviet and now to the Russian heritage.

Russia's war against Ukraine showed the true face of the aggressor. It turned out that the “great Russian culture” can massively educate murderers, rapists and marauders who have thousands of war crimes to their credit. Russians also show the “greatness” of the culture they grew up with by physically destroying monuments of Ukrainian cultural heritage.

For example, in the town of Ivankiv in the Kyiv region, the occupiers fired at and set fire to the local history museum, which housed almost 20 works by the world-famous Ukrainian artist Mariia Prymachenko. In the Kharkiv region, Russian troops destroyed the National Museum of Hryhorii Skovoroda with a direct missile hit. In the Zaporizhzhia region, Russians robbed and destroyed the Vasylivskyi Historical and Architectural Museum “Popov’s Estate”, which is a national monument. The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy claims that in total, the Russians have damaged 664 cultural heritage sites in Ukraine as of July 2023.

The position of Russian culture as great has always had the goal of justifying violence and disregard for others, which is one of the manifestations of xenophobia. Of course, one can be proud of one’s own culture, but when it actually appropriates the achievements of others of its own kind and tries to rewrite history, then talking about the “greatness” of that culture, in our case Russian, makes no sense. It turns out that there is no “great Russian culture” - this is a fiction, rather aimed at emphasizing the supposed superiority of this culture over all others.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: Kyrgyzstan

During the times of the Soviet Union, the names of some countries differed from the names we are used to today. For example, the current country of Moldova is then “Moldavia”, Belarus is “Belarussia”, and Kyrgyzstan is “Kyrgyzia”. Allegedly, out of habit, the former names of these countries continue to be used in the Russian media space. Kyrgyz people consider it an insult to their national dignity and sovereignty that after more than 30 years of independence, their country is still called “Kyrgyzia”, since its official name is now the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan).

In the first half of 2023, a creative team of web designers from Kyrgyzstan developed a browser extension that crosses out the country's former colonial name with a red line and shows the official one. Considering that Kyrgyzstan has been independent for several decades, the team members decided to raise an issue that concerns many of its citizens and separate the Soviet past from the country's present and future.

Russia considers the Kyrgyz Republic, like the rest of the countries that were once part of the USSR, to be its “zone of influence”, that is, a territory where it can dictate its own conditions. It is worth noting that in Soviet times, the Kyrgyz were not spared the constant repression and leveling of identity. Terms like Kyrgyzstan are already outdated and are used only in Russia, in particular in the media, to emphasize the imaginary belonging of these territories to Russia. This is one way of cultivating nostalgia for the Soviet Union, as the older generation hears familiar phrases.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with a newspeak: “coldness”

On October 10, 2022, Russia began a massive shelling campaign against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. It lasted until March 9, 2023, and then individual cases of such attacks could be observed. As a result, Russian terrorist attacks caused serious damage to the Ukrainian energy system.

After the first large-scale attacks, Russian propagandists tried to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and promoted messages that the “obsolescence” of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure is one of the main reasons for power outages. Other factors behind the problematic power supply in Ukrainian homes were alleged government inaction and inadequate maintenance of power grid facilities. They say that the Ukrainian leadership, led by Volodymyr Zelenskyi, is deliberately tormenting the population of Ukraine with cold and darkness. Russians speculate on the famine (Holodomor), a tragic event in Ukrainian history, and describe this alleged infantilism and indifference of Kyiv as the “coldness” (Kholodomor) of ordinary citizens.

On March 16, 2022, Ukraine officially joined the common energy system of the European Union. This decision was intended to help our country maintain a stable electricity supply system. European electricity began to be supplied to Ukraine, and Ukrainian electricity to the EU. However, on October 11, 2022, the day after the first large-scale Russian missile attack on energy infrastructure, Ukraine suspended electricity exports. This was due to Russian shelling and, as a consequence, the need to cover Ukraine’s internal consumption needs throughout the day, as well as to provide reserves for the evening, when demand is maximum. Already on April 7, 2023, electricity exports were resumed.

If it weren’t for the massive Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, there would not have been widespread power outages. This is confirmed by the fact that there were no problems with electricity generation and heating seasons in the country until the fall of 2022.

