Andrey Ilnitsky: Power Is in Truth

The Ukronazists implement all their military actions first of all calculating the media effect. We are exactly the opposite! We are only framing military actions with information

“What is power, brother?”

“Power is in the truth!”

Danila Bagrov, film “Brat 2”

The Ukronazis, under the leadership of the British and Americans, implement all their military actions, first of all calculating the media effect. We are exactly the opposite! Informationally, we only frame military operations. In a way that is very dosed and careful. We are people of truth, people of long will!

The growing confrontation with the West, one of the elements of which is the special military operation on the territory of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, increasingly resembles an all-out war in its scale and significance, when the conflict goes beyond an armed confrontation, turning economic, informational and semantic spaces into battlefields where there are no laws and rules, where any lie becomes only a tool, and the end justifies the means.

As several decades go by, past defeats and victories are becoming trends, and one gets the feeling that in the 1990s Russia was close to complete destruction, the loss in the Cold War was a disaster, but we were able to return to the table of history largely not because of something, but in spite of. In the current confrontation with the West, almost everything is at stake, and Russia will have no other chance. Winning will allow to regain what was lost in the 1990s and even more: it will give a future, a chance and a perspective of development; a loss will take away the strategic initiative and a significant part of subjectivity and start the process of conservation, immersion in stasis. In the event of a loss – which is impossible – there will be a final loss of imperial principles and traditions, turning, with great losses, into an ordinary regional power. In the worst case scenario – a civil war and a nuclear conflict with the West with the mutual destruction of Western and Eastern European civilisations. Therefore, today’s confrontation with the West is an all-out hybrid war that we cannot lose.

We are used to saying that war is a continuation of politics by violent means, but it is time to understand that violent means are changing, public institutions and structures in the world are becoming more complex, politics is only a reflection of continuous confrontation without pauses, and the tools of war and peace are now confusingly similar. Against the background of the confrontation between Russia and the West, we observe how the object of the confrontation is directly the consciousness of both an individual and society as a whole.

In addition to the usual methods of political and economic pressure on our country, the enemy’s attacks have become complex and aggressive, including economic and political pressure, information and psychological and cyber attacks. In the context of a disintegrating global world and a loss of influence, the planning horizon of the West has been sharply reduced in its attempts to maintain its dominant position: there are no lies that Westerners will refuse to accept in order to save their position.

Without a constructive and feasible strategy, the West seeks to weaken potential adversaries and destroy their future, for which an ideological and legal platform of influence on Russia, and in the future – on all national states – has been developed and is being implemented:

  • doctrinal consolidation of Russia as a strategic enemy;
  • purposeful blurring of the subject-object factors of global confrontation, the introduction of the US and NATO concept of the operational space of hybrid warfare — the so-called “Grey Zone” – a state of “no war/no peace”, where any conflicts and clashes are allowed, except for direct military ones;
  • the formation by the United States — more precisely, the “collective West” – of a global information and cyberspace located outside the jurisdiction of national states, provided with technologies and communications that directly affect both society and individual citizens;
  • active penetration of transnational structures and corporations into areas that are sensitive to the security of sovereign states, accompanied by attempts to seize power, mechanisms for preparing and making decisions from legitimate structures;
  • discrediting and undermining international law, destroying the global security system.

In the framework of an all-out hybrid war, the opposing states, and then all other national states, must be eliminated; the national history, culture, traditions, way of life and the choice of life priorities of the population must be destroyed. The West does not need the occupation of territory, it seeks to destroy culture, identity, language, religion and traditions, a war not only “from the outside”, but in many ways “from the inside”, radically different from the traditional way of waging war “from the outside in”.

Total war takes place on a mental battlefield, can last for decades, and during periods of aggravation manifests itself in the form of armed and economic confrontations. This war is aimed not only at the information field, the sphere of feelings, emotions, moods – the occupation of spiritual space, consciousness. Those who are defeated in this war not only lose the ability to defend their values, but also completely assimilate the alien and “false” values that were introduced to them by imposing one’s will.

This is a new type of war – mental warfare!

