Vatnik Soup
Soup number20
Date16.11.2022
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Ukraine vs Russia propaganda war

In today’s #vatnik soup, I’ll discuss propaganda. Why is 🇺🇦 winning the propaganda war? What happened to 🇷🇺 as a propaganda/disinformation powerhouse?

Here’s my take:

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🇷🇺 established their disinformation machinery a long time ago, and a big part of their modus operandi comes already from the KGB era. Their propaganda focuses on putting a negative spotlight on other actors, for example the political opposition, 🇺🇦 or the West.

2/12
This “bashing of foreign actors” is a very effective propaganda method, and many countries have taken a similar approach after they’ve seen how well it has worked for 🇷🇺. Previously most countries were focusing on praising their own policies, but this method changed the game. 3/12
At the beginning of 2022, 🇷🇺 still had a big lead on the disinformation effectiveness. Their troll farms produced propaganda around the clock, and some of it - especially the antivaxx and racial tensions kind - seemed to be working well on fringe groups around the globe.

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Then, after 🇷🇺’s full-scale invasion in 🇺🇦, everything changed. What happened? My theory is that 🇷🇺 had been pushing their luck for too long with Crimea and Donbas, and the collective West simply said “Enough”.

5/12
Western democracies and prominent politicians decided that it’s time to aid 🇺🇦 in their defense and started providing aid packages worth billions of dollars. Media caught up and started defending 🇺🇦, too. After this, all 🇷🇺 statements fell on deaf ears.

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Biolabs, deadly pathogens, neo-nazis, NATO’s proxy war... All of these narratives were ridiculed in the Western media and in social media. Individual claims were quickly neutralized by OSINT experts such as the @bellingcat.

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In May, #NAFO swooped in and started battling the online disinformation with their Shiba Inu memes. We also shouldn’t forget 🇺🇦’s propaganda, which was constructed brilliantly. First of all, it was all REAL (except for that Ghost of Kyiv guy and a few others): ...

8/12
... We saw children in bomb shelters, soldiers dancing on fields, 🇷🇺 tanks used as a flower bed, demolished civilian buildings, and most of all: we saw their courageous leader. Already on 25th of Feb, 2022, Zelenskyy and his posse recorded a short clip from the streets of Kyiv.9/12
Early March, 2022, 🇷🇺 disinfo suggested that president Zelenskyy had fled to 🇵🇱. After this, Zelenskyy recorded even more material, directly from the war zone. At the same time, frail Putin was seen sitting at long tables, far away from his military advisors.

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This is just one example how 🇺🇦 emphasizes individual tragedies and especially HEROISM.Their propaganda tells a David vs. Goliath story, and everybody loves an underdog. 🇷🇺 propaganda focuses on their military POWER and attempts to DENIGRATE 🇺🇦 as a nation and as a culture. 11/12
To conclude, it is worth mentioning that 🇷🇺 propaganda probably works really well in 🇷🇺. Two-thirds of Russia relies on state TV for their news. Their top propagandist Vladimir Solovyov spews out propaganda and outright lies daily, like this:


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