Russian plans to completely cut off power to Ukraine failed thanks to the titanic work of Ukrainian energy workers, the support of international partners and balanced decisions of the Ukrainian authorities in the context of the energy crisis. After each attack, power engineers went to facilities that were damaged and, risking their own lives, repaired the stations.

As of June 2023, the Kyiv School of Economics preliminary estimates the damage to Ukrainian energy infrastructure at $8.8 billion. It is Russia, by firing missiles at the Ukrainian energy system, that is responsible for putting it out of action. Already in August 2023, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reported that five nuclear power units had been repaired in Ukraine, and four more were under repair at that time. Ukraine has been fruitfully preparing for this winter, also purchasing, for example, 100 spare high-voltage transformers, which will be stored abroad for safety purposes in case the need for them arises.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: President of Belarus

Oleksandr Lukashenko has continuously served as President of Belarus from 1994 to the present day. For the authorities of Belarus, there is no doubt that the only legitimate and almost lifelong president of this country is and should remain Lukashenko. The last presidential elections in Belarus took place in August 2020.

Although the elections were recognized by the Belarusian authorities, they were not recognized by its people, Western democracies and Ukraine as well. The European Union also did not recognize the legitimacy of the electoral process, since it was neither free nor fair. During the elections in Belarus there were interruptions on the Internet, the work of social networks and instant messengers, as well as large Internet media. Lukashenko claimed that the Internet in the country was turned off allegedly from abroad in order to “cause discontent among the population”.

The self-proclaimed president of Belarus, then preparing for the election race, “withdrew” three potentially strong opponents in advance - blogger Serhii Tykhanovskyi, ex-banker Viktor Babaryk and diplomat Valerii Tsepkal. Criminal cases were opened against the first two, and the third left the country, fearing criminal prosecution. Subsequently, the headquarters of three oppositionists who failed to register as presidential candidates united and began promoting the candidacy of blogger Tykhanovskyi’s wife, Svitlana. Almost immediately after the presidential elections, she was forced to leave Belarus due to threats and pressure from the authorities.

After the secret inauguration of Oleksandr Lukashenko, which took place on September 23, 2020 in Minsk, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Belarusian cities. Immediately after the ceremony, military trucks, paddy wagons and water cannons began to arrive in the center of Minsk. A little later, fighters in green uniforms without identification marks appeared there, like in Crimea in 2014. The police began spraying people with water cannons mixed with orange dye. Former Minister of Culture Pavel Latushko said: “For us, citizens of Belarus, for the world community, he is now a nobody. An unfortunate mistake of history and a disgrace to the civilized world”.

Back in 2021, Volodymyr Putin and Oleksandr Lukashenko signed a decree of the Union State. We are talking about a superstate formation of Russia and Belarus with a step-by-step organized single political, economic, military, customs, currency, legal, humanitarian, market and cultural spaces. Already in 2022, Lukashenko stated that he fully supports Russian aggression against Ukraine and is an ally of Russia in this war, which he, like Putin, calls a “special operation”. The self-proclaimed president of Belarus appears to the world as Putin's military henchman and dictator controlled by the Kremlin.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: a legitimate goal

International humanitarian law defines the principles of military action during armed conflicts. The 1977 Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions contains Article 48, which reveals the essence of the basic rules for the conduct of hostilities. It states that “to ensure respect and protection of civilians and civilian objects, Parties of a conflict must always distinguish between civilians and combatants, and between civilian and military objects, and accordingly direct their actions only against military targets”.

Russian propaganda uses the phrase “legitimate target” to refer to objects that, although they may have an indirect connection with support for Ukraine in the war against Russia, are not direct military targets under international law. Thus, the Russians are trying to justify their war crimes in Ukraine. At the same time, the purpose of using this term is to block the feeling of guilt among Russians for the actions of their military.

An example of such a crime is the Russian strike on the night of August 15 at the plant of the Swedish company SKF in Lutsk. The Russian Embassy in Sweden called the plant a “legitimate military target”. SKF responded after the tragedy that its plant in Lutsk produces tapered roller bearings, primarily for the heavy civil automotive industry.

