Russian TV pirates are parroting and pushing Russian state propaganda wherever they can.

A case in point was a pirated episode of the American TV show, “The Morning Show.”

Apple TV+ is one of the few Western media outlets that continues to operate in Russia despite Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Apple’s third season of “The Morning Show,” starring Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell has content pertaining to Russia’s war in Ukraine – but was not made available to Russia.

However, Russian pirates made copies of the season and did their own dubbing of dialogue.

In the fourth episode of season 3 of the show, one of the characters says “The Russians aren’t just bombing the city, they’re shooting civilians on the streets.”

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But the "Rudub" studio, which makes a range of Western TV series available to Russian viewers, translated this as “Here they aren’t just bombing the city – the Azov Brigade is shooting civilians in the streets.”

“This is an example of classic Russian propaganda – an attempt to shift responsibility from themselves to the people who resisted them in Mariupol,” Yuliia Fedosiuk, Deputy Chair of the Association of Families of Azovstal Defenders, told Ukrainska Pravda.

When my husband was being held captive in Taganrog, during interrogations, he was asked in all seriousness who bombed Mariupol and the Mariupol Drama Theater,” Fedosiuk said.

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“When he replied that they did, they didn't like that answer very much. It seems that this is an Orwellian situation where good is called evil and evil is called good. And, unfortunately, the Russian population takes this at face value,” Fedosiuk said.

On March 16, 2022, the Russian military bombed the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol – which, at the time had the word “children” written on its rooftop and on the ground around the building – an effort made by the refugees inside to garner compassion from the Russian military, which, they’d hoped, would be averse to striking the building, in which children were sheltering inside.

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The actual number of people killed at the theater is unknown. But it was serving as an air raid shelter during Russia’s siege of Mariupol, and an Associated Press investigation estimated that there could have been as many as 600 victims.

Russia denied the allegations and instead accused the Azov Battalion of blowing up the building – a claim refuted by independent investigations, including one held by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

“Russia does not claim that it was a legitimate target but that it was blown up by the Ukrainian Azov battalion. The Mission did not receive any indication that this could be the case… This incident constitutes most likely an egregious violation of IHL (international humanitarian law) and those who ordered or executed it committed a war crime,” the OSCE said in its April 2022 report.

The Azov battalion, which at its inception had some far-right volunteers, some with neo-Nazi affiliations meant the entire formation became a lightning rod for virulent Russian propaganda, which routinely claims Azov members were wholly recruited from Nazis, fascists and war criminals all dedicated to murdering Russian civilians.

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Independent media in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, among them Kyiv Post, have disparaged Moscow claims while mostly describing the formation as one of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s (AFU) more motivated fighting units.

In a large-scale bombing campaign that lasted for over two months, Russia reduced the city of Mariupol, which had a pre-2022 population of 400,000 into what effectively became a mass grave. Ukrainian officials estimate that somewhere around 22,000 people never made it out of Mariupol alive.

Some of the last defenders of Mariupol came from Ukraine’s Azov Battalion. They were besieged for 80 days inside the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works before 2,000 of them surrendered in May 2022.

Recently, Moscow has been holding, what human rights watch has dubbed as illegal trials of Azov’s prisoners of war, accusing them of “terrorism” and “sedition.”

 

While Russian state TV frequently pushes Moscow narratives about Russia’s war in Ukraine – which a UN investigative team has categorized as possibly inciting genocide – examples of Russian internet pirates doing much the same thing are less publicized.

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Comments ( 1)

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Makuye
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

As russia militarily encounters increasing losses, this massive increase of the "Big Lie" Hitlerian and Goebbelsian strategy was predicted.
Russian development of its propaganda machine far surpassed its Soviet basis, was noted by 2004 in agencies studying that development.
The extreme polarization of European publics as well as the obvious USA polarization occurring, WERE results.
Propaganda has 3 types:
Propagation of purported assets/advantages of the Propagandizing entity.
Malignant attacking of the chosen victim through lies, distortions, rhetoric, Amplification of ANY difficulty, problem, previous or novel disagreement among a target population.

Amplification has been extremely effective, using less visible lies and assertions to amplify.

Ukraine, the most targeted since 2014, is more sophisticated in understanding the russian propagandistic assault. Larger, more distant, and more naive populations in the world, have been more successfully deceived by the Putin regime, and almost ALL the political flashpoints within and between other nations, political groups, and interest groups focused on politicizable issues have been seduced into misattributing one another, rather than the actual source.

Many previously ignored by russian agencies, are now objects of disruption, though russia did give attention to almost all nations.

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