Spilnota Detector Media

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

In the context of a full-scale war, the Russian leadership stated that they were claiming Ukrainian lands, because they had always belonged to Russia. That is why, according to them, they (Russia) came to Ukraine to take back what is theirs, that is, to “liberate” and return to itself, to reunite with the Russian lands. Allegedly, Crimea, Donetsk region, Luhansk region or even Kharkiv and Kherson regions have always been Russians, and Russians live there.

Thanks to the term “reunion”, Russia becomes a righteous state, which allegedly only returns historical justice. Nevertheless, the Russians substitute the concept, thus calling the “reunion” the annexation of the territories of another, sovereign state. In fact, Russia is holding illegitimate referendums, seizing land, destroying cities.

By manipulating the emotions of the Russians, propaganda claims that finally “the territories are returning to their native harbor”, and “brothers and sisters” of the Russians will be saved from the Ukrainian yoke. Thus, they want to distort reality and hide their real predatory, barbaric and bloody actions. Since the term is associated only with the return of one's own territories or even something joyful, finally everyone will live together “in peace and harmony”.

This is the ninth text for the new section “Newspeak”, which Detector Media launched as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project. In it, we will tell and explain new lexemes that Russian propaganda uses to distort reality.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: “The Kyiv regime”

Since the beginning of the large-scale war, Russia has clearly been trying to overthrow the Ukrainian authorities and establish its own. In particular, Russia illegally appoints its own people to senior positions in the temporarily occupied territories. Ukraine is gradually driving the occupiers out of its lands, but Russia considers its appointed government to be legitimate, and it calls the Ukrainian, legally elected in fact, “Kyiv regime”, which supposedly “illegally” leads Ukraine.

That is, Russian propaganda replaces the word “government” with “regime” in order to confirm the so-called illegitimacy of the Ukrainian authorities, which, according to Russia, does not act on behalf of the people. Also, calling the Ukrainian authorities led by Volodymyr Zelenskyi the “Kyiv regime”, propaganda blurs the concept of the Ukrainian state, which allegedly no longer exists. At the same time, it focuses its attention on certain boundaries of the so-called government, where it operates. The Kyiv regime means that it operates only within Kyiv and does not extend to other territories. Allegedly, Ukrainians are hostages of this regime and cannot overthrow it on their own without the help of Russia.

With the help of this word, as well as the same special military operation, pops and others, Russia seeks to blur the borders and change the reality in which it saves Ukrainians from an illegal regime that captivates Ukraine, and not vice versa - it itself seeks to enslave Ukrainians, destroy Ukrainian cities and villages.

This is the seventh text for the new section Newspeak, which Detector Media launched as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project. In it, we will tell and explain new lexemes that propaganda uses to distort reality.

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

First of all, “foreign agents” are media and persons who are in a special register of “foreign agents”, which is formed by the Russian government. According to Russian law, it should be added only for the receipt and use of funds from abroad. However, the occupiers often add to this list people or media who do not have confirmed foreign income, but directly or covertly criticize Russia's actions. In particular, the list included media that refused the wording “special military operation” in their materials.

Experience shows that propagandists can use this definition without reference to this list or Russian citizens. The term is repeatedly used as an informal or satirical name for foreign sources or Western media people who openly oppose Russian aggression.

In this way, Russia mocks democratic values and accuses all those who criticize it of bias. They say that the sources of information are confirmed, but “foreign agents” lie and are simply jealous. Propagandists often transfer responsibility for their actions to Ukraine or the West, calling the information of “foreign agents” fake. This definition is another example of how the Russian media space is limited and controlled.

This is the sixth text for the new section “Newspeak”, which Detector Media launched as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project. In it, we will tell and explain new lexemes that Russian propaganda uses to distort reality.

Newspeak War is the seizure of territories

War is the seizure of territories. However, according to Russian propagandists, it is the Russian military who, having crossed the border of a foreign country, having annexed part of the territory, do not seize it, but, on the contrary, liberate it. In particular, this is one of the main tasks of the so-called “special military operation”. In order to explain Russia's invasion into Ukraine, Russian propaganda distorts reality and uses the phrase “liberation of territories”.

“Liberation” - the term by which Russia appears as a liberator that does not destroy and brings death, but on the contrary, liberates its territories from the Ukrainian yoke.

