The Power of Maps and Geographic Imagery in Digital Communication: Narrating Russia’s War in Ukraine

By Alina Mozolevska

In modern history of wars, visuals have been repeatedly used as a part of information strategies or propaganda. Drawings, images, photos, posters, cartoons, or maps represent a powerful tool of both informing and mobilizing populations and consolidating political powers around a common goal. They serve not only to document historical events but to give them an ideological interpretation, to idealize the self and demonize the enemy, and to shape a comprehensive vision of the conflict. What, then, is the role of visuals in Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine? What information and messages do they convey? What are the main narratives expressed and symbols used during the Russo-Ukrainian War? And how is the visual landscape of the war created? In this essay, I aim to try to answer some of these questions by focusing on maps and their multiple symbolic interpretations in the virtual space of digital communication to trace the main functions of this visual information. For this, I created a dataset of more than 300 maps and iconographic images collected from international, Ukrainian, and Russian digital media (e.g., official media, Twitter, Facebook, and VKontakte).

Contemporary technologies determine not only how wars are conducted but also how they are communicated. Russia’s war in Ukraine is also an information war, which goes beyond the battlefield and individual experiences and is broadcasted through old and new media and processed (live) by millions. For more than eight months (at the time of writing this text), we have seen the borders of Ukraine violated. Every day the front line shifts with the heavy marks of Russian aggression. Explosions mapped on the Ukrainian geo-body spill out into thousands of stories of heroism, resistance, displacement, and violence.

Each of these stories has echoes in the world’s new digital and conventional means of media, touching people far beyond Ukraine and making them ‘live’ the war through the screens of their devices. The war has become content that flows across every platform simultaneously.[1] Using this opportunity to speak to the world and to be heard, Ukrainians document the invasion in detail, share their war experiences, write war diaries, and show the destruction caused by Russian aggression. They broadcast their fights from the frontline and express their grief. In this shared space of war documentation, the brutal reality unfolds with multiple personal interpretations of wartime experiences. Indeed, this “first TikTok war”[2] or “first social media war”[3] has many innovative means of informing and narrating the experiences that reshape our understating of Ukrainians and Ukraine.

At the same time, social media platforms amplify mis- and disinformation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, propagating alternative narratives and fake news. The flows of disinformation and anti-Ukrainian propaganda circulate Russia’s vision of the geopolitical future of Ukraine, denying its agency and right for independence. Masking its true motifs under the slogans of ‘liberation’ and ‘denazification’, Russia aims to resurrect the phantom borders of the USSR, spread its aggressive imperialism beyond its own borders, and erase Ukraine from the world map. These massive disinformation campaigns make visible the crucial challenges of the digital media landscape, exposing what Johannes Buchheim and Gilade Abirihe call “a growing epistemic divide running through liberal democracies: a situation in which substantial portions of the population believe in alternative realities on a broad range of factual issues”.[4] Exploiting the existing tensions in different regions of the world, these alternative realities and fake news create divisions and draw new mental borders in the attempt to weaken the collective response of Ukraine’s allies.

What do maps tell us about the Russo-Ukrainian War?

Borders, reflecting the manifold consequences of the war, become spaces of violence. For some, they symbolize separation, and for others, resistance and freedom. Maps also play a crucial role in the visual representation of the war’s developments. The geographical contours of Ukraine, previously unknown to the majority of the global population, suddenly monopolize the headlines of leading world media and flood social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Ukraine – an Eastern European country that’s not European enough to be integrated into the larger European family, yet also not so distant and unfamiliar enough to be interested in before 24 February 2022, a country that always resided in the shadow of its ‘older brother’ Russia – became the center of global media attention. In this media environment, maps transfer factual information, but also act as symbols. Alexander J. Kent and Peter Vujakovic suggest that they offer “selective representations that preserve and promote some features while suppressing or obliterating others”.[5] Maps vividly mark the digital epistemic divides, consolidating the different visions of the Russian aggression. While official military maps[6] track daily changes on the battlefield during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of other maps are uploaded, shared, and circulated by Internet users and press through social and traditional media. Some maps are attempts to accurately depict the situation in Ukraine and provide additional information about the country, others justify the Russian ‘liberation’ of its ‘historical Russian lands’.

