Ukraine’s Propaganda War

Dan Cohen reveals the network of foreign strategists, Washington lobbyists and intelligence-linked media outlets behind Kiev’s public relations blitz.

By Dan Cohen
in Washington, D.C.
MintPress News

Since the Russian offensive inside Ukraine commenced on Feb. 24, the Ukrainian military has cultivated the image of a plucky little army standing up to the Russian Goliath. To bolster the perception of Ukrainian military mettle, Kiev has churned out a steady stream of sophisticated propaganda aimed at stirring public and official support from Western countries.

The campaign includes language guides, key messages and hundreds of propaganda posters, some of which contain fascist imagery and even praise Neo-Nazi leaders.

Behind Ukraine’s public relations effort is an army of foreign political strategists, Washington, D.C., lobbyists, and a network of intelligence-linked media outlets.

Ukraine’s propaganda strategy earned it praise from a NATO commander who told The Washington Post, “They are really excellent in stratcom — media, info ops, and also psy-ops.” The Post ultimately conceded that “Western officials say that while they cannot independently verify much of the information that Kyiv puts out about the evolving battlefield situation, including casualty figures for both sides, it nonetheless represents highly effective stratcom.”

Key to the propaganda effort is an international legion of public relations firms working directly with Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to wage information warfare.

According to the industry news site PRWeek, the initiative was launched by an anonymous figure who allegedly founded a Ukraine-based public relations firm.

“From the first hour of war, we decided to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help them distribute the official sources to show the truth,” the nameless figure told PR Week. “This is a hybrid war: the mix of bloodily struggling fight with a huge disinformation and fake campaign lead by Russia [sic].”

According to the anonymous figure, more than 150 public relations firms have joined the propaganda blitz.

The international effort is spearheaded by public relations firm PR Network co-founder Nicky Regazzoni and Francis Ingham, a top public relations consultant with close ties to the U.K.’s government. Ingraham previously worked for Britain’s Conservative Party, sits on the U.K. Government Communication Service Strategy and Evaluation Council, is chief executive of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation, and leads the membership body for U.K. local government communicators, LG Comms.

“We’ve been privileged to help coordinate efforts to support the Ukrainian Government in the last few days, “ Ingham told PRovoke Media. “Agencies have offered up entire teams to support Kyiv in the communications war. Our support for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is unwavering and will continue for as long as needed.”

With an anonymous Ukrainian figure joining two of the top public relations figures in the Kiev government’s propaganda blitz, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs distributed a dossier folder (archived)  with materials instructing public relations agencies on “key messages,” approved language, content for debunked propaganda constructs, far-right and Neo-Nazi propaganda.

The folder is run by Yaroslav Turbil, described on his LinkedIn page as “Head of — Ukraine’s digital ecosystem for global communications. Strategic Communications & Country Brand Promotion.” Turbil has worked at multiple “civil society” organizations closely linked to the U.S. government and interned at Internews, a U.S. intelligence-linked organization that operates under the guise of promoting press freedom.

Among the propaganda constructs distributed in the dossier, is a video of the Snake Island incident, which was quickly proven false, in which Ukrainian border guards stationed on a small island were reported to have been killed after they told an approaching Russian warship that had urged them to surrender to “Go f*** yourself.” President Volodymyr Zelensky held a press conference announcing he would award the men the Hero of Ukraine medal as mainstream media spread the story widely. However, the supposedly-dead soldiers quickly turned up alive and well, proving their heroic stand to be a farce.

Despite the story being proven as fake, the dossier contains a propaganda video promoting it.

Another folder in the dossier is run by Ukrainian MFA graphic artist Dasha Podoltseva and contains hundreds of propaganda graphics submitted by artists in Europe and the United States.

Some feature generic “no war” messages, while dozens of other images celebrate “The Ghost of Kiev” – a heroic Ukrainian pilot who turns out to be non-existent – and the phony “Snake Island 13” incident.

