NewsDespite home loss, joy: Invited to Russia by Putin

Despite home loss, joy: Invited to Russia by Putin

The Russians used the city of Wołnowacha to spread their propaganda.
The Russians used the city of Wołnowacha to spread their propaganda.
Images source: © Licensor
12:23 PM EST, November 19, 2023

The town of Volnovakha in the Donetsk province has become a fertile ground for Russian war propaganda. Despite one resident's house being destroyed, he discovered a silver lining: he could realize his lifelong dream to live in Russia. "I've dreamed of this!” he confessed in front of the cameras, breaking into tears...

The validity of much of the information spread by Russian media and officials is questionable. Such reports are likely part of the information war launched by the Russian Federation.

Before the war, Volnovakha was home to 25,000 people; now fewer than three thousand remain. Almost the entire city, 90 percent of the buildings, lie ruined. Ruins are punctuated by a nearby filtration camp established by the Russians. Here, without reliable access to electricity and water, fear permeates the atmosphere, and those who defy orders are either shot or sent deep into Russia.

Located 43 miles south of Donetsk, the town has been occupied by Russian troops since March 11, 2022. Pro-Russian separatists had failed to capture it in 2014, but it fell to the regular army during the recent invasion. Volnovakha is now a key territory for the spread of Russian propaganda.

Russian media recently highlighted "one resident" who finally realized his aspiration to live in Russia. An elderly man with a mustache, speaking to a reporter from Russian television, delightfully disclosed that he received an apartment in Russia where he will resettle after years in Ukraine.

His current home was "destroyed in artillery shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine", according to Russian reports. But now, his life is on the brink of a new beginning. His house keys are collected, documents signed, and a trip to Russia looms where he looks forward to beginning a new life.

The entire scene unfolded in front of a building festooned with Russian flags. A portrait of Vladimir Putin also hung there, branded as the “beloved president”, according to this man. He also emotionally conveyed that his dream to live in Russia has been fulfilled. A dream so dear, that he held onto it even while residing in Ukraine.

Such is the content of the propaganda that Russians disseminate through local media. But now, let's look at some facts. At the onset of 2022, when the invasion began, Volnovakha was virtually destroyed by Russian shelling. The city defended itself bravely, but after two weeks of intense fighting, it was occupied. Most of the residents fled.

The Russians decided to film more propaganda pieces for television, and that strategy continued unabated. Stories about the start of school, about people's delight at the arrival of Vladimir Putin's army, have already been circulated. More are expected as the spring presidential elections draw near, even in occupied territories.

Ukrainian Deputy Dmytro Lubinec issued a warning about this strategy, which exploits surrounding towns and villages in attempts to legitimize their aggression towards Ukraine. They avoid mentioning the filtration camps they've set up in the Donetsk province, their terrorization of the local population, and the deportation of dissenters to remote parts of the country.

Unless they decide they need to execute them instantly...

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