Following British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley's statement that military targets outside Ukraine's borders were part of its self-defense, Russian ex-President Dmytro Medvediev responded that any British official could be considered a “legitimate target”. This is further confirmation that Russia is deliberately blurring the boundaries between civilian and military targets.

We previously wrote about how the Russian government uses the phrase “high-precision weapons” to deny its war crimes.

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.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with a newspeak: Moldovan language

Issues of linguistic identification were actively used by the Soviet government to divide peoples and deepen political divisions. An example of this is the introduction of the Moldovan language during the USSR.

Moldovan language is a Romanian variation written in Cyrillic. Linguists claim that the literary version of both languages is identical, and the only difference is in the alphabet. The Moldovan language is still a subject of political controversy in Moldova and a litmus test for determining who is supported by Russia or who supports Russia. Soviet authorities created the Moldovan language to disconnect Moldova from Romanian influence. In the current conditions, the Cyrillic alphabet is used in Transnistria, and pro-Russian politicians actively opposed the recent decision to change the wording “state” and “Moldovan language” to “Romanian language”.

Pro-Western forces actively advocated opposition to the Moldavian language, since they considered it a Soviet vestige. Propagandists condemned them and tried to show this as a “desecration” of Moldovan history, as in the case of the name of the country. In particular, they cited erroneous analogies with the situation in Ukraine. They say that Moldova faces a bad future, because in Ukraine they are also dividing people by the issue of language. However, in fact, Russia has created an artificial construct that divides people into “right” and “wrong”. Using this term, they further want to deepen the split in Moldovan society and destabilize the internal political situation in the country for the sake of imperial ambitions.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with a newspeak: high-precision weapons

After yet another Russian shelling of Ukrainian territories, the Russian Ministry of Defense published a message on its official telegram channel with an image of a missile launch and the inscription: “Exactly on target!”. This happened on April 28, 2023, when one of the Russian missiles hit a high-rise building in Uman and killed 23 people, including 6 children. That is, Moscow showed how its high-precision weapons actually work.

Such rhetoric ingrains in the minds of Russians the idea that the weapons of their army are incapable of missing and are used in war as accurately as possible. When the Russian Ministry of Defense says that they attacked some object in Ukraine, they can use the phrase “high-precision weapons” to glorify their achievements. Gigantomania is reflected here too: Russians consider Russia to be the standard of statehood, and its defense-industrial complex to be one of the most powerful in the world, because such weapons are a limited resource.

In addition, in the event of a Russian missile hitting a high-rise building in Uman and other similar situations, Russian propaganda uses deflection tactics and shifts the blame to Ukraine. They say that tragedies occur as a result of inept development of the Ukrainian air defense system. Russian missiles seem to be unable to hit a civilian home. So the Russians are confident in the correctness of their actions - they are opposing the “Ukronazis”.

According to the encyclopedia of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the so-called high-precision weapons are capable of providing the impression of an object with a probability of 50%. Accordingly, the Russians themselves claim that, in theory, every second ammunition does not reach its “exact” target.

To maintain trust on the part of the Russian civilian population and justify the bloody aggression against Ukraine, Russian propaganda resorts to all possible methods. It turns out that “high-precision weapons” are killing civilian Ukrainians, and not getting to the planned geographical coordinates. Moreover, with high accuracy, this weapon is capable of convincing the average Russian that everything is under control in the Russian army in the war against Ukraine.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of newspeak: Belarus

Russians show disdain for their neighbors, including through the use of state names. We wrote about the name “Moldavia”, and another example of this is the name Belarus.

Belarus is the Soviet name for the Belarusian SSR, which was part of the USSR. After the collapse of the Russian Union, the official name of the former Russian republic became the Republic of Belarus.

Now the Republic of Belarus is one of the most loyal states of the former socialist camp and the USSR to Russia. And the self-proclaimed President of Belarus, Oleksandr Lukashenko, continues to bring his state’s policies closer to the interests of Russia. This rapprochement was even recorded in the 1999 international treaty on the gradual merger of Russia and Belarus into one “union state”.

In Belarus, Lukashenko's opponents use the term “Belarusia” to name the country where Lukashenko rules. And “Belarus” is used to designate a country without Lukashenko. In particular, many Belarusians are offended by the use of the Sovietized name “Belarus”, as they perceive it as a slight.

