ANATOMY OF PROPAGANDA: TOP 3 EVENTS OF THE WEEK
The main event of Russian propaganda for the last week was the traditional celebration of Victory Day. However, the festive atmosphere was overshadowed by Prigozhin's statements about the monstrous losses of the Wagner PMC and Putin's decree on the conscription of reservists for military training.
A traditional military parade took place in Moscow on May 9th. The presence of several CIS leaders in Moscow became known only on the eve of May 8th. Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the parade. As expected, he repeated the narratives of Russian propaganda, presenting Russian society with a distorted picture of reality. In this construct, Russia is not a treacherous aggressor but a victim-country, waging a "holy war" to preserve its statehood. And the alleged culprits for inciting the war are the so-called "Western elites" destroying traditional values.
State’s propaganda has faced a serious challenge with videos made by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who once again accused the Ministry of Defence of deception and deliberate ammunition limitation. The cowardice of the regular Russian army, whose units fled the battlefield, and the paramilitary formations of Gazprom, which refused to participate in combat operations, were repeatedly emphasized. Prigozhin's metaphor about a certain "happy grandfather" who "might turn out to be a complete jerk" caused a great resonance. The statement sounded so ambiguous that many assumed the infantile "happy grandfather" referred to Vladimir Putin.
Another problem for Kremlin became the decree on conscription for military training of those in reserve. Russian society is accumulating fatigue from the protracted "SMO", and many citizens fear a new wave of mobilization. Considering that on April 14th, a law was signed on a single register of conscripts and electronic subpoenas, this event caused a negative reaction among Russians. Official speakers had to assure society that those called up for training would not be involved in combat operations.