Many use xenophobic and racist language, and some are explicit in their praise of prominent Ukrainian Neo-Nazis, including C14 leader Yevhen Karas, the Right Sector fascist paramilitary, and the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. Multiple images call for “Banderite smoothies” – a reference to Molotov cocktails named for the late OUN-B commander Stepan Bandera, who collaborated with Nazi Germany in the mass murder of Jews and ethnic Poles during World War II. Another image depicts a book titled the: ”Encyclopedia of Incurable Diseases,” listing Russia, Belorussia, North Korea, Syria, and Eritrea.

“I love NLAW” – Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapon, provided by Western governments to the Ukrainian military.

Graphic implying fertilizing the fields with bodies reads, “Grandma advice to Moskovites: Hide in the fields, When you die in hands of our army, Sunflowers will grow better.”



“Thank You Ukrainian Army” with an Azov Battalion Wolfsengel patch emblazoned on the sleeve.

“The Encyclopedia of Incurable Disease: Russia, Belorussia, North Korea, Syria, Eritrea.”

“Against Moscovian Occupation.” Moscovian is a xenophobic term used to describe Russians.

Graphic calling Czar Nicholas, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin incarnations of the same “Mental Moskovian Dragon.”


“Bandera Smoothie.”





“Putin’s orcs got whipped” – Orc is a xenophobic term for Russian used by Ukrainian nationalists.


Flag of Neo-Nazi paramilitary Right Sector. Red represents “blood” and black represents “soil.”

Ukraine or Valhalla – a reference to the destination of the heroes of Norse after death, a theme commonly appropriated by neo-Nazis.

A call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine with an image of a building used by the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion that Russia bombed.





“Evhen Karas. Our positive news. #Thank_You_Ukraine Army.” Karas is a leader of the C14 neo-Nazi gang, who boasted that “We have fun killing.”


“Bandera smoothie for friends of Putin.”


Foreign Extremists Flock to Ukraine

The dossier also contains a link to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs page called “Fight for Ukraine,” which provides instructions for foreigners who wish to join Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi-infested armed forces – termed the “International Defense Legion of Ukraine.”

Following Zelensky’s call for foreign fighters to form a brigade, fighters from all over the world, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Spain, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and more have traveled to face Russian forces. Others with no combat training or experience have arrived for “war tourism” – what one British soldier called “bullet-catchers.”

Official Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recruitment graphics from the dossier.

Official Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recruitment graphics from the dossier.

While the Ukrainian government says tens of thousands have answered their call, some commentators expressed doubt at those figures, calling it a “PR exercise.”

However, the foreigners who have traveled to Ukraine have encountered a much more severe reality than they anticipated.

Russia’s air force bombed military installations adjacent to where the foreign fighters were sleeping. Having fled to neighboring Poland, a Spanish fighter described the bombing as a “message” that could have killed thousands.

Similarly, an American fighter who hid in an ambulance to escape the frontlines warned that Ukrainian authorities were killing foreigners who decided not to fight, calling it a “trap.”

Correct Wording

One document inside the dossier delineates acceptable language on the conflict with Russia as determined by the Ukrainian government.

“Such Russian clichés like ‘referendum in Crimea’ or ‘will of the people of Crimea’ are absolutely unacceptable,” the document states, in reference to the 2014 overwhelmingly successful referendum to separate from Ukraine.

The document deems unacceptable the terms “Civil war in Donbass,” “Internal conflict,” “Conflict in Ukraine” and “Ukrainian crisis” to describe the Ukrainian military’s war with the breakaway republics of the Donbass region. This, despite the fact that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that 14,200 people, including 3,404 civilians, have been killed in internal fighting in Ukraine since 2014.

In place of these phrases, the document calls for the use of the terms “Armed aggression by the Russian Federation in Donbass, international armed conflict, Russian war against Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian conflict armed conflict.”