Russian propaganda uses the term “liberation” to hint that the Russian army is only restoring justice: returning to Russia what already belonged to it, and somehow ended up outside its borders in some random way. Like, the same Crimea, Donetsk region, Luhansk region or even Kharkiv and Kherson regions have always been Russian, and Russians live there. However, the resistance that the Ukrainians are and have been providing in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia, just demonstrates the opposite. It is beneficial for Russians to substitute the concept, white to be called black, and occupation to be called  liberation. Thus, Russia's actions allegedly lose their negative connotation and acquire a different, already positive content. At the same time, the occupation of territories and their subsequent annexation is illegal, so propagandists do not use such words so as not to show the true face of the Russian leadership and their military subordinates.

This is the fifth text for the new section “Newspeak”, which Detector Media launched as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project. In it, we will tell and explain new lexemes that Russian propaganda uses to distort reality.

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

All explosions on its territory, Russia calls “pops”. This began before the full-scale aggression against Ukraine was launched, and is now firmly rooted in the lexicon of Russian propaganda. Russian media use this word to define absolutely all explosions, regardless of their nature and source.

According to a study conducted by the Russian publication “Meduza”, at the end of 2017, in the media, news with the word “pop” could be counted in the tens, and already in 2019, in the thousands.

Russia began to change words in order to avoid panic among the people. They say that the news about the “pops” will not frighten the society as much as the information about the “explosions”. At present, Russia's goal has not changed. This concept should still reassure society and inspire the opinion that nothing serious is happening. A “pop”, according to propaganda, on a subconscious level causes less anxiety and negative associations.

With the help of a newspeak, people in every possible way complicate the process of understanding the course of events and their meaning. In addition, the absence of war also implies the absence of explosions, therefore, after the start of the “special operation” on the territory of Russia, from time to time there are precisely “pops”, which have long been familiar to the inhabitants of Russia, and in Ukraine are better known as “cotton”, that is translation of the same Russian word but with different stress. 

This is the third text for the new section “Newspeak”, which Detector Media is launching as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project. In it, we will tell and explain new lexemes used by Russian propaganda to distort reality.

We recall that the newspeak is an artificial language from George Orwell's dystopian novel “1984”. In the novel, Newspeak names words that lose their original meaning and have a completely opposite connotation. For example: war - peace. According to the plot of the novel, such a technique was used by the totalitarian party. It was it that gained popularity among representatives of real totalitarian regimes. In particular, Nazi and Russian.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with fictitious words: “Denazification”

One of the tasks of the “special military operation”, that is, Russia's large-scale war on the territory of Ukraine, was the so-called “denazification of the Ukrainian people”. That is what President Putin said when he addressed the nation hours before the full-scale invasion. In order to justify Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Russian propaganda uses the term “denazification”.

“Denazification” is a term used by Russian propaganda to refer to the goals of a large-scale invasion. In other words, the eradication of supposedly Nazis from the territory of Ukraine in order to achieve global peace.

Russian propaganda actively compares Ukrainians precisely with the Nazis in order to evoke corresponding associations among Russians with the Second World War (the so-called Great Patriotic War), in which the people of the USSR liberated the world from the Nazis. However, the propagandists appropriated all the achievements to the Russian people, but omitted the fact that other Ukrainians also participated in the Second World War.

Consequently, a halo of particularity, significance and importance of Russians in historical discourse is being built. Allegedly, the Russian people had a special task to save humanity from the Nazi invasion. And now, it seems, they should do the same: to save the world from the invasion of other Nazis - Ukrainian ones. Speaking of the so-called denazification, the propagandists are playing with the emotions of the Russians, who once again get a chance to save humanity. At the same time, Ukrainians appear as evil Nazis who need to be destroyed.

Thus, Russia is trying to justify its invasion and, masquerading as “denazification”, commits genocide of Ukrainians, rapes and kills civilians. The real goal of Russia is the extermination of the Ukrainian people.

This is the third text for the new section “Newspeak”, which Detector Media launched as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project, in which it will tell and explain new lexemes used by Russian propaganda to distort reality.

We recall that the newspeak is an artificial language from George Orwell's dystopian novel “1984”. In the novel, Newspeak names words that lose their original meaning and have a completely opposite connotation. For example: war - peace. According to the plot of the novel, such a technique was used by the totalitarian party. It was it that gained popularity among representatives of real totalitarian regimes. In particular, Nazi and Russian.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with fictional words: “russophobia”

After the outbreak of a full-scale war in Ukraine, Western states supporting the Ukrainians stopped or limited trade with the aggressor; well-known brands left the Russian market; a significant number of European countries closed their airspace and imposed retaliatory sanctions on the criminal actions of the Russian army. To explain why the world reacts this way to the “special military operation”, Russia uses the word “russophobia”.

