An Analysis of the Principles of Military Propaganda Employed by the Soviet Union in January 1942 (based on Materials from the Krasnaya Zvezda Newspaper)
Authors: Serhii V. Stelnykovych
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This paper relies on relevant materials from the popular Soviet newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda to investigate the propaganda work conducted by the Soviet Union in January 1942.
It provides a brief historiographical overview of the theory of propaganda (J. Dewey, W. Lippmann, and H.D. Lasswell) and offers an insight into a special type thereof – military propaganda (A. Morelli, G. Demartial, and A.A.W.H. Ponsonby).
The primary source used in this study is publications (articles, short pieces, reports, citations of official documents, etc.) in the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, the official mouthpiece for the People’s Commissariat of Defense of the Soviet Union.
The degree is assessed to which the materials from Krasnaya Zvezda match the principles of military propaganda identified by A. Morelli’s. Chronologically, the study centers on January 1942.
A key conclusion drawn from this study is that propaganda was actively employed by the Soviet media during World War II as a means of bolstering the morale of the people.
Besides the 10 general principles identified by A. Morelli (‘we don’t want war – we are only defending ourselves’; ‘our adversary is solely responsible for this war’; ‘our adversary’s leader is inherently evil and resembles the devil’; ‘we are defending a noble cause, not our particular interests’; ‘the enemy is purposefully committing atrocities; if we are making mistakes this happens without intention’; ‘the enemy makes use of illegal weapons’; ‘we suffer few losses, and the enemy’s losses are considerable’; ‘recognized intellectuals and artists support our cause’; ‘our cause is sacred’; ‘whoever casts doubt on our propaganda helps the enemy and is a traitor’), the work explores a few other principles of military propaganda (‘infallibility of our leader’; ‘temporariness of failure’; ‘our leader having the unconditional support of all the people in the country (the ‘draw the nation together’ effect)’; ‘having the active support of the world community’; ‘feats of courage being committed on a mass scale, with every single of our combatants being ready to commit one’).