In July, the Russian propaganda focused on undermining the AFU

The Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security has analysed the topics that are most frequently disseminated by pro-Kremlin Telegram channels in Russia in July.  

Like in June, the main subject of propaganda was undermining the Armed Forces of Ukraine. A third (32%) of all popular publications focused on this.

18% of the posts were about glorifying the Russian armed forces.   

The Kremlin is trying to continue to convince Russians that the West and NATO are aggressors.14% of messages were devoted to this. Meanwhile, in the fictional world of Putin’s propaganda, the West is experiencing decay and chaos: This narrative was promoted by 11% of messages.

The share of publications about traitors inside Russia doubled compared to June, with 6% of all publications dedicated to this. Messages claiming that sanctions will not affect the Russian economy quadrupled, reaching 6%.

Some other propaganda narratives in July: Russia is a major global actor — 4%, Ukraine is a puppet of the West — 2%, Ukraine is a failed state — 2%, Nazism is pervasive in Ukraine — 2%. 

Some other narratives added up to 3% total: the West is Russophobic, Russia’s invasion into Ukraine is justified; encouraging Russians to support the war; celebrating Soviet history. 

“Putin’s propaganda just won’t leave the AFU alone, trying to blame its crimes and genocide against Ukrainians on Ukrainians themselves and undermine the Ukrainian army from within,” comments Ihor Solovey, head of the Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security. “The story about the aggressive West is meant to explain to Russians why they are allegedly victims of this war and just defending themselves, and most importantly, why Russia, so great and ‘revitalised’ by Putin, cannot beat the ‘inferior’ Ukraine for almost half a year. 

“The increase in publications about Russian ‘traitors,’ as well as about sanctions, shows that both are sore subjects for the regime. Therefore, Ukrainians should do even more to convince Russians that the war is a crime not only against Ukrainians, but also against Russians themselves. We also need to ramp up our work with the global community to isolate the criminal regime by terminating economic and cultural cooperation, since the poisonous mentality of the killers should not seep into the civilised world.”

The study analysed 370 popular posts on 54 pre-selected pro-Kremlin Telegram channels.

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