“Flying Squadrons of Death” and “Famine in Ukraine”: How Russian Propaganda Works During the War, March 31, 2022

CONTENT:

1. The situation in Mariupol

2. Development of the narrative on biolaboratories

3. Shifting the responsibility for war crimes

4. Speculations about the famine in Ukraine 

The situation in Mariupol

Anticipating the fall of Mariupol, Russian propaganda is focusing on this area of hostilities: declaring victories, emphasizing the alleged right of the occupiers to control the fate of the city and its inhabitants.

The main media character of the Kremlin’s propaganda about Mariupol remains the leader of Chechnya, Kadyrov. His latest statement: “Mariupol is already 90-95% free of Bandera thugs and Nazis, the city is gradually returning to life.

It is reported that the leader of militants of the occupied part of Donetsk oblast Pushylin ordered to establish the administration of the so-called “DPR” for Mariupol.

The aggressor state is trying to win the support of international humanitarian organizations. Head of the National Defence Management Center of the Russian Federation Mizintsev announced that they invited the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross to organize the evacuation of Mariupol residents towards Zaporizhia via a humanitarian corridor together with the Russian military. In this regard, they announced their intention to declare a ceasefire.

At the same time, citing representative of militants of the so-called “DPR” Basurin, propaganda resources emphasize that Ukrainian military servants would not be provided a corridor to leave Mariupol, since they had previously turned down this proposal.

Propaganda media claim that Russia has evacuated more than 100,000 civilians from Mariupol without Ukraine’s participation, which is untrue. According to the Ukrainian authorities, the occupiers deported about 30-40 thousand Mariupol residents to the territory under their control. 

Development of the narrative on biolaboratories

From baseless statements on the development of biological weapons in Ukraine, the aggressor state moved on to dissemination of fake “evidence.” The State Duma hosted the first meeting of the parliamentary commission investigating the activities of biolaboratories in Ukraine, which heard a report by representatives of the Russian Armed Forces.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has announced the closure of five biolaboratories in Kyiv, as well as the discovery of documents confirming “US military biological activities in Ukraine.” They reiterate the statement on the “program” funding through the foundation of Hunter Biden, US President’s son.

They also published an alleged request by the Ukrainian enterprise Motor-Sich to the Turkish company Bayraktar on systems of aerosol spray from UAVs. Based on this, it is alleged that the Ukrainian side was studying the systems of delivery of biological weapons with possible intention to use them against Russia.

In the same vein, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova accused the United States of refusing to become the guarantor country in line with the peace proposals voiced at the March 29 Ukrainian-Russian talks in Istanbul. “It is not in the plans of the American Liberal Democrats. Only the supply of weapons, only biolaboratories, only manual control of puppet regimes to destabilize the situation in Eurasia,” Zakharova said.

Shifting the responsibility for war crimes

The aggressor state continues to shift responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe and war crimes in the war zone onto Ukraine.

Mizintsev, head of the National Defence Management Center of the Russian Federation, spoke about the creation of “flying death squads” by “militants of Ukrainian nationalist battalions,” which allegedly intimidate Kharkiv residents and chaotically fire at high-rise buildings with large-caliber machine guns. In this story, Kharkiv hospitals allegedly do not provide assistance to civilian victims.

As in the case of Mariupol, Mizintsev appealed to the UN, the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross. He urged to force Kyiv authorities to comply with their humanitarian obligations.

Some accusations by officials of the aggressor state are even more shocking in their cynicism and absurdity. For instance, propaganda resources are spreading the statement by representative of Russia’s Defence Ministry Konashenkov that the synagogue in Uman (the second largest one in Ukraine) has been turned into a military base of “nationalists.”

Speculations about the famine in Ukraine

Enemy propaganda is actively speculating on the problems of sowing in Ukraine, which arose in connection with the Russian invasion and constant missile fire.

Russian and Russia-controlled media say that sowing in Ukraine is under threat of disruption due to corruption and mismanagement of the Ukrainian government. Among the main factors they name is the lack of fuel that Ukraine previously imported from Russia and Belarus.

In addition, it is claimed that the Ukrainian government does not take into account the interests of the population and is exporting grain abroad for the sake of turning a profit, particularly to Turkey. Thus, Ukraine is facing the prospect of famine, says Russian propaganda.

In reality, despite difficult conditions (shelling, landmines, fuel and labour shortages), the sowing campaign has already begun in 20 regions of Ukraine. The Russian invasion has undermined Ukraine’s export potential, threatening actual famine in countries that have been traditional importers of Ukrainian food. However, Ukraine has reserves for domestic consumption for at least 2 years.

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