Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Global Studies


Elena Prokhorova

Committee Members

Alexander Prokhorov

Frederick Corney

Leslie Cochrane


The Russian Federation has launched a series of propaganda campaigns in preparation for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. A discourse analysis of Russian state-sponsored news channels reveals an evolution of linguistic propaganda techniques over the past decade. A further analysis of Soviet and Russian state-funded cinema suggests that cinematic portrayals of Ukrainians have shifted in alignment with political contexts. After the fall of the Soviet Union and especially after Putin’s rise to power, cinematic representations of Ukrainians in Russia have evolved to fit into ongoing media campaigns regarding Ukraine. The language and symbols of these campaigns largely evoke the memory of World War II, often drawing on WWII imagery and Soviet historical narratives. The prevalence of these linguistic and visual techniques against Ukraine over recent years suggest that a full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been developing in Russia for at least a decade. These media campaigns, although marked with inconsistencies and contradictions, reflect a long-term strategy aimed at justifying military action in Ukraine. Building upon the “firehose of falsehood” propaganda model, the nature of these government-sponsored publications suggest that the inconsistencies and contradictions that are prevalent in state narratives about Ukraine are key to the larger Russian propaganda model.