Within the framework of mental warfare, there are three levels of implementation:

1. Tactical — information campaigns (days, weeks, months).

2. Operational – cognitive operations (weeks, months, and years).

3. Strategic – mental warfare (years, decades).

The tools and technologies of mental warfare include, but are not limited to, information and psycho-emotional components, ethnic psychology, culture, national and religious traditions, values, and language. At the short-term, tactical level of mental warfare, the information sphere – the field of news, knowledge, facts, and information – is being reset (reformatted) and corrected. There is a deliberate suppression of objective information, an attack is launched on existing scientific knowledge — it is discredited and replaced with specially created “new knowledge”. In the context of the degradation of the global education system, simplifying thinking and reducing critical perception, this is very dangerous. For example, in the United States, according to a UNESCO study, 29% of the adult population does not have a minimum mathematical literacy, and the number of adults who cannot read (completely, below the basic level) is 32 million (14% of the population). An illiterate person is an excellent object for manipulation.

The psycho-emotional component – the operational level of mental warfare – is aimed at capturing and manipulating the enemy’s consciousness, managing moods and emotions, when the object – an individual, groups of people and society as a whole – is dictated the necessary moods, assessments, opinions about something/someone and this is perceived by people unconsciously, as a given, without understanding the essence. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are actively used to manipulate public consciousness both at the level of information and at the level of moods and emotions, influencing the mind and subconscious, programming and changing reactions occur.

Empire of Lies – attacks

The hybrid global war of the West against Russia has gone beyond the political and/or economic competition of ethical systems, moving to the civilisational level. Western European and Eastern European civilisations are similar and descend from the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Unlike Western European dualism, when a completely anti-Christian carnival was held in front of Christian abstinence, mixing and allowing good and evil, justifying lies — within the Russian world, the categories of good and truth are universal.

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Within the framework of the special military operation, we encountered things that previously seemed impossible. Part of the people of the Russian world from the territory of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic went the way of lies, justifying the admissibility of any means. In the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, they like to compare Russia with the Horde: well, we took some moral principles from them. The steppes had their own customs – simple, honest and unambiguous, we accepted them, as they were accepted by people who for centuries were part of the Russian world and lived on the territories of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, fought against fascism and Nazism during the Great Patriotic War. Exactly against the mental virus/”cancer of Nazism” that has been nurtured by the West for the last 30 years and against which we are forced to conduct an operation.

This is a war of annihilation, not just a change of mindset. Attempts to remake the people of Russia, split and atomise them, destroy Eastern European civilisation – the Russian world, and turn the population into a manipulated crowd will continue.

In 1983, US President Ronald Reagan called the USSR the “Evil Empire”, which was a reference to the cult epic film “Star Wars”for Americans. In early 2022, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin made a similar move, calling the bloc of Western countries the “Empire of Lies”, which is a no less cognitively capacious image. The right-wing liberal Western world built on lies, which promotes double-mindedness and perversion, is not accepted outright by healthy, conservative, and traditional societies. How many years did the United States deny the development of biological weapons on the territory of the former USSR, and then Victoria Nuland spoke about the presence of biological laboratories on the territory of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and concerns about strains getting into the hands of Russia. Later, the Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, confirmed this unfortunate fact under oath. In fact, we are talking about lies and attempts to create selective weapons against the Russians — the Empire of Lies is attacking!

In the traditions of peoples, there are different attitudes towards the spoken word: for example, the Russian tradition is characterised by the observance of the spirit of agreements, even if they are not fixed by a formal agreement, and all words spoken should be held accountable. The Anglo-Saxons, the basis of the West, are practically the complete opposite: for them, only words given under oath are important, and contracts are executed exclusively by letter, as long as it is profitable. The latter is provided by a specially left space for interpretation, competition and a mass of precedents.

It is not surprising that these differences are reflected in the approaches to information warfare (the tactical level of mental warfare). Our position is based on real events and facts, a single line is maintained, outright lies and fantasies are not allowed. The purpose of an information attack/defence is to show and prove the truth!

The West works on a completely different principle — there is a tactical task, under which “events” are invented, falsification occurs. No words and conclusions have any weight until they are given under oath/spelled out in the contract, which is why all the “high-profile cases” of recent years do not reach the court. There is nothing surprising in the lack of consistency, “forgetfulness” and willingness to change the readings as soon as it becomes convenient. If the accused does not confess and is not ready to take the blame for a far-fetched crime, the case is not brought to court, so that respected people are not forced to lie or recant their words under oath.

