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Who is Calling to Genocide of Ukrainians: CHRG Monitoring

The Crimean Human Rights Groups analysts monitored the Russian media TV shows for 2023.  

The video content was analyzed for the presence of calls for the genocide of Ukrainians as well as aggressive war waging propaganda including, inter alia, calls for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in the territory of Ukraine, in the speakers’ statements.  

The content of Russian media was also analyzed for the presence of statements producing grounds or motivation for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

The statements where words “to destroy/eliminate” and “Banderites” were simultaneously found, were selected for the review.  

The speakers’ statements with the abovementioned appeals featured such narratives as: 

  • “All Banderites and those who support them must be killed”; 
  • “All Banderites must be eliminated, there is no way for Russians”; 
  • “All Banderites must be eliminated because they are not human beings”; 
  • “Ukraine is a terrorist state, so it must be razed”; 
  • “There is a “criminal Bandera regime” in Ukraine, thus this regime and all idea-driven Banderites must be eliminated”. 

The appeals in these statements sounded as recommendation or wish or were worded as permission for taking certain actions. 

To achieve their goal, the propagandists applied such techniques as: 

  • Blurring of lines between the civilians and the combatants. The speakers applied a psycho-linguistic manipulation in the reviewed statements, aimed at blurring the lines between the military and the civilians. The Russian propagandists usually call all Ukrainians who support independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the Banderites. However, the Russian propagandists regularly use the word “Banderites” only referring to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and sometimes use only in terms of the Ukrainian government officials. 

They also call to eliminate all “Banderite collaborators’, ultimately blurring the lines between the combatants and the civil population. 

The analyzed content presents speakers’ calls for total elimination of the Banderites but whom this term refers to is not clarified. It is constantly used in the Russian media referring to Ukrainians, in parallel with the hate speech applied. Such practice has resulted in developing negative connotation of the term and generalizing the perception of the Banderites concept in the present-day context as negative and dangerous phenomenon.  

  • Direct quotes of influencers. To communicate calls for genocide and propaganda of waging an aggressive war, direct quotes of the speakers invited to live TV shows – influencers for the Russian society, including also Russian governmental officials – were mainly used. 
  • Quotes of “the person from the crowd”. A video where a social network user was calling for genocide was used to communicate a narrative in the Telegram messenger. This social network user was not a well-known person but her video containing the calls was posted on the Telegram channel with a huge number of subscribers. Such technique was also used by other owners of popular Telegram channels who published reposts of unknown authors with calls for genocide or propaganda of waging the aggressive war in the feed.  
  • Paraphrase of speaker’s quote. In some reviewed examples the Russian TV show presenters who called themselves journalists, paraphrased quotes of other influencers, filling such paraphrase with propaganda of waging the aggressive war. 
  • Supplement with hate speech of top officials. To make the calls for waging the aggressive war more significant, some speakers supplemented their statements with quotes of top Russian officials including Russian President Putin, that featured hate speech regarding the Ukrainians.  

It is worth noting that such statements are widely used and communicated not only in Russian media broadcasting but also in social networks and messengers. This practice is the most widespread in Telegram messenger, which does nothing to block this dangerous content. 

Upon the monitoring outcomes, the CHRG identified at least 11 speakers in the Russian TV broadcasting who called for genocide, commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and propagandized waging the aggressive war: 

Dmitriy Puchkov, a columnist and a translator; Viktor Litovkin, a military observer, retired Colonel; Sergey Karnaukhov, a presenter of Karnaukhov’s Labyrinth TV Show at Solovyov Live Channel; Magomed Daudov, Chairman of Parliament of Chechnya; Armen Gasparian, a writer and a public figure; Mikhail Onufriyenko, a military and political observer; Aleksandr Mal’kevich, first Deputy Chairman of Commission on Development of Information Community, RF Civic Chamber; Yevgeniy Priliepin, a writer and a public figure; Boris Korchevnikov, an actor and a TV presenter; Aleksandr Losiev, a financial analyst and a member of RF Council for Foreign and Defense Policy; Andrey Lugovoy, first deputy Chairman of Russian Parliamentary Committee for Security and Corruption Control.  

The content was selected by the Crimean Human Rights Group with WORLD OF WAR analytical service developed by CHANGING TOGETHER PA. TV shows of such Russian media as NTV, PERVYI KANAL, ROSSIA 1, ZVIEZDA, TVTs, ROSSIA 24, LDNR were reviewed during the monitoring. The monitoring list also included selected video channels of some Russian and Crimean media and speakers with many subscribers in YouTube and Rutube social networks and Telegram messenger.  

The methodology for selecting and assessing the content was developed by Yulia Krylova-Hrek, PhD (Psychology), Ass. Prof. (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy National University), IRES researcher (Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University (Sweden), given the results of the previous Crimean Human Rights Group study: “Hate Speech in Online Media Publicizing Events in Crimea”.  

The statements of Russian propagandists will be further monitored, with the outcomes published at the CHRG website.  

For examples of statements that according to the Crimean Human Rights Group analysts, feature calls for genocide, commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and propaganda of waging the aggressive war in the territory of Ukraine, follow the link 

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