In Eastern Ukraine, the two Russia-led republics of Donetsk & Luhansk would have you believe public support for them is 100% rock solid. One means of portraying this myth of total “separatist” patriotism is through major public events. With the use of selective photos & video footage, the impressions given that large numbers of people attend them. Publish a massive exaggeration of the numbers who actually attended, and the propaganda effect is complete.
An excellent example of the above occurred on May 9th, 2020.
Reported as a celebration of the end of WW2 in Europe and victory over Nazi Germany, and a chance to show support for Russia and the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics (DPR & LPR), car rallies were held in the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. As seen below, the Luhansk republic proudly boasted “more than a thousand cars” took part, with passengers waving republic and Russian flags. So many cars reportedly attended, that the convoy was “more than 2km long.” Impressive numbers and distances backed up with pictures/video suggesting large numbers of people took part.
Official Luhansk republic website report translated using Google Chrome.
But as they say, looks can be deceptive & size matters.
On May 11th, the OSCE (below highlighted in red) reported they’d only observed “around 300 civilian cars” moving in the Luhansk city rally. Even with my poor grasp of maths, that’s at least 700 fewer cars than the LPR claimed. For a city population of around 500,000, this wasn’t a rally, more a Saturday night cue for a drive through MacDonald’s. Added to which, many of those taking part would certainly have been soldiers and those working for the Luhansk republic. Hence, as public support for the Russia-led republics and Russia go, it was more of a damp, fake news squib.
OSCE report published on May 11th.
Below is the May 9th report from the Donetsk republic.
Unsurprisingly they also claim “more than a thousand cars” took part in their “largest-scale rally in the history of the DPR.” The OSCE didn’t report on numbers of cars seen there, but it’s a sure-fire safe bet, the actual figure was far less than 1,000.
Official DPR website report. Translated using Google Chrome.
Official DPR reports on Russian social media. Translated using Google Chrome.