How the international media covered the Russo-Ukrainian war, July 3

Anton Semyzhenko, Yana Sobetska

Australian national broadcaster ABC tried to figure out whether Ukraine would win the war or not. After all, despite the failure of the initial plan of the Russians, they are now slowly biting off the Ukrainian territories in the east of the country. Whatʼs going on? In order to understand this, the ABC correspondent spoke with Maria Zolkina, an expert at the Ukrainian Democratic Initiatives Foundation, and Professor Michael Clarke from the Royal United Services Institute, a British defense research outlet. Clarke believes that the current situation in the war is like a straight knife blade: it has not yet bent to neither side, and it is not known which force will win the war in the end. Maria assures that despite the tactical retreat of the Ukrainian troops, the main goal is being achieved — to save the maximum number of lives of the Ukrainian soldiers. They are receiving more and more Western weapons, while Russian reserves are irrevocably depleted. Parity on the field the battle may be reached in a few months, but these months will be difficult and Ukraine may suffer more painful territorial losses. However, in the end, Zolkina assures, that Ukraineʼs position is winning. Clark reminds that Ukrainians may have a more difficult time with the onset of cold weather: the Russians will probably attack the countryʼs CHP plants so that Ukrainians freeze in their homes and they pressured the authorities with the demand to “end this cruel war”. Zolkina opposes him, assuring that the stronger the Russian pressure, the greater the will of Ukrainians to resist and win. She believes that the war can really be ended by the end of the year. Clark disagrees: wars usually last longer than planned, especially for the attacker. The First World War was planned to end by the end of 1914 ― it dragged on for another four years. Hitler wanted to conduct the Second World War as a blitzkrieg ― he also slowly paced for five years and didnʼt finish well. According to Clark, Ukraineʼs war with Russia could last for even 20 years ― with several outbreaks of active hostilities lasting a year and a half. After all, Putin is unlikely to change his goals as long as he lives. And the Russian society charged with hatred toward Ukrainians cannot be changed faster than in a generation.

The New York Times published an article about how the Russian media intensified spreading false claims about Ukrainian nazis since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to the media, a data set of nearly eight million articles about Ukraine collected from over 8,000 Russian websites since 2014 shows that references to Nazism were relatively flat for eight years. But on Feb. 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, it spiked to unprecedented levels, remaining high ever since. Data provided by Zignal Labs show that this campaign was successful and paved the way for a spike in references to Nazism in Russian language tweets that matches the uptick in Russian news media. According to Jeffrey Veidlinger, a professor of history and Judaic studies at the University of Michigan, this strategy can be connected with the Soviet Union’s history. “The war against Nazism is really the defining moment of the 20th century for Russia. What they’re doing now is in a way a continuation of this great moment of national unity from World War II. Putin is trying to rile up the population in favor of the war,” - says Veidlinger. Other experts believe linking Ukraine with Nazism can also prevent cognitive dissonance among Russians when news about the war in places like Bucha seeps through. Larissa Doroshenko, a researcher at Northeastern University who studies disinformation, believes that it helps Russians justify these atrocities: “It helps to create this dichotomy of black and white — Nazis are bad, we are good, so we have the moral right.”

Indian website NDTV writes about the city of Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast (Donetsk Region). The media states that after the start of Russiaʼs invasion on February 24, many residents left. But now, despite the threat of war, life in the city gradually resumes. People return home and reopen businesses even though Russian artillery pounds nearby Sloviansk, Siversk, and Bakhmut. According to Oleg Malimonienko, who has just reopened his restaurant, often people have no choice but to return home: "In 99 percent of the cases, itʼs because they need to eat well, pay the rent and the bills". Ukrainian soldiers roaming the city have already become a priceless source of income for some of Kramatorskʼs citizens. Now Malimonienko hopes they will flock to his restaurant.