On Thursday, April 14, Ukrainian fighters sunk a Russian warship, the Moskva, after bombarding it with missiles. And the carnival barkers at state-owned Russia media have responded not with accurate reporting, but with laughable, overwrought propaganda.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) did what journalists are supposed to do: They looked for facts, reporting, “Ukrainian military officials said they struck the Moskva with Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles — a weapon designed after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the naval threat to Ukraine in the Black Sea grew.”
The Ukrainian government tweeted:
Russian warship, what are you sinking?— Ukraine / \u0423\u043a\u0440\u0430\u0457\u043d\u0430 (@Ukraine / \u0423\u043a\u0440\u0430\u0457\u043d\u0430) 1649967212
But state-owned Russian media immediately went into spin mode following the sinking of the Moskva (which, in Russian, means “Moscow”). One of the Russian media propagandists, in a state of hysteria, tried to paint the Moskva’s sinking as an act of brutality on Ukraine’s part, failing to mention that the sinking would not have occurred had Russian forces not invaded Ukraine and inflicted considerable suffering on that country.
The hyperventilating propagandist told his colleagues, “Who is the Ukrainian God? It’s the Devil, basically. And when we’re surprised at the cruelty of these people, there’s nothing to be surprised by. That is paganism.”
He went on to say that Ukraine is a pawn of the West and “the gods that they worship,” adding, “Those people governing the West today are the real Satanists.”
His overwrought tone was quite similar to what far-right MAGA pundits offer on Fox News, Newsmax TV and One America News on a regular basis, only instead of promoting former President Donald Trump and offering MAGA talking points, he was serving the Kremlin.
Other pundits on Russian TV, according to Daily Beast columnist Julia Davis, are calling for Russian forces to bomb Kyiv and destroy Ukraine’s railway system. One of them, also hyperventilating and full of emotion, said, “The warship Moscow is an absolute cause for war, one hundred percent…. There has to be a response.”
Russian state TV propaganda has entered overdrive.\n\nThey are now telling people that Ukraine is populated by pagans demanding blood sacrifice.\n\nThanks to @JuliaDavisNews for providing these translations.pic.twitter.com/OofeShl7cX— Visegr\u00e1d 24 (@Visegr\u00e1d 24) 1649979630
Kyiv sank 'Moscow' and the Russians are furious. In response to the sinking of the warship 'Moskva,' state TV pundits and hosts propose bombing Kyiv, destroying Ukraine's railways and making it impossible for any world leaders to visit in the future.pic.twitter.com/OekII2fbPe— Julia Davis (@Julia Davis) 1649983347
Inna Sovsun, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, tweeted:
So #russian ministry of defense says there would be retaliation for the sinking of #Moskvacruiser. Yet, they are not admitting that the ship was destroyed by #Ukraine, because this would mean #Ukraine is much stronger than they say we are. Then why retaliate?\u2026— Inna Sovsun (@Inna Sovsun) 1650011670
Here are some more reactions to Russian media’s response to the sinking of the Moskva:
Honestly Russia is in a terrible spot. They are in real existential danger of their own making. The world will take further and further actions against Russia as it is now viewed as weak. The only way for them to change the situation is to do something unprecedented.— Aaronal (@Aaronal) 1649985699
Someone needs to tell the guy with the mustache they're kinda goin' all in right now and have NYET to show for it \n\n.. and we shouldn't forget to clue him in that ***Putin gutted his own military 10 years ago***\n\n( thread )https://twitter.com/kamilkazani/status/1497995149095362567\u00a0\u2026— Barry (@Barry) 1649998540
Every day, I am overwhelmed with emotion by the stories of strength, heroism, and conviction that I read about Ukrainians fighting for their freedom and independence. #SlavaUkraini !— Michael McFaul (@Michael McFaul) 1649997460
Performative anger is often an important part of tribal culture rituals.— kreese 1984 (@kreese 1984) 1650013148
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