Alt-Media and Official Russian State Accounts Remain Heavily Influential in Pro-Kremlin Communities
Understanding the key actors and principal narratives driving the digital conversation on Ukraine
Constella’s team of intelligence analysts created a custom, proprietary dashboard available through our Dome Platform, visualizing selected dimensions of the digital public conversation related to the Ukraine crisis to identify fast-moving global trends emerging from the online debate and to better understand the narratives and critical players driving the digital conversation. Each week, Constella Intelligence will share notable findings from its dashboard on the Constella Intelligence blog. Below are key insights from April 26th to May 2nd, 2022, from the digital public conversation related to Ukraine. Over the period analyzed, the dashboard captured 11,139,189 results generated by 1,834,637 users interacting in English.
KEY INSIGHTS – APRIL 26TH TO MAY 2ND, 2022
1. Users shared the Alt-media domain, The National Pulse nearly 5K times: Around 4.3K of those shares were driven by an article covering the creation of President Biden’s “Disinformation Governance Board” and a slew of criticisms targeting the Board’s appointed director, Nina Jankowicz. The article touches on Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine and is a part of fierce GOP criticism of the administration’s initiative.
2. Some American profiles reject the $33 billion aid package, shifting the focus to domestic politics: More than 1 in 10 users identified are part of a community rejecting further US funding for Ukraine, conflating the aid with both Ukrainian and American corruption. US conservatives, including Donald Trump Jr. and Congresswoman Lauran Boebert, are part of this group. #Americafirst and #Americalast are among key hashtags driving the conversation, while photo and video content of inner-city Detroit and Philadelphia are shared, accusing the Biden administration of ignoring problems in the US. Conservative alt-media and politicians also spread messages related to issues at the US southern border.
Director, Risk Intelligence
3. An international anti-NATO community unites official Russian and “anti-imperialist” independent profiles in persistent condemnation of Nazis: The second-largest community identified this week—the “International Discontent” community—includes several self-described “anti-imperialist” profiles. These and other profiles focus heavily on the presence of Nazis in Ukraine, including the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion amidst allegations of media hypocrisy in calling out their participation in the conflict. Among other citizen and alt-media profiles, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (@mfa_Russia) is highly influential in this community, ranking 7th in terms of most relevant profiles in the period, while Russia Today (@RT_com) ranks 15th.
COMMUNITIES – APRIL 26TH TO MAY 2ND, 2022
1. Ukraine and U.S. Support (29.6% of users): This group primarily consists of journalists and President Biden. Messages criticizing the actions of the Russian army against the civilian population stand out. Messages glorifying Ukraine’s performance for its defense of freedom also emerge, and old statements (approx. 10) by McCain accusing Rand Paul of working for Putin are disseminated.
2. International Discontent (13.5% of users): Led by diverse profiles ranging from journalists, political analysts, civil society, and Russian diplomats.. Users criticize American funds sent to Ukraine, sharing photos of Philadelphia and Detroit, claiming that the U.S. prioritizes aid to Ukraine instead of helping Americans.
3. U.S. Discontent (10.7% of users): Users accuse Democrats of misinforming about Trump’s standoff with Russia, laundering money in Ukraine and focusing more on aid to Ukraine than Americans themselves.
4. U.S. Support (8.2% of users): Users accuse the Russians of propagandistic tactics to incriminate Ukrainians and question those who support the Kremlin. Biden’s words backing Ukraine are spread along with Zelensky’s statements about the evacuation of Azovstal.
5. Ukraine Support (6.2% of users): Users spread messages on the reception of Ukrainian refugees in other countries, lamenting the suffering of the civilian population, demanding that Russia cease the war. Chef José Andrés asks Elon Musk for help to continue feeding the population in Ukraine. They denounce the mass killing of Ukrainian civilians at the hands of the Russian army and the suffering of the civilian population due to a lack of food.
6. Pakistan Discontent (1.9% of users): Led by Imran Khan, former Pakistani Prime Minister, users question U.S. interference in domestic politics by demanding that the prime minister not sign agreements with Russia and reduce strategic relations with China
7. India Discontent (1.1% of users): Criticism of Germany for continuing to buy energy (coal, gas, and oil) from Russia, unlike India, whose purchase of Russian energy is noticeably lower.
APPENDIX – APRIL 26TH TO MAY 2ND, 2022
In the first iteration of this dashboard, we captured results related to the following 3 dimensions: Countries, Key Figures, Themes
- Selected countries currently in the dashboard include: The United States, Ukraine, Russia, China, Poland, Belarus.
- Selected Key Figures currently in the dashboard include: Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky, Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Ursula Von der Leyen, Josep Borrell, Xi Jinping, Olaf Scholz. Any mentions to these key figures are captured in the dashboard and can be visualized across multiple dimensions of analysis.
- Selected themes currently in the dashboard include: Ukraine Citizens Impact, Economy, Cyberattacks, Migration Movements
Constella's Ukraine dashboard - Key Countries Module Preview
To see our full dashboard in action, Request a Demo with one of our geopolitical intelligence experts.