From the beginning of the full-scale aggression, world media used the maps  not only to update on the war but also to place the country in a larger global context, to show why Ukraine is important to Europe, and to tell the story of an invasion that reverberates all over the world.[7] Unlike military maps by  the Ministry of Defence of the UK, that often focus only on Ukrainian territory and the development of the war,[8] these maps try to teach international audiences to think and talk about Ukraine as an integral part of the European or even global landscape (e.g., Fig. 1 and 2). They show not only the geography and size of Ukraine, but provide additional information about its history, politics, and languages. In this case, maps are used not as a neutral representation of the territory, but as social constructs[9] that convey important messages, integrating the Ukrainian geo-body into the mental map of the European continent and making it a part of a larger imaginary. They are also important in giving Ukraine agency and subjectivity and in showing international community that this large European state should not be ignored by EU political actors.

Fig. 1: Sara Chodosh, Nathaniel Lash,  Zach Levitt, Yaryna Serkez and Gus Wezerek, “How to Think About Ukraine, in Maps and Charts” The New York Times, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/02/25/opinion/russia-ukraine-invasion-maps.html [accessed 23.11.2022]
Fig. 2 : The Economist, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has brought war back to Europe”, 2022, https://www.economist.com/briefing/2022/02/26/russias-invasion-of-ukraine [accessed 23.11.2022]

The Ukrainian government organizations and NGO’s have also released several map projects intended to make global audiences see Russian aggression not only as a Ukrainian war, but also as a war against Europe and global democratic values. These maps manifest the cruelty of Russia and the heroism of Ukrainian people, were largely shared on social media, on Twitter and Facebook, and provoked vivid discussions among Internet users. For example, in July 2022, the independent analytical platform VoxUkraine published a map of occupied Ukrainian territory together with a series of maps of France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, and other EU countries that illustrate the scale of the invasion (e.g., Fig. 3). They used orange to mark territories occupied by Russian troops and to transfer theses contours onto the maps of other countries. These maps also reflect the general tendencies of military maps of the Russian invasion by using red or orange – colors associated with violence – to mark occupied territories and blue to show de-occupation.

Fig. 3: VoxUkraine project, https://m.facebook.com/voxukraine/posts/3185241458401847/ [accessed 24.12.2022]

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine posted another series of maps on Twitter in July 2022 to visualize the length of the frontline of the Russo-Ukrainian War. By placing the frontline in the middle of Europe, on the US-Mexican border, or in Japan, the authors wanted to demonstrate the scale of the resistance of Ukrainians who, with a front line of more than 2,000 km, stand “between Freedom and tyranny”[10]. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine claimed that now more than a million Ukrainians hold the line, “protecting Europe from the Russian horde”[11] (Fig. 4). The German magazine Katapult, for example, also used similar geographical visualizations of Ukrainian resistance (Fig. 5).

 

Fig. 4:  Ministry Defence of Ukraine, https://twitter.com/defenceu/status/1547324237895110657 [accessed 24.12.2022]
Fig. 5:  Katapult,  https://twitter.com/Katapultmagazin/status/1536691735514038275 [accessed 22.12.2022]

These maps make the Ukrainian experience more recognizable bringing it closer to a European or a Western geographical landscape. The spatial recontextualization of the wartime experiences of occupation and resistance and its placement into a geographical space familiar to media users could lead them to think about real threats of Russian invasion and its scale. These maps not only reshape and refine the image of Ukraine but also change the perseption of the ‘other’, the agressor, by making more visible the consequences of the war. 

Fig. 6: Роман Головвнов, “Украина состоит из подарков русских царей и советских генсеков”(“Ukraine Consists of the Gifts of Russian Tsars and Soviet General Secretaries”), Комсомольская Правда, 2017, https://www.kp.ru/daily/26680.3/3702227 [accessed 24.12.2022].

