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How russian propaganda tries to discredit the Ukrainian counteroffensive

How russian propaganda tries to discredit the Ukrainian counteroffensive

The future Ukrainian counteroffensive is currently the focus of “militant russian propaganda.” It tries to present to the russian citizen the “delay” in its beginning as evidence of the enemy’s weakness and the indomitable position of its own army.

The propagandists launched a real information attack, seeking to prove to the russian audience hypertrophied information about the final “bloodletting” of Ukrainians and the same unspoken statements about the effective destruction of Western equipment.

The informational preparation of the russians for the future offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine involves promoting the following theses in their minds.

Firstly, the Ukrainian army allegedly does not have the strength for a counteroffensive, and statements about it are nothing more than a “reception” for “begging” for new supplies of Western weapons. In order to give it “authority”, the propaganda actively manipulates the assessments of the situation by “former officer of the US Navy, professor of the School of Public and International Affairs of the University of Georgia Colonel James”. In the publications of the propaganda media (lenta.ru), with reference to this “expert”, it is stated that “Ukrainian leaders are using the upcoming offensive as a lever to support the supply of Western weapons.” In fact, there is no expert with such a name, and the links lead to the blog of Dr. James Holmes (actually a former officer of the US Navy), which does not contain assessments of the state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but only general considerations about whether the Ukrainian counteroffensive has already begun.

Secondly, it is claimed that the battles in Bakhmut have finally “bleeded” the Ukrainian army, it needs a new mobilization set to hold its positions, and there is no question of a counteroffensive. They also try to “confirm” these statements with materials from the Western media. However, such attempts are weakly consistent with the actual recognition by the leadership of the “wagner” PMC of huge russian losses during the storming of the city. According to the words there ye.prigozhyn, during the war in Afghanistan, fewer people died than in Bakhmut in Donetsk region (according to his version, 10,000 “wagnerians” were eliminated from among the prisoners and 10,000 cadre fighters of the PMC in Bakhmut). At the same time, the former leader of russian militants in Donbas i.gyrkin believes that the actual losses of the “Wagnerians” in Bakhmut are much greater than those given by prigozhin. That is why, as the leader of “wagner” believes, “from the point of view of morale, the russian army has degraded.” This was facilitated by drone strikes on the kremlin, a breach of the border in the Belgorod region, and an attack on the Ivan Khurs ship.

Thirdly, it is advanced as an indisputable thesis that russia allegedly successfully destroys the equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine both at combat positions and on the way of its deliveries, as a result of which the Ukrainian army simply does not have a sufficient number of heavy weapons for offensive operations. However, there is no objective confirmation of these words, and the data of the Oryx portal, which calculates only photographic records of the loss of equipment, show that the russian federation loses more heavy weapons on a daily basis. British intelligence believes that the russian command is trying to form reserve forces and place them where, in their opinion, a Ukrainian counteroffensive may begin. But this is hindered by the need to transfer reserves to the front line in Bakhmut and the border areas of Belgorod and Bryansk regions after Ukrainian operations in the “grey zone”. Dispersion of russian defenses along the contact line before the Ukrainian counteroffensive has already led to russia’s loss of the initiative in the war, and successful strikes on the rear infrastructure of the russian group – to a drop in discipline in its ranks.

❗️Everything indicates that the kremlin recognizes the likely success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive and is trying to soften the demoralization of russian society and prevent the power rating from falling, as happened after the military failures of the russian federation in the Kherson region and Kharkiv region.

However, despite manipulative “tricks”, the topic of discrediting the Ukrainian counteroffensive remains a weak link in russian propaganda. Independent sources of information on the Internet, which are increasingly trusted by russians, prove conclusions that are contrary to the official kremlin narratives. Namely, the agenda and the rules of the game at the front are actually dictated by Ukraine, while the armed forces of russia only passively hopes that the enemy will not dare to counterattack. Even the most aggressive propagandists do not risk proving the ability of the russian army not only to make new breakthroughs, but also to hold already occupied Ukrainian territories. The threats of the russian generals and individual military commanders to defeat the Ukrainian counteroffensive look like self-mockery against the background of last year’s defeats near Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Kherson. There is even a leader of the wagnerites ye.prigozhin, commenting on the desire of russian propaganda to exaggerate the successes of the russian army and denigrate the combat qualities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, called such self-praise a recipe for defeat, and also admitted that “the Ukrainian army is preparing and showing quite good results.”

  • 31 May, 2023

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