Transnistrians “shelled” with spam: a digest of Russian propaganda of April 26

Residents of the so-called “Transnistrian Moldovan Republic” are being prepared for “shelling” by Ukraine; the head of Russia’s MFA cannot forgive the US for “Afghan helicopters,” and a Russian official believes that Rosatom is to thank for the safety of Ukrainian NPPs.
The Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security has collected the main fakes and narratives of the Russian propaganda of April 25.

  1. Transnistrians are spammed with messages about planned “Ukrainian shelling”
  2. Russia believes that Romania will seize Moldova
  3. Lavrov is mad at the US because of helicopters
  4. Ufa conscript vs. Putin’s bravado
  5. Russia marks the anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophe with cruise missiles over the Zaporizhia NPP

Transnistrians are spammed with messages about planned “Ukrainian shelling”

The morning of April 26 started the same way that the previous night ended — with an escalation in the so-called “Transnistrian Moldovan Republic.” And while the day before, Russia’s MFA and MoD could not decide on the “repressions against Russian speakers” in this forcibly established and unrecognized republic, on April 26, things became much clearer.

Vadim Krasnoselsky, the leader of the “Transnistrian Moldovan Republic,” addressed the leadership of Ukraine: “Please investigate these facts of illegal movement of certain combat groups and acts of terror committed by them here, on the territory of Transnistria.”

This was immediately followed by fake spam messages in which the Security Service of Ukraine allegedly recommends the residents “to evacuate to safer regions in connection with the plans to carry out missile and artillery fire on military facilities.”

IN FACT, the SBU immediately responded to these fakes, calling them a provocation: “the Russian special services are aiming to destabilize the security situation in the so-called Transnistrian Republic. This is evidenced not only by the explosions in the unrecognized Transnistria, but also a number of informational messages spread by Russian propagandists. We urge you not to believe this nonsense and to understand that the residents of the so-called Transnistrian Moldovan Republic, as well as Europe overall, face the same main threat, Russia, which is ready to engage in any provocations due to the absurd actions of its leadership.”

Russia believes that Romania will seize Moldova

Among the many people answering the question “Who benefits from this?” one particularly remarkable individual is the person calling himself a Russian political scientist, Sergey Markov. He believes that the Romanian army is already stationed on the territory of Moldova, and now it is strengthening its position and increasing the group. Subsequently, a series of provocations will follow, after which a military attack will begin: Romania, with the support of NATO and the Ukrainian army, plans to seize Transnistria and carry out mass political repressions against all Russian supporters. Markov also noted that Romania is counting on Moldova’s accession to its territory. 

IN FACT, there are, of course, no Romanian troops in Moldova. But the desire to involve NATO directly in Russia’s war against Ukraine seems to be keeping up various propagandists and officials alike.

Moreover, they are so offended that NATO’s arms supplies to Ukraine do not allow them to carry out their plans of aggression that they no longer even hide their irritation.

Lavrov is mad at the US because of helicopters

Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said, “USD 800 million is the value of weapons provided by Washington to Kyiv. This is a huge number, it does not facilitate a diplomatic solution to the situation… We stressed the unacceptability of the situation when the United States is stuffing Ukraine with weapons, and we demand an end to this practice.”

Lavrov finds Mi-17 helicopters a particular point of annoyance. According to him, the States’ intention to hand over these aircraft, which once participated in the so-called “helicopter package” in the framework of cooperation between Moscow and Washington on Afghanistan, is a direct violation of international obligations.

Lavrov believes this is “another example of the brutality of Americans in terms of international law, their habit to do what they want… In the contract, those helicopters are exclusively for the Afghanistan security services, and they cannot be given to any third country without Russia’s consent.”

So, when Russia supplies weapons to its Donbas proxy republics, it is “fraternal assistance,” and when NATO provides assistance to Ukraine, an internationally recognized country, it is a “violation of international law.” Make sure you keep that in mind.

