“Humanity is being replaced on a daily basis”—Inside Russia’s propaganda machine
An expert on Russian propaganda says the Kremlin is using two main strategies to legitimise atrocities in Ukraine
Adam Servera, an analyst from the Kremlin watch program, has told Ticker NEWS of the two main strategies Russia is using to control its population with propaganda.
The first strategy involves support for Russia’s aggression, which has been displayed since the start of the war. Servera points to Russian accusations of Nazism in Ukraine as an obvious example of this.
He says when you look at the diversity of ethnic groups defending the nation you can see how ridiculous this assertion is.
“You can just see It’s a Kremlin tabulation, and sort of this … parallel universe,” says Servera.
The second strategy may be less familiar to Western eyes. Its main focus is to distract the population from the war.
This type of propaganda is targeted at both older and younger generations, and is spread amongst the population via music videos, and on social media platforms such as TikTok.
Servera says this propaganda usually emphasises Russian imperialism and Soviet sentiment.
A recent example is of a viral online song, Wellerman by Nathan Evans, which has had the original lyrics altered to reflect Russian nationalist messages.
“It refers to a great state, strong spirit, rich nature and white plains, which I personally find very funny because Putin’s regime has done its best to devastate Russian nature.”Adam servera
The video clip features women dressed in traditional Russian World War One nurse outfits who dance in a ‘Z’ shaped formation. This refers to the notorious Z symbol which has been used by Russians to support the war in Ukraine.
“The Kremlin’s propaganda obviously has no limits. Humanity is being replaced on a daily basis by the virality of the content that is supposed to justify and legitimise the atrocities that Russia is committing in Ukraine,” says Servera.
Do Russian people believe Kremlin propaganda?
Servera says it is difficult to know for sure whether Russian citizens believe the propaganda they are fed because of the climate of repression in the nation.
But official reports from the Kremlin reveal most Russians see the war as part of a historical struggle against Nazism.
Russian war supporters expect “a decisive victory over fascism” says Servera.
According to Meduza, which is a Russian platform not tied to the government, President Putin’s media team has concluded there are no good prospects for ending the war.
There is no way “to both meet public expectation and preserve Putin’s popularity,” says Servera.
This point was raised by Australian journalist Peter Greste on Ticker NEWS. He says Russian propaganda was “going to make things more difficult for Russia to back down, not easier.”
However, despite this speculation there is still no way of knowing for sure how Russian citizens really feel.
“Various sociological surveys have been published on Russian attitudes towards the war, many of which show overwhelming support for Putin’s aggression.”
“However many experts point out that given the strong influence of propaganda and repression in the country, these polls are unlikely to reflect reality,” says Servera.
Will Russian propaganda finish with Putin?
Servara doesn’t believe Russian propaganda will finish when Putin eventually relinquishes power.
He says Russia has a long history of oppressions that stretches beyond the reign of Putin.
“My grandfather in 1945 saw Russian or Kremlin tanks invading Slavic countries. My father saw them in 1968. And I now heard them when we were being evacuated from Kyiv.”Adam Servara
According to Servara, change will not be achieved by simply overthrowing the leader. Instead, there has to be an evolution of the entire governmental mechanism.
“It’s very hard to see a change coming anytime soon” he says.
Bryan Hoadley contributed to this article.
Europe is preparing for winter: how can you keep costs down?
Britain is facing a surge in cold weather, with icy conditions and fog expected for much of this week
The UK Met Office has issued a Yellow warning, which means there could be damage to buildings as Britons brace for cold conditions.
Like much of Europe, the UK are bracing for very strong winds on Wednesday, causing disruption to travel and some utilities.
Drivers are also urged to take extra care on the roads, with warnings in place for icy stretches forming on UK roads.
But some residents who are seeking to heat their homes are on edge, as power prices remain high.
Peter Smith is the director of policy and advocacy at National Energy Action, who said the rising cost of living is impacting Britons.
“The average annual bill has almost doubled since this time last year.”
The organisation seeks to close the gaps when it comes to energy affordability. It predicts 6.7 million UK households will be in fuel poverty in the coming months.
This means millions of Britons will be unable to afford living in a warm, dry and safe home.
“So far the milder than usual weather has protected many from the spiralling bills as they haven’t needed to heat their homes as high or as long as usual,” Mr Smith said.
How to keep warm without blowing your bill
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged people to make their own decisions, as he met with world leaders in tropical Bali last week.
“There are things that we can do—all of us—to improve the efficiency with which we use energy, to be careful about it,” he said.
For example, an efficient heater; taking advantage of the sun, where appropriate; and rearranging furniture are some cost-effective methods to reduce the burden on gas and energy bills.
In addition, there are some other cheap ways to reduce dependence on gas and electricity bills, as the temperature continue to plunge.
- close off rooms you’re not using
- lower the temperature of heating
- make sure windows are fully closed
- block cold drafts from under doors using door snakes or carpet.
The UK Government has placed a cap freeze on energy prices.
This means households will pay an average £2,500 on their energy bills. But there is a catch: if households use more, they pay more.
National Energy Action believes an additional 2.2 million homes could be in fuel poverty, when compared to the same time last year.
Why are energy prices so high?
As demand increases, so too does the cost of heating homes.
But there is another factor, which has sent prices rising across Europe: the war in Ukraine.
Russia accounts for 25% of global gas trade, 15% of global thermal coal trade and 10% of global oil trade.
However, countries are struggling to find alternative supplies after sanctioning Moscow for the ongoing conflict.
Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was expected to double the amount of Russian gas shipped to Europe.
In July, Russia cut the amount of gas pumped through Nord Stream 1 to 20 per cent capacity.
Hoax call between Polish and “French” Presidents
Poland President Andrezj Duda spoke to a hoaxer posing as France counterpart Emmanuel Macron, on the night a missile hit near the Poland-Ukraine border.
The news was confirmed after two Russian pranksters, Vovan and Lexus, posted a recording of the incident, and Duda’s office also affirmed the incident.
During the call, Duda was asking who was responsible for the attack on November 15, wanting to avoid a war with Russia.
The missile landed six kilometres from the border.
Initial reports suggested the missile was Russian-made, but it was later discovered to likely be a Ukrainian air defence missile.
This is the second time the pranksters have targeted the Poland President, who have made their names going after celebrities and politicians, especially those opposed to the Kremlin.
Russian missiles hit NATO territory, killing two
Russian missile hits Poland, as the west assesses the attack on a NATO member
Reports a Russian missile has landed in Poland, killing two people. A projectile struck an area where grain was drying in the village of Przewodów, near the Ukraine border.
An anonymous U.S. intelligence official suggested a barrage of Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian power grid, and spilt into neighbouring Poland.
Poland is a NATO member, therefore, this signifies a potential escalation to the ongoing war. It also marks the first time weapons have impacted a NATO country.
Currently, the Polish government are holding urgent talks. A Polish spokesman Piotr Mueller has confirmed that top leaders are holding an emergency meeting regarding the “crisis situation.”
Under Article 5 of NATO, an attack on one country is considered an attack on all.
The White House has not confirmed the reports but the Pentagon is assessing the situation.
While NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, including in response to the situation in Syria and the Russian invasion of Ukraine—it has only invoked Article 5 once.
For the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States, NATO evoked Article 5 and came to the defence of the United States.
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