Ukraine copies Russian military promo word for word, brands it ‘psychological warfare’
Eagle-eyed Facebook users spotted a video clip which Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation command – the people in charge of a military crackdown on rebels in the east of the country – uploaded to its page on Saturday. Dedicated to Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces Day, the clip is meant to inspire recruits to join the elite troops.
“This is the first day of your new life. What was yesterday no longer matters. Nobody cares now who you used to be. Who you will become today is really important,” the voice-over says to footage of Ukrainian soldiers posing with firearms, scaling down a rope from a helicopter and doing physical exercises. “What do you know about yourself? What are you capable of?”
The pep talk goes on, presumably inspiring young men to up take arms and sign up for military service.
The only problem with the speech is that it was taken word for word from a promo video of the Russian armed forces, which was produced in 2013 and released in 2014. The sole difference is the language – the original was in Russian while the Ukrainian rip-off is in Ukrainian. Journalist Levko Stek gets the credit for being the first to spot the stunt.
But, after being caught red-handed, the Ukrainians offered a most compelling explanation for the plagiarism, saying it was part of psychological warfare against Russia.
“We call this technique ‘trolling.’ This video is meant to fight Russian propaganda on the day of our celebration,” a statement published on the same Facebook page claimed. “Our work was appreciated by the enemy and attentive journalists like Levko Stek.”
It was not immediately clear how successful the Ukrainian promo was in attracting recruits. According to an alleged letter from Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak to Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman, which was leaked last Sunday to a military news website, some 11,000 officers and soldiers serving under contract – as opposed to conscripts – have resigned from Ukraine’s armed forces over the first half of the year, due to low wages. The minister allegedly warned that 18,000 more will follow by the end of 2018, unless the ministry receives a significant financial shot in the arm.
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