Soon right after footage emerged of the carnage Russian troops still left guiding in the city of Bucha, Ukraine, an article was released April 4, 2022, in a single of the biggest Russian condition-operate media firms.
The article called for even a lot more bloodshed in Ukraine.
Penned by journalist and Kremlin-aligned political operative Timofey Sergeytsev and published in RIA-Novosti, the post responses the query posed by its headline: “What need to Russia do with Ukraine?”
The solution, Sergeytsev writes, is whole annihilation. He writes that “all who have related by themselves with Nazism ought to be liquidated and banned.”
Sergeytsev urges Russian soldiers to be merciless and drive Ukraine to its knees and phone calls for much more of the identical inhumane strategies that took spot in Bucha and the cities of Mariupul and Berdyansk.
As an tutorial focusing on Russian authorities, politics and society, I think the posting demonstrates what is foremost on the mind of President Vladimir Putin’s routine.
The silencing of independent Russian media
Sergeytsev’s piece deserves shut attention simply because RIA-Novosti is just one of the a few biggest information companies in Russia and has a mass circulation. It features as a faithful mouthpiece of the Russian governing administration and has an inordinate affect on what Russians see and hear about the war in Ukraine.
This is the result of the Russian government’s at any time tightening manage above independent media because 2000, when Putin grew to become president. In his first yr in power, Putin shut down providers of media businessman Vladimir Gusinsky.
Since then, Putin has made use of what is known as the Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information and facts know-how and Mass Media, a federal agency that displays and censors Russian mass media and decides which need to have to be shut down.
In 2022 alone, Putin shut the last remaining independent resources of data in Russia: liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy, on the internet tv channel Tv Rain, bilingual information web-site Meduza and Novaya Gazeta, whose editor, Dmitry Muratov, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.
The Russian governing administration not only has whole regulate above all media, but it dictates what can be seen and listened to. The war in Ukraine, for instance, can only be referred to as “a special military services procedure.” Anyone who phone calls it a “war” is subject to a prison phrase of 15 many years.
Specified exactly where it appeared, Sergeytsev’s posting must have been printed with the knowledge and acceptance of the Russian authorities.
Who is Sergeytsev?
Sergeytsev is an knowledgeable Russian political operative who labored on behalf of the Russian authorities to prop up professional-Russian Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma in 1991. He also supported Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose questionable election victory, promoted by Putin, resulted in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution of 2004.
Sergeytsev is also a member of the Russian considerably right Zinoviev Club, named after Alexander Zinoviev. Zinoviev was a winner of Josef Stalin as a design chief, the murderous dictator who ruled the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1953.
Provided this pedigree, it’s not shocking that it was Sergeytsev who wrote the respond to to the problem about what Russia really should do about Ukraine.
A battle versus Nazis?
In the invented globe he describes in his post, Sergeytsev accuses both equally Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko and present-day President, Volodymyr Zelensky, of making use of “total terror” in opposition to the Russian “anti-fascists in Odesa, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Mariupol and other Russia cities.”
As for the Donbass areas of Donetsk and Lukhansk in Ukraine’s east, the place pro-Russian separatists have fought Ukraine above the previous eight many years, Sergeytsev states they have been bravely rebelling “against Ukrainian Nazism.”
Sergeytsev phone calls for the destruction of all “Nazis that have taken up arms” and that they “should be destroyed to the optimum on the battlefield.”
He involves the Ukrainian armed forces, the countrywide battalions, the territorial defense forces and “a substantial section of the masses, which are passive Nazis” and “are also responsible.”
All “are similarly concerned in severe cruelty from the civilian population, equally responsible of the genocide of the Russian individuals, and do not comply with legal guidelines and customs of war,” Sergeytsev writes.
In this piece of bald disinformation, Sergeytsev even more writes that the vast majority of Ukrainians have been drawn to the Nazi politics of their federal government and “this point is the basis of the policy of denazification.”
Sergeytsev’s decision of words, these kinds of as “de-Ukrainization” and “denazification,” are terms contacting for the destruction of Ukraine. In his April 4 article of 1,700 terms, Sergeytsev takes advantage of the word Nazi 69 situations.
In purchase to achieve the greatest target of “de-Ukrainization,” Sergeytsev calls for a rejection of Ukrainian ethnicity and the peoples’ correct to self-determination.
Echoing Putin, Sergeytsev writes that Ukraine has in no way been a country state, including that its attempts at getting unbiased have led to “Nazism.”
Sergeytsev calls on all of Ukraine’s elite to be “liquidated” and “the social swamp which actively and passively supports it should go through the hardship of war and digest the experience as a historical lesson and atonement.”
The constant use of the phrase “Nazi” triggers a visceral reaction among the the Russian population. All through Environment War II, the Soviet Union suffered horrible atrocities at the hands of the Nazis. In a single example, the Nazi blockade of Leningrad lasted from September 1941 till January 1944, a complete of 900 days. An estimated more than 1 million persons died from systematic starvation.
Employing the phrase “Nazi” is bearing fruit for the Kremlin.
The impartial polling heart Levada confirmed in late March polls, a single thirty day period into the invasion, that 83% of Russians permitted of Putin.
But inspite of Russian media attempts to falsely portray Ukrainians as Nazis, there have been studies of Russian troopers captured by Ukrainian military services bewildered by the objective of the war, expressing they couldn’t discover any Nazis or fascists.
Old and new boundaries
In addition to contacting for the have to have for “de-Ukrainization,” Sergeytsev writes that Ukraine “must be returned to its all-natural boundaries.”
These boundaries ended up the types shaped amongst 1765 and 1783 after Russia’s Empress Catherine the Great defeated the Turks, annexed Crimea and incorporated the whole southern aspect of today’s Ukraine identified as Novorossiya into the Russian empire.
Sergeytsev states that the 5 regions in western Ukraine, which he refers to as the “residual Ukraine in a neutral point out,” are not possible to develop into aspect of the pro-Russian territories and will remain hostile to Russia. “The haters of Russia will go there,” he writes.
For Sergeytsev, compromising with the United States, NATO and other Western nations is not an solution.
The reason, Sergeytsev concludes, is simply because the “collective West by itself is the designer, resource and sponsor of Ukrainian Nazism.”