Key Messages

Another document titled “Key Messages” contains specific propaganda claims that were widely disseminated in mainstream Western media, but which have since been discredited. One section claims the “entire Europe was put on the brink of nuclear disaster, when the Russian troops began shelling the largest in Europe Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.”

However, International Atomic Energy Agency’s director-general, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said that the building hit by a Russian “projectile” at the Zaporizhzhia plant was “not part of the reactor” but instead a training center. Russian troops also left Ukrainian workers to continue operating the plant.

Another section thanks Turkey for the decision “to block the access of Russian warships to the Black Sea.”

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan closed the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to all military vessels, preventing both NATO and Russian vessels from accessing the Black Sea.

Among the document’s key messages is a statement of gratitude to the “Anti-war demonstrations held by citizens of many nations throughout the world demonstrate strong support to Ukraine in defending against Russia.”

This refers to large pro-Ukraine demonstrations in Europe which have featured calls for the U.S. and NATO to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine and shoot down Russian military aircraft, potentially transforming the conflict into a world war between nuclear-armed powers.

“Despite Russia’s propaganda, there is no discrimination based on the race or nationality, including when it comes to the crossing of the state border by foreign citizens,” claims the Ukrainian document.

However, numerous videos and reports have documented Ukrainian authorities preventing Africans from fleeing the fighting. Even The New York Times – hardly a bastion of Kremlin propaganda – published a report documenting these racist practices.

One message says that “On 16 March, the Russian forces dropped a bomb on a drama theatre where up to 1300 civilians were being sheltered. The number of casualties is still unknown.”

However, as Max Blumenthal reported the explosion appears to be the result of a false flag operation designed by the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and aimed at triggering a NATO intervention.

NATO-Backed Troll Farms

Another anonymously-penned investigation shows how Ukrainian public relations firms have used targeted advertisements to astroturf Russian internet and social media networks with messaging calling to economically isolate Moscow and “stop the war.” This effort is led by Bezlepkin Evgeny Vitalievich, who uses the alias Evgeny Korolev, along with Pavel Antonov of the Targetorium organization. From behind his Korolev pseudonym, the Ukrainian information warrior composed a post on his Facebook page (now private) boasting that his firm’s Facebook ads achieved 30 million hits in three days.

At the same time, Facebook has blocked Russian state-owned media outlets from running ads and monetizing content. Several fake accounts for media outlets like Russia 24 have sprung up, burying the authentic account under a series of impostors. Facebook has also marked statements from Russian officials, including the Ministry of Defense, as “false.”

This campaign has reportedly been carried out upon recommendation from StopFake, a self-described “fact checking” outlet that is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, Atlantic Council, Czech and U.K. foreign ministries and the International Renaissance Foundation, which is funded by billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

StopFake was hired by Facebook in March 2020 to “curb the flow of Russian propaganda” but was found to be employing multiple figures closely tied to violent Neo-Nazis. The journalist who co-authored the exposé received death threats and ultimately fled Ukraine.

Those revelations have apparently not prevented Facebook from relying on the organization for censorship guidance.

Meanwhile, Russian hackers located a public Google document (since made private, uploaded here) detailing the propaganda operation, which has been distributed in Telegram channels of “creative farms.”

“Here you can find links to Ukrainian media that need promotion, bot accounts with logins and passwords from which anti-war messages and messages with fakes about the Ministry of Defense were sent to users, theses and specific instructions on which posts and which audiences to embroider,” the investigation reads.

Another campaign is run by Nataliya Popovych, the founder of the public relations agency, One Philosophy, in Kiev. Popovych’s LinkedIn profile shows she has worked with the U.S. State Department and advised former President Petro Poroshenko. She is also co-founder and board member of Ukraine Crisis Media Center, a propaganda arm funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. embassy and NATO, among many others.

A Campaign Asia article profiles several public relations firms involved in the effort. Among them is Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman PR. Edelman is also a member of the Atlantic Council’s Board of Directors and the World Economic Forum.

