The paper highlights “Essays on the geography of the Almighty Don Host” (Ocherki geografii Vsevelikogo Voyska Donskogo), a textbook on the geography of the Don region, which came to print amid the Civil War thanks to the initiative of a Don Ataman, P.N. Krasnov. The paper shows that the textbook, in combination with the “Don chrestomathy” (Donskaya khrestomatiya), created in the same period, was supposed, as the authors devised it, to imbue students at Don schools with devotion to their homeland, to shape them as “useful servants of the Almighty Don Host”. The book, among other things, contained the propaganda of the military devotion of Don Cossacks.
Analyzing the text of “Essays on the geography of the Almighty Don Host” and looking at it through the lens of the Don social ideas, which existed at the turn of the 20th century, the author concludes that the majority of the ideological constructs, which V.V. Bogachev promulgated, were not novel. V.V. Bogachev, like several earlier authors, championed the importance of the Cossacks’ military devotion and argued that future generations of Cossacks should be prepared to defend their land. However, as he formulated the positive values that Cossacks stood guard of, V.V. Bogachev attached particularly great virtue to irrational love for the Motherland, regardless of whether it was justified or not. Moreover, V.V. Bogachev insisted that Cossacks were superior in their moral qualities to Great Russians whom his text styled in the obvious image of “strangers”. Although similar views could be found among hard-right Don authors before 1917, V.V. Bogachev was the first to include them into a textbook and substantiate them with a unique Cossack heritage, on top of that. The author comes to the conclusion that V.V. Bogachev’s book clearly demonstrates how, in times of war, the declared propaganda of “love for the Cossackdom” transforms into the propaganda of xenophobia with only a thin line separating it from radical nationalism.
The paper publishes previously unprinted materials from the archival collection of the Center for Documentation of Contemporary History of the Udmurt Republic, which are dedicated to the Krasnaya Zvezda agitation steamer. The materials’ chronological frame of reference is limited to July and August 1919, i.e. to the period when the ship was on the territory of modern Udmurtia. The first work is a scholarly article by Professor B.G. Plyushchevskii, written in the 1950s. The second one is comprised of two versions of A.D. Sergeeva’s reminiscences of her meeting with N.K. Krupskaya on board the steamer, recorded apparently by V.Ya. Barinova in 1977 and stored in her archive.
As historical sources, both materials have limited value. B.G. Plyushchevskii’s article delivers no conclusions but only cites truisms. For this reason, his work is more a synopsis rather than a comprehensive study. Similarly, A.D. Sergeeva’s both versions predominantly use the published memoirs of N.K. Krupskaya as a basis. The work offers almost no original information.
Nevertheless, both materials can be instrumental in providing personal opinions of people, who lived in the 1950s and 1970s, to uncover what they put their focus on in the first place. As they act within the confines of the existing ideology, they are impelled to repeat “the only correct viewpoint”. For example, B.G. Plyushchevskii’s phrase that Kolchakites dug a mass grave of Red Guards soldiers in Votkinsk and burned the bodies, is given without any comments and communicates a noticeable negative shade of meaning. The Whites had to take this step out of necessity for sanitary reasons because the coffins were buried at such a shallow depth that spring melt waters completely washed out the burial. Similar ideological overtones, which had fully taken shape in the USSR by the time, can be perceived in assessments of other events mentioned. This explains quite logically why both materials have not been published so far.
This work draws upon archival materials and materials of private origin to examine the use of the MGU-39, a high-powered loudhailer unit, by the Red Army during World War II. It describes certain technical means and methods employed by propagandists to conduct agitation, including via the use of misleading sounds.
A key source used was the reminiscences of announcer and translator L.G. Nagler (married name Gerulaitis), who during the war was a member of a team operating a high-powered loudhailer unit while serving in the 11th Army of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army (RKKA). Use was also made of archival materials, namely reports recording the use of an MGU-39 by the 5th (“to misinform the enemy”), 48th, and 65th Armies of the RKKA. The documents were obtained from the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (Podolsk, Russian Federation).
