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ZDM Investigation: Russian Propaganda Narratives Dominate Social Networks


Around 80% of the 600 social media comments examined in Austria and Germany with a clear pro-Russian bias.

Vienna (OTS) – “Russian disinformation has a particularly easy time where background knowledge is lacking. We need more clarification on complex issues, not just fact checks for selective events. The goal of Kremlin propaganda continues to demonize Ukraine in order to break our solidarity” Dietmar Pichler, disinformation analyst.

“The sanctions don’t work, only harm us”, “the West is to blame”, “the war crimes are fake” and “the Ukrainians have banned Russian and organized 8 years of genocide in the Donbas” are the common pro-Russian theses in social networks.

Especially the Russian version around the events in Donbas since 2014 and the alleged Russian language ban, were spread by about 90% of Russian diplomats in international interviews. Here, Russian propaganda takes advantage of the enormous gaps in the knowledge of Western audiences, thus justifying the invasion in 2022. In fact, the aggression in the Donbas was a work of Russian warlords, initiated and financed from Russia, also with the help of the Russian military. A key figure was Moscow’s Igor Girkin, former “defense minister” of the “Donetsk People’s Republic.” He has been held responsible for several war crimes, including the shooting down of passenger plane MH17 in July 2014. The 2014-2022 fighting in the Donbas claimed 3,404 civilian lives, on both sides of the front line. In the last 3 years, fewer than 100 civilians died, about half of them from mine accidents. Thus, the thesis of “Ukrainian genocide of the population in Donbas” can be clearly refuted; without the expansive Russian intervention, there would have been no military conflict in the first place.

The situation is similar with the alleged ban on the Russian language. As recently as July 2022, Vitali Klitschko gives an interview in Russian to Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon in Kyiv. The popular TV series “Servants of the People” with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is mostly in Russian. In March, Russian singer Andrey Makarevich was a guest on Ukrainian TV and sang in Russian. These are just a few examples, but they do not prevent Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, in the BBC interview, from again spreading the false claim that the Russian language is banned in Ukraine and that “it would be dangerous to speak Russian in Kyiv. Allegations that any connoisseur of the Ukrainian capital will immediately recognize as absurd, but which are often believed and spread by people with no connection to the country. Regular denials of war crimes also find many takers on social media. A particularly serious case was the missile strike on the shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk, which caused many casualties. The Kremlin lie that the “Amstor Mall” had been closed since March can be refuted in many ways: there are video recordings and cash register receipts from shortly before the impact, and stores were still advertising their products in the days before the impact. Nevertheless, this disinformation was persistently shared on social media, denying the existence of the victims and referring to a “conspiracy against Russia.”

Center for Digital Media Literacy
Contact PR: Dietmar Pichler
Tel: +43 670 / 406 4747
Mail: [email protected]

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The post ZDM investigation: Russian propaganda narratives dominate social networks appeared first on TOP News Austria – News from Austria and around the world.


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