According to Western analysts, the Kremlin has become even more sensitive to disputes in the middle of the Russian information space, namely between influential media persons and milbloggers. While pro-Russian milbloggers snipe at each other over displaying Russian failures, Moscow can’t decide on its own propaganda policy, they say.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, the Aug 2 dispute between prominent voices in the Russian information space underscores the Kremlin’s sensitivity to Russian reporting on failures in Crimea in particular, and perhaps in Ukraine in general, and has further exposed fault lines within the milblogger community.
One of the pro-Russian milbloggers accused other so-called milbloggers who criticized Russian warfare, calling them “imbeciles” who support “provocative publications” and “fierce criticism” of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
This happened after the “military” bloggers posted images of the results of recent Ukrainian strikes near Sevastopol and on the Chonhar bridge.
After that, the notorious Kremlin-backed pro-Russian Ukrainian blogger also accused one of the critical milbloggers of stealing crowdsourced funds collected and intended for Russian forces.
Another milblogger said that the essence of the problem is that these two channels post photos of alleged Ukrainian strikes on Crimea using images originating from Ukrainian Telegram channels.
One well-known Russian milblogger claimed that the dispute over the posting of images of strikes in Crimea became so intense that it attracted the attention of the Federal Security Service of Crimea.
Such information, as some sources suggest, can “irresponsibly sow panic” among the population in Crimea and beyond to Russia itself.
According to analysts, such a dispute indicates that the issue of strikes on Crimea is a sore, sensitive, and yet, tantalizing point in the pro-Russian “military” information space.
Early, On July 29, 2023, the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the morning successfully attacked the Chonhar Bridge, which connects the occupied Crimea and the occupied part of the Kherson region.
After that, there was no mention of the attack in the Kremlin state media, as there was no reaction in the usually lively information space of Russian milbloggers, even though the previous attack on this bridge in June caused a wave of comments among them, mostly indignant.
According to Western analysts, this silence of Russian milbloggers may indicate changes in the Kremlin’s information policy and its approaches to regulating the information space, namely, a clear Kremlin directive not to cover Ukrainian attacks on bridges in Crimea.
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