We are worried, how can we convey to the Western audience our arguments that we have nothing to do with it and that all the accusations are falsified? No way, and there’s no point in it! As long as there are no court decisions, the whole emotional component has no real weight. If we want to hit hard at Western politicians and elites — we ignore their words and accusations, launch demonstrative public trials against them, and make the most honest court decision.

Being convicted – even by someone else’s court – is very painful for a representative of the West: one never knows how the political situation will turn out in the future, but the label is hanging.

The confrontation between Russia and the West is increasingly becoming a sacred war — Good vs. Evil, the Empire of Truth vs. the Empire of Lies!

The propaganda of the Kiev authorities is based on the principles and under the supervision of Western instructors. That’s why there is such a sea of outright lies, fakes and growing fatigue from them. The short-term illusion of victory in the information war is gradually beginning to fade, while a much smaller number of our messages are confirmed from time to time. In a short time, the balance will shift, and our usual bet on the truth will prevail over the flow of outright lies.

How to win the information war

Power is in strength, and strength is in truth! If we want to win in the long run, in the strategic horizon, then we cannot be like and adopt other people’s short-term methods and approaches built on lies. Euphoria and information foam is beginning to subside, many special correspondents of Western publications have recently visited the combat zone and saw with their own eyes everything that is happening there.

The journalist of the German newspaper “Junge Welt” U. Heyden after visiting Donbass directly accused Kiev of killing civilians. The Italian G. Bianchi, who is permanently stationed in the LPR and DPR, confirmed the presence of neo-nazis in the “Azov” regiment. French analyst B. Bertez said that “the presence of photo and video materials confirming the facts of the real presence of Russian troops in a particular region of Ukraine, as well as the mass surrender of Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol, negate all the fakes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and bravura, as well as unsubstantiated reports about the success of the Ukrainian General Staff.”

French experts of the Reseau International publication are also sure that the fictions of Ukrainian propaganda are no longer perceived by the public. They emphasise that “no one believes the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which makes absolutely unfounded claims about the gigantic losses of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”. At the same time, on social networks and in the mass media, the Russian side and pro-Russian activists constantly post a large number of photos and videos depicting the destruction of Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel and military infrastructure, as well as the mass surrender of Ukrainian servicemen.

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Despite Kiev’s intense silence on this fact, the capture of the Ukrainian naval troops made an indelible impression on the Western expert community.

Analyzing the reasons for Russia’s success in the information war around Ukraine, the Royal United Services Institute, in particular, notes that Moscow during the operation in Ukraine effectively drew the attention of international media to the problem of the widespread spread of Nazi ideology in Ukrainian society. Another argument in favour of the Russian Federation in this matter is the real participation of foreigners from Western right-wing extremist groups in the war in Ukraine on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The British emphasise that “the thesis of” confrontation with neo-nazis “has a positive effect on Moscow’s reputation in third world countries and strengthens the international anti-Western coalition”, of which it is one of the leaders.

V. Keller [disclaimer: surname may have been literally lost in translation from Russian to English – ed], a leading researcher at the Estonian NATO Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, adds that “the information war against the Russian Federation has not yet been won because the Russian Federation has a sufficient number of supporters in the world and has built up a very effective work with controlled media <…> Moscow tirelessly conducts an active information confrontation in foreign social networks and media resources,” she emphasises.

N. Oweidat, an expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center (USA), also agrees with this. She analysed the Arabic segment of the social network Twitter and found that the majority of Middle Easterners support the Russian special operation in Ukraine, criticise the position of the West and expect “the end of the American hegemony” <…> “When it comes to the narratives adopted in the Arabic social media space, we in the West are losing,” she concluded.

A similar situation is observed in Asia. According to a survey conducted by the Carter Center (USA), “75% of Chinese residents support the Russian operation in Ukraine”, and 60% believe that China, as a state, should support the Russian operation in Ukraine.

According to Demos analysts, “Russian propaganda has the greatest effect when conducted in regions that historically have a negative perception of the United States and Western countries”. The director of the centre, C. Miller, emphasises that “the fact that Western analysts don’t see information warfare doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, and it doesn’t mean the West has won”.

The transition of mental warfare from the tactical to the operational level shows the correctness of Russia’s bet on the truth!

