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Collaborators' meaning juggling: how the minds of Ukrainians in the occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia oblast are being poisoned

01.09.2022, 13:52

After temporarily occupying over 70% of Zaporizhzhia oblast, collaborators and russian invaders began a massive attack on the Zaporozhians' brains. They disabled Ukrainian broadcasting, shut down all pro-Ukrainian media, all while founding their own newspapers, opening TV channels and spreading massive amounts of fake news and manipulations through their Telegram channels. We have counted no less than 24 Telegram channels that systematically spread manipulations and fakes in the occupied territories. Their combined audience currently exceeds 275 thousand subscribers. The content of these channels mostly consists of discrediting the Ukrainian government and army, and everything Ukrainian in general, whitewashing the actions of the russian invaders and creating a positive image of "russia the saviour." Let's focus on the main ones.

Інформація актуальна на 28 липня 2022 року Data as of 28 July 2022

"Vladimir Rogov," a Telegram channel obsessed with "Nazis" and "drug addicts"

Vladimir Rogov's Telegram channel has the largest audience – over 92 thousand subscribers. It has grown by almost 8 thousand subscribers in the last three weeks. However, the jury is still out on whether this audience is real. According to, the average number of subscribers who read his posts is at least three times less. He calls himself a member of the main administrative council of Zaporizhzhia oblast, he is one of the main traitors and collaborators who are active in Zaporizhzhia oblast. He is the main talking head in russia's propaganda media such as RIA Novosti. He was recently added to the EU sanctions lists for anti-Ukrainian activities. On his Telegram channel, he pushes the basic russian narratives about the Donbas, the greatness of the russian army, and dreams of "liberating" Zaporizhzhia and other Ukrainian territories from "Zelensky's paratroopers." Several "points" can be traced in his Telegram channel and statements.

Point one: "Galician Nazis" are operating in Zaporizhzhia. He repeats this mantra both on the Telegram channel and on the russian media's propaganda platforms. In fact, there are no Galician Nazis in Zaporizhzhia, because they do not and have never existed at all. However, Rogov is unstoppable. He sees "Nazis" in almost every action on the part of the Ukrainian government or army.

Скріншот: Telegram канал Владимир РоговScreenshot: Telegram channel Vladimir Rogov

Another idée fixe of the channel's author is "drug addicts." In his opinion, all representatives of the Ukrainian central authorities, starting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, the UAF commanders and personnel, and anyone with a pro-Ukrainian stance. Often, the "drug addicts" construct goes together with the "Nazis" construct. Rogov broadcasts the idea that "drug addicts and Nazis" are destroying Ukraine, burning wheat fields, carrying out genocide, and an endless stream of other delusions produced by the distorted imagination of the "member of the region's main council."

Скріншот: Telegram-канал Владимир РоговScreenshot: Telegram channel Vladimir Rogov

Another one of Rogov's triggers is some mythical USIL, the "Ukrainian State of Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv." No one knows what that is. However, calls such as "the terrorist beginnings of the malicious new entity USIL, created in the post-Ukrainian space, leaves them [the UAF] no other way to act, and the 'architects' of this new entity – the Anglo-Saxons – understand this very well, which is why they act with precision, striking the critical infrastructure. The USIL terrorist group must be crushed!" appear on his Telegram channels and propaganda airs quite often.

Скріншот: Telegram-канал Владимир РоговScreenshot: Telegram channel Vladimir Rogov

According to Perevireno.Zaporizhzhia project, Vladimir Rogov's Telegram channel is among the leaders in terms of spreading fakes and manipulations in Zaporizhzhia oblast.

Rogov most often posts articles discrediting the Ukrainian government and the UAF, while simultaneously talking about the occupation authorities' pseudo-achievements in the temporarily occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia oblast.

"Melitopol City Administration," the Telegram channel of Melitopol's pseudo-authorities

This Telegram channel with an audience of almost 27,000 subscribers poses itself as "Official information from the Melitopol Administration." In reality, it is another source of manipulation and anti-Ukrainian fakes. According to Perevireno.Zaporizhzhia project, in the week between July 18 and 22, 2022, every fifth post on this Telegram channel contained inaccurate information. The Telegram channel is intended for the self-proclaimed authorities' official statements and announcements such as "Brother-2 screening in the new outdoor cinema in Melitopol's Gorky Park, organized with the support of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation." Such "official channels" exist in Melitopol, Berdyansk, Yakymivka, Kyrylivka, Dniprorudne, and Tokmak. Generally, the audience of these Telegram channels is not very large, but the posts are being made quite frequently.

"Yuzhny Platsdarm," the aggressive fakethrower

This Telegram channel is an extention of a media outlet of the same name which promotes russian narratives in the oblast and is consistently at the forefront of fakes distribution. According to Perevireno.Zaporizhzhia project, the Telegram channel is always among the top five in terms of spreading unreliable information. They mostly generate fakes aimed at discrediting the Ukrainian army, and a fairly significant part of the fakes has to do with the occupying authorities' pseudo-achievements in the social sphere and the economy. They also generate manipulations and fakes that degrade Ukraine as an independent state and affect the territorial integrity of the country.

Скріншот: Telegram-канал “Южный Плацдарм”Screenshot: Telegram channel "Yuzhny Platsdarm"

If we summarize the content of this (and other) collaborationist Telegram channels, their point boils down to a simple "everything Ukrainian is bad, everything russian is wonderful." In reality, the oblast is suffering destruction because russian troops are shelling it, the region's wheat fields are burning because of them, and the invaders in the occupied territories are forcing people to accept unfavourable conditions for doing business or just living. At the same time, the propaganda machine is painting a perfect picture of "peaceful life being restored to the region," completely ignoring the fact that it was the russian army that took it away from the people in Zaporizhzhia oblast in particular and Ukraine in general. This distorted reality which is shown by all the collaborationist Telegram channels is part of a well-thought-out information war, which is now going on in all the temporarily occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia oblast.

It is worth mentioning that a few more Telegram channels also promote the russian ideology and discredit everything Ukrainian: it is the Telegram channel of collaborator Evgeniy Balitsky, who now calls himself the "head of the Zaporizhia oblast administration" (it is also at the forefront of spreading fakes and manipulations related to the actions of the Ukrainian authorities and the UAF), the clone channel "Energodar Segodnya" (the original Telegram channel of the same name posts pro-Ukrainian content), "Tipichnaya Akimovka," and "Tokmak Segodnya." What unites all of them is the abundance of manipulative and unreliable information. The Telegram channels' authors are mostly triggered by the actions of the UAF: they accuse the Ukrainian army of deliberately setting fire to wheat fields, shelling "peaceful Energodar residents," "attacking the ZNPP," destroying civilian infrastructure, and broadcast ideas of the weakness, maliciousness, and cruelty of Ukrainian soldiers.

Скріншот: Telegram-канал Евгений Балицкий Screenshot: Telegram channel "Evgeniy Balitsky"

At the same time, they try to whitewash any crimes committed by the russian army and add some social news into the mix: about the russian school certification, reduced prices for utilities, gasoline, medicine, etc. Usually all of these are either illegal or fake. But the collaborators do not stop and continue to distort the Ukrainians' consciousness with toxic, frankly harmful content – for now.

Natalia Vyhovska, regional representative of IMI in Zaporizhzhia oblast

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