How many seconds does a ballistic missile take to reach London, Paris or Berlin?
That is a question that Russian national television experts were pondering when the war in Ukraine entered its third month.
The eerie estimate was accompanied by a graphic showing the trajectory of Moscow’s intercontinental ballistic missiles to reach the capitals of European countries, which provide the most military aid to Kyiv.
All the while, pro-Kremlin host Olga Skabayeva and experts on the Russian 1 television channel for her “60 Minutes” show were casually joking about how the West should tune in.
Only a few months ago, the graphics, rhetoric, and casual appearance of such conversations would have been shocking, even by Russian propaganda standards.
But as Russia’s military struggle, its rivals became bold, and its neighbors rebelliously invaded, the NBC News made a new and more eccentric claim for the Kremlin and its mouthpiece to justify the invasion of Ukraine. We monitored dozens of hours of state media coverage to find out more and more.
Mark Galeotti, Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, said: A tank based in London. It leaves “the power of darkness that looks crazy and dangerous” as one of the few tools that Russian President Vladimir Putin has at his disposal, he said.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood” like President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, and “the biggest anti-Semites are, in principle, Jews.” The false suggestion of being has caused widespread criticism and ridicule. Russian state media also forged a story about “black magic” believed to have been practiced by the Ukrainian army, hinting at Zelensky’s unfounded claims of drug use.
The country’s tightly controlled media space means that Russian viewers are watching a significantly different version of the event on Ukrainian television screens than the western people. This is very similar to the evidence of what is happening on the ground.
News broadcasts and daily political shows countless broadcast times to tell viewers that the war in Ukraine is not really a war, but a “special military operation” designed to save civilians. I have spent. The Russian army is portrayed as a liberator, fighting what propaganda calls a “neonazi.” They are said to have conquered Ukraine under the influence of the United States and its allies and are “genocide” against Russian-speaking Ukrainians.
Russia claims that the atrocities recorded in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns are being performed by Russia’s Kieu. Moscow states that Ukraine entered Ukraine as a preemptive attack on NATO because it wanted nuclear weapons. Citizens say that severe sanctions are further evidence of Western pathological hatred of Russia, which caused the conflict in the first place.
In particular, state media will convince Russians that a military operation in Ukraine is planned and the Russian army is victorious.
A recent poll by the Levada Center in Russia, which is not a state-owned group, found that public support for “Russian military action in Ukraine” remained high at 74%, but experts said. Is questioning whether it is possible. correct.
However, Galeotti said much of that support was not for what was actually happening in Ukraine, but for the war depicted on state television.
“This is support for limited surgery performed surgically to avoid civilian casualties to prevent the neo-Nazi administration from acquiring nuclear weapons and committing genocide,” he said. “Well, it’s not surprising many people say if it’s what you’ve been presented with — yes, it sounds like a perfectly proper war. More people are back from the battlefield. As it comes, what happens if reality begins to confront them. ”
The Moscow war has been plagued by uneven attacks and heavy human losses as Kyiv’s allies step up military aid. Stephen Hutchings, a professor of Russian studies at the University of Manchester, said it was natural to talk about the potential for missile attacks and nuclear war in the European capital, as the rhetoric on Russian national television grows even higher. .. England.
“In this rhetoric of World War III and nuclear attacks, there is an unprecedented, seemingly nearly coordinated effort to play fast and loosely,” he said. He added that it was a reflection of the war that did not go as planned and that people were frustrated and angry.
One of the worst examples is by parent Kremlin journalist Dmitri Kiselev, who used a weekly current affairs episode in early May to quickly “nuclear” when Moscow relocated to the United Kingdom. I explained how to turn it into a wasteland. To do so.
Britain could be attacked by Russia’s unstoppable Poseidon underwater drone, creating a huge tsunami that would wipe out the country, he said.
“Much of this rhetoric is essentially breaking this notion that this is not really a war in Ukraine, but a proxy war with the West,” Galeotti said. “They are trying to amplify the sense of scale of this conflict in case a decision is made to switch from a special military operation to a full-scale war. I don’t want it to sound like a defeat. Then I must say that it is no longer about Russia, but Russia as a whole to the West. “
The Ukrainian government has accused Russia’s national media of fueling the war, and Zelensky has threatened retaliation against Moscow’s most prolific propaganda.
Russia’s imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny is also in his state media “Warmonger.”
It’s all in the context of a country with few independent media left. Russia passed a law criminalizing criticism of the military in the early days of the aggression, and the few remaining independent journalists left the country or stopped working altogether.
Of course, the internet still exists for those seeking coverage of international wars — although some foreign news sites are blocked — but for the average Russian consumer, state television is Ukraine. The main source of news about.
Providing viewers with an intensifying flow of propaganda, including the possibility of a nuclear war, That said, experts say the Kremlin may not be able to achieve that much.
“It all threatens these kinds of things very well,” Galeotti said. “When do people start thinking? Is this really scary?”