In the conditions of the impossibility of a direct armed conflict with Russia, recognised by the West, the most relevant damaging factor in influencing Russia is precisely the mental impact. Its operational task is to sow chaos and confusion in the minds of Russians, undermine trust at the junction of “power-society”, disrupt the social fabric, weaken the state, and in a strategic formulation – to replace / reset the worldview of Russians, split and chaotic society, discredit and decompose the state – and eventually lead our country to the loss of subjectivity and disintegration. This milestone date is 2024. This is the code for the “Destabilisation of Russia” project.

The West is in a hurry, it is very limited in terms of time. Decades of looting and complacency are over. The Western world is on the verge of not even a crisis, but a catastrophe. The older generation of generals and politicians in the United States still studied history and perfectly remember the process of the death of the Roman Empire, when it was forced to leave and abandon entire provinces. The “empire of lies” has broken down: under Bill Clinton, the United States declared the possibility of waging two wars anywhere in the world, under Barack Obama — only one, but now there is no question of such a thing. The Middle East and Central Asia are virtually abandoned, and the word from Washington is no longer a command for national governments to execute. If current trends continue in 2024-2025, the question of reducing the US presence, or even withdrawing from Europe, will arise, which will be an even greater shock than the flight from Afghanistan in August 2021.

Our strength is in unity!

In difficult periods of history and struggle, the cohesion and unity of society and elites is extremely important. A strong state is not only an opportunity to meet the challenges of our time, ensuring sovereignty. A strong state is the ability to make strategic decisions and form its own agenda, it is the availability of tools and the will to implement what is conceived as a national cause. It will end with our victory soon, but the mental war with the West, in fact, has no time frame. This is a civilisational clash!

Large projects — projects of a Common Cause – can take a wide variety of forms – such as laying the foundation of cities of the “Siberian Turn”, new industries and scientific and industrial clusters, parks and nature protection zones, in forest planting, forums, congresses, gatherings and symposiums, large-scale cultural events and festivals, religious processions, mass prayers, in the restoration of churches “by the whole world”, car rallies and various sports competitions, restoration of architectural monuments and cleaning of territories, rescue and search for missing people, historical reconstructions and search movements, local history campaigns and gatherings related to history, cultural memory, etc.

The “Immortal Regiment” is the best illustration of the socio-ideological Big Project: the Russian nation revealed itself in the holy Days of the Victory celebration. It paraded through Red Square and the Immortal Regiment’s multi-million-strong columns across the country.

The reconstruction of Donbass and other territories of the Russian world on the territory of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic can, along with the “Siberian Turn”, become another Big Project of Russia.

Worms can also bring down a hundred-year-old oak tree — so the question of who will implement Big Projects in practice is not idle at all, it is on the agenda. The problem of the nationalisation of elites, the foundation of which was laid in the liberal-oligarchic 90s with the active participation of Western agents of influence, is more than acute.

At the end of February 2022, a new era began — the war with the West turned into a hot phase, and the stakes rose sharply. For the sake of Russia’s survival, we must become monolithic. There is no doubt about the ability of most of the people to do this: the desire for revenge, the return of a strong power — a people’s empire, which can be proud of, as well as the memory/dream of a strong Russia, is alive in our people.

With dramatic changes in social systems, past achievements and agreements are devalued, and the status must be confirmed again and again. Society begins to demand actions from the elite, the manifestation of leadership qualities (do not confuse leadership with management), example, self-sacrifice, reference behaviour, the greatest contribution to the common cause and success. The time is coming for new leaders – warriors and creators who can lead people.

Of course, there are many professional and decent people in the current Russian bureaucracy. These are the so-called middle and lower management links. These humble workers do not call and do not consider themselves elite, but work hard and every day for the state, under and under various kinds of changing “effective managers” at the top. These people are the mainstay of the state, they ensure the continuity of power, stability and manageability of the country.

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But the vector of development is determined not by them, but by those who make decisions, those who are usually called the elite. And it is precisely in this “elite” sector of society that a total value revision and reconfiguration, as well as a personnel reset, is needed.

Nationalisation of elites is also a matter of national security! The purifying effect of the special military operation and dramatic events on the territory of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on the part of the elite contributes to the solution of this issue. Social uplift and rallying around the special military operation, with the support of more than 80% of the population of the Russian Federation (according to the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre), catalyses this process!

The elite of the people’s empire must be ideological — capable of living and acting for the sake of the high IDEA of serving the Motherland.

