Increased violence in Donbas coincides with spike in anti-Ukrainian aggressive rhetoric on Russian TV



Analysis & Opinion

We have reported several times in the past that the increased violence in Donbas is usually preceded and accompanied by an increased amount of disinformation in pro-Kremlin media. The last week only confirmed this observation – and most of the tracked outlets have chosen an even more aggressive rhetoric against Ukraine this week.

The amount of hate-speech on Russian state TV debates has significantly risen. Almost every mention of Ukraine we see (and there were a lot of them in the last days) is accompanied by the adjective “nazi” or the noun “coup” – once again ignoring the reality that the Revolution of Dignity was no coup, and that Ukraine does not have nazi parties in the Parliament. In one show, there were open calls for a violent purge of the Ukrainian authorities; you will find the precise timecodes for the critical quotes in the table).

We saw again the myth that we debunked last week, that Ukraine is provoking the violence in Donbas, and doing it just to get the attention of the new US President’s administration, or to impose martial law and abolish freedom of speech. We saw absurd distortions of President Poroshenko’s interview, claiming that the head of the Ukrainian state has called for the lifting of sanctions against Russia. We also saw inventions that the Ukrainian army is ready to join the pro-Russian “separatists”.

We saw even more brazen material in Vladimir Solovyov’s show, where it was claimed that the EU and Washington can force Ukraine to establish peace in Ukraine – not mentioning the control of the Kremlin over the level of violence in Donbas.

Some of the attacks went beyond absurd. Solovyov shouted at a Ukrainian guest that his president was speaking to Donald Trump not in Ukrainian, but in English, thus showing that he behaved like a vassal – yet some time ago, Vladimir Putin addressed the German Bundestag in German. In Vremya Pokazhet we learned that the West wants Ukraine fragmented, despite the clear fact that it is precisely because of Russia’s violation of Ukrainian territorial integrity that the EU and the US have imposed sanctions on Russia.

And if you ever wondered why so many have the image of Russia as an aggressor, Vremya Pokazhet has the answer for you: it is not due to the repeated invasions of Russia’s neighbours’ territory, nor the repeated cyberattacks in multiple European and American countries, nor the repeated border and airspace violations (examples: 1,2), nor the abduction of an EU citizen from an EU country, nor the broad disinformation campaign targeting dozens of countries. No, the image of Russia as an aggressor was simply created – by the West.


Two types of conspiracies

The disinformation campaign loves conspiracies. They strengthen the feeling that governments plot against their citizens and that the truth lies in other places, rather than in credible media or official statements (especially in “alternative” and “independent” outlets which mainly specialize in copying and pasting Russian sources). Formally speaking, we can see two prevalent types of conspiracy.

The first says that something that has happened, hasn’t. We saw it this week in connection with the recent cyberattacks on the Czech MFA. The Ministry said the hacking was state organized and resembled the hacking in the US. However, in pro-Kremlin outlets, these attacks were just a false flag operation in which the government tested whether they can falsify the upcoming elections. Here, we see a similar pattern to the one we saw in the information operations in the US: trying to delegitimise the vote before it has happened.

The second type says the opposite: that something that hasn’t happened, has. Thus again we saw the recycling of the PizzaGate conspiracy that has been debunked many times. One of the disinformation oriented outlets even claimed that the recent Department of Homeland Security video about human trafficking is full of allusions and might have been just another product of the “elitist paedophiles”.

The recycling of debunked conspiracies is a favorite tool of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, in order to try and reach new audiences not familiar with their previous deconstruction. We saw a story built around a tweet of one of the Dutch MPs, which allegedly proves – yes, sadly, again – that the Dutch secret services know that MH17 was brought down by Ukraine. The tweet was posted in January, but supposedly the Western media are hiding it as it does not fit in with their narrative.

So to clarify: A), the tweet is not from January 2017, but from January 2016. This may be one of the reasons why Western media have “hidden” it, as usually they have a faster reaction time when they report news. And B), the tweet does not prove anything like that which is stated – as was debunked already a year ago.

Finally, as has already become a custom, the Russian and other pro-Kremlin outlets were attacking the German authorities in a quite tasteless way again this week. In the table, you will find multiple examples about Germany being compared to the Nazi Third Reich, or the German Minister of Defence being compared to Adolf Hitler.

Click here for the FULL TABLE of recent stories repeating disinformation (.pdf).


