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Ukraine and the Russian propaganda machina

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

As more harrowing images of destruction come from #Ukraine each day, the other side of the "(dis)information curtain" comprises the Russian #propaganda machine. It is running at full power in an attempt to justify the invasion.

To cut off the public from the indisputable fact that #Russia is the aggressor, the Russian government clamped down on various media outlets that do not ascribe to the official narrative regarding the #invasion of Ukraine, with many journalists covering anti-war protests across the country facing detention.

#Twitter has also confirmed that access to the platform had been restricted for Russians, adding that it was "working to keep [their] service safe and accessible."

TV Rain, Novaya Gazeta, which recently published a headline "Russia is bombing Ukraine," and a radio station Echo of Moscow are now being banned for "extremist ideas" and "disseminating false information" for speaking out on the invasion that the government deems a "special operation to de-Nazify Ukraine." This liberatory approach to the operation can be seen in portraying Kyiv as "anxiously awaiting to be rescued by the Russian military" by the government news agency RIAN.

Recent claims indicate that many Russian soldiers were purposefully misled as well. This Monday, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine's ambassador in the UN, read out what he claimed to be a message sent by a Russian soldier to his mother. He was presumably in military service before being drafted to Ukraine. It reads: "I am no longer in Crimea. Mama, I'm in Ukraine. There is a real war raging here. I'm afraid. We are bombing the cities. We were told that they would welcome us. (…) They call us fascists. Mama, this is so hard."

The Russian propaganda machine will continue to spin new lies to achieve their goals in Ukraine, with consequences for those speaking out getting direr.

Therefore, we at Rethinking Refugees express our support to all the journalists, activists, and other persons who are bravely speaking out despite the growing repression, arrests, and threat of violence against those who oppose Putin. You are the true face of Russia.

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