“Nationʼs war against NATO”. Putinʼs administration distributed a manual to propagandists to explain mobilization to Russians

Kostia Andreikovets

Putinʼs administration distributed to state and pro-government mass media a manual on how to explain to Russians the need to mobilize and send men to war.

This is written by Meduza, who got acquainted with the method.

It says that Russia won wars when its citizens believed that this is the war of the whole nation. Therefore, propaganda should convey to Russians that the people "must unite in the front of the threat of NATO." According to the Kremlin, the Alliance intends to "dismember and rob" Russia. The manual says that "Russian people are being killed by NATO mercenaries and of the Kyiv regime terrorists with NATO weapons."

Mobilization is also explained by the need for "defense," and "Russia is not at war with Ukraine, but with NATO." "The West forbade Kyiv to negotiate with Russia. NATO intelligence collects data on the territory of Russia in order to give Ukraine an order to transfer hostilities to Russia," the manual states.

One more reason for the mobilization is the shelling of the Russian border territories and Crimea, which was annexed in 2014. "They are already fighting us on our territory. We are not only "not abandoning our own people", we are protecting ourselves" the text says.

In general, propagandists are asked to convey to Russians the idea of the nationʼs war against NATO. However, the manual does not specify how propaganda should explain that the invasion of Ukraine is both a "special operation" and a "Nationʼs war".

In addition, in articles and TV stories it is suggested to give "the maximum direct speech of people" from the "L/DPR" and other occupied regions. Residents of the occupied territories should express “delight” and “gratitude”, as well as call Putin "protector". According to the plan of the Putin administration, Russians should "enjoy" from such stories.

The Kremlin is asking for special emphasis on the fact that the mobilization will allegedly affect only "1% of the registered military personnel". Mobilization is called "minimal". Moreover, the authors of the manual emphasize that only "experienced men who have served" will be called up. The story of 1% is already being actively promoted in the Russian Federation by bloggers on social networks.

  • On September 21, Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia. According to the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, 300 000 people will be drafted into the army, but the clause on the number of mobilized is classified in the decree. According to the media, the authorities of the Russian Federation want to mobilize a million men.
  • Due to mobilization, Russians began to actively flee the country. The small number of protests in the Russian Federation were expected to be stifled. The most massive opposition to mobilization is only in Dagestan.