“Geopolitics has become the new test for trust. We saw this with the allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the war between Ukraine and Russia has only reinforced it,” he said, linking the U.S. propaganda campaign surrounding China’s deradicalization campaign for Uyghur Muslims.

PR Approved Media Outlets

An article in PRWeek profiles several figures partaking in what they describe as a “PR army” that is “fighting on the informational frontline” against Russia’s “barbaric genocide of Ukrainians.”

“Propaganda is the same as real lethal weapons,” declares Marta Dzhumaha, PR manager at healthcare company BetterMe.

Julia Petryk, head of public relations at MacPaw, offers a list of approved media outlets, authored by her colleague Tetiana Bronistka, a former employee of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office. The list includes Russian and English language sources, as well as Telegram channels. However, these “verified sources that objectively cover what is happening in Ukraine” are anything but independent. Most of them are tied to the U.S. and European governments and billionaire foundations.

She also lists several Russian-language websites:

Among the Telegram channels listed are:

  • Radio Svoboda – CIA-founded propaganda organ Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  • Espresso TV, largely owned by the wife of former Ukrainian member of parliament Mykola Knyazhytsky
  •, formerly the largest media site in Ukraine, whose motto is “To bring down Russia”, and whose owner operates a “parade of international trolls.”

Intelligence Operations

While the public relations firms distribute content, CIA cutouts and billionaire foundations run the media outlets they derive it from. At the core of this operation is a project called the Russian Language News Exchange that was the product of a network of opposition media outlets founded in 2016 that operate in post-Soviet countries, as revealed by an investigation by the Russian media agency, RIA FAN.

In July 2021, a group of journalists flew to Warsaw for media training after being exempted from coronavirus-related restrictions and quarantine orders by Poland’s top medical authorities.

Among the six journalists were Andrey Lipsky, deputy editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, and Yuliia Fediv, CEO of Hromadske TV media, one of the most-watched networks in Ukraine.

Hromadske’s financial reports show it is funded by numerous governments and foundations, including the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the European Endowment for Democracy and Free Press Unlimited. Silicon Valley billionaire Pierre Omidary was also involved in creating the outlet.

Hromadske recently hosted a commentator demanding genocide of ethnic Russians in the Donbass, saying it is populated with 1.5 “superfluous” people that “must be exterminated.”

The training, held behind closed doors from July 19 to July 21, was titled “Media Network 2021+” and closely tied to Mediaset, also known as the Russian Language News Exchange, a network founded in 2015. Russian Language News Exchange’s website is sparse, with little available information on its activities – apparently made private since the publication of RIA FAN’s investigation.

While it claims to be independent, Russian Language News Exchange is a project of Free Press Unlimited, funded by the Dutch government and the European Commission.

Today, it includes 14 media outlets that act as “nodes,” cross-publishing each other’s articles in various countries.

The website’s introductory video is hosted by Maxim Eristavi, a former Radio Free Europe reporter and founder of Hromadske. Today, he heads the Millennium Leadership Program at the NATO and arms industry-backed think tank, the Atlantic Council.

Since its inception, Mediaset has coordinated between outlets in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. In March 2021, Mediaset expanded with the Colab Medios Project, created through the Free Press Unlimited Viable Media for Empowered Societies (VIMES) program. This program created training for journalists and saw articles from the El Salvadoran outlet El Faro published in Euroradio (Belarus), Coda(Georgia), and Ziarul de Garda (Moldova).

On March 4, several days after Russia launched its military offensive, a new project called the Media Lifeline Ukraine was created.

The next day, Free Press Unlimited held an emergency conference for Ukraine featuring Hromadske co-founders Maxim Eristavi and Nataliya Gumenyuk. The meeting called to raise 2 million euros for the project. “Only with ongoing external support, will local media entities be able to continue to do their work,” its introductory page asks.

