Many of us have grown used to the fact that, from time to time, all kinds of "experts" and "political pundits" from Ukraine appear on Russian TV panel shows, just to be humiliated, kicked out of the studio, and even beaten during live broadcasts. Russian propaganda needs this kind of characters both to show Ukrainians supporting the "Russian world" and those criticizing it, with the certain aim to pick at and mock the latter.
In turn, a limited number of candidates for kissing the Kremlin's bottom and for receiving a public spanking leads to the fact that even those minds have long been altered with cheap vodka start noticing that something's not right about these "guests" and narratives. And it seems that the Russian propaganda's agenda has somewhat changed lately.
Just the other day, a Russian panel show called "Truth from the Trenches" hosted by Alexander Rogatkin invited both former servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and militants who fought for the so-called "DPR-LPR". The programme aimed at showing "reconciliation" between yesterday's enemies. But the thing is that, just as in the case of all kinds of no-name "political pundits" and "experts", the ATO veterans invited there turned out to be fake personas, to put it mildly.
First of all, let's talk about with the leader of a group of Ukrainian veterans, Alexander Medinsky, who turned out to be a well-known pro-Russian provocateur, who claims to be a journalist with the Open Ukraine TV channel and former member of Dmitry Korchinsky's "Brotherhood" movement (which for me is not at all surprising), and earlier, in 2005, head of the Kharkiv branch of Russian World ideologist Alexander Dugin's "Eurasian Youth Union". At the same time, Medinsky claimed to be a former participant in the hostilities in eastern Ukraine.
He was accompanied by such anti-terrorist operation veterans as Alexey Grzhivach aka "Oleksa Dovbush", whose participation in the anti-terrorist operation was limited to cooking porridge, and who was quoted as repeatedly speaking out against the war, criticizing the anti-terrorist efforts and calling the conflict a "civil war", as well as Vitaliy "Tulip" Ploshkin, editor of the pro-Russian "Antifascist" website and a frequent guest of Medsnky's broadcasts, where the two spat dirt at Ukraine and its Army.
Interestingly, Alexander Medinsky himself was involved by the Russian propaganda machine in an attempt to accuse Ukraine of using chemical weapons in the Donbas. With such a statement, he addressed U.S. President Donald Trump back in 2018. But, as you know, this nonsensical claim saw no reaction from the White House and remained within the niche of low-grade information platforms.
After such a brazen move, Alexander Medinsky, following in the steps of an ardent anti-Ukrainian blogger Alexander Shariy, turned to the Kremlin’s agent of influence in Finland, a "human rights activist and journalist" Johan Beckman, who also head heads a fake "DPR representative office" in Helsinki, asking him for help in obtaining political asylum in Finland.
Nevertheless, it is obvious that Russian propaganda is now embarking on a change in the agenda of its broadcasts and, starting with second-rate platforms as Alexander Rogatkin's show, is trying to integrate it into the general context of the information wave.
Considering the fact that the participants in the show were by no means ATO veterans, but obvious anti-Ukrainian figures, the move turned out to be extremely clumsy, like many other initiatives of Russia's propaganda machine.
On the other hand, target consumers of fast food information, both in Russia and in Ukraine, will swallow this meal, and might even ask for more.