Blood Sabbath: what and why did Russian propaganda say about Ukraine on New Year's Eve - ForumDaily
The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

Sabbat on blood: what and why did Russian propaganda say about Ukraine on New Year's Eve

For the first time in modern history, Russia had to meet the new year 2023 as an aggressor recognized by the entire world community, unleashing in Europe not just a hybrid, but the bloodiest war in this century. At the same time, Russian propaganda behaved in two ways. While the jingoistic Telegram channels and the so-called military correspondents joyfully reported about the destruction of the Ukrainian infrastructure, on the central channels, as if nothing had happened, was "Blue light", in terms of vulgarity and glamor, almost no different from the previous ones. If you do not peer into the details, it seemed that there was no war at all in Russia. What explains this contradiction, and what exactly did the propagandists want to achieve during the holidays, ForumDaily figured out.

Photo: iStock

split personality

In fact, there is nothing unusual in such an apparent contradiction. It is not the first month that Russian propaganda has been forced to work, in fact, for two different audiences. One of them is ideologically charged, deeply involved in the war and is unfriendly, if not hostile, towards apolitical townsfolk. This category of radical "patriots" is in some kind of altered state of consciousness.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing militaristic excitement and dehumanization of Ukrainians, these people are accustomed to perceive the killing and suffering of civilians not just as normal, but as desired phenomenon. For them, any harm to the enemy is really perceived as a New Year's gift, and mockery of suffering as a preferred form of recreation. This audience enjoys watching videos of rocket attacks on residential areas with signature "Geraniums bloom in Kyiv for the New Year." She longs for messages about new victories and even on a holiday she prefers to watch news from the front instead of a New Year's concert.

The second audience, which is the Russian majority, is just those very apolitical townsfolk who are tired of the war and would like to feel the illusion of a carefree holiday. In relation to these people propagandists pursue two tasks. First, they try to give people the desired holiday and at least slightly reduce their level of anxiety.

By the way, even according to reports by Kremlin-loyal sociologists, this level growing steadily, despite the formal announcement of the completion of mobilization and New Year's Eve fuss. According to the Dossier investigative center, research commissioned by the Kremlin, which was carried out exclusively among staunch supporters of the war, also show the growth of their anxiety and fear.

From the National Guard to Petrosyan

The second goal of propagandists is, however, to gently increase the level of involvement of the townsfolk in the war, while not pushing them away with too much pressure. That is why even at formally peaceful concerts it was impossible to see "unreliable" artists who spoke out against the war. Instead, Russian viewers were shown the same loyalist performers, remembering all their songs for last twenty years. In the case when there were not enough people, the screen appeared singing cartoon characters.

The faces of the military (including the generals of the Russian Guard), who were on the air of Ogonyok, were constantly reminded of the war going on somewhere in the background. congratulated happy new year chief russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. However, more subtle hints were also used: Oleg Gazmanov in a military overcoat and base jokes Evgeny Petrosyan about Ukraine. Even a glamorous fashion designer Sergei Zverev saidthat he is ready to go to the front, because he feels "stronger than all Russian show business."

Obviously, the purpose of this comical combination of militancy and glamor was an attempt to make the war something joyful and beloved for Russians, like the textbook "Irony of Fate" for the New Year.

"Seals" on the front line and the death of mobilizers in Makeevka

In parallel, propagandists have prepared content that is equally suitable for both audiences. Here you can name good news reports about celebrating the New Year by “fighters in the NVO zone”. Unlike the usual military chronicle, such plots, as a rule, are not accompanied by bravura accounts of victories over the enemy. Their goal is to create a touching atmosphere of "small joys" during the war. These are gifts brought directly to dugouts, letters of support from schoolchildren, round dances around the Christmas tree on the front line, and so on.

The content that is universal for both audiences can be called stories about How bad the situation in Ukraine. Comparison with a negative scenario can increase the feeling of peace and security in the "passive" audience and at the same time give satisfaction to jingoists. The same goes for stories about "freezing west".

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Somewhat apart in this series is the information about the death of hundreds of Russian mobilized in the village of Makeevka, Donetsk region. In the mainstream news, they tried to hush up this information - they limited themselves to only official reports and greatly underestimated losses. At the same time, jingoistic publics used this situation to cultivate hatred for Ukraine, which struck at the place of deployment of Russian troops. On the other hand, military correspondents in conflict with the official Ministry of Defense took advantage of the death of soldiers, who immediately demanded bring those responsible to justice.

Be that as it may, the duality of propaganda shows that the Kremlin's strategists understand deep down that the majority of society is not yet ready to live in wartime. However, it is obvious that there will be less and less manifestations of even the illusion of a peaceful and normal life every day.

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