December 5, 2022

УСІМ | UWIN

Українська світова інформаційна мережа | Ukrainian Worldwide Information Network

ON PROPAGANDA: 10 KEY POINTS

3 min read

1. Truth is irrelevant. Propaganda uses truthful and/or false information as long as it fits the narrative.

2. Narrative is key. Since truth doesn’t matter, it’s easy for the propagandists to mix truths and lies to manufacture a story that works. The story is constructed in a way that evokes strong emotions like anger, hate or adoration.

3. Once that emotion is evoked, there is no need to think and analyze. The brain is seduced into believing the story.

4. Additionally, propaganda is based on what the target wants to believe. It exploits preexisting beliefs and prejudices, such as racism, sexism, xenophobia or belief in Russia’s historic destiny as the greatest nation.

5. The same narratives get repeated over and over, so that a resistant frame of reference is constructed. The audience of the propaganda grows to enjoy the warm bath of self-reinforcing narratives.

6. For example, Putin’s existential reason to invade Ukraine is that “Ukraine as a state should not exist. Ukrainians are not a true nation, unlike Russians. Ukrainians are small-minded and stupid at best, sly and hateful at worst. They were artificially created by the West to promote shameful beliefs like allowing gay marriage. Russians must destroy this creature, take back their lands and reestablish themselves as the leader who is respected and admired around the world”. This narrative is crafted to exploit the sense of national pride, the envy towards the West, and the resentment towards Ukrainians who chose independence.

7. For many years these narratives were circulated amongst the Ukrainians via Russian-owned and controlled media and later through the social media. The Russian language – the legacy of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union – was a convenient conduit for reinforcing the perception of Ukraine as a second-class nation.

8. Russian propaganda is destructive by nature. It can only undermine but never elevate. It can only discredit but never lift up. It can only destroy but never build. It attempts to reconstruct the past but it is incapable of creating a future.

9. The Russian propagandists, trained through decades of KGB’s “special measures,” are adept at finding fissures in the fabric of society and turning them into deep fractures, open wounds even. The Americans had a chance to experience that when Trump was being elected.

10. There are no quick fixes for propaganda. Simply resorting to “antipropaganda” is futile. You can’t fight fire with fire. We need to render the propaganda impotent. For that, we need trustworthy institutions, good education and critical thinking. Ability to create and preserve trust is key. So is an ability to hold a constructive dialogue based on listening, thinking and mutual respect.

Yaryna Klychkovska

From UWIN:

We decided to share this article by Yaryna Klyuchkovska. It indeed gives a general idea about propaganda. At the same time, it shows how risky is unprofessional approach to this issue.

Have a look at point 6. The example used by Y. Klyuchkovska tells us that she takes as propaganda Putin’s definition of Russia’s war in Ukraine as an existential war.

Unfortunately, this is not a propaganda trick. This war is an existential war for both Russia and… Ukraine.

Here is why:

Russian Empire appeared on the world map in 1721 as a result of the appropriation of the Ukrainian name and Ukrainian history by Moscow.

Ukraine‘s withdrawal from the Russian Empire in 1917, from the USSR in 1991, or at least from the sphere of influence of the Russian Federation in 2014 destroys the foundation on which the Russian historical myth rests.

This means that sooner or later the final collapse of Russia will take place.

Therefore, Moscow is doing everything possible to erase Ukraine from the world map.

In this connection, Ukraine’s victory over Russia is existentially important.


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