Spinmeisters Of Russia: Russian TV News Broadcasts Graphic Execution Of Ukrainian Soldiers In Donbass

Over the last several days, Russian television has broadcast graphic bodycam footage of what it describes as Russian soldiers confronting two Ukrainian soldiers in a dugout in Donbas and executing them at point blank range as one appears to drop his weapon and raise his hands. In a noted departure from the traditional narrative of Russian soldiers as "liberating" Ukraine, there is no triumphalism, merely an acknowledgement that Ukrainian soldiers continue to defend the region. In several previous airings of the same bodycam footage, the actual execution of the soldiers was not included. The fact that at least one of the soldiers appears to drop his weapon and raise his hands before being executed raises the question of Russia's purpose in airing the footage on national television to its population, especially given the absence of Russia's traditional liberation narrative and the overall narrative conveyed by the footage of Ukraine fiercely defending its territory.

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This analysis is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Internet Archive and its TV News Archive, the multi-party Media-Data Research Consortium and GDELT.