Moscow’s information operations: “Ukrainian trace” in “Crocus”, “great russian offensive”, “Zelenskyy the usurper”

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Today, the Russian propaganda machine is working with a particular intense against Ukraine. Let’s consider the three main information and psychological operations that Moscow is conducting these days.

“Connection between ISIS and Ukraine.” After the terrorist attack in “Crocus”, Moscow is doing everything possible to blame Ukraine for it. Why is this for the Kremlin? First, it is necessary to maintain the degree of anti-Ukrainian hysteria in the Russian Federation. Second, attention should be diverted from the failure of their own special services, which so fervently exposed “the cunning of Anglo-Saxons” that they saw through ISIS in the Moscow region. And third, the Kremlin has a vital need to discredit Ukraine in front of our Western partners, as well as the countries of the Global South, because cooperation with ISIS is absolutely unacceptable for them.

Real evidence of Ukraine’s connection with ISIS does not exist in nature, so Moscow generates informational noise designed to disorient various audiences. We can hear false accusations against Kyiv from Russian officials and “useful idiots” from marginal Western figures. Meanwhile, bot farms spread fakes and propagandistic messages of appropriate content on social networks, trying to influence public opinion in Western societies. Currently, this IPSO is approaching a logical failure: the theory about the “Ukrainian trace” in “Crocus” will remain Putin nonsense.

“Great Russian Offensive”. Since the beginning of 2023, we increasingly hear or read about the “encirclement of Kharkov”, “breakthrough to Sumy”, “second campaign on Kyiv”, and more recently, that the occupiers are about to launch a “major offensive” and reach the Dnipro. You can’t envy the official spokespersons of the Defense Forces: as soon as they refute another fake, the Russian disinformation channels throw in a new batch of lies. However, this is how Russian propaganda narratives are created. Dozens and hundreds of one-day fakes are designed to make us feel that our affairs are bad and disaster is constantly approaching.

Simultaneously with the forecasts of our “inevitable defeat”, the enemy strongly promotes the narrative that the West, they say, will leave Ukraine without any support. There is the third year in a row, that Russia hopes to make us feel abandoned to our own devices and think, if we should resist the aggressor? As in the previous case, this narrative is based on fakes and manipulations. Propagandist, who are promoting the message that “All is lost!”, never mention about the “missile initiative” of the Czech Republic, or the fact that Ukrainian pilots are already completing training on the F-16. Even Emmanuel Macron’s statement about sending French troops to Ukraine was presented by them as another reason to incite panic.

“Zelenskyi the usurper“. However, the President Volodymyr Zelenskyi is the main target of Russian disinformation attacks now. They say he is an “usurper” who arbitrarily “cancelled the elections” in order to remain in office. This narrative is part of the “Maidan-3” operation, warned by our intelligence still in February of this year.

The Russians started to “take care” about our democracy not for nothing. Moscow’s tries to convince Ukrainians to be a part of the “Russian world” and meet occupants with bread and salt were failed. Now, Russian propaganda hopes to destroy our unity from the inside turning Ukrainians against the President, and ideally to incite a rebellion against “the usurper Zelenskyy” in the rear, in order to take advantage of this at the front. However, this operation shows how poorly Moscow understands Ukrainian people. According to the sociological polls, the absolute majority of citizens believe that there is not a right time for elections during the war.

But how to navigate where is the enemy narrative, and where are the complex wartime realities? First of all, you should use only official sources for information. And this, as you understand, is not at all about anonymous Telegram channels, ‘’experts‘’ on all issues on YouTube, TikTok bloggers, etc. And secondly, you need to monitor your own reaction: if certain information provokes panic in you, a sense of hopelessness or desire to give up, so most likely this is the Kremlin IPSO.

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