“Russophobia” is the term for all actions aimed at deterring Russian aggression against Ukraine. According to the messages of the Kremlin media, this is a completely groundless phenomenon, which means hatred for everything Russian: from products to culture.

According to the definition of Russian wikipedia, there is a kind of “russophobia” on a cultural and ideological basis, which arose because of the West's idea of its own superiority in cultural and economic terms, and Ukraine fell under the destructive influence of the West. The main idea promoted by the Russian media - ”russophobia”, that is, all measures to stop Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, has no reason.

In fact, the so-called “Russophobia” is nothing more than a response to the actions of the Russian army, leadership and people. The Russians bear collective responsibility for the aggression against Ukraine, which they supported either by their respective statements or silence. World condemnation and sanctions against the aggressor are the consequences of Russia's criminal actions, and not vice versa, as Moscow is trying to convince everyone.

Russia presents “russophobia” as a separate type of Nazism, which originated in Ukraine and is massively spreading around the world. Anyone who criticizes Russia is a russophobe, and, accordingly, a Nazi. At first, the disinformation message about “russophobia” was aimed more at the Ukrainian audience, but after the international community supported Ukraine in the war, it spread to European countries as well. It even went as far as accusing Israel of Nazism.

Russia substitutes the meanings of concepts. The Kremlin media put the meaning of another term into the word “russophobia”, namely xenophobia – a sharp rejection of a foreign culture, language and way of life, which can manifest itself in the political life of the state through discrimination based on national and cultural grounds. The meaning of this word in a much narrower sense, according to Russian propaganda, is hidden behind the term “russophobia”. With so-called russophobia, Russia also justifies the attack on Ukraine.

This is the second text for the new section “Newspeak”, which Detector Media is launching as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project. In it, we will tell and explain new lexemes that Russian propaganda uses to distort reality.

We recall that the newspeak is an artificial language from George Orwell's dystopian novel “1984”. In the novel, Newspeak names words that lose their original meaning and have a completely opposite connotation. For example: war - peace. According to the plot of the novel, such a technique was used by the totalitarian party. It was it who gained popularity among representatives of real totalitarian regimes. In particular, Nazi and Russian.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with fictitious words: special military operation

On February 23, a few hours before a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and during Putin's official address, the Russian president declared that a clash between Russia and “nationalist forces” in Ukraine was inevitable. After that, the so-called special military operation was officially announced.

The special military operation is one of the most eloquent examples of how Russia uses newspeak to hide and distort reality, and at the same time absolve itself of responsibility under international law.

Special military operation (in Russian - SVO) is a term that has entered the dictionary of the Russian new language and is used to refer to Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine. In other words, the war that the aggressor country started. With the help of a combination of these words, the true meaning of the concept of “war” is blurred among people, because this is just an “operation” that is not associated with something bloody. And it seems to be done well. Propagandists have repeatedly noted that this “operation”, for example, is designed to save the Russian-speaking people, enslaved under the yoke of Ukraine. That is, the occupiers appear as some kind of liberators who allegedly carry out an “operation” for the sake of salvation.

However, there is a war going on in Ukraine, and this is clear without any announcements. However, international law is not focused on words and statements, but on specific actions. Therefore, what is happening from the point of view of international law is an obvious war. The terrorist country, masquerading as the concept of “SVO”, actually carried out a large-scale offensive on the territory of the whole of Ukraine and has been committing war crimes since the invasion. However, calling what is happening only an operation, Russia is blurring reality in order to hide its true goals in Ukraine.

This text is the first in the “Newspeak” section, which Detector Media is launching as part of the Disinformation Chronicles project. In it, we will tell and explain new lexemes used by Russian propaganda to distort reality.

We recall that the newspeak is an artificial language from George Orwell's dystopian novel “1984”. In the novel, Newspeak means words that lose their original meaning and have a completely opposite meaning. For example: war - peace. According to the plot of the novel, such a technique was used by the totalitarian party. It is this technique that has gained popularity among representatives of real totalitarian regimes. In particular, Nazi and Russian.