Ukraine’s PR war against Russia –

Ukraine's PR war against Russia -

“Russian warship, go to hell”

On February 24, the Russian warship “Moscow” received a message from Roman Hirobo, a soldier in Slangeøya, which became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance during the war.

A few weeks later, Ukrainian authorities are to release a stamp collection containing a Ukrainian soldier who went aboard a ship.

Finger rain: In the Black Sea

Finger rain: The day before the sinking of the ship “Moscow” in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian Postal Service issued this stamp. The focus is on raising the finger to a soldier ship on Slangeøya. Photo: Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters
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The day after the seal was released, the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Navy’s flagship “Moscow” ended at the seabed.

PR war

The news of “Moscow” is not the only sign of Ukraine’s desire to fight.

Already at the beginning of the war, one could see videos of Ukrainian peasants leaving ropes on armored vehicles with Russian tanks and tractors.

These videos are spreading widely on social websites.

– I think Putin was infuriated by the pictures of tanks being towed by tractors and the pictures of military vehicles being abandoned as they ran out of fuel. This hurts his pride, says Jோர்rn Holm-Hanson, a researcher at NIBR in Oslomet.

He believes the images released by the Russian casualties have had a major impact on the PR aspect of the war.

– It has a huge impact on Ukraine. You will get the feeling of victory on all fronts, and the Russians for their part are utterly incompetent, incompetent and poorly organized. He says this strengthens Ukraine’s war morale.


Disgraceful: The iconic statement “Russian warship, go to hell” was marked on April 11 in a Russian tank destroyed in Putsja. Photo: Olexander Rathushniak / Reuters
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Different numbers

Russia and Ukraine operate with different figures on military casualties during the war.

Ukrainian officials say 26,000 Russian soldiers have been killed so far in the conflict. As of May 10, Russia had lost 1,170 tanks, 2,808 armored vehicles and 199 aircraft.

Russian officials rarely provide estimates, but say 1,351 soldiers were killed in a special operation in Ukraine on March 25.

The giant failed

The loss of “Moscow” was a huge defeat for Russia.

– This is not a ship that can be replaced by Russia, says Christian Atland, a senior researcher at the Armed Forces Research Institute.

According to Atlantis, the ship is valued at about $ 750 million.

– Atlant says they no longer have shipbuilding sites to build this type of ship in Russia, and that it would be too expensive.

Stealing weapons: Ukrainian farmer steals a Russian tank. Video: Johnny Mercer
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Although he thinks it raises the perspective of Russian casualties to strengthen the fighting spirit in Ukraine, Christian Atlant thinks their numbers are more realistic than the Russians.

– Russian defense capability has already been reduced for five years. There are limits to how long Russia can consistently lose so many players and so many items, Atland believes.

Really angry

Jrn Holm-Hansen insists that the analysis is speculative, but hopes that one can see from Putin that the losses in Ukraine are affecting him.

– Since I read this, I think you can see the injured person. He seems to be angry at the real thing, he says.

– He sees it as a disgrace and persecution of Russia.

He specifically points out that the ship “Moscow” sank in the Black Sea.

“All of this marks a huge gap between the reality on the battlefield in Ukraine and the way Russia will present its military in the parade on May 9,” he said.


Holm-Hansen insists that much of Ukrainian foreign communications can be described as propaganda.

Irritated: Researcher Jrn Holm-Hanson thinks Putin was annoyed by images of Russian losses.  Photo: Sonja Balci / OsloMet

Irritated: Researcher Jrn Holm-Hanson thinks Putin was annoyed by images of Russian losses. Photo: Sonja Balci / OsloMet
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– You can not take everything that comes from the Ukrainian team for good fish. I warn against swallowing all the sweet stories about the Ukrainian soldiers who saved the kittens without criticism, he says.

– At the same time, it is improper to engage in propaganda in the context of the war. He says they have every right to use this kind of tool to defend the country.


But the Russians offer a completely different reality than the Ukrainians and Europeans get.

Inna Sankatseva, a Russian expert and senior adviser to the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, says the images of the Russian losses have not reached the country’s people.

– Russians are isolated when it comes to information, says Sangatseva.

He says Putin still has good control over the information stories in the war.

– The Russian propaganda is so sophisticated that even the NRK has been fooled into playing Russian propaganda on their broadcasts, he says.

Sitting deep

Only the independent media writes about Russian casualties in the war against Ukraine. But independent media are actually blocked on the Russian Internet, and they are only available via VPN servers.

Control: Inna Sankatcheva, a senior adviser on the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, says Putin still has control over stories in Russia.  Photo: Norwegian Helsinki Group

Control: Inna Sankatcheva, a senior adviser on the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, says Putin still has control over stories in Russia. Photo: Norwegian Helsinki Group
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But the proportion of Russian population reading these media is small.

– The campaign is very deep. Sangatseva says even mothers of soldiers killed in the war are repeating the Russian campaign at their sons’ funerals.

Admits losses

As for the military casualties in the war, there is silence on this, and the Russian death toll is much lower than that of the Ukrainians.

But in an interview with CNN, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov agreed. The country suffered significant losses in the war.

– He says this will only happen when that level of Western media confronts them about it.

– How long can they control the story?

– As long as they have the money. Funding for the Russian campaign rose to $ 17.4 billion in the first three months of this year, from $ 5.4 billion in the same period last year, he says.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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