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Representative Image. (Photo Credit - Reuters)
Representative Image. (Photo Credit - Reuters)

Ukraine's propaganda strategy earns praise amid war with Russia

ANI | Updated: Mar 26, 2022 19:31 IST

Washington [US], March 26 (ANI): The war between Russia and Ukraine is being projected as David vs Goliath, and Kyiv has churned out a steady stream of sophisticated propaganda aimed at stirring public and official support from Western countries.
Dan Cohen, writing in Mint Press News (MPN) revealed the network of foreign strategists, Washington DC lobbyists, and intelligence-linked media outlets behind Ukraine's public relations blitz.
The campaign includes language guides, key messages, and hundreds of propaganda posters, some of which contain fascist imagery and even praise Neo-Nazi leaders.
Ukraine's propaganda strategy earned it praise from a NATO commander who told the Washington Post, said Cohen.
According to the industry news site PRWeek, the initiative was launched by an anonymous figure who allegedly founded a Ukraine-based public relations firm, reported MPN.
According to the anonymous figure, more than 150 public relations firms have joined the propaganda blitz.
The international effort is spearheaded by public relations firm PR Network co-founder Nicky Regazzoni and Francis Ingham, a top public relations consultant with close ties to the UK's government.
Among the propaganda constructs distributed in the dossier, is a video of the Snake Island incident, which was quickly proven false, in which Ukrainian border guards stationed on a small island were reported to have been killed after they told an approaching Russian warship that had urged them to surrender to "Go f*** yourself."
President Zelenskyy held a press conference announcing he would award the men the Hero of Ukraine medal as mainstream media spread the story widely. However, the supposedly-dead soldiers quickly turned up alive and well, proving their heroic stand to be a farce, reported MPN.

Another folder in the dossier is run by Ukrainian MFA graphic artist Dasha Podoltseva and contains hundreds of propaganda graphics submitted by artists in Europe and the United States.
Some feature generic "no war" messages, while dozens of other images celebrate "The Ghost of Kyiv" - a heroic Ukrainian pilot who turns out to be non-existent - and the phony "Snake Island 13" incident, said Cohen.
The dossier also contains a link to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs page called "Fight for Ukraine," which provides instructions for foreigners who wish to join Ukraine's Neo-Nazi-infested armed forces - termed the "International Defense Legion of Ukraine."
While the Ukrainian government says tens of thousands have answered their call, some commentators expressed doubt at those figures, calling it a "PR exercise," said Cohen.
One section claims the "entire Europe was put on the brink of nuclear disaster when the Russian troops began shelling the largest in Europe Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant."
However, International Atomic Energy Agency's Director-General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said that the building hit by a Russian "projectile" at the Zaporizhzhia plant was "not part of the reactor" but instead a training center. Russian troops also left Ukrainian workers to continue operating the plant, reported MPN.
Another anonymously-penned investigation shows how Ukrainian public relations firms have used targeted advertisements to astroturf Russian internet and social media networks with messaging calling to economically isolate Moscow and "stop the war."
At the same time, Facebook has blocked Russian state-owned media outlets from running ads and monetizing content. Several fake accounts for media outlets like Russia 24 have sprung up, burying the authentic account under a series of impostors. Facebook has also marked statements from Russian officials, including the Ministry of Defense, as "false."
While the public relations firms distribute content, CIA cutouts and billionaire foundations run the media outlets they derive it from and intelligence-linked propaganda operations target the public, said Cohen.
With a powerful Russian military fighting alongside DPR and LPR forces, the Ukrainian military's defeat seems to be imminent unless the United States and NATO directly confront Russian forces, a scenario President Biden has already ruled out.
Lobbyists nevertheless persist in their campaign to portray the Ukrainian military as underdogs scoring blow after blow against Russian hordes. In doing so, they help extend the war and continue the carnage, said Cohen. (ANI)