In what seems like the latest attempt to push pro-Kremlin narratives in Ukraine, a media company is targeting areas newly under Russian control. Russian troops have been present in the port city of Berdyansk since mid-May, and an outlet, whose name translates to Southern Front, has been disseminating misleading or unsubstantiated claims across YouTube, Telegram and through their own website.
ISD analyst Julia Smirnova, whose been following the information war since the beginning of the invasion, said to the BBC that this is “likely to be part of the wider Russian strategy to establish control over the occupied territories of Ukraine”. Julia cited that the company is framing the invasion as a “liberation” and Russian forces as the “protectors”.
Southern Front posted a message on Telegram on the first day of the invasion to its about 25 subscribers. Today, their audience has grown to 23,000. Collectively, channels posting Southern Front content have more than 80,000 subscribers, as reported by the BBC.