war, propaganda, long
Sadly, it looks like russian propaganda achieves its goal even among seemingly nice people on fedi.
Mind you, the goal of russian propaganda is not to make russia look good.
Instead, the major goal is to muddy waters enough so that people will think even of the simplest most obvious things that they are so complicated that we'll never know the truth (even if we know it already). As happened with MH-17 for example, where russian propaganda spun up a dozen of different contradicting conspiracy theories, not to make people over the world believe one of them, but to make them feel like they'll never learn which of the theories (including what actually happened: which is that it was shot down by a russian missile) is true.
And another goal is to make people focus on deficiencies of russian adversaries, to publish as many lies (some of them even with the grain of truth) dehumanizing their adversaries, painting them as nazis. Because then it does not matter that russia itself is a copycat of nazi germany. Then it's not a russian aggression against a peaceful country; then it's two nazis fighting, while ordinary people suffer. So you have to be above the fight, or apart from it, and not take sides, and either try to draw far-reaching conclusions about russian adversaries indeed being nazis even from the tiniest things completely distorted by russian propaganda, or just avoid thinking of this war altogether.
Ultimately, some people will just say "we'll never know the truth" or "we'll never know who is right and who is wrong", or "they both are wrong".
While some others will boost bullshit invented by propaganda, like "these soldiers are instead nazis, look, in this post they call muslims from Chechnya orcs because of their external appearance" (ukrainians call all russian invaders orcs because of their actions, and in that post some soldiers just happened to mention thugs sent by Kadyrov, and of course russian propaganda noticed and made a big deal of this) or "eurovision supports nazis because look, these performers from ukraine did a nazi salute" (because they waved at a crowd but of course russian propaganda noticed that from a certain shooting angle it may look somewhat similar to a nazi salute and made a big deal of this and nobody cares anymore that there were other shooting angles as well), or "because look, these performers declared their support for azov nazi militia" (they said "save azovstal" and azovstal is the name of a place where a lot of civilian people who fled russian shelling of mariupol are being further shelled by russia for the past two months, and "azov militia" is not even a thing since like 2015, but of course russian propaganda cut off the last part of the word and made a big deal of it).
"These are just two nazis fighting each other, I do not support either side, I feel for the ordinary people who suffer but in the same breath criticize these very same ordinary people when they dare to express support for one of the sides and criticize those who platformed them" is a very convenient position. And extremely convenient for russia, because it helps to reproduce itself.
re: war, propaganda, azov
While some people are busy debating how azov regiment (which is a part of ukraine's regular army) is full of neo-nazis just because you can trace its origins to azov volunteer militia (which is debatably linked to neo-nazis; but then you can similarly trace e.g. Finnish Air Force back to actual nazis):
Top MPs from the ruling party in Russia submit the bill to reintroduce death penalty and to execute all surrendered soldiers from that regiment for being nazis.
And russian propaganda spreads stuff like that for the domestic consumption (attached picture).
Meaning: "look at the people serving in Azov, this one is so disgustingly non-white that he's basically an animal; and compare it with our beautiful soldiers. And these unreasonable ukrainian nazis (invented by russian propaganda) believe (according to russian propaganda) that the first one is a purebred aryan, while the second one is an orc! How unreasonable, it should be clear for everybody that it's the other way around!"
Meaning: russian propaganda makes racist attacks at soldiers from Azov for their physical appearance and non-whiteness, while implying that russian soldiers are all white and blue-eyed. Yet, according to their other propaganda (which a lot of people seem to believe), it's that everybody in Azov (including these soldiers russian propaganda deems to be so unwhite to basically be animals) are neo-nazis and white supremacists.
war, propaganda, long
@IngaLovinde this is the most lucid and rightous criticism of "centrism" i've seen all week
re: war, propaganda, azov, old racist tropes incl. "orc" discourse
@IngaLovinde thank you for calling this shit out and also thank you for cw-ing it (though i'll gratuitously add a couple just in case)
war, propaganda, long
1. Saying Russia is a copycat of Nazi Germany is hyperbole, and irresponsible. What's the consequence if it is, a new world war should be started?
2. Dehumanising language is an issue. The notion of orcs is racially essentialist; orcs behave as they do due to innate traits.
3. Azovstal had no civilians in it at the time. This is not Russian propaganda source: https://war.ukraine.ua/editorials/save-mariupol-save-azovstal-now-the-call-to-save-the-ukrainian-military-is-heard-throughout-europe/
3. Same source defends the Azov battalion, now a territorial defence force.
re: war, propaganda, long
1. Russia is literally copying from the Nazi Germany playbook. Why exactly do you disagree?
2. I've already mentioned this several times. It seems that in the West, the word "orc" carries racial connotations. In Russian (and presumably Ukrainian) it also (mostly) means not people who fit some physical description but people who _act_ like orcs from the book. And of course it is not because of some innate traits because ffs, (almost) nobody is denying the fact that there was such a melting pot in USSR that there are no such things as "innately russian" and "innately ukrainian".
What's more, the areas Russia was attacking so far are populated with russian-speaking people; the people who are sitting in the basements while Russia shells their homes are speaking Russian; the people russian soldiers massacred in Bucha were speaking russian, with a lot of relatives across the border (for example, one of the people murdered in Bucha was a distant relative of Alexey Navalny, some of whose great-grandparents came to Russia from Bucha; but nobody says Navalny is ukrainian). If we were to somehow draw the line between "ethnic russians" and "ethnic ukrainians": 90% of the civilians who suffered from the war, and 50% of ukrainian army are "ethnic russians".
Nobody calls these people orcs, because it is not and never was about any innate traits or race or anything.
But russian propaganda takes isolated words out of their context, twists their meaning, and then publishes them as propaganda, so that people who want to believe, will believe.
3. Yes, I must have missed this something. Indeed, apparently by the time of that eurovision performance, all civilians were evacuated (after spending two months there).
Doesn't actually change much; the call was not about supporting nazis, it was about saving people who were still there.
4. Present-day Azov is one of many regular regiments of Ukrainian army, almost (if not entirely) unrelated to the origins of Azov militia.
Yet Russia keeps using dehumanizing language towards all of them, regardless of their actions; you'll never hear "azov soldiers" from russian sources, it will always be "azov neo-nazis" or "azov fighters" (the word that almost means "terrorists" in Russian), and also uses dehumanizing images (https://embracing.space/@IngaLovinde/108320282424655131)
And I wish people would pay as much attention to dehumanizing language Russia officialy (including all the state media and all the government statements) uses towards people in the neighboring country as they do to dehumanizing language regular people in Ukraine (but not the government) use towards people who are invading their country, mass murdering civilians and looting.
war, propaganda, long
@IngaLovinde I think that an ethical thing to do is to list these seemingly nice people.
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