Using this term, propagandists want to emphasize the subjectivity of the policy of the self-proclaimed Belarusian president and once again remind that it is Russia that leads Belarus.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: “return to home harbor”

The Russian leadership systematically stated that the Ukrainian territories were allegedly really Russian. Crimea, Donetsk region, Luhansk region were originally Russian territories, and Ukraine simply brazenly “took them away”. After the occupation of the Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions, Russian propaganda declared that the lands were returning “to their native harbor”. It seems to be where they belong.

In their messages, propagandists seek to promote the message that Russia's main task is to become a safe haven for “all people”. Obviously, for everyone who supports the policy of the Kremlin. At the same time, they are convinced that Russia is “an island of common sense in this crazy world”.

Such rhetoric masks the true face of the terrorist country. Saying that Russia wants to protect all the people of the world, it has committed and is committing war crimes. Since the beginning of the war in 2014, Russia has been wreaking havoc on the territory of Ukraine: destroying Ukrainian cities and villages, killing thousands of Ukrainians, in particular children. At the same time, propagandists are building an imaginary curtain between Russia and the world, saying that there are enemies on the other side. And they instill hatred for others in Russians.

Before the war, the concept of a “home harbour” was associated only with Russia-annexed Crimea, when the Kremlin systematically disseminated campaign messages for a pseudo-referendum on “reunification” with Russia. Now, in the context of a full-scale invasion, anonymous telegram channels use this rhetoric everywhere: all the territories occupied by Russian troops once “belonged” to Russia and it simply returns them.

“The Russian army is making every effort to ensure that all the occupied lands by Ukraine return to their native harbor. It’s worth the wait, because now we are working on it, “Russian propagandists commented (and justified their defeats on the battlefield). They explained that Russia would embrace “all people and all lands” in its arms.

In the end, Moscow is once again trying to whitewash itself and hint at the supposedly good intentions of its bloody actions. In fact, Russia does not return anything, but captures, annexes, and destroys.

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

Russians show disdain for Ukrainians in many ways, including using offensive names. An example of this is the word “westerners”.

Russian propagandists and users of social networks call residents of the western regions of Ukraine this way. At the same time, they try to portray them as either too arrogant towards people from other regions, or worse than residents of other regions of Ukraine. Very often, propagandists point out that it is the “westerners” who go to Poland every day for purchases and are ready to hand over their country to the West, because they allegedly do not understand all the risks. Moreover, they claim that the “westerners” are the root of evil in Ukrainian society, because they allegedly dream of Bandera and spread their views throughout Ukraine. The Russian propaganda also explained that most people from the western part of Ukraine take advantage of the war and supposedly everyone flees to Poland in the status of refugees. It seems that they frightened the Poles with “Nazi slogans” and the like. By the way, we refuted such a case in our disinformation chronicle.

Using all this, Russia wants to reinforce inferior stereotypes about Ukrainians and split our people. Pro-Russian politicians also resorted to this, creating myths that “Donbas feeds the westerners”. All this helps Russia to extend its imperial ambitions to Ukraine. Like, Russians are better than Ukrainians, who cannot even live in harmony with each other. However, it is Russia that is trying to divide the Ukrainians in order to realize their harmful ideas.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: “restoring historical justice”

The Russian propaganda machine constantly promotes theses about the alleged historical belonging of some Ukrainian territories to Russia. They say that Lenin came up with Ukraine when he created the USSR, and Khrushchov “gave” it foreign territories. At least since 2021, Russian politicians have supported this thesis. With the outbreak of a full-scale war, a few hours before the invasion of Ukraine, Putin called Ukraine “a country named after Volodymyr Illich Lenin”. Accordingly, the seizure of Ukrainian territories is “the restoration of historical justice”.

Russian propaganda began to broadcast this thesis more systematically already in the conditions of the great war. At the same time, the propagandists found an excuse for the barbarian invasion. And they explained that Russia, as the successor of the Soviet Union, allegedly claims the lands of Ukraine. It seems that these are primordial Russian territories, and Ukraine “captured” them after the collapse of the Union. According to propagandists, Crimea, Donetsk region, Luhansk region or even Kharkiv region and Kherson region have always been Russian, and Russians live on these lands. Thus, the authors hide their real actions - the occupation of Ukraine - and call it a call for justice.

