Illustration Moa Thelander

Illustration Moa Thelander

Essays Dehumanizing the Hate speech directed at Ukrainians in Russian media

The impact of negative rhetoric towards Ukraine, the United States and European countries are the constant ingredients in the “menu” of Russian state media resources, not to mention blogs and social networks. Previous examples such as Rwanda and Srebrenica have shown how words of hatred lead to acts of hatred, with yesterday’s civilians being ready to kill their dehumanized neighbors. Unfortunately, one now can add to this list of examples Ukraine. Hate speech towards Ukraine began to gain momentum since 2014, after the “Revolution of Dignity” took place and the country was taking a political course towards European integration.

Published in the printed edition of Baltic Worlds BW 2022:3-4, pp 41-45
Published on balticworlds.com on January 18, 2023

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The impact of negative rhetoric towards Ukraine, the United States and European countries are the constant ingredients in the “menu” of Russian state media resources, not to mention blogs and social networks.
Previous examples such as Rwanda and Srebrenica have shown how words of hatred lead to acts of hatred, with yesterday’s civilians being ready to kill their dehumanized neighbors. Unfortunately, one now can add to this list of examples Ukraine. Hate speech towards Ukraine began to gain momentum since 2014, after the “Revolution of Dignity” took place and the country was taking a political course towards European integration.

Against the background of horror stories about Europe and the US dictatorship, the main target was Ukraine, and everything related to the Ukrainian language, culture and “Ukrainianness”,1 a concept used in the Russian media with a negative meaning.2 Almost every day, hate rhetoric was spread through the Russia’s main state channels, reaching the audience in Russia, occupied Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions.

Investigating the activities of the Russian media in 2014—2021, I wrote that the systematic character and the scale of the creation and distribution of such materials in the information space have signs of preparation for genocide.3 But no one could have imagined that this crime could happen in the center of Europe in the 21st century.

[…]

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references

1 Ukrainianness meaning: “Ukrainian nation with its language, culture,
history, and statehood” or “Feeling of belonging to Ukraine and its
culture” according to the Ukrainian Dictionary available at: https://
slovnyk.ua/index.php?swrd=􀉭􀉤􀉪􀉚􀊀􀉧􀉫􀉬􀉜􀉨)
2 N. Troitsky, “Ukrainianness of the brain” ROSINFORMBURO ( June 19,
2014). Available at https://rosinform.ru/column/nik-troitsky/430740-
ukrainstvo-golovnogo-mozga/
3 I Sedova & Y Krylova-Grek, Yu. Mova vorozhnechi v onlain-media,
yaki vysvitliuiut podii u Krymu: Informatsiino-analitychna dopovid pro
poshyrennia movy vorozhnechi v rosiiskomovnykh onlain media, yaki
rehuliarno vysvitliuiut zbroinyi konflikt Ukrainy ta RF i poviazani z nym
podii u Krymu (Hruden 2020–Traven 2021) [Hate speech in online media
covering events in Crimea: Information and analytical report on the
spread of hate speech in Russian-language online media, which regularly
cover the armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia and related events
in Crimea (December 2020-May 2021)], (Kyiv, 2022). Available at: https://
crimeahrg.org/wpcontent/uploads/2022/06/mova-vorozhnechi_fin_
ua.pdf

[...]

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