Russian propagandists are publicly advocating for a genocide of Ukrainians – IMI expert
Russian propagandists are publicly advocating for the genocide of the Ukrainian people, which makes keeping track of their genocidal rhetoric an important element of countering propaganda.
Alyona Nesterenko, media expert at the Institute of Mass Information (IMI), propaganda and disinformation researcher, said so during a press conference titled "Prosecuting Russian propagandists who make public calls for the genocide of the Ukrainian people," reports Ukrinform.
"Our fight against Russian propaganda takes place in several areas. The first one is keeping track of Russia's genocidal rhetoric against Ukrainians. We are also make surveys on the components of Russia's planned genocide of Ukrainians, Infocrime articles on the Russian propaganda's key figures, content on the involvement of certain groups in promoting the Kremlin's narratives, and social media monitoring," said Nesterenko.
She cited examples of such genocidal rhetoric, characterized by calls for extermination or genocidal acts.
"The propagandists' response to the October 8 explosion on the Crimean Bridge was very robust, but they had been calling for our extermination long before this event. They took this incident as an opportunity to say that Ukrainians are to blame, and now if they get killed, it will be their own fault for provoking it," noted the media expert.
Another sign of genocidal rhetoric, according to Nesterenko, is the use of euphemisms in Russian propaganda. For example, propagandists call Ukrainians "Nazis", "Banderites", "Ukrainazis", "Satanists", etc. The war is called "SMO", starting the full-scale invasion was a "necessary step", the forced deportation of Ukrainians to Russia is called "evacuation", Ukrainian children being kidnapped and sent to special camps is "a trip to a health resort", etc.
She noted that the Russian media ignore genocidal calls, in particular those featured in officials' speeches, and cover the committed genocidal acts positively or neutrally.
"The news feeds of Russian media outlets are almost entirely comprised of quotes by their high-ranking officials, and the rhetoric they allow themselves is utterly undiplomatic," the researcher noted.
Another sign of genocidal rhetoric is the lack of balance in media content, noted Alyona Nesterenko.
"We can see this situation in some supposedly liberal media outlets, like Meduza. This media posts quite contradictory content with different points of view on some news, but if we open each individual news item, we will see that they allow themselves to display maps by the Russian Ministry of Defense or cite Girkin," said Nesterenko.
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