Days later, Free Press Unlimited announced a partnership to support a new joint project of  Reporters Without Borders and its Ukrainian partner, the Institute for Mass Information, called The Lviv Press Freedom Center. The Institute for Mass Information is headed by USAID communications officer Oksana Romaniuk and funded by USAID and the UK government.

Washington DC Lobbyists Wag the Dog

While public relations firms and intelligence-linked propaganda operations target the public, Washington, D.C., lobbyists are agitating in Congress to extend the war in Ukraine

Daniel Vajdich, a registered foreign agent and lobbyist for the Ukrainian Federation of Employers of the Oil and Gas Industry, the largest in Ukraine, is working on behalf of Volodymyr Zelensky to lobby members of Congress to approve more weapons shipments to Ukraine. Now the head of Yorktown Solutions, he previously advised Ted Cruz and Scott Walker’s campaigns and is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

“Stingers, Javelins, and let’s figure out the fighter aircraft issue,” he told Politico, claiming Russia is attempting to carry out a “genocide” and “depopulate certain areas of Ukraine.”

Vajdich also wrote Zelenskyy’s March 16 speech to U.S. Congress, in which he quoted Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Ukrainian Permanent Representative at the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya’s Feb. 23 speech to the United Nations General Assembly was written by D.C. lobbying firm SKDKnickerbocker Managing Director Stephen Krupin, a former senior speechwriter to President Barack Obama who worked extensively on Biden’s 2020 campaign.

Most prominent among the registered lobbyists promoting Ukrainian government and business interests is Andrew Mac, who also contributed to writing Zelensky’s speech to Congress. Mac registered as a lobbyist for Zelensky in 2019 and runs the Washington, D.C., office of Ukrainian law firm Asters Law.

The lobbying firm Your Global Strategy, founded by Shai Franklin, who has been affiliated with numerous Zionist organizations including the World Jewish Congress and Anti-Defamation League, is also using its influence with local officials in the U.S. Franklin has set up meetings between Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov and U.S. mayors, including Eric Adams in New York City, Michelle Wu in Boston and Lori Lightfoot in Chicago. He is also attempting to set up a meeting between U.S. officials and the mayors of Odessa and Kiev. A media outlet owned by the mayor of Kiev’s wife recently featured a presenter calling for genocide against Russians, beginning with children.

Franklin said he’s working with Zelensky’s administration to help set up virtual meetings between mayors of Odessa and Kiev and U.S. counterparts.

Maryland-based lawyer Lukas Jan Kaczmarek is also working on behalf of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to increase U.S. weapons shipments, specifically seeking to arrange shipments of guns from Kel-Tec CNC Industries based in Cocoa, Florida, to the city of Odessa, Ukraine.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul described the network of public relations professionals and lobbyists surrounding Zelensky. “These are people around Mr. Zelenskyy who are like the intermediaries and interlocutors. They’ve been interacting with the American elites and American media for a long time,” he said.

McFaul and John E. Herbst, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, act as informal advisers to Zelensky. McFaul told Politico that he speaks to Ukrainian government officials “probably everyday,” and “has helped them make connections with NBC or MSNBC producers.”

McFaul recently told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that “Hitler did not kill German-speaking people,” facing accusations of Holocaust denial.

Zelensky also held a “strategic video call” with McFaul before he spoke to House democrats.

With a powerful Russian military fighting alongside DPR and LPR forces, the Ukrainian military’s defeat seems to be imminent unless the United States and NATO directly confront Russian forces, a scenario President Joe Biden has already ruled out. Lobbyists nevertheless persist in their campaign to portray the Ukrainian military as underdogs scoring blow after blow against Russian hordes. In doing so, they help extend the war and continue the carnage.

Dan Cohen is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Behind The Headlines. He has produced widely distributed video reports and print dispatches from across Israel-Palestine. He tweets at @DanCohen3000.


