Russian-affiliated state media continues to rally in favour of the war against Ukraine, promoting the false narrative and pretext for the invasion that the Ukrainian government is made up of 'nazis', and that Russia was forced to invade and to 'denazify' the country.
While the rhetoric continues to invoke more violence in the name of the Kremlin's interests, there has been a slight shift of focus in Russian media away from government and onto the general Ukrainian population who are now also guilty of being 'nazis'.
While the accusations are not new - and go back as far as 2012 and the words of the pro-Russian president Yanukovych, who was ousted in the 2014 Euromaidan uprising - it ignores facts such as the far-right winning zero seats in the 2019 election, gaining only 2.5% of the vote.
However, this has not stopped Russian state media from actively calling for the destruction of Ukraine, and beyond.
"This country shouldn't exist and we will do everything we can to make sure it does not exist," said Anton Krasovski, a presenter on RT (previously known as Russia Today), on his YouTube channel about Ukraine.
Russian propaganda leaders... Anton Krasovsky - director of Russian-language broadcasting of RT television. English subtitles pic.twitter.com/c5AMSP7l5S— Nikola Repin (@nikorepi) March 29, 2022
He is not alone. Vladimir Solovyov, a well known presenter on Russian state television, stated that there cannot be negotiations with 'Nazis' and that the withdrawal of Russian troops is not an option.
Ideological repression and strict censorship
"A significant part of the Ukrainian population, most likely the majority" is in favour of Nazi ideology, wrote Ria Novosti, another major news agency in Russia under Kremlin control. In an article titled "What Russia should do with Ukraine", the paper underlined that "the hypothesis 'the people are good – the government is bad' does not work".
The author of the Ria Novosti piece went on to justify the war and call for the punishment of ordinary Ukrainians: "Further denazification of this mass of the population consists in re-education, which is achieved by ideological repression (suppression) of Nazi attitudes and strict censorship: not only in the political sphere, but also necessarily in the sphere of culture and education."
Furthermore, it was claimed that Russian military operations during the invasion had been "waged as carefully and prudently as possible in relation to civilians.".
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Despite the satellite images, former Prime Minister and current Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, wrote on his Telegram account on Tuesday that "a passionate section of Ukrainians have been praying for the Third Reich for the past thirty years."
Russian state media's words give the world as sense of what the Kremlin may be thinking. Russia's expansionist' ambitions are not limited to Ukraine, according to Medvedev. He described Russia's ultimate dream as creating "an open Eurasia, from Lisbon to Vladivostok".