I spit on your graves: Russia killed its own servicemen and took advantage of it in the media

As an unprovoked and aggressive war waged by Russia against Ukraine has been raging for almost two years, Russia shows no signs of regard for its own citizens, sending hundreds of thousands of them to die in the bloody and senseless war against Ukraine. For Vladimir Putin, as well as any other previous ruler of the Russian Federation or any other state-like entity previously existing on its territory, human lives have been nothing but numbers.

On January 24, 2024, one could witness another proof of the aforementioned statement when Russian military aircraft Ilyushin Il-76, carrying missiles to-be-later-used for attacking Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, crashed near Belgorod in Russia.

At first, the Kremlin, as always, kept silence, developing a disinformation strategy to deceive the West as well as to calm down its own population. But then, suddenly, by some strange “coincidence”, a chain of almost identical messages has been disseminated through Russian propaganda networks on various social media platforms. The message was that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had shot down the aircraft carrying Ukrainian POWs that were to be exchanged for Russian POWs.

That Russian propaganda piece of “news” went viral, and the Kremlin received a clear signal that this strategy seemed to be working, as it definitely sowed doubt among Ukraine’s Western allies about the cause of the aircraft crash. At the same time, this particular narrative supported the Russian theme, according to which “NATO countries should supply Ukraine with modern weaponry because Ukraine is corrupt and its Armed Forces are incompetent”. To reinforce the message, the Kremlin emphasized that IL-76 had been shot down by the Patriot air defense system, previously provided to Ukraine by the US.

Therefore, even though the Russian military has lost its already rare military transport aircraft, propagandists came up with the solution that could shake the trust in the Ukrainian Government and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, potentially weakening the support from the West that Ukraine needs to repel Russian aggression.

Whether the aircraft was shot down due to the negligence of Russian military leadership or it was planned as a special operation to discredit Ukraine and its Armed Forces, the fact is that Russia sacrificed the crew of the aircraft or, if one to believe the Russian propaganda piece, at least 20 servicemen, allegedly convoying Ukrainian POWs to the site of POW exchange.

Throughout history Russia has been associated with atrocities, colossal human losses (even if those people were Russians) blood, tears, and calamity across Europe and Asia.

The rulers of Russia, regardless of one’s title, whether it was a duke, a tsar, a General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union or the President of the Russian Federation had little to none regard for and compassion to its own subjects or citizens. Therefore, Russian servicemen died because of its military leadership’s negligence or they were just the numbers in a special information operation to discredit Ukraine.

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