18 comments for “Ukraine’s Propaganda War

  1. Maricata
    March 27, 2022 at 16:45

    Add to all the psyops Hollywood.

    It has always been infiltrated by the CIA and FBI but now it is even worse. The actors admit they are CIA agents.

    One such is Affleck.

    Sean Penn the ultimate opportunist and quintessential fool is now making a documentary on Ukraine.

    It will be a pro-American anti Russian hit piece.

    Penn is part of the CIA and Chase Brandon’s Hollywood.

    check out Chase Brandon, the writer of many, many Hollywood films.


  2. Tom
    March 26, 2022 at 16:19

    Crooks and frauds always excel in deception and fake news and the Uki SBU is no different compared to the CFR NATO Military Industrial Complex sales people for weapons of war. Putin has a real army not some Kabuki shitshow as in the Pentagon that couldnt win a war in the last 80y. Ukraine war is over. The Americans bombed Iraq for 40 days prior to invasion, Shoigu bombed 1 day and fixed the denazification in 30 days.

  3. Tony
    March 24, 2022 at 14:32

    All very reminiscent of the PR campaign designed to promote Gulf War I back in 1990-1991.

    I expect we will have someone claiming to be a nurse saying that she worked at a hospital. And one day, Russian troops arrived and removed babies from incubators and left them to die on the floor. And this will be the hook to allow direct NATO intervention.

    Unfortunately, unlike last time, there is unlikely to be anyone left alive to expose the deceit behind such a claim.

  4. vinnieoh
    March 24, 2022 at 11:13

    Thank you CN for posting this – very important.

    “Propaganda is the same as real lethal weapons,” declares Marta Dzhumaha, PR manager at healthcare company BetterMe. I’M HAVING A HARD TIME GETTING MY MIND COMPLETELY AROUND THE IMPLICATIONS OF THAT ENTIRE SENTENCE!!

    Sooo, is propaganda the same as affordable, effective health care? It all begins to come into focus (as if it hadn’t long ago): us proles are merely the aphids to be stroked and milked in the ant colony of the wealthy. Or, as Count Ruga said: “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.” The first to fail, as would be absolutely agreed by all the above sycophants, is mental health. Truth is abolished, replaced with fiction.

    Lethal indeed Ms. Marta, but are we not all mortal and vulnerable? Can you maintain your hold on so lethal and indiscriminate a weapon?

  5. Dienne
    March 24, 2022 at 10:29

    Lots of valuable information here, but it really boils down to this: “The Post ultimately conceded that “Western officials say that while they cannot independently verify much of the information that Kyiv puts out about the evolving battlefield situation, including casualty figures for both sides, it nonetheless represents highly effective stratcom.”” U.S. empire/media in a nutshell: Who cares if it’s true as log as it’s useful.

  6. Figleaf23
    March 24, 2022 at 10:01

    Tone-deaf stridency and censorship are signs of weakness rather than strength. The western ‘globalist’ empire is in an irrecoverable decline. The sort of PR displayed here is clearly focused on shoring up opinion of an internal audience rather than persuading anyone outside of the bubble, which represents an inchoate but pragmatic recognition of futility.

    Being an aware observer in ‘the west’ in this period is very difficult. It is like living with an addict, guarding oneself against abuse, while sadly waiting for their ‘rock bottom’ moment of epiphany and hoping that it comes before too much damage has been done.

  7. Lois Gagnon
    March 24, 2022 at 09:25

    Sadly, most people in the US take everything they’re told by the MSM at face value. They have no desire to understand the very sophisticated PR campaign they are subjected to as described in this excellent article. They like their politics simplified. Nuance is a dirty word. The US as villain is unthinkable. I don’t see this changing until the Empire is clearly on its knees. Then people will be forced to rethink their assumptions.

    • John R
      March 26, 2022 at 09:55

      Thank you for this spot-on comment LG. Recently it was suggested to me to just ignore the entire Ukraine thing if it bothered me so much. We’re collectively not too far from being on our knees and frankly, I don’t think most believers in our purity will understand even then.

