Weekly analysis of russian propaganda in the Kherson region (January 21-27, 2023)

Fourth week of January (January 21-27, 2023). Many events were described by the russian media this week: successful shelling of critical infrastructure in Ukraine, the beginning of the offensive on Zaporizhzhia, the repulse of the attempt of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to force the Dnipro River, successes in the East of Ukraine... But there was also not very pleasant news for russians. This is the support of Ukraine from foreign partners and the USA. 

During the week, it was possible to observe how the russian mass media sphere tried to cope with such a large volume of events.

When The Main Directorate of Intelligence reported about the successful conduct of a military operation on the left bank of the Kherson region in the Ukrainian news, the russian mass media immediately reacted and began to spread information that the russian army repulsed the attempt of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to force the Dnipro River and caused heavy losses to the Ukrainian military. Interestingly, different channels indicated different numbers of losses among Ukrainians describing this event. It gives the impression that there were several such situations. 

The russian army mercilessly shelled the city of Kherson and the liberated part of the Kherson region throughout the day after this event. Civilian buildings, a school, and a maternity hospital were hit. Some channels called it practice on the positions of the "elves" (that's what they call the Ukrainian military); other channels were waiting for the results of the shelling and began to make excuses that it was not known who exactly shelled the city. Others defiantly called it an "adjustment". 

The russians continue to call the massive shelling of the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine their military success. If there are victims among civilians, all the blame is shifted to the "bungling" of the Ukrainian Air Defense. 

They discredit the Ukrainian authorities. This week, most propagandists began to accuse the President of Ukraine of this "fratricidal" war. They quote the words of v.putin, who calls Ukrainians brothers, V. Zelensky is guilty of this war, and the USA is responsible for scaling this war. 

They try to convince the reader that the pro-russian authorities are worried about their people. They talk about incredible prospects for the development of the occupied territories. The main task of the russian mass media is to portray the Ukrainian authorities as indifferent to people, corrupt, and greedy. 

New weapons supplies for the Ukrainian army are causing mild hysteria in the russian information space. At first, they devalued these weapons, saying they were worthless compared to russian weapons. Then, they begin to threaten that it is necessary to strike the territory of Poland (through whose territory weapons are imported into Ukraine), as it once was during the Second World War. They believe it is necessary to hit the bridges to prevent the supply. 

Great attention is paid to historical events and holidays. Events are held for every holiday or significant date. Children receive much attention during such holidays, the "correct" history is told, or religious customs are introduced. The occupiers have a tradition of inviting soldiers or policemen on these holidays, thus forming in the mind of the child that the russian military is good, attentive, and respectful; they must be obeyed and respected, and when the child grows up, he has the desire to be the same as these "heroes".