In Russia, there are already talks about the international tribunal, and propagandists are nervous about the recent decision of the EU Council. The Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security collected the main fakes and narratives of Russian propaganda for November 29.
- Moscow is discussing possible tribunal in The Hague
- Why does Russia bomb “its” Kherson
- How AliExpress lifts Russia from its knees
- The EU puts an end to Putin’s “black market”
Moscow is discussing possible tribunal in The Hague
Back on April 27, our Centre for Strategic Communication wrote that for Putin, propagandists were more important than military commanders. Exactly seven months later, the collective Kremlin “Goebbels” officially conveyed two important pieces of news to their “Führer.” First: the threat of The Hague tribunal is quite likely. Second: we have to be afraid of it.
RT editor-in-chief Simonyan stated in talk show of Solovyov: “If we lose in Ukraine, The Hague, whether hypothetical or specific, awaits even a yard man who sweeps the pavement behind the Kremlin wall. What is it to us that another district of Kyiv will be left with or without light? We cannot even imagine the scale of the catastrophe that will engulf Russia if we lose,” Simonyan said.
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She also confirmed fears that Ukraine could retake Crimea, and in fact admitted that Russia had nothing to show the Ukrainian Defence Forces on the battlefield — that is why Surovikin is bombing civilian infrastructure.
“We do the only thing we can do in this situation — bomb, bomb every day. Bomb their infrastructure. God knows we didn’t want this. I know perfectly well that the authorities did not want this,” Simonyan said.
At the same time, she is sure that there is no way back, and it is necessary to go to the very end, since this infrastructure “helps Ukraine fight and kill” already in the “Russian” territories, and the tribunal cannot be avoided. “We cannot just freeze out of fear for The Hague.”
IN FACT, the claim “God knows, we did not want to bomb Ukrainian cities” will be left to “conscientious” Simonyan, Gundyaev, and the rest.
And the fact that “The Hague” already sounds on the main federal TV channels in Russia means at least three important psychological problems of its main propagandists:
● they are already in the process of bargaining: so far, at the level of “let’s continue to bomb Ukrainians in the future, maybe something will come off”;
● they are frankly nervous, the missile bravado against the background of a poorly concealed anxiety about the prospect of an international tribunal only accentuates this nervousness;
● earlier, they wanted war because of their greatness, now — because of their fear. These are entirely different motivation factors.
In fact, Simonyan repeated Goebbels’ thesis: “Those who travel together, hang together.”
Well, in this situation, we think he would give her his famous advice: “Have the courage to live in danger!”.
2. Why does Russia bomb “its” Kherson
Simonyan’s point “bombing Ukrainians so that we survive” is, of course, not new. Unless it sounded unexpectedly frank.
The rest of Russian speakers formulates it more covertly.
For example, at the recent emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Nebenzya said that Russia was targeting the infrastructure of Ukraine in response to the supply of weapons from the West. And the Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations shifted the blame for civilian casualties to the Ukrainian air defence. But this is Nebenzya, who pretends to be a diplomat.
Whereas Prilepin, who pretends to be a writer, uses this bombing for clarification to Russian speakers in Ukraine, who, in his opinion, were waiting for liberation by Moscow, and instead received destruction from it.
IN FACT, over the past nine months, Russia has launched more than 16,000 missile attacks on Ukraine. 97% of its targets are civilian objects. A separate story is Kherson Oblast, which was shelled 258 times by Russians in one week alone.
Until recently, Russia called Kherson “Russian forever,” told locals from every billboard about its “motherly care.” Now, the so-called “mother” shells the city with all the “Kalibrs,” killing defenceless people, whom it also managed to give Russian citizenship.
A matter (except for The Hague one) that should really be discussed on federal channels: how should “our citizens” from Donetsk, Luhansk, Crimea react to what is happening in Kherson now? After all, everything began there with “Russia is here forever” as well.
But the latest Kremlin concept “Ukraine will be Russian or deserted” does not provide for such questions. Let alone the answers to them.
So, the fate of those same Russian-speaking Ukrainians, who Prilepin believes to “have lived underground this whole time, holding secret readings of Pushkin and waiting for liberation,” is not actually much of a concern for Russia, nor has it ever been. Because Russia never felt they were “its people.”
How AliExpress lifts Russia from its knees
Speaking of sense of ownership, it is very telling how Russia tries to pass imported products off as domestic. Recently, at the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the state corporation Rostech, which is responsible for the defence industry, Putin said that “in today’s conditions,” its enterprises “give a unique impetus to the development of high-tech industries.”
IN FACT, the terrorist cooperation between Geran and Shahed are the best illustration of the “development of Russia’s high-tech industries”
To follow up with the “original UAVs,” there is also an interesting story of the so-called Russian “sovereign drone” entitled Dobrynya.
Almaz-Antey, the manufacturer of air defence systems, known primarily for the development of the Buk and S-400 systems, began to produce these UAVs urgently “on the order of Putin.”
But they turned out to be remarkably similar to the $600 Chinese iFlight Nazgul5 Evoque F5 F5X racing drone model. It comes with a $70 Hoshi Radiomaster control panel, which can be purchased on AliExpress. In the Russian version, the body of the drone has been replaced and supplied with a sticker reading Dobrynya.
And despite the fact that even “Z”-supportive online groups and channels believe it to be of little use at the front, Russia’s Ministry of Defence wants to sell it for almost four times the price — for $2,000. Funnily enough, in the NTV story dedicated to this UAV they lied shamelessly that it was a “fully domestic invention, made just in four months, so it will be much cheaper than analogous foreign products.”
Another promising development of Almaz-Antey, the Horynych hexacopter with a carrying capacity of up to 10 kg, is also a rather peculiar case of import substitution, Russia style. On the blades of its propellers, you can see the logo of the Chinese brand Havoc.
The board of directors of Almaz-Antey was headed by Chemezov, a close friend of Putin in the KGB and the head of Rostech.
And here is another example of Russian import substitution — the Moskvich car, excitedly covered on all federal channels.
Production was launched with fanfare, in the presence of Moscow Mayor Sobyanin and Minister of Industry and Trade Manturov.
At the same time, the stories did not even hide the fact that it was actually a Chinese JAC car, which is partially disassembled at a factory in the PRC, packed in a container, sent to Russia, assembled again and sold under the Moskvich-3 brand.
That’s probably what the “development of high-tech production sectors” looks like, in Putin’s mind.
The EU closes off Putin’s “black market”
And finally, let’s take a look how Western sanctions work, enabling Russia to “stand up from its knees” using semi-legal schemes with Iran or AliExpress. On November 28, the Council of the European Union included the circumvention of anti-Russian sanctions in the list of criminal offences.
The inclusion of violations of the restrictive measures in the list of “EU crimes” is the first of two steps aimed at preventing attempts to circumvent or violate the sanctions.
Now, the European Commission has to submit proposals to define criminal offences and punishments for them.
In Russia, it was received very nervously. And it makes sense, since it was because of the sanctions that Putin approved the so-called “parallel import.”
IN FACT, the EU decision is crucial and solves at least three tasks:
- first, it will help not only to freeze, but also to confiscate the assets of Russian businesses on the territory of the European Union;
- second, it will help to deter those interested in circumventing sanctions;
- third, it should prevent any technology, spare parts and dual-purpose goods from entering Russia.
After the decision is approved, both natural and legal persons, and even entire states can be designated as perpetrators, which try to enter Putin’s black market despite the group decision of the EU.
Therefore, it may well happen that Aliexpress will no longer help Russia. To be fair, though, nothing can help Russia.