Today, Russian society most trusts the Leader of the nation, Vladimir Putin, as well as the Russian Army, law enforcement agencies and the Russian Orthodox Church. It is around these institutions, as well as around nationally-oriented business, that the country should be assembled. Around the Leader of the Nation and these core institutions of trust, a cadre Appeal will be formed that will take responsibility for the fate of Russia, for the implementation of Big Policies and Big Projects of a Common Cause based on a Big Ideology. The special military operation is a chance for the internal self-purification of Russia and nationalisation of elites. This is the time to call active, patriotic and passionate people of long will to power!

The mental sphere – education and upbringing, sacred and symbolic areas of the spiritual foundations of the multinational nation of Russia, its history and culture – is a strategic environment, the protection and unity of which must be ensured by having the appropriate tools and capabilities both on the external contour and inside the country. This is a national task that should be solved based on an ideology that consolidates Russian society in the common cause of creating and developing Russia.

Against the background of the West’s deliberate policy of containing Russia, the protection of the traditional spiritual and moral foundations of Russian society is becoming vitally important!

In information campaigns, there is one immutable technological truth — if one wants to win, work first, attack, promote and impose one’s agenda on one’s opponents. If one only answers other people’s questions — one has lost.

Information campaigns and operations are part of mental warfare. To win them — it is necessary to switch from defensive tactics of informational confrontation to an offensive strategy of informational-psychological, cognitive and mental counteraction. On the defence, mental wars are not won!

The initial ideological platform of such a policy has already been formulated in the new edition of the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation in the section on the protection of Russian spiritual and moral values, culture and historical memory. Now, more than ever, we need an active position of the state, Russian business and the entire population. The events surrounding Russia’s foreign military forces in the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic clearly demonstrate that there are “reserves” in the direction of ensuring information and psychological security, to put it mildly.

From information warfare to a mental security Strategy

And if the task of demilitarising the territories of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic is being completed quite successfully in a short time, then the task of denazification has a completely different scale. The time frame for denazification can never be less than one generation, which must be born, raised and reach maturity under denazification conditions. The nazification of Ukraine has been going on for more than 30 years, starting at least in 1989, when Ukrainian nationalism received legal and legitimate forms of political expression. As a result, children who are Russian in terms of culture and language turned out to be adherents of “political Ukrainism”, Nazi ideas, ready to kill any manifestations of their native culture in and around them, to become mankurts who do not remember their kinship.

To ensure the security of the Russian Federation, it is necessary to develop and implement a strategy for the mental security of the entire society and an individual, which will ensure:

  • consolidation of the state and society based on a common history and culture, a common understanding of the meaning of today and the vision of tomorrow — that is, on the ideology of developing our country through the solidarity action of everyone;
  • effective coordination of military, political, economic, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to counter mental threats with information;
  • creation of centres for analysis, forecasting, development and coordination of these actions at the interagency (national) level;
  • development of a system for forecasting, monitoring, identifying and preventing threats to the mental security of the Russian Federation. Identify sources of threats, block them, and eliminate the results of implementing such threats;
  • improving the security of the mental sphere and information infrastructure of the Russian Federation, the stability of its functioning;
  • protection of the spiritual, moral and cultural values of the Russian nation;
  • preventing falsification of history, stopping attacks on the mental sphere of Russians, on our spiritual and cultural heritage, sacred and symbolic areas, history and the Russian language;
  • development of forces and means of information and cyber protection.

The essence of the ideology of the people’s empire, the ideology of ensuring the security of Russia, is the preservation and multiplication of our land and nation. This strategy was put forward by President Vladimir Putin in the “National Security Strategy”, Presidential Messages, and is enshrined in amendments to the Constitution.

Building a people’s empire is Destiny, a difficult but great Common Cause. The great Russian diplomat, Chancellor Aleksandr Mikhailovich Gorchakov, wrote in the 19th century after the Crimean War: “Russia is reproached for being isolated and silent in the face of such facts that are not in harmony with either law or justice. They say that Russia is angry. Russia is not angry, Russia is concentrating…”

Then Russia concentrated and became the world leader in the second half of the 19th century. And today, the growing civilisational confrontation brings both new threats and challenges, as well as new opportunities for Russia.

So let’s win!

A. M. Ilnitsky, Full State Councillor of the Russian Federation, 3rd class, member of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, Candidate of Technical Sciences, Senior Researcher of the Higher Attestation Commission.

A. Y. Shkolnikov, political scientist, geostrategist.

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