Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

For A Propaganda Factory, Donetsk News Agency Fails Badly


I post here an example of pro-Russian propaganda and logic or lack thereof.  

Notice the headline, which twists the meaning of Ukraine’s action of declaring, and then allowing martial law to expire.

Martial law expiration doesn’t mean Ukraine cannot attack – Basurin

Let’s examine the headline’s logic in four different ways.

The following headling contains a double negative, which means Ukraine CAN attack, with the implication that it will.

  • Martial law expiration doesn’t mean Ukraine cannot attack

This headline contains one negative and makes a firm declaration that Ukraine will not.

  • Martial law expiration means Ukraine cannot attack

This headline contains no negative and clearly states Ukraine can attack, despite the martial law expiration.

  • Martial law expiration means Ukraine can still attack

This headline contains no negative and clearly states Ukraine cannot attack.

  • Martial law expiration means Ukraine cannot attack

The double negative is the least logical that the decidedly Pro-Russian Donbas News Agency uses is clearly designed to cast Ukraine in the worst possible light but its meaning is shrouded in the use of poor grammar. The writer or editor who chose this headline is likely not a native English speaker, but any student of English should be familiar with the rule of grammar barring a double negative. Perhaps the use of a double negative was even intentional but it is a poor choice. 

Notice the finger of blame is entirely pointed at Ukraine in this article.  It is clearly written for propaganda purposes so this is to be expected. The problem lies in its ineffectiveness if it does reach Western eyes, it is so poorly written and edited.

  • There is no acceptance or acknowledgment of either pro-Russian or Russian aggression, both have occurred exclusively to date, since 2014.  
  • There is no acknowledgment or even the possibility presented of a buildup by Ukraine for defensive purposes. 
  • There is no acknowledgment of a buildup of Russian forces for offensive or defensive actions.
  • There is no acknowledgment of Russia, whatsoever. 

The following sentence reflects a lack of military schooling by Basurin. 

“all their armed formations’ actions show they want a renewal of a full scale military action”

This statement does not contain the almost mandatory qualifier of if defensive or offensive actions are expected by the Donbas Armed Forces by Ukraine.  There are signature pieces of equipment which would be present if offensive or defensive actions are intended. The statement does not support the headline nor does it make the case supporting aggression on the part of Ukraine. In other words, as a piece of propaganda, it fails on every level.

Notice the entirely fabricated purpose for Ukraine’s declaration of martial law, which originated in Russian propaganda.

“Poroshenko first tabled a 60-day martial law to facilitate presidential election postponement…”

Another failure is the lack of a caption on the picture of ‘Basurin’. His Wikipedia entry in its entirety:

Eduard Aleksandrovich Basurin was Deputy Defence Minister and defence spokesman of the Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia Command. In 2014 he served as a political commissar of the Kalmius Battalion. On 1 October 2018, the DPR allegedly abolished the office of Defence Minister.

His Wikipedia entry reflects he has a total of four years of military service, yet he was the Deputy Defence Minister and now the Deputy Chief of Staff?  Either his PR department is not updating his Wikipedia entry as it should or he is grossly underqualified.

The Donetsk News Agency would not be publishing an article in English if it were not intended to reach out to the West and influence opinions. The article is weak on details, poorly written, poorly edited, and contradicts itself between the headline and the actual article. 

Bottom line, the propaganda effort supporting the Russian efforts in Donbas appear to be a complete failure.  Does this reflect all the way up to Vladislav Surkov?  

</end editorial>



Martial law expiration doesn’t mean Ukraine cannot attack – Basurin

DECEMBER 27, 2018 0:10

Donetsk, Dec 27 – DAN. Martial law expiration in Ukraine does not mean that the threat of military action breakout is no longer present, said deputy chief-of-staff of the DPR People’s Militia Eduard Basirin.

“The threat of Ukrainian a[g]gression persists, all their armed formations’ actions show they want a renewal of a full[-]scale military action. They still concentrate equipment on the contact line, amass forces showing they are ready for a military-style solution to the conflict.

He said that DPR troops are ready for any sc[e]nario and to withstand any attempted assaults.

“We call on the international community to pay attention to Kiev’s actions and to influence their reckless decision making.”

Earlier on Wednesday Ukrainian president Petr Poroshenko said at the National security council meeting that martial law had expired. It was imposed on November 26 in 10 regions. Poroshenko first tabled a 60-day martial law to facilitate presidential election postponement, but lawmakers endorsed draft law on a 30-day martial law.

Source: https://dan-news.info/en/society/martial-law-expiration-doesnt-mean-ukraine-cannot-attack-basurin.html

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