Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube LinkedIn Telegram

Analyses

PROEKT.MEDIA: The Russian Ministry lies about its victories in Ukraine

Russian Defense Ministry official representative general Igor Konashenkov, talks to the media during a briefing on the fight against terrorism in Syria at the Russian National Defense Management Center in Moscow, Russia, 04 May 2018.
©EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV  |   Russian Defense Ministry official representative general Igor Konashenkov, talks to the media during a briefing on the fight against terrorism in Syria at the Russian National Defense Management Center in Moscow, Russia, 04 May 2018.
Cursuri gratuite

Every day, Russian citizens learn from news segments about the victories reported by the Russian army on the Ukrainian front. Even when troops are retreating or conquering a few small villages despite sustaining heavy losses, the Ministry of Defense spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, invokes resounding achievements. A PROEKT.MEDIA investigation reveals that many such achievements are in fact mathematical and geographical falsehoods.

Vladimir Putin announced the start of the “special military operation” in Ukraine in the early hours of February 24. Later that day, the Defense Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, already reported that “as a result of the recent attacks of the Russian forces, 74 Ukrainian military infrastructure objectives have been destroyed”.

This figure might sound impressive, were we not to pay attention to the math further suggested by the representative of the military department. The list of objectives includes 11 airports, four Bayraktar drones, 18 radar stations, three command centers, a naval base and one gunship – in total half the figure Konashenkov had announced.

Let’s do the math: 11+4+18+3+1=37

Therefore, from its very onset, the war launched an era of repeated falsehoods about Russia’s military achievements. Whereas the first example of inconsistency can be explained by Konashenkov’s choice of concealing certain details, his following blunders can no longer be justified. Proekt has monitored all of Koneshenkov’s press briefings since the start of the war, and concluded that the data presented by the Russian Ministry of Defense contain a lot of errors, they defy basic rules of mathematics and geography and lack common sense. For the sake of preserving the illusion of success, Shoigu’s subordinates have even devised a language of their own. Without knowledge of this different Russian language, it is impossible to decode the declarations of military officials.

Konashenkov’s dictionary

Overall, resistance is provided mainly by armed groups of nationalists. Ukrainian servicemen are trying to evade combat”, it’s how Konashenkov started manipulating the Russian language from the first day of the war.

The press secretary of the Ministry of Defense distinguished between those who had allegedly retreated or surrendered, whom he respectfully calls Ukrainian servicemen, and those who mount a resistance, whom he calls “nationalists”. In fact, the myth about Russia’s swift victory and the refusal of the Ukrainian army to fight back stopped being relevant after just a week. In early March, it became clear that Russia’s blitzkrieg in Ukraine had failed, which prompted Konashenkov to swiftly change his rhetoric, abandoning the divide between bad nationalists and good servicemen. Now, terms such as “nationalists” and “Nazis” became the generic definition of the enemy. “Ukraine’s armed forces” are only referenced in the context of military infrastructure.

[…]

To make the war ideologically appealing and successful in the eyes of the Russian public back home, the Ministry of Defense is employing a plethora of ambiguous terms. On February 25, Konashenkov solemnly proclaimed: “The blockade of Chernihiv has been successfully completed”. The phrase appears to signal a success, but in fact fighting was still unfolding at the time on the city outskirts. In the end, the city was never captured. Moreover, the very term “captured” was never used by the Ministry of Defense. Rather, the Russian army “takes control” of cities and villages in Ukraine. […]

Understandably, Konashenkov seldom mentions civilian casualties and constantly blames Ukrainians for their deaths. […]

Naturally, Konashenkov never referred to the retreats of the Russian army. The pullout from Kyiv and Chernihiv at the end of the March was called “a planned regrouping of troops”.

Nationalists, militants, Nazis – Ukrainian servicemen

Take control – capture a city, village or town in Ukraine

Block – the Russian army is fighting on the outskirts of the city, but cannot capture it

Cleansing – fighting on the streets

Planned regrouping of troops – the retreat of the Russian army

Special military operation – war

It appears there have been a lot of “planned regroupings”, meaning retreats, to the extent that Konashenkov had to improvise not just with terminology, but also with geography.