    • Maricata
      March 27, 2022 at 16:49

      The general public is being reduced to where people not only are unable to find out about the truth they also become unable to search for the truth. They are satisfied with deception and trickery that have determined their convictions. They are satisfied with a fictitious reality created by design… – Josef Pieper

      “The preparation for war is useful to the holders of centralized political power. When things go badly at home, when popular discontent becomes inconveniently articulate, it is always possible, in a world where war-making remains an almost sacred habit, to shift the people’s attention away from domestic to foreign and military affairs. A flood of xenophobic or imperialistic propaganda is released by the government-controlled instruments of persuasion, a “strong policy” is adopted toward some foreign power, an appeal for “national unity” (in other words, unquestioning obedience to the ruling oligarchy) is launched, and at once it becomes unpatriotic for anybody to voice even the most justifiable complaints against mismanagement or oppression. It is difficult to see how any highly centralized government could afford to dispense with militarism and the threat of foreign war.”

      Aldous Huxley in his book ” Science, Liberty and Peace”, 1946

  8. Steve
    March 24, 2022 at 08:06

    It’s scary how flagrant the propaganda has been and how easily everything has been accepted by the ordinary people in the West.

    • Figleaf23
      March 24, 2022 at 10:03

      The ability of MSM to lure its victims back into false narratives is frustrating. It’s like watching an abuser convince a beaten spouse to take them back one more time.

  9. mgr
    March 24, 2022 at 03:35

    Important reporting because at some point the passions will die down and the history of this sordid effort will come out. Western power and prestige in the world will be further hollowed out and not only the American century is ended but the Western century that clings to it will continue to fade. Ultimately, the neocon ideology driving this is simply self-serving stupid. Stupid people, plans, and outcomes.

    In any case, seems like a lot of personal interest profiteering. War, after all, is good business. Would all this effort be made if it was not being paid for, probably by a small handful of actors? Notably, none of it is being aimed at resolving the conflict. America has neocons, Ukraine has Nazis. Little difference between them (albeit neocons are overwhelmingly chicken-hawks while Nazis want to die, or kill, gloriously in the battle for white supremacy; both are despicable).

  10. Mikael Andersson
    March 24, 2022 at 02:54

    I came across a new term recently – “Air Pushers”. It assessed the western MSM and impotence of the western regimes as the inability to do anything other than “push air”. Blah, blah, blah. Their propaganda effort is intended for indoctrinated western publics who must prefer to go without services while their states pour money into arms corporations to “save” Ukraine. Australia where I am, has spent $91 million so far, rather than fix the immense damage from 1000-year, climate-change floods in NSW. The “Air Pushers” know they won’t influence the outcome in Ukraine, but they will use these events to increase control over western publics in “democracies”. I felt that “Air Pushers” was a very accurate term.

  11. Realist
    March 24, 2022 at 01:36

    These Ukrainian psy-ops are “excellent?” I’d call them shameless. In fact, they go over the top on psychopathy. They are totally vicious, loathsome and mentally sick to say nothing of thoroughly deceitful. These are not a people I would ever want to support. They live beyond the pale of civilisation. I can see why the huge Russian population within their jurisdiction want their freedom and independence, rather than the Ukrainian tyranny. That the United States supports this madness is extremely worrisome. We already have enough fear and loathing running rampant, largely based on race. We don’t need to reinforce this or add ethnic animosities to the mix, so please deep six all that vile hate speech vomited forth by Ukraine. With such a sicko mentality it’s no wonder Ukraine has the most corruption and least economic productivity in all of Europe. A people like that do not need or deserve any more advanced weaponry being gifted to them by the United States. Frankly, I am totally shocked by the barbarism on parade in Ukraine. Gotta be the Nazi worship practiced there.

