Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 20:35:24

When News is Propaganda

By Nilabh Krishna
Updated: April 4, 2022 1:08 pm

it is a fact that during wartime, propaganda plays a major role, and, across the course of the 20 and 21st century, every major conflict that the West has been involved in has been accompanied by substantial propaganda campaigns aimed at influencing and manipulating domestic and international audiences as well as ‘winning hearts and minds’ among populations within the zone of conflict. The readers may be well aware of the nuance of how propaganda activities have worked across the most recent major inter-state conflicts that the West has been involved in, including Iraq (2003-present), Afghanistan (2001-present), Libya (2011-present), Syria (2011-present), (Yemen 2014/15-present) and the most recent being the Russia- Ukraine conflict.

Outside of the street battles in Kyiv and Kharkhiv, a full scale propaganda battle is raging in the media, particularly on social media, and other mediums. The predominant narrative is American/western, because it controls the switches (literally) and levers, although Russians have their friends/ supporters/ sympathisers who have a deep suspicion of US narrative and are happy to relay the Moscow version. One has to navigate carefully through the fog of propaganda war to get a better, if not an accurate, picture.

For instance, at the broader level, the US/NATO narrative is that Russia has launched an unprovoked, unjustified attack on Ukraine. Russia has its own story on how it was provoked/ cornered/pushed to the wall etc., but there are few takers for this.

Putin has lost War in Ukraine. Zelensky is the New Winston Churchill who has defeated Modern Hitler Putin!!!” Haven’t readers been used to such headlines brazenly imposed by the so called “Independent” media from the US, West and our very own best anchors or actors of multiple news channels or better yet, propaganda machines?

But the reality is much different than what these propaganda machines are churning out. Within the first 24 hours of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, all Ukrainian Ground Radar Intercept capabilities were wiped out. Without those radars, the Ukrainian Air Force lost its ability to do air to air intercept. In the next 3 weeks, Russia has established a de facto No Fly Zone over Ukraine FOR Ukraine.

While still vulnerable to shoulder fired Surface to Air Missiles supplied by US and NATO to Ukrainians, there is no evidence that Russia has had to curtail Combat Air Operations. Russia’s arrival in vicinity of Kiev within three days of the invasion also caught my attention. Yet many so-called American Media Experts claimed that Russia was bogged down. When Russia was positioned at only 40 mile north of Kiev for more than a week it was clear that Ukraine’s ability to launch significant military operations had been eliminated. If their artillery was intact, then that column (Russian Convoy) was easy pickings for massive destruction. That did not happen. Furthermore, if Ukraine had viable fixed wing or rotary wing capability they could destroy that column from air. even that didn’t happen. If they had a viable cruise missile capability they could rain down hell on “supposedly” stalled Russian column. Didn’t happen either. The Ukrainians did not even mount a significant infantry ambush of the column with their newly supplied U.S. Javelins.

The scale and scope of the Russian attack is remarkable. They captured territory in three weeks that is larger than the land mass of the United Kingdom. It then proceeded to carry out targeted attacks on key cities and military installations. We have not seen a single instance of a Ukrainian regiment or brigade size unit attacking and defeating a comparable Russian unit. Instead, the Russians have split the Ukrainian Army into fragments and cut their lines of communication. The Russians are consolidating their control of Mariupol and have secured all approaches on the Black Sea. Ukraine is now cut off in the South and the North.

Note that U.S. had a tougher time capturing this much territory in Iraq in 2003 while fighting against a far inferior, less capable military force. If anything, this Russian operation should scare the hell out of U.S. military and political leaders. And that’s the real worry behind organised campaign of misinformation run by Western and US Media.

