Methodological Framework of American-Ukrainian Propaganda
Boris Podoprigora, a retired colonel and resident of St. Petersburg, told me about the techniques and methods of Ukrainian propaganda. served as public relations officerPublic Relations Officer) in the American zone of the international peacekeeping operation in Bosnia (SFOR).
Russian peacekeepers (Airborne Brigade) joined SFOR after Moscow became one of the guarantors of the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995. Podoprigora and his colleagues from 24 foreign SFOR contingents were invited to the main headquarters of peacekeepers in Sarajevo for a briefing on “What is information work”. American officers, specialists in PsychoOps – psychological struggle. The general formulas for this work are: RORAT (Planning, Operations, Public, Analysis, Technical Support)“Do not counter-react, but plan” (Not re-response, but planning)“From Leadership to Management” (From Lead to Direct).
Wherein Information operations = Psychological operations: informational and psychological operations are identical. Podoprigora especially remembered the thesis of the Americans that “the development of psychic struggle measures should be carried out on the basis of a national problem (national issue) and “should precede combat planning, and not supplement it.”
The interpretation of any fact must be based on the national task. Hence the four principles (big4):
1) “Reality has nothing to do with the task.” The very formulation of the problem is “the correction of an unsatisfactory reality.” It is necessary to convince the parties that “renewable reality is beneficial to everyone”, and those who do not agree with this “are a threat to peace” and must be disarmed. And most importantly: “the enemy cannot have any successes, there can only be a delayed defeat.”
2) The appeal to the object of influence and the decoding of the appeal must be the same for “friends and foes.” “Aliens” are “not allowed” to feel like “victims of propaganda”. The problem is to create a “common aura of understanding” – misunderstanding.
3) Complete ban (complete ban) alternative interpretations and counter-propaganda. “Their” source is subject to early “exposing and severe discrediting, regardless of the external correspondences cited by him (external consistency)”.
4) “External rules” (technical background). The object of influence “is better to address the inciting impulse in a sensational presentation”, and not in the form of information for reflection. “First think of reasons (create events first“. A separate task is to surpass the enemy in the number of bright occasions. “The absence of a reason, especially the banality, makes any motives meaningless.”
As part of the “external rules” it is necessary:
– Firstly, to arm the object of influence with “active motivation”, to provide him with such information that is important for him and his environment. Including with an implicit “hint”: “what you learned today, others have known for a long time.”
– Secondly, propaganda should be based on “common anxieties, beliefs and general cultural morality.” The object of influence should not feel humiliated. And the powers behind it shouldn’t be exaggerated (“a monster is hard to handle”).
– Thirdly, each statement must be repeatedly duplicated: 3 articles (of news) are better than one good one. It is required to diversify the sources of these statements as much as possible. This will once again convince the object of influence that “everyone thinks so.” There needs to be a balance between momentary persuasiveness and the prospect of building up efforts. The transition must be organic from “It’s not the bosses who speak, but people like you” before “tomorrow we will convince you more than today”…
This is the methodological framework upon which the Americans build their propaganda. And a closer look at the events shows that the Ukrainian authorities are following the American instructions on psychiatric warfare in detail. (PsychoOps). For example, there are constant stuffing of sensational (fictitious) propaganda reasons: “Massacre in Bucha”, “Russian rocket in Kramatorsk”, “Russians stole Ukrainian grain, “Moscow suffers monstrous losses”… Everything is in strict accordance with the principle PsychoOps: “Reality has nothing to do with the task at hand.”
Ukrainian officers and American instructors
Goebbels is recalled here, says Podoprigora. There should be a lot of propaganda, a lot. It must be dumped into the masses continuously, day and night, everywhere at the same time. Any messages should be extremely simple. The more people accept something, the easier it will be to cope with the rest: even the most advanced minority will be forced to follow the majority. What is needed is a uniformity of clear, concise, biting messages. Propaganda should not allow doubt, hesitation, consideration of various options and possibilities. People should not have a choice, it has already been made for them, they should only accept the information, so that later they perceive the imposed ideas as their own. Influence mainly on the senses and only to the smallest extent appeal to the brain. Propaganda is not a science, it helps to bring millions of people to emotions. Finally, if people are brought to this or that thought gradually, there will be no result. Information should be shocking, only shocking messages are passed from mouth to mouth, the rest goes unnoticed.
Boris Podoprigora believes that on our part, in the course of the SVO, it is necessary to specify the concept “weapon of truth” It should not be overly historical and artificially pompous, a tough instrumentation is needed. Work with the population in the territories we control deserves priority attention. In any case, the administrative bodies in these territories should take into account the information and psychological side of the matter, even when dealing with routine. And the voice of Ukrainians loyal to Russia should sound more distinct than it is now.
Work with Ukrainian refugees is very relevant. There are more than 1 million of them in Russia. Most are in continuous contact with relatives, often through “intermediaries” in Europe, where there are now more than 5.5 million Ukrainian citizens.
“Maybe PsyOps regulation can really be useful to us? At least in terms of creating a “general aura of understanding”, says Boris Podoprigora.
Cover photo: Ukrainian propagandists at work
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