    • Ole
      March 24, 2022 at 09:28

      It was a NATO commander that was quoted to say that the propaganda was “excellent”. It is undoubtedly vile and despicable, as all propaganda is. But you attribute that to an entire people? If so, you are wrong.

      There are many outside factors at play here.

      The war was set in motion by Russia but the groundwork for a east vs west confrontation was laid by the west for many decades through NATO expansionist policy. Is that somehow the fault of the people of Ukraine?

      The coup in 2014 is a defining moment that led up to this war. The Ukrainian people had voted into power a neutral president that refused to sell out his country to the IMF and instead turned to Russia for economic support which then led to US staging a coup. Is that somehow the fault of the people of Ukraine?

      The current president of Ukraine ran on a platform of peace and reconciliation. He changed his tune after the election was over with, for whatever reason. Is that somehow the fault of the people of Ukraine?

      It is clear that the west has no intention of honoring the democracy of Ukraine unless the democratic will of the Ukrainian people happens to align with the plans of US/NATO. It is clear to me that the Ukrainian democracy has been undermined and that it would be unfair to attribute the policy of Ukraine to its people.

      There is an article on multipolarista written by an Ukrainian-American leftist. I highly recommend it: hxxps://

      • Realist
        March 24, 2022 at 14:08

        I know a Nato commander mouthed the words. Typical of the immoral breed. It was not something I overlooked or misunderstood. Whoever spoke them, that characterisation needs to be challenged in no uncertain terms.

        I also know that not every last Ukrainian is necessarily down with them, but a hell of a lot unquestionably are. The level of saturation of this immorality in Ukraine is downright stunning. They are torturing their fellow citizens in public now and proudly posting the photos on line! What kind of depravity is that? Nobody stops it! These are in Zelensky/Nazi-controlled areas. If the majority disagree they should have put a stop to this insane cruelty and lawlessness a long time ago. With the clearcut prevalence of such acts, proudly flaunted in every form of media by phalanxes of uniformed Nazis, I’d say that Ukrainian society writ large is responsible for this, not just a few bad apples, or just a small band of forceful but misguided leaders.

        No sir, corruption, graft and naked power by the SOBs running the place have been the hallmark of the Ukrainian nation state for far too long. Moreover, American instigators have applauded it, just to put a beat down on Russia, ever since Ukraine first received its independence in 1991. So, a lot of the guilt transfers to them as well.

        All of Germany and all of Japan were forced to pay the price after their rotten empires were finally toppled (by an unknown but emerging rotten American empire at the time). All of Russia suffered through the Yeltsin years of sell-out to America and emergence of the oligarchs. But, with Putin’s moral and civilised leadership they emerged from it and were transitioning to a “normal” existence before Washington stepped in to stop the emergence of any peer competitor. Don’t persist, like the disingenuous Americans, in overlooking the coup and the eight years of pogrom against the ethnic Russians in the Donbas taking upwards of 15,000 lives. If you think you are the exception, you can make your individual appeal. You should have that right, but you will have to prove you were one of the rare innocents in this sea of war criminals.

    March 23, 2022 at 19:56

    Scary poster titles. Scary minds. And now, to throw a supposedly truth-telling support structure into this volatile mix, WaPo has launched a fundraiser for Reporters without Borders. With no known mechanism for sorting out truth- from falseood-tellers.

    Here is an insightful view, from a Ukrainian sociologist, on how all this dystopian dynamics could play out with Zelenskyy’s new censorship law – a realistic thought experiment with Azov ‘re-taking’ their lead as vanguard of the revolution.


  13. Eric
    March 23, 2022 at 18:12

    A valuable report. But a couple of flaws:

    “… Open Society Foundation oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorovsky …”

    — is Khodorovsky really an Open Society oil tycoon?

    “* Proposed that Leningrad should have been surrendered to the Nazis in World War 2 and has complained that they are called a “fifth column” for being funded by Western powers”

    — who proposed this?

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