Kyiv and Moscow are betting on the infowar

Ukraine War Kyiv Moscow

The modern Russian-Ukrainian conflict is not so much a classic battle on the battlefield as a confrontation in the media field. Mutual accusations of committing war crimes and violating the laws and customs of war alternate with outright fakes, the dissemination of which has one single goal - to create an atmosphere of chaos in the camp of the enemy, to demoralise its civil society and military personnel both on the front line and in the back.

At the same time, the information war in the conditions of the crisis in Ukraine is of a total nature. Everyone is engaged in it, from presidents of states to bots in social networks. This is a war without rules, there are no restrictions, no brakes, no moral or ethical principles.

In this regard, a special role is given to the use of black PR technologies. The task is to have the maximum psychological impact on the opponent, to confuse, force to make excuses, demoralise, unsettle. Under such conditions, an absolutely incredible, implausible lie, or a relatively believable lie becomes the main weapon.

While official Kyiv is trying with all its might to maintain its elusive authority among the local population, and Moscow is trying to win it over to its side, opponents accuse each other of using means that are unacceptable from the point of view of law and morality.

Despite the fact that no evidence of guilt is presented to the public in most of these cases, a certain impact on the mass consciousness of Ukrainian citizens is achieved anyway.

For example, as the Russian Defense Ministry reported on January 8, the Ukrainian special services had prepared a large-scale provocation in order to discredit the Russian Armed Forces.

It is assumed that the employees of the State Bureau of Investigation and the Security Service of Ukraine dug up the graves in cemeteries in the settlements of Kazachya Lopan, Veliky Burluk, Shipovatoye and Khatnoye in the Kharkiv region.

Then there were various manipulations (injuries, cuts, etc.) were allegedly carried out with the bodies of civilians who died from natural causes during the stay of the RF Armed Forces on this territory from February 24 to September 6, 2022.

Subsequently, this whole thing should become an evidence base for the atrocities of Russian military personnel against the local population.

The Ukrainian side, in turn, has also repeatedly made similar accusations against Russia. The most scandalous incident during the entire conflict was the accusation against the RF Armed Forces of the massacre of Ukrainians in the small town of Bucha in March last year.

In most of these cases, there is a clear lack of factual evidence to make a 100% conclusion that the opposing side is guilty. Nevertheless, both Moscow and Kyiv are banking on precisely these most sophisticated methods of information warfare in an attempt to win a long-anticipated victory.

Kemran Mamedov is a Moscow-based Azerbaijani journalist born in Georgia with a focus on South Caucasus issues.

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Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor