Tsukerman: Militaristic Mood In Russia is Growing

Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.

Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.

By Slava Tsukerman

January 30, 2022

Militaristic tone of the Russian media is growing. More and more the Russian conflict with Ukraine is presented there as a Russian conflict with the “aggressive” USA and NATO.

On January 28, an anchor of one of the main political programs of Russian TV “60 minutes”, while covering the meeting of President Joe Biden with the Ukrainian’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, claimed that Zelensky tried to convince Biden that the situation in Ukraine is not dangerous, as Russians are not going to invade Ukraine, but Biden tried to convince him of the opposite.

On January 26, the popular Russian website “Rumbler” published a survey of Chinese publications about the Russian – Ukrainian conflict, presenting it as a conflict between Russia and the entire Western world.

Here are some quotes from the survey:

“Analysts from the Chinese paper ‘Baijiahao’ reported that in the event of a military conflict, Russia would defeat the United States and NATO in 24 hours.”

According to the survey, the analysts of the Chinese paper ‘Sohu’ came to conclusion: “If the war breaks out, eight countries will support Russia without hesitation.”

Here is a quote from the survey:
“One can observe a deterioration in relations between Moscow and Washington, which allows us to talk about a possible military conflict between them. Russia in its confrontation with the United States may rely on quite serious assistance from other countries, not just with statements, but also with real actions.

“Chinese analysts suggested that Russia could count on eight countries. In their opinion, they will include Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Syria. China is sure that the assistance of these states, along with the combat capabilities of the Russian army, as well as the arsenals of strategic weapons, will allow the Russian Federation to hope for success in the confrontation with the American side.”

Russian media is overwhelmed with publications about excellence of the Russian weapons and anti–Russian actions of the “Ukrainian nationalists”.

Feodor Krasheninnikov, a prominent journalist, published in the democratic website “Republic” the article “Days when everyone lies: the specifics of pre-war propaganda.”

He writes:

“Military propaganda is a specific genre of work with masses, which is obviously devoid of any moral restrictions, welcomes anonymity and does not require further explanations. A week ago, with reference to an eyewitness, they reported how the enemies ate children for breakfast, and later, when no one remembers this anymore, then the theme of the new week is a story of how enemy soldiers raped animals in a zoo. Unlike ordinary propaganda, and even more unlike ordinary information, the goals of military propaganda are short-term and utilitarian: to stimulate your soldiers and drive the enemy into doubt and destruction of its moral right now and at any cost to regroup masses around your army and political leadership, while trying to demoralize the enemy. Therefore, truth, humanism, the real state of affairs, and often even elementary logic are ignored: the enemy is dehumanized by all available means, and no one is interested in how it all looks from the outside today and how it will look tomorrow.”

Russian Parliament Duma is emotionally discussing what should be the next steps for Russia. One group of parliamentarians insists on the immediate recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk self-proclaimed republics, as independent states. Another group demands to immediately move Russian army to the republics “to defend” their inhabitants, since more than 600,000 of them lately received Russian citizenship.

Pavel Luzin, an expert on foreign defense policy said in his interview with the oppositional website “Republic”:

“The risks of a full-fledged Russian invasion to Ukraine are minimal, but the Russian Federation can legalize its presence in the DPR and LPR by sending troops there under the guise of protecting residents of the self-proclaimed republics who have Russian passports”.

On January 29, “The Rambler” published an article entitled “Economy of war: Kiev, having collected loans from the West, is already obliged to storm Donetsk and Luhansk”. Here is a quote from the article:

“It is no longer realistic for Ukraine to win back the beaches of Crimea and other charms of the peninsula that have returned to Russia, and many in Kiev have already realized this. But – Ukrainian radical nationalists clearly do not want to part with their ‘blue dream’ to seize the ‘riches’ of Donbas.

“For the current Ukrainian government, this issue is even more urgent – the country is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. The national economy is dying, millions of citizens earn their living in the EU or Russia, and the government is accumulating debts.

“It is unlikely that Ukrainian radicals seriously expect to attack Russia. But the intention to seize the Donbas in the course of an unprecedented large-scale offensive under the cover of the West is almost not hidden. The return of these territories with their enterprises would allow Ukraine to at least briefly ease the debt stranglehold of the West.

“This is a very fat piece that can please both Western creditors and independent oligarchs. Before the outbreak of hostilities, the Donetsk and Luhansk regions provided about 18% of Ukraine’s industrial production”.

The Russian media eagerly reprints all the Ukrainian publications that can increase beliefs of the possibility of the coming war in the Russian readers.

Former Ukrainian People’s Deputy Nadezhda Savchenko, known for her political controversy, visiting the program “On duty for the country” on the TV channel “Ukraine 24”, expressed her opinion on the Russia – West negotiations.

Savchenko believes that if the countries fail to agree in the coming days, then a new Cuban crisis is not ruled out, which could develop into a Third World War.

Savchenko says the military rhetoric has now risen, and so have the stakes. She is sure that all the events that will develop will depend on whether the Russian Federation and the West can agree. Russia is demanding that NATO move beyond the 1997 barrier, but NATO says it cannot be done. It is clear that all of America’s demands also cannot be met. Savchenko believes, that the both sides’ common ground will be searched for several days, not months.

“If they come to an understanding, there may still be a month to develop and sign documents. But it will be clear right now whether they have agreed or not,” Savchenko said.

In her opinion in the event that the countries fail to agree, this will turn into the crisis not only for some countries, but also for the entire world.

Andrej Karaulov – for years was one of the most popular journalists on the Russian official TV. Since April 2018, he broadcasts on his own YouTube channel. The channel has over 1.55 million subscribers.

On January 27, his YouTube topic had sensational title, presenting possible future as today’s event:
“5 minutes ago, Putin’s games turned out badly: the United States declared war on Russia.”

Karaulov agrees with Putin that moving of the NATO closer to Russia is unacceptable. But he thinks that Putin’s reaction to the situation is wrong and extremely dangerous.

On January 25, in his interview with a popular Ukrainian TV personality Dmitry Gordon, Andrej Karaulov said:

“The period of being of Russian President Vladimir Putin in power is coming to an end; people do not comprehend what is happening in the country (…) Putin is leaving, though he himself doesn’t understand it.”