The author’s conclusion is that the MGU-39, created in 1941, was employed throughout World War II. In a period of defensive action, the unit was employed to subvert enemy troops through agitation. For these purposes, special propaganda materials were designed and use was made of prisoners. Broadcasting of this kind was normally conducted in the nighttime.
At a time of the Soviets advancing, the unit was employed to create noises designed to mislead the enemy (e.g., by means of artificially reproducing or, on the contrary, drowning out the sound of tanks moving). In the areas of operation of the 5th, 48th, and 65th Armies, this kind of work was a great help to the advancing Soviet units. In addition, the MGU-39 was employed at the time to help provide agitation support for the Red Army’s own units.
This paper examines the arsenal of psychological tools and methods employed by the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front in the period from May through July 1944 based on materials from the operational and intelligence reports of the headquarters of the Red Army’s 128th Rifle Division.
Principal use was made of materials from the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense (Podolsk, Russian Federation). This was the first time the documents had been introduced into general circulation.
Methodologically, in reliance on the principles of objectivity and historicism, the author sifted through every archive material on the subject available. Importantly, use was also made of a systems approach, with all the relevant propaganda influence facts being arranged and systematized based on the chronological principle.
The author’s conclusion is that the Germans’ extensive use of means of psychological influence in respect of the 128th Rifle Division between May and July 1944 suggests that the Germans were undertaking a full-scale psychological operation in the area. In that period, the Germans employed a whole range of propaganda methods and tools from leaflets and audio broadcasting to collaborationist units of the Russian Liberation Army on the front line. Neither before nor after that period had the 128th Division been subjected to a psychological impact that extensive.
This article examines the monthly newspaper “Vestnik Leib-Gvardii” as a historical source for the period 1992–1997 in the south of Russia.
Issues of the monthly newspaper “Vestnik Leib-Gvardii,” which was published in Sochi, Russian Federation, in the years 1992–1993 and again after a hiatus in 1996–1997, were this study’s sources. A total of fourteen issues were published (five issues in 1992, from August to December; four in 1993, from January to April; one in 1996, in December; and four in 1997, the first three from January to March, and the fourth a double issue for April-May).
The complete run of the newspaper is held in the electronic library of the Cherkas Global University (Washington, DC, USA) and in the Library of Congress (Washington, DC, USA).
The present author applied the content analysis method, which is usually employed in academic research of this genre. Content analysis serves as a standard research method in the social sciences in cases that require quantitative analysis of texts with subsequent interpretation of their textual content.
The author finds that the newspaper “Vestnik Leib-Gvardii” serves as a valuable source of information on the creation of volunteer units in the Russian Federation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The materials presented convey the atmosphere of the situation in the early 1990s in the south of Russia. During its existence, the newspaper greatly increased the quality of the publication, and regular columns appeared. In addition, the newspaper published exclusive information about local conflicts on the territory of the former Soviet Union and the former Warsaw Pact countries.
The series of research papers spotlights the high-profile issue of propaganda around the next and very fierce development in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict with far-reaching political and territorial implications; it focuses on the war between forces of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (although Armenia was not legally a party to the conflict, its official military media often ignored the fact, considering their forces a side in the conflict. We will provide details on the situation below) and the Azerbaijan military from September 27 to November 10, 2020, which was won by Azerbaijan. The scope of our interest extends beyond fighting to the sides’ propaganda campaigns or the so-called “ideological warfare”.
The paper, which completes the cycle of the works dedicated to the propaganda efforts mounted by Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s official military departments during the Nagorno-Karabakh war in autumn 2020, looks into the sources of the countries’ defense ministries, which were released in the final, second stage of the war, namely from October 12 to November 10, 2020.
The study delivers analysis of information messages, front-line status reports and statements by the warring sides and draws conclusions on how effectively they used specific propaganda and agitation methods. The scope of the research work does not include the analysis of communications in the mass media.
