On April 28, the Russian occupation authorities plan to host a journalistic press tour in Mariupol in order to shift the blame for the genocide and destruction of the city onto Ukraine. A group of journalists came from Russia in advance, who will ask the “right” questions, designed to form the only possible public opinion – the blame is on Ukraine. The event will be attended also by representatives of Western media loyal to Russia, who will form the opinion that the Kremlin needs from the Western community. The participants in the press tour will visit war-torn locations across the city, and the Kremlin propaganda will blame in every possible way the Ukrainian side for the tragedy.
This stunt serves several purposes. One of the main ones is to prevent a repetition of the media fallout of the events that took place in Bucha, after which anti-Russian sentiment in the world increased sharply. In addition, the scale of the tragedy in Mariupol is much larger, because even preliminary estimates suggest more than 20 thousand civilians killed there. So in the spirit of Soviet traditions, Russian propaganda plans to portray the aggressor as a victim. “Alternative facts” have already been prepared to be voiced by the so-called “eyewitnesses”, who will falsely assert that the atrocities were committed by the Ukrainian Army. It will be told in detail about how exactly the Ukrainian side shot civilians and destroyed urban infrastructure. This will be similar to the speech by Marianna Vyshemirskaya, who was evacuated by the Ukrainian military from the Mariupol maternity hospital in early March and subsequently ended up on the territory of the Russian Federation. There, she gave an interview to the Russian media, in which she accused the Ukrainian Army of atrocities and shelling. The Russian propaganda machine is repressive in nature and employs the widest toolkit to spread lies, including bribery, moral and physical pressure, and persuasion in order to achieve their vile goals.
The “press tour” is also aimed at the residents of the Russian Federation, who, in the Kremlin’s logic, must see Ukraine as an aggressor power, and Ukrainians – as champions of “Nazism”. Thus, Putin is trying to get at least a psychological mobilization of Russian society and massively whip up anti-Ukrainian hysteria. Despite the blocking of many non-Russian media, Russians can still receive alternative information about the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine. Russian society is completely exposed to propaganda, but Putin wants to create a society completely devoid of the ability to perceive alternative ideas.
The Russian invaders are in a rush to cover up the traces of their crimes, because before what happened in Mariupol, the tragedy of any other Ukrainian city that suffered during the war fades. Russian murderers carried out genocide of civilians of Mariupol on ethnic grounds, while the industrial infrastructure of the city and its housing stock were completely destroyed. The dead were buried in parks, squares and wastelands. Not a single city in Europe since the end of World War II has suffered such destruction. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the tragedy of this city exceeds what happened in the entire Kyiv region by magnitudes. In addition to the military personnel of the Russian Federation, there are the so-called “Kadyrov’s men” operating in the area. There are numerous testimonies of mass executions, torture, and rape. Girls as young as 7-9 years old were also raped. Many of the victims subsequently died. The bacchanalia of the Russian military in Mariupol produced such a number of victims that mobile crematoria were brought into eliminate evidence, akin to how the Nazis burned bodies of their victims during World War II.
Mariupol is the embodiment of an all-Ukrainian tragedy that occurred due to Putin’s will and the moral approval of the Russians – a nation of murderers and rapists. Today, the Kremlin will deny any involvement in the destruction of the beautiful, flourishing city on the shores of the Sea of Azov, which served as home to half a million Ukrainians. And any insinuations should not mislead the entire civilized world, which has taken the side of Ukraine despite the Kremlin’s attempt to destroy it. This “press tour” is a ridiculous attempt to hide the atrocities of the “Russian soldiers” against the backdrop of an ever-increasing anti-Russian spree across the world and a prologue to holding similar “events” in the rest of the occupied territories of Ukraine, where the genocide of Ukrainians is also being carried out.