Information operation of RF in case with MN17: steps of implementation and reaction of Ukraine05.05.2020
Yuriy Kochevenko, director of the International Center for Counteracting Russian Propaganda (ICCRP), told the UNIAN news agency about steps of info op in case with MN17.
“One person, in all eyes, commits murder. He didn’t even try to run away or hide, like, here I am, here’s the gun, my gun, it is registered at me. But then he suddenly changes his mind, because he realizes he has killed the wrong person. And despite the incontrovertible evidence, despite his own confession, despite many witnesses, he stubbornly denies everything. No, I didn’t … I don’t know who … maybe you by yourself … look who benefits from this murder … I don’t know what you did see there … I admitted nothing. What would you say about this? If a person behaved like this, we would have decided that he iseither schizophrenic or just a stupid criminal. After all, he has nothing to count on, and the verdict will be obvious. But when the whole country behaves like that, things differ” Yuri Kochevenko says.
According to the words of ICCRP director, Russians are not just lying, but are conducting an information operation aimed at avoiding responsibility for a terrorist act, or at least minimizing reputational losses. Yuri Kochevenko notes three stages of its implementation.
“We can call stage #1 as «it’s never that simple». First step aims to shake the hardness of the established fact, so to speak, to soften the information space, creating gaps and vulnerabilities through which the information operation can be developed. How? First of all, through the nourishment of information space with “alternative versions”. Even when they happen to be weedy ones. Here, the more, the better. Freemasons, aliens … Everything will go. And let them discuss, criticize;ridicule … The main thing is to redirect attention from the truth. And actually don’t let it stick in minds”
ICCRP director also recalled several “alternative versions” that followed in the first stage of this operation:
“On the second stage «Look for those who gain from the situation” – more proofs are needed in order to establish power. Here, skillful exploitation of stereotypes embedded in consciousness of masses plays the key role. Stereotypes may differ due to the audience. Blame Jews within the Arab community, blame Americans within the community of European anti-globalist, blame Ukrainians themselves if you have a talk with Russians. It does not matter which version will become dominant for a particular audience, it is important that it is not the one that is the only true one,” Yuri Kochevenko notes.
The third, final stage, as IC CRP director says, is process of definition who really guilty is.
“And, of course, it will not be a terrorist state, but someone else. One of the most common tools here is leaks of so-called secret information, which will explain everything and will be published by “independent journalists … After this stage, perpetrator is guilty, verdicts are justified, and all the courts and investigations are just a worldwide conspiracy against Russia. And it makes that viciouscircle,” Yuri Kochevenko emphasizes.
Director of ICCRP also shared his views on what Ukraine’s tactics and strategy should be in this situation.
“Our message to the world must be clear: Russia is a terrorist state, an aggressor state. Russia did committhis crime in Ukraine during the military invasion of Ukraine. This invasion continues, and crimes against humanity continue happening on a day to day basis. We have to note who is our enemy to remind the world of its crimes and for the world to know – the one who cooperates with the terrorist, shares responsibility for the thefts of him, ”Yuri Kochevenko stressed.