ANATOMY OF PROPAGANDA: TOP 3 EVENTS OF THE WEEK
During the reporting period, state propaganda was characterized by exceptional versatility - the Kremlin's mouthpieces had to address a wide range of topics and audiences. The main efforts were focused on justifying Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal at the beginning of the week, but the propagandists had to change its task by the end of the week explaining to Russian society the reasons for the arrest of the frontman of right-wing radicals, Igor Girkin (Strelkov). The final topic for discussions was the meeting between Putin and Lukashenko.
Russia has notified about its withdrawal from the grain deal. According to numerous official and unofficial Kremlin spokespersons, it was considered discriminatory towards Russia. The thesis of systematic deception of Russian leaders, who were allegedly promised a relaxation of sanctions, was repeated many times. The Kremlin claims the grain deal will resume once its "Russian part" is fulfilled. Until that moment, ships loaded with Ukrainian grain will be perceived as potential carriers of military cargo.
The leader of the Club of Angry Patriots, Igor Girkin (Strelkov), was arrested on Friday. He was charged under Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (extremism). In recent weeks, Igor Girkin deliberately escalated tensions with the Kremlin. In the context of the recent Prigozhin uprising, the Kremlin will harshly suppress pockets of criticism not only from the liberal but also from the radical pro-patriotic opposition. Technically, it is worth to mention that the criminal case was initiated based on a complaint from a former Wagner PMC mercenary.
A meeting between Putin and Lukashenko occurred near St. Petersburg on Sunday. Overall, it was a contentless staged event aimed solely at propaganda effects. The autocrats exchanged a series of absurd statements designed for the domestic audience in Russia: on Poland's plans to divide Ukraine, record losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and the economic successes of Russia and Belarus.