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Russia tries to present war in Ukraine as conflict with NATO to justify its failures on battlefield – StopFake director Deynychenko

9 March, 2023 Thursday
20:13

Executive director of StopFake Ruslan Deynychenko, in an interview with Volodymyr Ostapchuk, host of the Spotlight Ukraine program on Espreso TV, told how Russian propagandists are discrediting Ukrainian media, why they speculate on the topic of mobilization and spread fakes about the destruction of Leopard tanks

How successful is Russian propaganda in discrediting the Ukrainian media and who is this discrediting aimed at?

Well, there are three target audiences for the Russian disinformation and propaganda machine. First of all, this is the Russian population, and this story with the tank was aimed at them. The Russian military in Ukraine has not had any success stories for many months, so they are creating fake stories about their imaginary victories in Ukraine. And, of course, the Ukrainian population is their number two priority. They are not targeting Ukrainians with pro-Russian disinformation and propaganda. They are trying to find narratives that split our society in order to demotivate our people to help our army, to go to the army, and to defend our country. And the third priority for them is the Western audience, people in the European Union, the United States, and those countries that have been helping us a lot with military equipment, financially, and so on. They are trying to convince them that Ukraine is a Nazi country, that huge losses of military equipment supplied by the West are happening here in Ukraine, and that a lot of military equipment is getting through various channels to European countries to terrorists who can use it against Europeans or against Americans.

This is not the first time I have noticed that Russian propaganda is constantly trying to raise the issue of mobilization in Ukraine. Why are they doing this?

They want to demotivate Ukrainians from fighting for their country and joining the army. They want to create the impression that Ukraine is losing this battle and there is no point in joining the army. So they create a lot of such stories. And, of course, sometimes they mix propaganda with true stories from Odesa or other regions. Sometimes they stage very similar stories, but again, I don't think they succeed. They are trying to show their own population that Ukrainians do not want to fight and that Russia's victory is very close.

In addition to the false information about the destruction of the Leopard tank, they also mentioned that the tank's crew consisted of German and Polish soldiers. Why is Russian propaganda increasingly claiming that many foreign troops are involved in the war in Ukraine against Russia?

This is another narrative that Ukrainians do not want to fight, and therefore this war is a conflict between NATO, the United States, and Russia. This helped them explain why there are no victories on their side. There are no victories for Russia, because they are not dealing with Ukrainians, but with those they promise to deal with, and to end this so-called 'special operation' in three days. But a year has passed and there is no visual success for them, so they are trying to demonstrate that foreign fighters are driving German tanks and that it is not Ukrainians who are fighting for Ukraine, but many foreign mercenaries.

 

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