“At the end of September, people from Kherson and Zaporizhzhia made their choice - to reunite with Russia and restore historical justice in the region”, propagandists commented on the holding of pseudo-referendums in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia. However, Ukraine's fictitious referendums are not the will of the Ukrainians, but only an attempt to give legitimacy to Russia's attempts to seize part of another state.

Russia disguises its hostile actions as “good goals” for people, but in reality it seizes land, destroys cities and villages, and hinders peaceful life.

Accordingly, the rhetoric about the protection of “Russian territories” is beneficial to propagandists, in particular, so that they instill the erroneous impression that all Russia’s actions are correct and even more good. This is how Russian politicians achieve loyalty and public resistance. Because the Kremlin allegedly protects the Russians from the Ukrainians (liberates the Russians from the yoke of Ukraine), and does not wage a bloody war.

As a result, Moscow simply legitimizes its actions in the eyes of the Russians: the seizure of Ukrainian territories, their annexation, the holding of false referendums, and so on. And he distorts it in such a way that Russia does not capture someone else's, but returns what was lost. However, the term “restoration of historical justice” hides another and real one – the occupation of Ukrainian territories and the search for justifications for a bloody war.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: “decision centers”

Russia shells Ukraine almost every day, destroying civilian infrastructure, houses, hospitals, schools and kindergartens. Propagandists explain that Moscow allegedly does not resort to terrorist attacks, but aims at “decision-making centers”. Like, the Kremlin attacks only facilities where military equipment is located or military personnel are located, which means that the terrorist country “does not violate” any norms and customs of warfare.

Russia is trying to hide its criminal actions against peaceful Ukrainians, hiding behind the term “decision-making centers”. But it finds an excuse that the shelling of military facilities is the norm for a war. However, Ukrainian cities are suffering from Russian missiles and drones.

For example, this is how the propaganda channel commented on the terrorist shelling of the drama theater in Chernihiv: “In Chernihiv, there was no hit in the theater with peaceful Ukrainians. We ended up in a place of negotiations between officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO. Not a single civilian was hurt”. But, according to the head of the Chernihiv regional military administration, Viacheslav Chaus, as a result of a Russian missile attack on the center of Chernihiv on August 19, 181 people were injured, of whom seven died. 41 people are in the hospital, four of them are in serious condition and another 16 people have been operated on.

That is, the authors are trying to deny their own attacks and hits on civilian infrastructure. They disfigure reality and convince people of their “truth”. And they say: wherever they strike, there are definitely soldiers there. However, the authors do not provide any facts.

However, these are not rare cases of Russians denying their own attacks. In early 2023, the Russians shelled a residential area of Dnipro, where 46 people were killed and nine went missing. The occupiers launched rocket attacks on Kramatorsk, destroying residential buildings. They got into a multi-storey building in Zaporizhzhia: the regional administration confirmed that there were no military facilities near the house. In Mykolaiv, the Russians also hit a high-rise building, killing one person and injuring 23. Due to rocket attacks on residential buildings in Uman, 23 people were killed, including six children. And this is not a complete list of attacks on Odesa, Kryvyi Rih, Kyiv, Lviv and many peaceful Ukrainian cities, towns and villages.

That is, the occupiers do not aim at “decision-making centers”, but purposefully engaged in the genocide of the Ukrainian people, killing them in their homes, in public places. At the same time, Moscow is trying to whitewash itself and deny any crimes. But the documented cases of Russian terror show what the terrorist country is really up to.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: a puppet state

Russian propagandists claim that Ukraine is a state that is actually guided by someone “outside”, although formally it is sovereign and independent. Like, all political decisions regarding the domestic agenda of Ukraine are made by other countries that have “own interests” in the development of the Eastern European region.

The Kremlin is trying to show that the management of Ukraine is, of course, concentrated in the hands of the “collective West” - allegedly constantly threatening the sovereignties of countries. That is why correspondents of propaganda telegram channels resort to the rhetoric that European and American officials have “ambitious interests” in turning Ukraine into their colony and do not hesitate to call the West “imperial”.