US and NATO are rattled with the scale of Russian Army Operations. Real Big News came last week with Russian missile strikes on what are de facto NATO bases in Yavoriv & Zhytomyr. NATO conducted cyber security training at Zhytomyr in Sept18 and described Ukraine as“NATO Partner.” Zhytomyr was destroyed with hypersonic missiles on March 19th. Yavoriv suffered a similar fate on Sunday 20th March. It was the primary training and logistics centre that NATO and EUCOM used to supply fighters and weapons to Ukraine. A large number of the military and civilian personnel at that base became casualties.

Not only is Russia striking and destroying bases used by NATO regularly since 2015, but there was no air raid warning and there was no shutdown of the attacking missiles, because Russia has already destroyed NATO Radar Systems through cyber attacks.

Russian military strikes in Western Ukraine during the past week have shocked and alarmed NATO officials. The first blow came on Sunday, March 13 at Yavoriv, Ukraine. Russia hit the base with several missiles, some reportedly hypersonic. Over 200 personnel were killed, which included American & British military, intelligence personnel & hundreds more wounded. Many suffered catastrophic wounds, such as amputation. According to a report in the Guardian, “Russia’s deadly multiple missile strike on Ukraine’s military base in Yavoriv, less than 15 miles from the border with Poland, was clearly designed to send a message.

Not only can Russian forces strike the western limits of Ukraine, killing at least 35 people near where western arms will be crossing into the country, but the Kremlin does not care if US or other volunteer fighters were training there.

A day earlier, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov had said its military would treat arms shipments to Ukraine from NATO countries as “legitimate targets”.”

Yet, NATO and Western Media have shown little interest in reporting on this disaster. Russia has not stopped there. ASB Military news reports Russia hit Delyatyn, which is 60 miles southeast of Yavoriv. Later, Russia hit Zytomyr, another site with NATO presence. Putin sent a very clear message—NATO forces in Ukraine will be viewed and treated as combatants. In further turn of events, The Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) has liberated 93 per cent of its territory, while the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has so far cleared 54 per cent of its territory from Ukrainian Control.

However, taking all these things into account, it is quite certain that a question arises in our minds as to why is so powerful Russia taking such a long time to takeover tiny Ukraine?” there are few points which needs to be considered before making any assumption and which can be listed as such:-

• Ukrainian President is a Joker, but its Army is not. It has shown great resistance and must be honoured with true respect for the same.

• Putin has not even sent its REAL Battle-hard forces to Ukraine.

• If one looks at the Military equipments and vehicles used by Russia in this Military offensive, it becomes quite clear that it is not even using a single Modern Generation Military Truck?

• Russia has not yet used its Air force and Navy to its full capacity. It is a fact that the day, Putin passes the instruction; Ukraine will be destroyed and taken over in 2 days.

Considering the above points, it is but obvious that the delaying tactics of Putin comes under doubt and question arises that why is President Putin going slow and delaying the victory? One cannot fathom that this war is only about Ukraine or a Military Offensive? It’s more about finishing hegemony of USD and breaking NATO. On a close monitoring, it becomes clear that things are moving exactly like that. The different bilateral agreements between various countries are pointing towards fall of USD. Germany stands confused. UK is getting frustrated. Hungary and Denmark are clearly saying that they won’t allow their land to be used for Transporting Military Aid to Ukraine. France sitting tight lipped. What does all this indicate? The hegemony of the USD in the international market is crumbling and the day is not far off when the global marketing will be done in some other currency.

It is hard to see through the fog of propaganda on top of the fog of war. There is little doubt about the Ukrainians being courageous, but for Russian armour and artillery to roll in virtually unimpeded all the way to the gates of Kyiv means it met little resistance at the border. It raises some pertinent points. Is it possible that Russians were welcomed in the eastern parts of the country? Or for that matter, is it possible that aside from nationalist Ukrainians putting up a brave fight, there are those whose fealty is to “Mother Russia?”

There is war-time hysteria, information is scarce, and disinformation plenty. One has to tread carefully amid the quagmire of disinformation mostly churned out by the biased western media. Expect plenty more propaganda to be churned out on all sides in days to come.


By Nilabh Krishna

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