Since you’re here – we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away. But we’re here to stay, and will keep on providing quality, independent, open-access information on Ukrainian reforms, Russia’s hybrid war, human rights violations, political prisoners, Ukrainian history, and more. We are a non-profit, don’t have any political sponsors, and never will. If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation!

Tags: , , , ,

  • albertphd

    Disinformation is a tool of the Kremlin used extensively during a military conflict whereby ‘the truth’ is the first casualty. For the general public to sort through the myriad lies fed by the Russian propaganda machine, it is necessary to adhere to a basic regime of logic and common sense. One (even in the Western media!) cannot believe anything simply because it’s in print or simply because a reputable newspaper or news outlet states it is so. Subjective claims need to be suspect. What is Objective (so-called, ‘facts’) need to be compared by several different (and opposing) sources, if possible, before they can be (tentatively) held as possibly “true”.

    Having said the above, there is an ingenious technique that military propagandists use that is standard procedure: that is, whenever they do not wish the other side to follow a certain procedure (that would be detrimental to their cause), they denounce the other side as following it and smear that approach as one used by Hitler or some other disreputable party.

    For example, in order to effectively and firmly re-gain control of the ORDLO (enemy-occupied Donbas area), the temporary imposition of Martial Law would be swift and legal, as the armed invaders are illegally occupying Ukraine and raping, torturing and killing virtually at random whomsoever they will. It is a great disservice to one’s country and one’s citizens not to declare Marital Law immediately!.

    Let me explain: should this self-same action occur in the Russian Federation or even (hypothetically) in the USA, there would be absolutely no hesitation to impose Martial Law over the entire conflict area in order to root out the invaders and to protect one’s own citizenry. Yes, this procedure was followed (effectively, I may add) by Nazi Germany in occupied areas but it is standard military discipline to restore and/or maintain law and order in a lawless state.

    But such is not the case in Ukraine, because (as I believe) Ukraine is partially and ultimately controlled in it’s war policy by the European Union which has adamantly warned Ukraine not to re-instate the death penalty and not to attack the invading forces supplied by Russia but to maintain merely a defense mentality.

    This Liberal West stance was instituted by Barrack Obama, whose soft policy and soft approach to Russia was restricted only to Sanctions and verbal criticism. Even Senator John McCain this week openly admitted that Obama was ‘too soft’ in his defense of Ukraine (refusing to offer Ukraine the modernized lethal military weapons it so badly needs to defend itself–as far back as March 2015, when the US House of Representatives voted 7 to 1 to do so! Obama had issued a Presidential Executive Order to block such a necessary measure, as he clearly feared confrontation with Putin).

    The key advantage of imposing Martial Law in this area (initially restricted to the Ukrainian ORDLO zone and area immediately surrounding it) is that the Ukrainian Armed Forces would no longer be under the Minsk II Agreement (which only Ukraine seeks to observe anyway, if the truth be told!).

    Instead, Ukraine could and would use lethal military action (in a proactive stance for once!) against any violators (the invaders and their willing accomplices, Ukrainian traitors and spies) during the declared hours of curfew (say, 19:00 hours to 0700 hours, for instance). All financial aid to the restricted Martial Law area would cease, together with all water, power, gas and other means of assistance to the enemy of the Ukrainian people. All remaining residents (as the majority, I’m told, have already fled or left the war zone) would be encouraged to leave the area so that the Ukrainian military could (under the rules of Martial Law) enter and eliminate all terrorist activity.

    Legally, Ukraine cannot do any of the above but must continue to feed and supply the pro-Russian mercenaries albeit indirectly in their weak attempt to support a Ukrainian citizenry that still refuses to leave the war zone but appears content to remain with the enemy invader?! The open declaration of Martial Law for that area would be the first step to eventually take back ORDLO.

    Oh, I know what defeatists will immediately reply! That Martial Law is not allowed under the EU agenda! That the Russian propagandists said Ukraine would do so & that to do so is to imitate the Nazis in their use of Martial Law in occupied countries, such as Holland, France and so on. But that is precisely the point: Russia does not wish Ukraine to impose martial law (over Russian-occupied Ukraine) because that would allow Ukraine to effectively and ‘legally’ (according to an official War Measures Act drafted by it’s own Rada, or Parliament) to completely control the entire Russian-occupied region, with the death sentence being an effective deterrent to violators!

    I say again: to impose Martial law (with restrictions and reservations over a limited area and for a temporary trial period) is the best and quickest way for Ukraine to take back it’s own territory.

