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The Recurrent Themes in Russian Information Warfare on Ukraine and Ukrainians

Section 4 from “Old Wine in a New Bottle: Russia’s Modernization of Traditional Soviet Information Warfare and Active Policies Against Ukraine and Ukrainians”.

by Taras Kuzio, the Department of Political Science, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, Ukraine

Russian information warfare has repeatedly promoted the view of Ukraine as an artificial and failed state that is not wanted in Europe, can only exist under Russian leadership, and its borders are illegitimate. Ukraine has been described as not a country but a mere territory and a Nazi state.63 Statements such as ‘there is no Ukraine’ and that Ukraine ‘cannot be regarded as a serious state’ are regularly seen on Russian state TV.

Russian chauvinistic views of Ukraine and Ukrainians go to the very pinnacles of the Russian political system and with Russian media, especially television, being tightly controlled, these views influence the attitudes of the majority of the Russian population. State TV Pervy Kanal host and Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy heads a weekly show that he uses to lambast Ukraine as not a real country, its borders being artificial, and Ukrainians a fake people who are really ‘Russians’.64