Another politics of representation through maps and mapping exists in the Russian media space. Different mechanisms of territorial representation were used by official media to justify the Russian invasion after 2014. The intentional use of mapmaking started years before the beginning of the full-scale invasion, when spatial relationships between Russia and Ukraine were redefined and the narrative of the inexistence of Ukraine was instumentalized to normalize the occupation of Crimea. The official media used maps as tools of imperialism; they explained the ‘correct’ visions of the historical development of Ukraine and deconstructed its territorial integrity. For example, Russian official news media repeatedly circulated the maps of Ukraine as shown at Fig. 6, claiming that Ukraine is an artificial state composed of separeted territories which used to belong to Russia and were given to Ukraine by tsars or Soviet government representatives[12]

The very same narrative was reproduced by Russian social media. Pro-Kremlin groups in VKontakte and Facebook, as well as individual users posted and shared in comments the maps that misrepresented Ukrainian historical development[13]

Other maps reconstructed the geographical contours of Russia, joining to it the annexed territories of the Crimean Peninsula and representing the ‘new’ space of the Russian Federation. The marking of Crimea as Ukrainian or Russian on international maps and the use of typical geographical representations of the two states (with or without Crimean Peninsula) remained a sensitive topic for more than eight years and became one of emblems of the epistemic divide. While Ukrainian government and official media recirculated the slogan ‘Crimea is Ukraine’[14] and desperately fought for the visual recognition of its geographical integrity, Russian officials claimed to have the right to mark Crimea as a part of its territory. The ambiguous mapping and the clashing media narratives provoked a series of scandals that reflected one or another spatial vision of the Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014.[15] Similar strategies of the integration of Ukrainian regions into Russian topography appeared after the fraudulent referendums on occupied Ukrainian territories in September 2022 (Fig. 7). Even though the ‘new’ map of Russia has not yet been officially issued, it is broadly circulated in the news media to mark political decisions and confirm the ‘successes’ of the Russian troops in the ‘special military operation’. In this case again, mapping does not serve to represent internationally recognized borders, but to reaffirm political decisions and imperial ambitions of Russian officials. Thus, maps reproducing Russian aggression act as propaganda, a construction that recreates space in accordance with the demands and ambitions of people in power.

Fig. 7: Полина Девятова, “Новая карта России. Инфографика” (“New Map of Russia. Infogrqphics”), Аргументы и факты, 2022, https://aif.ru/politics/russia/novaya_karta_rossii_infografika [accessed 14.12.2022]

 

These documentary or pseudo-documentary forms of content often overlap in new media with artistic and symbolic representations of the two nation-states that create new visual narratives of the war or metaphorically reproduce existing narratives. Rebeca Pop notes that as the war develops and the narrative of the aggression becomes more complex, new maps appear to tell a multifaceted story of the invasion.[16] Maps themselves not only represent places physically, but become conceptual containers filled with new meanings, both for those who live inside and outside the borders of Ukraine. These geographic representations of Ukraine and Russia are intimately integrated in the visual storytelling of the two countries and relate their experiences of war.  

Geographical imagery and a new spatial reality

In today’s digital media, geographical outlines of Ukraine and Russia are highly recurring symbols. Hundreds of images circulate social media, combined with other symbolic representations of the countries, such as the colors of their flags (yellow and blue for Ukraine and red, white, and blue for Russia), national emblems (the trident for Ukraine and the two headed eagle for Russia), or other symbols (e.g., sunflowers for Ukraine and a bear for Russia). These images not only represent the respective spaces but also the countries’ populations. Similarly, they convey messages that have deep conceptual, cultural, and epistemological meanings for their nations, helping to support and construct national narratives. In the case of Ukraine, visual narratives widely shared by Internet users in social media in groups and private profiles incorporate iconographic images to tell the story of Ukrainian resistance and fighting. Meanwhile, for Russia, the recurring visual narratives  serve to affirm Russian imperialism.

From the very first days of the Russian aggression, images, including artistic and popular, appeared in Ukrainian media spaces. They told the story of the invasion or expressed and shared collective emotions. Simple visuals conveyed complex information and helped not only to relate the grief and sorrow of Ukrainians, but also to consolidate people around a common goal and form a narrative of victory and heroism. Often, these images act as metaphors that convey the fight against the invader and portray the nation heroically. In these cases, the geographical representations of Ukraine are combined with images of Ukrainian soldiers (e.g., incorporated into the contours of the map, as in Fig. 8, or standing on the map, as in Fig. 9), general images of Ukrainian people, or national symbols (e.g., Fig. 11). Some works personify the Ukrainian geo-body (e.g., Fig. 10), reflecting the total mobilization of Ukrainian population. These images are often combined with slogans such as “no to war”, “stand with Ukraine”, and “I am Ukraine/Ukrainian” as well as the word “freedom”. These images suggest the existential position of many Ukrainians, for whom this war turned into a battle for the survival of their nation. Their message is also easily recognizable for those seeing them beyond the borders of Ukraine, suggesting that they mean to mobilize people from all over the world.