Findings of the study suggest that both sides extensively used a range of propaganda techniques throughout the stage, such as enemy demonization, praise for own armies and their successes, and encouragement of patriotic sentiments. Messages by the Armenian Defense Ministry were uninformative (relied on generalized phrases and clichés) and more reserved in expressions. The latter, perhaps, was connected to the situation at the front. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry issued a much greater number of messages and confirmed them by respective photo and video materials; addresses by President Ilham Aliyev were very emotional.
The period 2019–2021 marks 100 years since the launch of the storied agit-steamer sailings along the Kama and Volga rivers, which had a significant cultural effect on life in the regions. During the Soviet era, the topic of these sailings was highly popular, as they were taken part in by top Soviet government officials. Yet at the same time, the fate of the actual steamers remains largely obscure. To date there are no integrated works on the biography of those ships. This paper reviews a set of existing photographic sources dealing with the later period of the life of the steamer Krasnaya Zvezda [Red Star]. Use was made of materials from the city of Sarapul’s municipal and private archives, as well as materials from the Center for Documenting Contemporary History of the Udmurt Republic. The photographic testimonies provided offer an unequivocal indication that in the late 1960s the steamer Krasnaya Zvezda was no longer a self-propelled vessel. Its paddle wheels appear to have been removed, while the space within the housings appears to have been put to use. Its boilers and engines clearly appear to have been removed too. Despite some sources indicating that the steamer was transferred from the Kama River Shipping Company to the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant, within the timeframe under examination the vessel appears to have been on the books of the Sarapul Ordzhonikidze Radio Factory, which is indicated by the captions accompanying the photographs. In 1973, while being beached on the shore, the vessel sustained a severe deformation to its hull, which would eventually make impossible both its further use and restoration. Despite certain elements of the ship’s hull being still in existence as of the early 2000s, it appears to be highly unlikely that one will be able to reconstruct the steamer just based on those remains.
The paper explores a military patriotic component in the creative work of Mikhail Kh. Senyutkin, a person who, for the first time, organized structured military propaganda activities in the Don press in period of the Crimean War. The author shows that this was accomplished quite on the spur of the moment: M.Kh. Senyutkin, a trained lawyer, who built the major part of his career in the prosecutor’s office and courts, found himself working as an editor of The Don Military Gazette (Donskiye Voyskovye Vedomosti) in the 1850s and, shortly after the outbreak of war, allowed to print military patriotic publications in the paper. Proceeding from M.Kh. Senyutkin's own oeuvre, the paper concludes that his efforts to systematize military propaganda were, nevertheless, meaningful – the Don lawyer viewed history as a study area of vital importance, which provided patriotic models to be followed. In his opinion, the history of Don Cossackdom was primarily shaped by its warfare legacy and essentially exemplified by the military exploits of Don units and particular Cossacks. At the same time, the paper shows that the oeuvre of M.Kh. Senyutkin was typical of the emerging Don military propaganda, and his reasoning gave explanations for some of its peculiarities, for example, the genre non-specificity of texts and authors’ regular references to Russian poets, rather than professional historians.
This work examines the activity of litterateurs during World War I. It provides an insight into military propaganda in literature at the time, as well as the patriotic zeal of litterateurs in different countries who went to the front as volunteers.
Relevant materials employed in this paper include newspapers and magazines published in the participating countries during the World War I period.
In putting this work together, the author was guided by the historicism and systemicity principles. The historicism principle enabled the author to make as full use as possible of the materials available and depart from existing viewpoints on the subject. At the same time, the use of the systemicity principle helped the author gain an insight into the activity of littérateurs not only from the Entente nations, but those a party to the Triple Alliance as well.
The author’s conclusion is that 1914 was a time of tremendous patriotic fervor in all the countries participating in World War I. Patriotism ran rampant across wide swathes of society, with writers being no exception. Literature in the participating countries was virtually in an instant placed on a war footing, with many magazines for home reading becoming patriotic, military publications. In addition, members of the literary intelligentsia took an active part as volunteers in warfare on the front lines of World War I. A substantial number of writers, as was the case in France, lost their lives during the confrontation period, with the death of the writers being presented to the public subsequently as a sacrificial exploit for the good of the country.
