After Vladimir Putin decreed the partial military mobilization, Russian state media launched a series of false narratives justifying the decision. Partial mobilization is presented as a step towards de-escalation, a measure necessary for diplomatic dialogue and the prevention of a nuclear disaster or a war on Russian territory.
NEWS: “The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, is trying to prevent a nuclear disaster. His speech on September 21st is seen by experts not only as a patriotic message to the Russians, but also as a challenge to the West collectively and to President Joe Biden personally. According to political scientists, Putin spoke openly about a great danger, but he did so in order to find a way to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
The international situation in the war zone forced Putin to resort to partial mobilization, political scientist Boris Mejuev told URA.RU. “In this situation, the de-escalation will occur through escalation. The problem needs to be solved once and for all. The solution will be found through a new strong blow […] Kyiv depends on the US which can force Ukraine to sit down at the negotiating table. Either Washington will understand this message and return to the diplomatic process, or events will take an unpredictable turn”.
NARRATIVE: The partial mobilization ordered by Putin will prevent a nuclear disaster, will lead to a de-escalation of the conflict and diplomatic dialogue.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: On September 21st, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of the Russians who can fight . Putin also suggested that Russia might resort to its nuclear arsenal.
The mobilization concerns, first of all, the reservists. 300,000 people would initially be called up, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, but they represent only a fraction of the total number of people who can be called up.
The Russian state media presented this decision as a pacifist step taken by Putin, who allegedly dreams of peace, but is not supported by the West.
According to the false narratives of the Russian state media, experts praise Putin for having managed to find a method to impose peace on the territory of Ukraine - partial mobilization. In fact, those quoted are political scientists in Moscow, close to or financed by the Kremlin regime, not specialists from other countries.
While Joe Biden accused Russia of violating basic principles of UN membership by invading Ukraine and said Moscow was making “irresponsible” threats to use nuclear weapons, Russian media reported that Vladimir Putin was trying to avert a nuclear disaster and force the Ukrainians to sit down at the negotiating table.
In reality, partial or general mobilization cannot lead to a de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. On the contrary, by sending new forces to the invaded territory, Russia is practically escalating the conflict, and by threatening to use its nuclear arsenal, it is also raising the stakes. The thesis launched in the Russian public space by a pro-Kremlin political scientist about “de-escalation that will occur through escalation” sounds illogical to say the least. That’s like saying that in order to get peace, a big war will be staged. It’s a kind of reasoning that rather recalls the one in the novel “1984”, where the ministry in charge of war had been renamed the “Ministry of Peace”.
It should be noted that peace in Ukraine does not depend on the USA, but primarily on Russia, which invaded the neighboring state, destroyed towns, civilian targets, killed children, women and elderly. The peace negotiations, analyzed in the Russian press, are actually discussions about possible territorial cessions or the capitulation of Ukraine. Ukraine has never issued territorial claims to Russia and neither has any NATO state, so all Moscow would have to do if it wanted peace would be to withdraw its forces from the invaded territories.
It is not clear how a nuclear disaster can be prevented with the help of a speech that includes direct threats. Putin made it clear in his speech that whoever threatens Russia with nuclear weapons will be attacked first. These discussions do not resemble at all any elements of narratives about de-escalation, pacification and diplomatic process, a fact also noticed by the international community.
According to British Foreign Secretary Gillian Keegan, Vladimir Putin's speech indicates a worrying escalation. It is “clearly an escalation”, the British official said. And the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has stated that Russia is again choosing the path of war.
In fact, through these false narratives, the Russian media are trying to justify before the public opinion the decision to order partial mobilization.
Veridica has debunked a string of false narratives meant to justify, starting February 24th, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In March, the Russian press wrote that Ukraine wants to extend the war and uses its citizens as human shields, while Russia is protecting the Ukrainian civilians. In April, according to the Russian state press, the south of Ukraine was freed from nationalists and wants to become part of Russia.
In order to free Russia from any blame in this war, the Russian propaganda claims that the West is investigating the attrocities commited by the Ukrainian nationalists while Putin is looking for solutions for peace in Ukraine.