 

Fig. 8: CinC AF of Ukraine, Facebook,   https://www.facebook.com/CinCAFU [accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 9: Oleksiy Bondarenko, ArtDopomoga,  https://artdopomoga.com/oleksiy-bondarenko/ [accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 10: Nikita Titov, Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/nikitavltitov [accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 11: Alyona Zhuk, Instagram http://instagram.com/zhuk_alyona [accessed 14.12.2022]

Carrying important national symbols, these images tend to express important messages for Ukrainains and intensify their feelings of national belonging. The clearest example of this are maps that combine words with similar spellings but opposing meanings: “Бійся – бийся” (“Be afraid – Fight”) or, as in Fig. 12, “Bійна – Bільна” (War – Freedom). These conflicting concepts placed in one iconographic image are aimed at the reflection of the contradictory reality of many Ukrainians and help to mobilize the population in their fight for freedom.  Other common pharses include, “Home”, “I love Ukraine”, “Ukraine – my home”, “Ukraine is my zone of comfort”  – express the affection and love to the homeland and also tend to reinforce sense of belonging.

The unity of the nation is very important in the visualization of Ukrainian resistance and is also expressed by the combination of the spatial contours of the country and the common phrase “Як ти?” (“How are you?”). In the digital space of social media there are several anonymous works in this style. Another common motif incorporates real stories of resistance or common difficulties that Ukrainians have experienced daily during the last ten months (e.g., power cuts or massive drone attacks, as in Fig. 13). For example, the story of the unbreakable kitchen cupboard in one of the destroyed houses of Brodyanka inspired a widely shared image of Ukraine.[17] These maps of Ukraine combined with simple symbols or slogans of unbreakable resistance aim to convey the collective feelings of Ukrainians and to mobilize the nation, providing hope for the future.  

Fig. 12: From Ukraine with art, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/728067234874282/
[accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 13: UGIIF, Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/UGIIF/photos/174160788610433 [accessed 14.12.2022]

Moreover, the mapmaking also helps to express emotions, negative and positive, and to share them with other members of the community. The images present the pain of loss and the traumatic experience of the violation of Ukraine’s borders through the use of red, the color of blood and one associated with aggression, as well as symbols like scars, bandages, or adhesive plasters that indicate collective trauma (e.g., Images 15 and 16). Positive emotions such as love, affection, and belonging to the homeland are expressed with floral motives or depictions such as a heart incorporated into the contours of Ukraine (Fig. 14). These representations of the geo-body are directly associated with the physical body of Ukrainians, as they openly represent the suffering of many people or the intensification of a sense of belonging and an affirmation of national unity and sovereignty.

Fig. 14: Oleksandra Olishevska, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/oleksandra.olishevska/ [accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 15: Anna Foralberg, Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/foralberg_art/ [accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 16: Euromaidanart, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/euromaidanart [accessed 14.12.2022]

Despite the variety of the messages and ideas expressed through the maps, the spatial integrity of Ukraine is present in all the analyzed images, with Crimea and the Donbas included within its borders. The wholeness and unity of the nation and its territory seem to be the most important parameters in the spatial expressions of Ukrainian artists.

In Russian digital discourse in social media, geographical imagery about Ukraine reproduces the main narratives of official Russian propaganda. Ukraine is always shown as an object, it is not given agency, and its territory is violated, manipulated, or used as a tool (e.g., Fig. 18). In many visual representations, Russia is presented as a savior, an older brother ready to help, while the US and NATO are depicted as enemies who want to invade Ukraine or take advantage of it (e.g., Fig. 17). The images portray relationships of superiority and inferiority through the representation of Ukraine as weak, helpless, and always threatened by external dangers. They also often depict Ukrainian geography as a stage or arena for the ‘political games’ of superpowers and lack any affective component present in Ukrainian digital discourse.

