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Russia escalates “terrorist Ukraine” narrative while bombing civilian critical infrastructure

Graph by Texty shows the percent of materials with the word “terrorist act” in Russian propaganda media in each day

As Russia escalates missile strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure ahead of winter, leaving millions of civilians without power, water, and heat, its propaganda outlets are churning out accusations of Ukraine being a “terrorist state.”

So states an analysis of the Ukrainian outlet Texty.org.ua, which runs a machine monitoring project of Russian propaganda called War Disinfo.

The findings confirm a pattern observed by Russian propaganda experts: that Russia accuses others of what they are planning themselves.

Now any Ukrainian military action is labeled a “terrorist act.” Ukraine is accused of “terrorism” in events in which it did not take responsibility for, such as the explosion on the Crimea bridge, or fabricated and completely unfounded accusations of planning sabotage on the Turkish Stream or the Kursk nuclear power plant.

An example of the rhetoric related to the Crimea bridge:

“The Kyiv regime, supported by the West, is turning Ukraine into a terrorist state… First, Zelenskyy makes the world believe in aggression that supposedly comes from Russia. And now he resorts to terrorist methods by stuffing trucks with explosives.”

Accusations and threats towards Ukraine were made personally by Vladimir Putin, who convened a meeting of the Russian Security Council: “Kyiv has put itself on the same level with the most odious terrorist groups. It is simply impossible to leave the crimes of the Kyiv regime unanswered.”

The possible goal of these emotional accusations is to justify Russia’s missile attacks on the energy infrastructure of peaceful Ukrainian cities and houses where civilian families live. If we didn’t start it, then it’s OK, the logic goes.

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