War is a product. Same as tea or oil. And it is also necessary to be able to sell it. A beautiful wrapper is a necessary condition for the continuation of any war. It allows you to attract to its ranks new extras who are ready to die for money, idea or adrenaline while the top of the "Russian world" gets cream from bloody arms sales, drug smuggling, "protection" of business and nightlife. But let us try to figure out what makes this increase of consumption of this, without exaggeration, delicacy of human thought, despite the threat of losing their lives.
So, the war can be a product of two components: ideological and financial. And one is the foundation of another: to be able to make a fortune on the ruined homes and burned homes, you need to work hard to convince a powerful part of the population to come to "Tulips" and "Grad".
Here the Moscow's ideological machine works great: since the occupation of the territory of Donbass, a major role in the future of the conflict was played by the local media, which immediately changed their orientation from Ukrainian into “republican", diluting itself with Russian LifeNews.
But to get people to risk their lives it’s not enough to broadcast the "khunta", fascists and trampled honour of Russian Donbass. If the motivation for the fighters of the AFU is the principle of "protect your motherland", a personal example was needed for the mass entry in the "militia", an example of heroism and courage, of course, with the local shade of a couple of swear words. Like the textbook "Fundamentals of Marketing" suggests, they created two characters, already notorious known throughout the country as Motorola and Givi. The whole of Ukraine laughs at their appearance, illiteracy, outright rudeness, work in a supermarket and so on but for more than a year all this has been working in Donbass as a powerful accelerator advertising the war when the military process goes into decline or undergoes some problems.
Givi. He is local and this is a very important factor for the provincial-thinking Donetsk clan. In the past he was a guard that is another impeccable plus guaranteeing the future of non-alienation of the image of a hero as a foreign body in the unstable local collective consciousness. The image of a man emerging from the people's environment, communicating even on camera with the help of friendly obscenely-thieves' language and is willing to risk his life for an idea a priori appeals to mind of the latent sympathy in contrast to completely prepared speeches of any politician, even a local one.
Psychological archetypes of local Robin Hood find their continuation in the image of Motorola, whose appearance repels only the opposite side. In contrast, outright rudeness, aggression, readiness to die at any moment and boundless fatalism attract sympathy for those whose perception of the world has always based not on the political ratio, but on the communal tribal psychology.
Everything is clear and simple. No complex ideologies, theories and hundreds of volumes about who Bandera was. As a result, "Somalia" and "Sparta" become elite, publicized divisions that have overgrown in the battalions. In recent years when the cases of dismissal of soldiers from the "militia" of those or other divisions are frequent because of the delay of wages and lack of fighting on their sites (and one is a consequence of another) the quitted "defenders" wanted to be immediately transferred to the division of Givi and Motorola, but not all were taken.
But besides the obvious play on the "weaknesses" of the local psychology, the submission of the new information product was built very correctly: almost round the clock broadcasting during the battle for the airport, the formation of the image of the characters; abrupt interruption of image forming, information hunger; and, finally, now dispensed advertising of war in the form of small short interviews that have five or six times more viewing among separatist public of half a million than any other posts.
Psychological axiom "permanent stimulus ceases to be captured" brilliantly works on local screens and quite rarely pampers its eager audience with performances of "strong" figures.
In addition, the authority of the two known terrorists is used whenever there are internal problems among themselves or divisions that happen almost every month. Then Givi appears on the screen, a "wise old man", who exhorts his colleagues with words like 'guys, we came here not for money" and so forth, holding unstable throne of Zakharchenko.
What do we see on the other side? - Complete failure of native thought in the search for adequate, sharp, and most importantly fast and effective ideological product that can become a disembodied icon in the trenches and trench ground. There are so many heroes that consciousness is unable to choose one.
Attempts to put on top the figures like N. Savchenko or S. Semenchenko failed every time, delivering only local in time victory in a protracted time for years war.
Why? Savchenko is a hero, but she needs help, and this cannot a priori create in the collective consciousness the image of David, who the whole nation can rely on.
Personalities like Semenchenko and others wandering in the camouflage in the Parliament could be ideal for such a role, till the image of a man, who shed blood, and slept under fire in some barns, is not mixed with a phantom of the politician that in such a politically complex history as Ukrainian one, a priori causes mistrust and unconsciously negates previous military experience that is attractive by its simplicity.
Error of the domestic propaganda is not only to find a war hero while searching for the historical national image, but also a lack of understanding of the simple fact that the central figure, appearing on TV screens, should be totally devoid of political colour.
Ukrainian ideological reality today is that a variety of shades, even within the common ideological canvas are just way too much. That is why people like D. Yarosh and A. Biletskiy are not able to keep on this pedestal. Sophisticated national concepts which often contradict with one another, do not affect the very essence of what is happening, which requires only a simplification of what's already been piled in the Ukrainian ideological reality.
But let’s get back to our "republicans." Example of Givi and Motorola is just a small, tiny part of the mosaic of propaganda, but it’s effective. As a result, there is a completed propaganda portrait of the "struggle for freedom and against fascism" outside and the arms trade, sectoral distribution business, excess profits from smuggling and drug trafficking, foreign cars for half a million dollars from workers of "MSS" inside.
The exterior facade of any war is news picture of the destroyed schools and homes which maintains total destruction at the proper level, and thus allows using it most easily.
For example, it is accepted to think that arms trade flourishes in “DPR” and that’s true. "AK-47", "F-1", pistols are available even with minimal ties "at the bottom". But retail cannot be compared to those volumes which are delivered including the territory of Ukraine, together with the still flourishing smuggling of goods at checkpoints.
Indeed, what is 8 thousand UAH for one assault rifle, which was still sold in the winter successfully on one of Makeyevka bases of Vostok when it is possible to sell wholesale without risk of being caught by his rival? In private conversations with the "militia" it turns out that after the "traps" and at first unregistered arms supplies from Russia, entire arsenal piled up on the "black" warehouses, which continually are replenished by those who give their lives with the slogan "glory to Donbass land!".
Thus, untill there are fresh Roshen candy; behind the screen of beautiful political slogans on the shelves thoroughly steeped in terrorism Donetsk; untill whole loads of weapons move through the checkpoints, and once a week a caught militant is shown everywhere with a couple of grenades; until the entire load of the war falls on the shoulders of the pensioner, unable to get out of the "ghetto", but for 1.5 thousand UAH you can enter Donetsk even without a passport; until houses of ordinary people of Donetsk are burnt but manor of Akhmetov and other oligarchs are unharmed 30 meters away from separatist positions, until then we will be just extras, mindlessly consuming dish of War, while its "kings" and "potentates" replace each other on the stage, and even with our own applause: “The King is dead. Long live the King!”.
Stas Vasin, Donetsk, for OstroV