    Of course, I understand a few reasons why Ukraine has not done so to date because Ukraine prides itself in its own advanced merits of Western civilization, in that it seeks to keep International Law as interpreted by the EU; hence, it still has not even formally declared this ATO (Anti-Terrorist Operation) armed conflict as a legitimate ‘war’ created and sustained by Russia. Ukraine admittedly is not at war with Russia: that is evident; but it is ‘at war’ (no better way to say it) with pro-Russian mercenaries ranging from 35,000 troops and beyond with hundreds (if not thousands?!) of pieces of lethal military weaponry!

    But Russian propaganda denies that Russian troops (except as ‘advisers’) are even in East Ukraine! It is the ‘big lie’ theory that Hitler originally expounded: “Tell a lie big enough to as many people as you can for as often as you can and eventually the public will believe it!”

    Desperate times dictate desperate measures. And for today, the imminent danger of History repeating itself is apparent in the way Ukraine deals with the Russian problem.

    In Ancient Athens, the refined and sensitive Athenians were eventually overtaken by the barbaric Spartans (their neighbors) because the Athenians would not (or could not?) see the Spartans as other than their brothers. They falsely believed that if ‘sanctions’ were imposed against the Spartans, the Spartans would realize the error of their ways and cease their conflict. History tells how barbaric the Spartans were and how the ‘soft approach’ of the Athenians led irreversibly and permanently to their demise.

    Perhaps it is not too late for Ukraine even three years later: if they would but immediately impose Martial Law over this troubled region until peace and order can be restored.

    PS [The European Observers –OSCE– in the Donbas that I talked to claimed that in their view this conflict in East Ukraine would easily continue 10 years if not more, as they admitted their is no political, nor military will whether domestic or international to end this conflict through a decisive declaration of Martial Law! I would to God they were wrong?!]

  • veth

    Poroshenko at Munich Security Conference: “Putin hates Ukraine sincerely” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced at the 53rd Munich Security Conference that Russian President Vladimir Putin hates Ukraine and denies Ukrainian identity. Politics 21:51, 17 February 2017 202 READ LATER REUTERS “Putin hates Ukraine deeply and sincerely. He denies distinctive features and unique identity of the Ukrainian people. I know that personally. He states in public that Ukrainian identity is part of Russian dominant identity,” he said in Munich on Friday, February 17. The Ukrainian president states that his Russian counterpart sees no place for Ukraine on the political map of Europe, and “he wants to draw a place for Ukraine in Russian colors.” Read also Belarus or Kazakhstan – who’s next? “But, it would be a mistake to think that the Russia’s appetites are limited to Ukraine alone,” Poroshenko warned. The Munich Security Conference is held on February 17-19.

    Read more on UNIAN:

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Pedo Putolini’s attitude is shared by most Dwarfstanians so it would be a mistake to think that things will ease up when the dwarf’s gone.

    • MichaelA

      other countries get this
      turkmenistan president in Ukraine this week

  • Alex George

    Putin must really be desperate if he is trying this level of blatant lying in his media.

    This isn’t the 1930s. People even in remote parts of Russia can get alternative sources of news, however difficult it may be.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      But will they bother to do so?????

    • veth

      Sounds like Trump………………………..

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    The increased aggression can be seen among the Savushkina trolls. One prime example is Njordheim, who does nothing but spew extremely antisemitic rubbish. Another example is Lisa Karpova (whose return after several months absence I noted elsewhere), a rather nasty piece of work who makes a black mamba- one of the most aggressive venomous snakes- look like a domestic kitten.
    Still, if that’s the calibre of trolls Tsar Vladimir the “Impaler” of Little Boys relies on to spread the Gospel of Russkii Mir, he’ll only alienate more and more people.

    • zorbatheturk

      The Uzbek Madame at Lisa’s brothel in Tashkent must have given her another leave of absence without pay. Customers have complained she was talking too much about Putin during a session instead of using her mouth for other purposes.

  • туфтуф

    Breaking: serious fuel crisis ukroland. Gvt sends special forces to deblock Donbass coz ukrolands economy stands to dive, losing 300k jobs in energy and metalurgic sectors. Gvt against nazis, DPR against gvt and nazis, nazis against gvt and DPR. A civil war? All against all.

    • Alex George

      Really – do you have any links to this “serious fuel crisis” and the “civil war”?

      You know what this is about – Ukrainian veterans have blocked supplies from going to or from occupied Donbass. This is forcing the Ukrainian government to wean itself off separatist-supplied anthracite quicker than it planned. But it was always going to end.