Luhansk People’s Republic MDM

Emerging Narratives and Growing Resonance


Bottom Line Up Front
  • This report analyzed the PFI, artifact volume, sentiment, Foreign Influence, and emerging narratives of the “LPR Casualty” theme after it recorded its highest PFI to date on November 4.

  • Average PFI for the “LPR Casualty” theme prior to 11/4 was 73.3; for the 11/4 monitoring period, PFI was 119.4. Following the recorded 119.4 PFI, artifact volume increased by 51 percent and net sentiment decreased by 37 percent. These changes in behavior validate PFI as a predictive indicator.

  • An uptick in highly conspiratorial language was noted referencing the ‘New World Order’ (NWO) and alleged foreign mercenaries funded by the West. The highly conspiratorial language in combination with emotive media will likely contribute to the staying power of the theme in the weeks ahead.

  • Since mid-July, around the time the last city of Luhansk came under control of the Russians, a significant decrease in Foreign Influence for the “LPR Casualty” theme has been noted. The November 4 Foreign Influence of 31.2 percent demonstrates that over two thirds of Luhansk-related artifacts were posted by accounts in the United States. This significant domestic amplification further indicates that the PFI of “LPR Casualty” correctly estimates resonance among U.S. adults.

Introduction

The Luhansk oblast of Ukraine has been a key battlefield in the Russia-Ukraine war since 2014 and has been the target of numerous disinformation narratives. On February 21, Putin announced Russia would diplomatically recognize the Russian seperatist-backed Donetsk and Luhanksk People’s Republics and deploy a peacekeeping mission to the region. Since the Russian invasion, a proliferation of Kremlin-coordinated propaganda on a “Kyiv-orechestrated genocide” in the wider Donbas region has been noted. As the war continues, several new narratives about both Russian and Ukrainian military operations in the Luhansk region have been propagated, targeting English-speaking audiences and usually seeking to sway public opinion with highly emotive language and/or media or conspiratorial discourse that aligns with existing U.S.-homegrown conspiracy theories.


Potential for Impact

Limbik’s Potential for Impact (PFI) metric predictively indicates whether certain segments of the U.S. adult population will find an MDM theme credible and engage with the theme online (e.g., Likes, Shares, and Comments). On November Limbik’s Potential for Impact (PFI) metric predictively indicates whether certain segments of the U.S. adult population will find an MDM theme credible and engage with the theme online (e.g., Likes, Shares, and Comments). On November 4, the theme regarding the Luhansk People’s Republic (“LPR Casualty”) increased 11 spots on the Ukraine MDM Leaderboard. The theme recorded a 119.4 PFI, indicating it has an increased likelihood of resonating with the U.S. adult population and therefore poses a higher risk of consequence. The 78.0 Believability indicates 39 percent of U.S. adults find the “LPR Casualty” theme credible. Virality of 141.0 is of particular concern, indicating a higher likelihood of engagement than other News & Politics-categorized online content. This report evaluates emerging themes, artifact volume, and sentiment of Luhansk-related artifacts to elucidate what Limbik has noted since the “LPR Casualty” theme elicited such high PFI.


Average PFI for the “LPR Casualty” theme prior to November 4 was 73.3 (monitored since February 17). Its highest PFI prior to November 4 was 105.0 on June 7, around the time significant fighting took place in Severodonetsk and numerous narratives about deliberate targeting of civilians were propagated.


Growing Resonance

Aside from PFI, elevated artifact volume, significant net sentiment, and trends towards more domestic amplification can be telltale signs of growing resonance of a particular theme among certain population segments.


Artifact Volume

Following the recorded 119.4 PFI on November 4, artifact volume increased by 51 percent in the four days that followed. For the November 1 to November 8 monitoring period, the “LPR Casualty” theme garnered 91,400 mentions online, primarily published on Twitter.



To scope how much of “LPR Casualty” artifact volume was propagated in relation to the omnipresent Russian propaganda that Kyiv’s government and military are national socialist institutions, the terms “nazi,” “n@zi” and “nazism” were filtered within the “LPR Casualty” Theme and garnered significant mentions and potential impressions (i.e., views). Net sentiment of -100% was recorded for 750 artifacts between November 1 and November 8; collectively these artifacts accounted for more than 53 million potential impressions.


Sentiment

Following the recorded 119.4 PFI on November 4, net sentiment decreased by -37 percent. It is of note, that although this demonstrates that negative sentiment far outpaced positive sentiment, there was also significant positive sentiment in relation to alleged successful attacks by the LPR on Ukrainian forces and grassroots support for LPR and Russia.



Examples - Positive Sentiment:




Examples - Negative Sentiment:



Source(s): Twitter


Foreign Influence

Since mid-July, around the time the last city of Luhansk fell to the Russians, a significant decrease in Foreign Influence for the “LPR Casualty” theme has been noted. The November 4 Foreign Influence of 31.2 percent demonstrates that over two thirds of Luhansk-related artifacts were posted by accounts in the United States. This significant domestic amplification further demonstrates that the PFI of “LPR Casualty” correctly estimates resonance among U.S. adults. Most foreign artifact volume for the November 1 to November 8 monitoring period was attributed to accounts in Germany, France, Italy, and Ukraine. Since monitoring of this theme commenced, accounts attributed to Germany accounted for the greatest share of foreign artifact volume.



Emerging Narratives

Limbik has noted various narratives and events driving the resonance of the “LPR Casualty” theme:

  • Video footage of a make-shift cemetery in Luhansk for Russian soldiers has received significant engagement on Twitter. Other artifacts purport the Russians left the bodies of its dead behind so as to not have to pay compensation to surviving relatives. One Russian publication alleges that only 41 Russians from a 570 battalion of newly-mobilized soldiers in the Luhansk region survived.

  • There is the continued propagation of the narrative that Ukraine has systematically targeted civilians in Luhansk for the past eight years and that recent Russian strides in the region are liberation efforts.

  • As Russia is hoping to break the Ukraine army’s defense in the Luhansk region, graphic videos of the battle field have circulated and created significant engagement.

  • An uptick in highly conspiratorial language was noted with references to the ‘New World Order’ (NWO) and obscure foreign mercenaries funded by the West. The highly conspiratorial language in combination with emotive media will likely contribute to the staying power of the theme in the weeks ahead.


Examples:



Source(s): Twitter





39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All