“The fate of Washington's puppet states is obvious: Russia will destroy them. And it will also put an end to the dominance of the West on the Eurasian continent”, the correspondents of the Russian segment of social networks concluded. This is how they commented on the propaganda message that Volodymyr Zelenskyi “repeats the fate” of the former President of Georgia, Saakashvili. After all, according to the author of the publication, on August 8, 2008, Russia “protected” South Osetia from the influence of allegedly puppet Georgia at that time. Allegedly, Western leaders, because of their own ambitions, forced the then leadership to shell part of their country. Although, as you know, Russia attacked Georgia unprovoked and created a quasi-state, as it is now in Ukraine.

Moscow is once again resorting to “rescue” tactics from ephemeral threats, such as the pernicious influence of the West on other countries. At the same time, the propagandists contrast the West and Russia and portray the former as an invader and colonizer, and themselves as liberators. Accordingly, the Kremlin interprets the pro-Russian course as not threatening.

That is, the authors hint that it is the West that deprives countries of subjectivity and establishes its own regime there to achieve its own goals. Thus, the propagandists demonize the EU and the US, instill mistrust in the consumers of propaganda towards these countries and their decisions; they see a contrived enemy.

But Russia is an aggressor country acting in its own imperial interests. In particular, it creates puppet and fictitious states in the previously occupied territories of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. Even in the conditions of a full-scale invasion, in the event of the capture of Kyiv, the occupiers prepared puppet governments to establish their own order.

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

Russians show disdain for other states because of the perversion of their names. In particular, this also applies to such offensive names as Khokhols (Ukrainians), Bulbashes (Belarusian) , Psheks (Poles), etc. An example of this is the situation with the use of the name Moldavia.

Russian propagandists and social media users often use the word Moldova as the name of the state. It has been going on since Soviet times, since that is what the Moldovan lands within the USSR were then called. However, when the state became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moldova became its official name. Despite this, the Russian media and ordinary Russians continued to call Moldova “Moldavia”. Later, this turned from a habit into a political action, which reached its peak during the Russian invasion of Transnistria.

By using this name, Russia wants to show the “inferiority” of Moldova and its lack of subjectivity. Thus, it enhances its imperial ambitions and “targets” potential victims with the help of the language. They say that Moldova without Russia is not capable of anything and is not even a state, because we only know about “Moldavia”. However, the Republic of Moldova is the official name of an internationally recognized state, and by ignoring this, Russia shows that it does not care about internationally recognized rules.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: new regions of Russia

Russian propaganda claims that the inhabitants of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine dream of becoming part of Russia. Like, people dream of exercising their right to express their will. The occupying authorities systematically convinced people that after the seizure of Ukrainian territories by Russia, in particular Kherson and part of the Zaporizhzhia regions, the locals seek to reunite with Russian lands. In response to the “request”, Moscow held the so-called “referendums” and initiated the Ukrainian lands as “new Russians”.

Since then, propagandists have been convincing that the territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia have already become Russian. They created fake infographics, maps, on which Ukrainian territories were designated as being part of Russia. Foreign publishers consciously or unconsciously played along with propaganda: they created maps with different variations in the location of Ukrainian lands. Our analysts have researched that twenty foreign publishing houses print and publish occupation maps of Ukraine in six versions. For example, the German publishing group Mairdumont (and its subsidiaries) recorded the Russian “referendums” of 2022 in the territories occupied by Russia. And in the bookstores of Moscow, pseudo-maps of Russia with Ukrainian lands went on sale. Propagandists are gradually trying to show that their reality is real - and referenda, they say, are recognized by the whole world. Proof of this is the maps with “new regions of Russia”.

The Kremlin is trying in every possible way to demonstrate that local residents strongly support the entry of “new regions” into Russia. In the Russian telegram channel, “delegates” were invented who came to the occupied territories with support for referendums. They also covered the presence of “foreign observers”, who highly appreciated the work of the occupation exit polls. But the “observers” turned out to be supporters of Russia and, obviously, covered the work of the Gauleiters in a biased way.

