Russian propaganda narratives: What is the Kremlin betting on?
Andrys Stienstra / Pixabay
Events at the front will force the Russian propaganda machine to adapt its strategy
The decision to supply heavy equipment to Ukraine, primarily NATO tanks, caused a hysterical reaction from the Russians. This reaction can be divided into two types. The first says that Leopards and Abrams are difficult to maintain and generally easy to fight against. The second is anger, with calls to transition the country to "war footing" and change the status of "special military operation."
Events at the front will force the Russian propaganda machine to adapt its strategy. The Kremlin understands that its blitzkrieg has failed, and there will be no crushing victory, so it will strengthen its messages about "war against NATO" (for the domestic audience) and at the same time blackmail the world with their own possible collapse.
The dominant narrative is that a nuclear power cannot lose, and if it does, the world will be on the brink.
Therefore, it is more beneficial to come to an agreement now, to recognize new "territorial realities," than to win in a global conflict.
Will this work? I'm sure that it won’t.
After February 24, a presumption of guilt was formed in the West towards the Russian "media." Now they are not believed a priori. Instead, Ukraine has managed to install its own narrative of the fight, in which we are like David fighting against Goliath, a drama of "democracy against a totalitarian regime."
Therefore, in Western countries, they are mainly trying to expel professional Russian disinformers from their own media field (the most recent case is the blocking of Russia Today France’s bank accounts). On the other hand, the level of trust in information from Ukraine, from our correspondents and their own, is quite high.
But that doesn't mean we can rest on our laurels. Information warfare is a dynamic process, and we still have a lot of work ahead of us.
First, we need to create our own cultural product for our space and for export.
Not only to Western countries, but also to the territory of the so-called Global South, Africa, and Asia. To wherever Russia is trying to discredit us, to shape the Russian view of Ukraine and the Russian-Ukrainian war, while relying on the Soviet legacy.
Secondly, we need to have our own agreed-upon information policy on current events and our own speakers from the authorities.
If there is an information vacuum somewhere, Russia is certain to take advantage of it. This was recently the case with Arestovych, who made a serious blunder on alive program.
Third, our special services must work effectively, and proactively. Track money flows, Russian agents, and ordinary useful idiots. Do not let them deploy themselves.
Separate specialized services must prevent attempts by other states to involve us in the struggle of their propaganda machines, turning us into a battlefield or a trophy. I am referring to the conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Israel and Pales-tine, the confrontation between Republicans and Democrats in the U.S., and other cases.
Our officials must have verified information about what is happening in different regions and understand our strategy of behavior in order not to inadvertently harm Ukraine and not worsen relations with someone at a critical moment.
Finally, each of us should work on our own informational stability so as not to become victims of Russian informational and psychological operations.
Choose information sources carefully. Think twice before copying and pasting messages from groups like "there is a shortage of blood in hospitals and donors are urgently needed."
Look less at individual bloggers and anonymous Telegram channels that claim that"Putin is about to die, there are literally just a few days left." Or that an internecine war has begun in the Kremlin and Russia will have a new leader tomorrow.
Let's keep our feet light and our heads cool, because this is a difficult war, and the path to victory depends on the efforts of each of us.
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