The paper explores the effects German propaganda produced on the units of the 408th rifle division of the Red Army during World War II. The focus is made on the peculiar aspects characterizing the way the division was activated, as well as the methods of influence on the unit, used by the adversary.
The materials analyzed include archival documents from the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense, Podolsk, Russian Federation, as well as reminiscences of World War II, narrated by Soviet and German military leaders.
Summing up his findings, the author concludes that the 408th rifle division, which was formed in the Armenian SSR and had predominantly Armenian personnel, was deployed on the front line in September 1942, where it was engaged in combat operations against German troops. Germans capitalized on a comprehensive arsenal of psychological levers against the 408th Division, which were put in action by the Armenian Legions who fought on the side of the German army. Psychological influence was generated through the use of sound broadcasting, individual night conversations with Soviet patrols, as well as the use of printed propaganda – leaflets. With the retreat of Soviet troops and the quick abbreviated training of personnel before combat operations, all these factors resulted in mass defection of Red Army soldiers to the enemy, desertion and self-mutilation. In the end, the 408th Division was discontinued.
This paper looks into the coverage of the Algerian crisis of 1958–1962 in the Soviet periodical press. It analyzes various newspaper and magazine articles to assess the actions of the French government during the Algerian War. The author examines the key stages in the conflict and the reaction of the USSR’s major periodicals to the events, i.e. the way the events were actually being presented to the reader by the Soviet press. The work’s scholarly novelty lies in that it ventures into a previously unexplored topic – the analysis of the judgment and coverage of events associated with France’s foreign policy in the Soviet periodical press during the presidency of Charles de Gaulle.
The author’s conclusion is that the Soviet periodical press was functioning at the time as a critical medium for shaping public opinion and a mechanism for manipulating political consciousness, with virtually all events presented in the media interpreted through the prism of Soviet ideology. The Algerian War, one of France’s last colonial wars, was judged in major Soviet newspaper publications in a negative manner, with a primary emphasis on wrongful acts by the French government and the desire of Charles de Gaulle to keep the territories in a state of dependency.
The series of papers spotlights the relevant issue – propaganda around the next, yet very fierce development from September 27 to November 10, 2020 in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict that over the past two and a half decades not only has altered the balance of regional forces, but also predetermined major territorial changes; the outcome of this, without any exaggeration, full-scale war between the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan and Artsakh Defence Army is the victory by Azerbaijan. However, the balance of forces, legal aspects behind the involvement of third parties (Armenia, Turkey, Russia and others) and aftermath of the conflict are of no interest to us, but we would like to have a closer look at the forms, methods and content of the propaganda war that was no less bitter than action on the front; this war “flared up” in the media not only of the opposing sides – Armenia (de facto) and Azerbaijan – but also of other countries, primarily Russia and Turkey.
The paper suggests a periodization of the 27.09.2020–10.11.2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and analyzes the official messages of the Armenia and Azerbaijan Defense Ministries in the period from 27.09.20 to 11.10.20 based on the propaganda sources classification proposed in the first part of our work.
This paper examines the use of leaflets as a propagandist’s weapon in 20th century military conflicts. Consideration is given to both the external (paper and special paints) and internal (text) characteristics of leaflets.
In conducting the research reported in this paper, use was made of specialized works on the history of military propaganda, as well as the history of collaborationism.
The study employed the principles of objectivity and historicism, which made it possible to examine the events in question in an unbiased manner and explore various related phenomena in the context of the historical situation. For instance, an analysis of several related historical facts helped come up with a new assessment of the underlying causes behind the low effectiveness of Soviet propaganda in 1941.
The author’s conclusion is that careful consideration was given by 20th century specialists in the area of psychological warfare to both the external and internal characteristics of the leaflet. The design of leaflets was to be thought out down to the last detail, both in terms of text and physical appearance, while, in terms of the ideological message, each set of leaflets was to be targeted to an audience that largely represented the opposing army. In addition, of special significance was the timing of agitation activities, for it was understood that work of this kind must not be spontaneous and detached from the real situation in the combat zone.