Kremlin rebrands Ukraine conflict in new propaganda guidance: 'Special Military Operation' term retired

The administration of the Russian president has introduced new directives for propagandists concerning the war in Ukraine, following President Vladimir Putin's remarks at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana. The document was obtained by the news outlet Meduza.

In the Kremlin’s new recommendations for pro-government and state-run media, the conflict is referred to as the "Ukrainian conflict". Previously, Russia’s incursion into the neighbouring country was termed a "special military operation" (SVO).

The document also states that while "Russia does not refuse dialogue", "Ukraine and the West speak the language of ultimatums". As noted by Meduza, it was President Putin who issued the most recent ultimatum in mid-June. He declared that Russia would halt military actions if Ukraine surrendered four regions — Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia — and abandoned plans to join NATO, with the West lifting all anti-Russian sanctions.

Putin’s "peace initiatives" are to be described in the guidance as a "clear stance" that "deprives Kyiv and the West of opportunities for tricks and deceit".

"The proposed Russian plan, if Kyiv and the West are willing, could immediately end hostilities and start negotiations," the document states.

It further claims that "Kyiv has completely discredited itself and may easily betray any agreements, using a ceasefire for militaristic purposes, which cannot be allowed."

The final part of the document is focused on the "multipolar world order". Propagandists are instructed to assert that it has already "become reality", with Putin having made a "personal and decisive contribution" to its establishment.

Yesterday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visited Moscow. In a statement following the talks, he acknowledged that the positions of Ukraine and Russia remain far apart. Putin reiterated his conditions for ending the aggression against Ukraine — the withdrawal of Ukrainian Armed Forces from four regions partially occupied by Russian troops and the non-aligned status of the neighbouring country.

  War in Ukraine, Kremlin