In fact, fictitious referendums in the temporarily occupied territories are not the will of Ukrainians, but evidence of Russia's desire to legitimize its criminal actions, in particular, the capture of Ukrainian regions. This is a completely illegitimate vote. Its results, in addition to Russia itself, are recognized by the same “sister states”, such as the People's Democratic Republic of China. That is, we are not talking about any “new regions”. This is the occupation of foreign territories by Moscow. And the referenda served as a way to whitewash Russia and present itself as a peacemaker. This is how propagandists relieve themselves of responsibility: the initiative to join Russia allegedly came exclusively from local residents. And the Kremlin seems to have simply given people space for self-determination.

Moreover, the decision to change the territories of Ukraine is allegedly made only on the basis of an all-Ukrainian referendum. And the issue submitted to the referendum cannot call into question the territorial integrity of Ukraine. That is, this is a question that changes the territory of Ukraine in an illegal way. And most importantly: voting should be voluntary, and not at gunpoint (when armed occupiers, together with members of the “electoral commissions” collect votes from apartments).

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: “Everything is the best in Russia”

In contrast to the deteriorating situation on the battlefield and the state of the economy, Russian propagandists need to give something positive. Often it has to be sucked out of the air, because it is necessary to maintain a sense of national pride, for no reason to do so. That is why Russian propaganda is trying hard to play on the feeling that “everything is the best in Russia”.

In particular, this also applies to “import substitution”, which Russia reacted to because of international sanctions. Russian manufacturers are trying to create the impression that the West is simply jealous of the quality of Russian goods. Also in this context, it is said that Western brands allegedly do not want to leave Russia, since the Russian audience loves them faithfully. Propagandists even create and spread fakes to support this message, as with a fake package of “taste of victory” Pringles chips.

Russia cannot do without the fact that it calls itself the best in spiritual terms. By fighting for traditional values, Russia, in particular, justifies its aggression against Ukraine. This is the culmination of several years of Russian propagandists portraying the “collective West” as a “gay hell” where children are forced to change their gender.

Such formulations are toxic. The game, in its exclusivity, is yet another confirmation of Russia's imperial ambitions. In addition, often Russian goods are the best only in words - many products from Western manufacturers who left the Russian market could not be reproduced due to sanctions on resources and technologies. By demonizing people with a great lifestyle, Russia only deepens its inferiority complex, which results in an attempt to assert itself at the expense of victims among Ukrainians. Detector Media has already written about Russian disinformation against LGBT people and its threat.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with a newspeak: irresistible Russian technique

Russian propagandists systematically spread messages that the Russian army, they say, constantly wins thanks to “powerful” equipment. They explain that Russian equipment has a “higher combat capability” than any Western “analogues”. In support of such theses, the authors assured that the Russian army allegedly destroyed Ukrainian tanks in different directions, noted that one missile was allegedly capable of destroying a third of the annual production of missiles up to the American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, etc.

Russian propaganda often speculates on the topic of Western weapons and exaggerates the “achievement” of the Russian army, claiming that they have destroyed an incredible amount of weapons and equipment. So the Russians seek to hide their failures on the battlefield and convince the domestic audience of constant victories. In addition, propagandists hint at the technological perfection of their technique. Anonymous telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric wrote:

“Our effective army has once again destroyed the western garbage. In the video [which was added to the publication, ed.] you can see how a small drone destroys this colossus - a tank of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

However, it turned out that it was a dummy tank - a false tank, a bait for the invaders. The propagandists presented the destruction of the dummy as a real combat achievement. This is not a one-time case of anonymous telegrams lying about the destruction of weapons. They publish fake photos, videos, and simply throw in information that the Ukrainian side has “lost equipment”. The purpose of such messages is to intimidate and demoralize Ukrainians, to impose the delusion that the Ukrainian army is constantly losing, so there is no point in fighting further.

It is impossible to argue that the Russians do not destroy Ukrainian equipment on the battlefield, because this is more than possible during the course of the war. However, propagandists deliberately exaggerate the amount of “destroyed” equipment on the battlefield, thus hinting at the supposedly low combat capability of the Ukrainian army. They also discredit the Western partners of Ukraine and level their help.