Control has been established over Krasny Liman, Torskoye, Kremmenaya”, he reported on March 2, referring to the victory of the Russian army in Luhansk.

On the first days of the war, Konashenkov created the illusion of success by enumerating a number of smaller towns and villages the Russian army “had taken control of” – an average of eight settlements per day. As if real victories were not enough, old victories were now repeated. At any rate, viewers are unable to recognize unknown names and therefore are inclined to take reports of new victories at face value. The Ministry of Defense spokesman particularly highlighted the town of Kremmenaya, located 95 km northwest of Luhansk.

On March 7, only five days after the first town was captured, Konashenkov reported the Russian army had taken control of the towns of Smolyaninovo, Voevodsk and Kremennaya. On March 8, LNR troops advanced nine kilometers and again took control of “Borsonino and Kremennaya”, for the third time. In all likelihood, the city was not actually captured in March […].

Furthermore, on March 31, Konashenkov again referred to the city that had been “taken” three weeks ago, announcing LNR troops had been fighting Ukrainian nationalists on the outskirts of Kremennaya. According to Konashenkov, the northern outskirts were blocked on April 1, whereas on April 21, over a month and a half since his first briefing, he mentioned for the fourth time the city had been captured “without inflicting significant damage to urban infrastructure and residential buildings.” The same is true of Krasny Liman: the city was conquered for the first time on March 2. Over the coming months, however, weapons caches or “Ukrainian forces in firing position” magically appeared on the territory that was supposed to be controlled by the Russian army. The forces were immediately annihilated. Nearly three months later, on May 28, Konashenkov again announced the capture of Krasny Liman.

These are no exceptions to the rule, but the rule itself. Examining Konashenkov’s press briefings, Proekt has identified at least 25 towns and villages that were captured several times.

[…]

The public has been fed miscalculations from the first days of the “special operation” – conflicting statements made within the space of a single day. On February 28, the Defense Ministry press secretary reported in the morning that 314 tanks had been destroyed since the start of the operation, and later that evening – 311. The same happened with other types of equipment. […]

A genuine flood of briefings regarding Ukraine’s losses started on April 13, although two weeks earlier (March 30), the Ministry announced “a planned regrouping of troops”, meaning Russian forces were retreating from the Kyiv area. Since then there have been no major developments on the front. Konashenkov, however, reported the destruction of not dozens, but hundreds of Ukrainian military infrastructure objectives.

[…]

Fighting ghosts

Kyiv’s air forces have been almost entirely destroyed”, Konashenkov announced on March 6, namely a week and a half since the war had started.

According to his statement at the time, Russia had destroyed 93 aircraft, either in flight or on the ground. Indeed, this would account for most of Ukraine’s air forces. Prior to the war, Ukraine had 98 military aircraft, 35 carriers and 5 special aircraft – taking the total to 138 units. In theory, the Russians might have been able to destroy trainer aircraft as well: the Ukrainian army owned 61 such aircraft. Even if we take these into account, the total would still be shy of 200. On the other hand, the Ministry of Defense itself had stated that, before the war, Ukraine’s air forces consisted of 152 aircraft.

Whichever of these figures is correct, at any rate Konashenkov had exceeded the sum total, claiming 215 aircrafts had been destroyed by June 26.

Russian propaganda claims Ukrainian losses are growing because the Russian army is destroying military aid delivered to Ukraine by Europe and the USA. According to open sources, Western countries might have provided Ukraine with military aircraft, although no country officially reported that. At the end of May, the Ukrainian media merely wrote that Ukraine had received disassembled Su-25 fighter jets.

[…]

On June 26, Konashenkov announced the destruction of over 3,800 armored vehicles and tanks. Yet it was the Ministry of Defense itself that estimated Ukraine had merely 2,416 armored units. Another 700 armored vehicles have been delivered by Ukraine’s allies. How Ukraine continues to fight after having lost all its equipment remains a mystery.

