Emotional priorities in Ukrainian communication


A Russian military coup attempted during the first two days of the war in Ukraine failed because it occupied an airport near Kieu and could not be used as a starting point for an attack on the capital. This Ukrainian victory may have been a central element of the first phase of the organized information warfare on the Ukrainian side. It’s not happening. Broadcast of some secret images of missile launches targeting Russian helicopters. The destruction of the line of armored vehicles heading to the airport in question is also very convincing, as long as it becomes impossible for Russian troops to bring in their large aircraft carrier to drop the essential reinforcements to hit Kyiv. It was a demonstration. This failure was a significant setback in the first Russian strategy. It weighed heavily on the rest of the war, as it forced Vladimir Putin to change his strategy. Such a failure may have structured the Ukrainian voice. In past wars, strategic reversals have always been maximized by opposition propaganda. Recall the 1914 episode of “Taxi de la Marne” on the French side. However, the President of Ukraine chose another path centered on the victims.

If there is no technical army: Volodimyr Zalenski adopts the latest media strategy

Since the first day of conflict, the fight has shifted to communication. This tactical choice of the President of Ukraine forced Europe to establish its position. From the first day of the Ukrainian conflict, we have observed competition between traditional information channels and new internet media such as tweeters and YouTube for most viewers. Journalism analysis has been replaced by the emotional strength of 280 characters in tweets and mini-videos via smartphones. The most striking example was President Zelensky’s tweet, which refused to leak to stay with his people. “I need ammunition, not a driver.” There is no doubt that this boldness and this skill made it possible to involve everyone around him. This sequence was then taken up by all other channels and media, including print media. In a simple tweet, Zelensky mobilized all his people and catalyzed all the other communication vectors that surpassed even the Russian propaganda institutions.

The speed of dissemination of information makes it possible to control the agenda

From the first day of the conflict, and beyond formality, the agile and swift media tactics of the Ukrainian President were in contrast to those of the more traditional and slow Russian President, rather than without delay effects. Thanks to this speed effect, Zelensky succeeded in setting the tempo and determining the agenda of his confrontation in his own way. He succeeded in making his account semi-official, or at least a genuine and popular story of this dispute. Relocating public opinion towards a record of emotions distracts them from fundamental reflection on the causes, motives, or deep issues of this conflict between Ukraine and Russia on the one hand and between Russia and Russia on the other. ..

On February 26, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected the US proposal for expulsion from the capital. On February 28, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for accession to the European Union, calling on 27 people to consolidate their country “without delay”. The process of sticking requires unanimous consent of the 27 nations of the Union and is conditioned by the political situation of the requesting nations unable to participate in the war.

On March 23, 2022, the President of the Republic of France cannot speak in parliament without convening parliament, but Zelensky speaks in front of the French parliamentarians... On April 5, 2022, Zelensky called for Russia to be excluded from the UN Security Council... On April 9, 2022, Ursula von der Reyen will begin the Ukrainian march towards the “Future of Europe”.


This sequence of five dates demonstrates the effectiveness of this tactic based on the online media, allowing Zelensky to impose rhythms, agendas, and finally action plans through daily newspapers. I made it. An image with the scenery of the war in the background. In the context of elections in many European countries, this strategy has proven to be very effective in straining the very structure of European treaties. By influencing popular emotions, everything is possible. Even if the prospect of joining the European Union is triggered, it will not be possible on February 28, and it will be possible on April 9, 2022, a month later.

Immediacy makes it possible to polarize public sentiment and mobilize across national borders.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, emotions have been prioritized over analysis. Zelenski’s daily tweets, broadcasts on Youtube, and traditional media have achieved maximum viewing time. Post-mortem analysis is similar to “past” analysis. Attempts to argue are impossible as Western public opinion unanimously converges on Zelensky’s cause in the face of Russian invaders. The tweeter’s “according to the transcribed image” is so clear that the axis of evil is so nuanced that nuances are impossible. Have these images been verified? Has the authenticity been verified? Is the context explained? These questions no longer seem to really matter, as everything seems obvious and “morally” unquestionable.

In this world of 3.0 moments, we need to pay attention to some characteristics. The first is about the ability to influence the “real” by and thanks to the online media. In the world of internet media, censorship is no longer necessary when the truth is assimilated into a plausible one. After public opinion leans towards its own truth, the truth of emotions, the truth of emotions, there is no need for propaganda anymore. If everything seems obvious, there is no further nuance or possible analysis. Villain vs. victim. Strong against the weak. Any nuance can be suspicious at best and, at worst, “conspiracy”.

The second feature concerns the ability of journalists to limit the media space left. This situation makes the journalist’s job very dangerous as the journalist’s audience is declining little by little. To be sure, journalism requires the analysis, investigation and verification of facts. However, because the media on the net imposes scoops rather than snapshots, image-to-image, and analysis, I feel obliged to broadcast at the speed of tweets, even on continuous information channels, and there is no need for information flow. Or even incomplete. .. The opposite effect is to reflect the viewer on Tweets and YouTube. In this way, by mobilizing public opinion across national borders, it has become possible to polarize “mainstream” opinions toward “mainstream reality.”

Limitations of diplomatic communication

Net media can cause the collapse of diplomatic infrastructure by establishing a “new emotional order” in the world, as Dominique Mo├»si explained in the column “Les Echos” on April 10, 2022. There is sex.Indeed, as the war of influence moves from the diplomatic field to the media song, the speed of the diffusion effect is the usual mechanism of diplomacy based on the animation of networks and diplomats, as well as the mission of foreign institutions and nations. An army that weakens, whether economical or not. In fact, we observe in analysis and media that Quad’Orsay is virtually nonexistent.

Beyond this observation, the emergence of a global “emotional” order creates a risk of bias in the analysis of the situation. The greatest risk is part of the “realism” needed for strategic and geopolitical analysis. Since then, the benefits of the War of Influence have been on the side of those who know how to play with the new infrastructure of the Internet where the GAFAM network (Tweeter, Facebook / WhatApps, or Youtube) dominates.

The Ukrainian conflict must not obscure another reality, the reality of Taiwan. In this part of the world, net infrastructure is switching from GAFAM to BATX. It is realistic to ask if there are conflicts in these parts of Asia. Who have the benefits of influencing this new “emotional order”? Who can physically (hardware and software) control this influential tool? What if the Western Net tool turns out to be ineffective?

Nguyen Juan