• The New York Times

Russian Relatives of Ukrainians Who Don't Believe They Are At War

March 15, 2022

[Image Source: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times]

Cited article by Valerie Hopkins, The New York Times


HRRC condemns the spread of disinformation as a means to justify the continued atrocities in Ukraine. The explicit withholding and manipulation of information regarding Russian forces' actions threatens and dehumanizes Ukrainians who are currently under attack, experiencing heavy losses, and fearing for their lives.


Article Summary


While Ukrainians are facing a Russian invasion and shelling of their homes, they are finding that many relatives living in Russia don't realize there is a war. Ukrainians call their families to inform them about the situation, and how they are trying to get their children and family members out of the country, only to meet justifications for the conflict or retorts that the conflict isn't as bad as they say it is. The disinformation from Russia terms the war in Ukraine as a "special military operation" and as an effort of "de-Nazifying" the country.


Facebook and Twitter have been banned in Russia, along with many independent journalism outlets. The news that is shown in Russia is highly selective. Images of peaceful military operations are publicized, and Russian victories are announced without any casualty counts. Russian relatives of Ukrainians outright refuse that there is an attack taking place, and Ukrainians state it is easier to explain the war to children than to their own family members in Russia.