[…]

Tags: Russia , War in Ukraine , Press review , Independent Russian media
Propaganda de Razboi - Razboi in UCRAINA
Other articles
Kremlin's New Historical Policy – A Challenge for Europe

Kremlin's New Historical Policy – A Challenge for Europe

Speculations on the historical memory are becoming Russia's primary weapon in the hybrid confrontation with European countries. They are directed at EU members as well as the Eastern Partnership countries.

Poland: the fall of the free media, the rise of a “Father Director”

Poland: the fall of the free media, the rise of a “Father Director”

Poland is following the path marked out by Hungary and its Prime minister. After subjugating the Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Court to itself, the nationalist government of Law and Justice (PiS) party started to ruthlessly choke independent news organizations and restrict freedom of speech. Soon, the media mogul Tadeusz Rydzyk may become the most important unelected man in Poland and the strongest player on the media market, apart from the public broadcaster. He is a priest, businessman and close friend of many right-wing politicians.

The Republic of Moldova – between the need to modernize the army and Russia’s propaganda regarding its neutrality

The Republic of Moldova – between the need to modernize the army and Russia’s propaganda regarding its neutrality

The war in Ukraine has brought to the fore the poor state of the Moldovan army, which remains underequipped after being neglected by the authorities in the last three decades. Yet the commonplace view in Chișinău right now is that the army should at least fend off an aggression coming from Transnistria. Russia and its mouthpieces, on the other hand, continue to absurdly claim that Moldova modernizing its army would be tantamount to breaching its neutrality.

Veridica

06 Jul 2022

Updated at: 06 Jul 2022 18:17:47
Veridica

Follow us on Google News

6 minutes read
Russian independent media: the Kremlin is willing to sustain heavy losses if that’s what it takes to continue the war in Ukraine
Russian independent media: the Kremlin is willing to sustain heavy losses if that’s what it takes to continue the war in Ukraine

The Russian independent media writes that losses among the ranks of the recently mobilized will soon reach 100 thousand people, but that’s not going to stop Putin. On the contrary, the Russian president will send every young recruit to the frontline as well. Independent journalists also tell the story of a couple recently arrested in Sweden, tied to the Russian military intelligence and the people who poisoned Sergey and Yulia Skripal.

Mariana Vasilache
Mariana Vasilache
01 Dec 2022
Russian independent media: Prigozhin’s sends inmates to war, FSO plans to defend Putin with hypnotists and psychics
Russian independent media: Prigozhin’s sends inmates to war, FSO plans to defend Putin with hypnotists and psychics

The Russian independent media writes that a record-high number of inmates has disappeared from Russian prisons, after having been enrolled by Putin’s friend in the war against Ukraine. On the other hand, focus groups commissioned by the Kremlin reveal that the population opposes the war, contrary to the Kremlin’s wishes. Russian journalists also describe how generals guarding Putin want to use priests, hypnotists and psychics to bolster his protection.

Mariana Vasilache
Mariana Vasilache
25 Nov 2022
Drone wars: from Afghanistan to Ukraine
Drone wars: from Afghanistan to Ukraine

Originally developed as surveillance aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – commonly known as drones – underwent a number of transformations, from aircraft used to carry out tactical airstrikes to weapons included in the arsenal of modern warfare, the same as artillery and aviation. Drones play a key role in the war in Ukraine as well, where in recent weeks they have been primarily used as instruments of terror.

Ionuț Iamandi
Ionuț Iamandi
24 Nov 2022
Russian independent media: Russian emigrants promote Kremlin, Moscow tries to conceal war casualties
Russian independent media: Russian emigrants promote Kremlin, Moscow tries to conceal war casualties

The Russian independent media revealed how Russian emigrants in the United States are being used to promote the Kremlin’s agenda, particularly after the annexation of Crimea and in the context of the war in Ukraine. Independent journalists also noticed that official webpages of Russian authorities did not publish the map of territories annexed in this war, as well as the fact that information on budget spending is now unavailable, preventing the media from estimating war casualties.

Mariana Vasilache
Mariana Vasilache
18 Nov 2022