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Authored by Yves Smith via,

Below we are reproducing a post from Ukraine Telegram, along with an assessment from Colonel Douglas Macgregor. A long-standing military colleague sent the material to Macgregor, who deems it to be authentic.

One thing that is striking about the text of Ukraine gaslighting messaging points is the focus on creating dissent in the military with the intent of achieving regime change in Moscow. One thing I have inferred despite my considerable distance from Russian Telegram is the degree to which it seems to be highly critical of the Russian government’s conduct of the war. This seems to go beyond possible self-selection. Yes, ex-soldiers and other war nerds can no doubt come up with mistakes made, as well as having a general hankering for more aggressive action. Mind you, Russia is now moving into that footing with its dissection of Ukraine’s electrical grid. That is presumably be followed sometime in the winter with an increase in the tempo of the war. But Surovikin promised a grinding war. If that translates into grinding in more places, and faster loss of Ukraine/Western men and materiel, will that be kinetic enough to make these armchair generals happy?

What has struck me with my limited contact with Russian Telegram is that its members seem too often to become overwrought about minor setbacks, like the loss of three Russian helicopters at an airbase due to apparent sabotage. Yes, this is bad and suggests not enough care was taken to prevent such an event (although one could easily argue given the ferocity of Ukraine intent that the level of successful terrorist operations has been comparatively modest). But the level of upset on Telegram seemed wildly disproportionate, and hence not organic…particularly given that the Western press also flogged the story.

Some of the messaging in the Western press is also so uniform as to raise questions about how so many journalists can suddenly be thinking the same thing. For instance, now that they can’t not mention Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s electrical grid, the spin is that this move is an act of desperation by Russia, a last-ditch effort to salvage its failing campaign….which will clearly fizzle into nothing when they run out of missiles.

Now to Macgregor, who I hope you will thank for letting me publish his finding. Hoisted from e-mail:

I am indebted to XXXX who sent this material to me this morning. The material is very revealing.

The instructions below from the Kiev Government to its propaganda organs read like talking points for the Washington Post, New York Times, and most of the major western media. These points were lifted from a Ukrainian telegram channel. The stories that appear in Western media begin with the utterly false and misleading assertions on the list below. Encouraged by Western Governments, Western Journalists eagerly adopt them and present the fairy tales that proceed from them as factual.

Trotsky who distinguished himself during the Russian Civil War and the Russian Invasion of Poland with the creation of similarly effective lies and fabrications would be enormously proud of Zalenskiy and the work he and his apparatus are doing.

From XXX:

According to the source, this is a conditional training manual for a week from the functionaries of the Office of the President and CIPSO for their bot farms and social media to work in the RU segment.

Media plan, November 21-27

Topic: Problems of mobilization 

  • Search and creation of materials about the problems of providing mobilized weapons, equipment, mistakes in managing on the battlefield and during training.

  • Use authentic videos from the mobilized, published in Russian news and military Telegram channels.

  • Obtaining, creating and disseminating insider information about problems in the regions. Detailed coverage, generalization of problematic incidents for the entire mobilization process.

  • The direct accusation of the Russian high command and leadership of the Ministry of Defense of corruption, low qualifications and neglect of the lives of their subordinates.

Topic: Losses in manpower and equipment 

  • Use of numerical data of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, ISW, CIT, Oryx and other approved sources.

  • Emphasize high casualties among mobilized, not professional Russian military. The task is to create a conflict between the career military and those called up for mobilization for further development and consistent updating.

  • Calls to lay down arms and surrender – saving lives is more important than war for undefined goals and the Kremlin regime. Involvement of youth opinion leaders and organizations to disseminate such appeals.

  • Losses in technology – translate the assessment into financial indicators. Emphasis: the money spent on the war, the Kremlin should have distributed among the population, so that it becomes richer.

  • Emphasize the losses of the economy from the war and the imposed sanctions.

Topic: Internal conflicts in power 

  • Key line: to strengthen the basis for the revolt of the military against the Kremlin in case of a crisis.

  • Return to theses about conflicts in the Russian elite, among the “Kremlin towers”. The task is to undermine the trust of civil officials and security forces in each other.

  • The accusation of officials of the Presidential Administration and the government of disagreeing with the actions of the military, in parallel to disseminate information about the violent dissatisfaction of the military with the political decisions of the Kremlin. Task: to launch information about the next conflict between the civilian and security forces of the regime.

  • The use of defector speakers to launch information about conflicts between law enforcement agencies – the military, the FSB, the National Guard.

  • Continuing the line: discrediting past referendums on joining Russia. The key thesis is that among the Russians, the annexation of regions does not enjoy support, their preservation as part of Russia is not considered important following the results of the war.

Topic: Russia is a terrorist state 

  • Key line: The whole world considers the Russian regime to be terrorist in its essence, punishment for its crimes is inevitable.

  • Active coverage of Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure. Emphasize the suffering of the civilian population from the power outage, the victims of the civilian population from shelling.

  • Accents in coverage: The European Parliament recognizes Russia as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”. The Dutch Parliament will vote on a resolution recognizing the Russian Federation as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”. Emphasize European unity on the issue of recognizing the Putin regime as a terrorist one.”

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