IN FACT, Russia’s irritation is understandable. Their plans to take over Kyiv in two or three days failed completely. What is more, the Russian army is losing significant amounts of equipment in Ukraine, and the restoration resource has been lost for many years due to sanctions.

Russia doesn’t have much time in Ukraine. And the “voice from the bunker” rushes it along. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov directly links the potential peace treaty with Kyiv with Western arms supplies to Ukraine.

Ufa conscript vs. Putin’s bravado

In the Russian city of Ufa, something rather absurd is taking place. A conscript refused to go to war. In the enlistment office, he wrote that he was against the “special operation” in Ukraine and did not want to participate due to his beliefs. He asked to send him to an alternative service.

In response, the military commissar wrote him up to the police, reporting that the conscript “publicly and in writing, discredited the Armed Forces of Russia.” But the precinct officer refuses to start the case because there is no corpus delicti.

IN FACT, the case would certainly have been launched if Russia had officially announced a general draft. However, the Kremlin doesn’t dare to do that yet. And it’s not because of potential social consequences, as many believe. The police state has learned to handle this back in 2012 — since mass protests in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square — and keeps immediately stopping one-man protests of the few remaining thinkers.  It is about keeping the face. By signing the mobilization decree, Putin is effectively acknowledging the defeat of his regular army to the Ukrainian one.

This is the reason for “hidden mobilizations” in the Caucasus, forcible recruitment in the temporarily occupied territories from Luhansk to Mariupol, “Syrians,” ads in the metro and on poles to sign a contract and go on a “business trip abroad.” But despite the lack of truthful information about the real situation with the Russian army, and despite a very real punishment for distributing “fakes” about it, young people from economically challenged areas (there is hardly anyone in the army from Moscow and St. Petersburg regions) can no longer be fooled. They do not watch Russian propagandist TV and do not read government-sponsored newspapers.

After the story with the Russian warship, the conscript from Ufa, like many others, knew better. Due to the fact that the conscript is forced to sign a contract, after a year of service he does not become a professional soldier. Thus, the conscripts know that unless they want to become part of the “immortal regiment,” they’d better stay home. And neither Putin nor the Ufa military commissar will be able to cope with this trend.

Reports about the wives of killed Russian soldiers certainly do not make the prospect seem better.

Russia marks the 36th anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophe with cruise missiles over the Zaporizhia NPP   

And finally, here is some information about Chornobyl NPP. April 26, 2022 marked the 36th anniversary of the fateful catastrophe.

The only mention of this terrible date in the Russian information bubble was the comment of the Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko. She called for no more talk about the impossibility of import substitution in Russia and illustrated her statement with the example of Rosatom, which, according to her, “is ready to work and ensure security of nuclear objects even in the most difficult circumstances.” Its staff allegedly helped Chornobyl NPP employees in the area of the “special military operation.” As the result, “power supply to Chornobyl NPP and physical protection of Zaporizhia NPP were promptly restored.” That’s all Russian officials said on the subject.

IN FACT, here is a brief timeline of hostilities around Ukrainian nuclear power plants, which could and, unfortunately, still might lead to irreparable damage. Not only in Ukraine, but all over the world.

February 24

The occupiers seized the Chornobyl NPP and took personnel hostage. Due to the shelling at the station, the electricity went out for a while. Thanks to Ukrainian defenders and NPP professionals, the catastrophe was avoided.

March 4

Russian troops first captured, and then began firing at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. There was a large fire, and munitions exploded dangerously close to the nuclear facility.

April 25

Two cruise missiles of the occupiers flew at a dangerous distance from the nuclear power plant in the Khmelnytskyi NPP. “Fortunately,” they hit infrastructure objects in Rivne oblast.

April 26

Two cruise missiles flew at low altitude over the Zaporizhia NPP, but hit the territory of one of the enterprises. Although they could well hit something else.

That’s all you need to know, really.

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