Fig. 17: President, My Friend, VK, https://vk.com/club75590100 [accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 18: Aleksandr Troitsky, Telegram,   t.me/caricaturaru/Aleksandr.Troitskiy [accessed 14.12.2022]

This visual discourse reaffirms Russian imperialism and strives to incorporate new territories into the collective visions of Russia. Since 2014, Ukraine was depicted without Crimea in Russian official and social media and after the beginning of the full-scale invasion, new practices of ordering reality appeared, especially in social networks like VKontakte and pro-Kremlin Telegram channels. Paralleling official propaganda, ‘new’ or ‘improved’ maps of Russia and Ukraine are created and widely circulated in social media (e.g., Fig. 19). They map the newly occupied territories in the colors of the Russian flag. Interestingly, some of these maps move beyond Ukraine, and spread to the European continent (e.g., Fig. 20). These maps reflect Russian pobedobesie[18] and slogans that propagandists used at the beginning of the full-scale invasion[19], revealing Russian imperial aspirations. These images show that in the spatial imaginary of the artists and those who share the images, Russian borders are not defined and can be modified according to political needs.

Fig. 19: Voennacher, Telegram, t.me/voennacher [accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 20: Chto tam u hohlov, VK, https://vk.com/chto_tam_u  [accessed 14.12.2022]

A similar mapping strategy is present in Images 21 and 22, but here Russian imperialism spreads across the world. The images erase not only Ukraine from the global map, but also many other states that the Russian regime considers unfriendly.

Fig. 21: Pikabu, https://pikabu.ru [accessed 14.12.2022]
Fig. 22: RuPol, VK, https://vk.com/rupol555 [accessed 14.12.2022]

Conclusions

Maps are powerful tools for re- and deconstructing, communicating, and sharing spatial imaginaries  and collective identities. They address different issues simultaneously and connect diverse interpretations and values within the same physical space. In the case of Russo-Ukrainian War, the Russian aggression provoked the emergence of (counter-)mapping practices that reshaped geographical spaces. While Russia tries to expand its borders, and has been issuing ‘new’ maps of its state with every violent annexation of Ukrainian land, Ukraine fights for its spatial integrity in the real and virtual world. For those creating and sharing positive maps of Ukraine considered in this text, geographical images passing through virtual space represent an opportunity to assert their identity and spatial wholeness, but also to consolidate and share collective traumatic experiences and emotions with the world. Meanwhile, in Russian virtual space, maps reaffirm a Russian vision of the historical development of Ukraine and its role in today’s political arena and justify the invasion of Ukraine and the violation of its borders.


References

Alexander J. Kent and Peter Vujakovic, “Maps and identity”, in Alexander J. Kent and Peter Vujakovic (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Mapping and Cartography, New York, NY: Routledge, 2018, 413-426.

Dan Ciuriak, “Social Media Warfare Is Being Invented in Ukraine” Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2022, https://www.cigionline.org/articles/social-media-warfare-is-being-invented-in-ukraine/ [accessed 10.11.2022]

Jeremy W. Crampton, “Maps as social constructions: power, communication and isualization”, Progress in Human Geography, 25(2), 2001, 235–252.

Johannes Buchheim and Abirihe Gilad “War in Ukraine, Fake News, and the Digital Epistemic Divide”, Verfassungsblog, 2022, https://verfassungsblog.de/the-war-in-ukraine-fake-news-and-the-digital-epistemic-divide/ [accessed 10.11.2022]

Kyle Chayka, “Watching the World’s “First TikTok War”” New Yorker, 2022,  https://www.newyorker.com/culture/infinite-scroll/watching-the-worlds-first-tiktok-war [accessed 15.11.2022]

Rebeca Pop, “Similar Stories, Different Maps – A Visual Narrative of the War in Ukraine”, Everviz, 2022, https://www.everviz.com/blog/similar-stories-different-maps-a-visual-narrative-of-the-war-in-ukraine/ [accessed 23.11.2022]

Sara Chodosh, Nathaniel Lash,  Zach Levitt, Yaryna Serkez and Gus Wezerek, “How to Think About Ukraine, in Maps and Charts” The New York Times, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/02/25/opinion/russia-ukraine-invasion-maps.html [accessed 23.11.2022]

The Economist, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has brought war back to Europe”, 2022, https://www.economist.com/briefing/2022/02/26/russias-invasion-of-ukraine [accessed 23.11.2022]

The Moscow Times, “Crimean Map Scandals: Choice Between Offending Russia or Ukraine”, 2016,  https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2016/07/29/map-scandals-topography-after-annexations-a54796 [accessed 14.11.2022]

Thomas L. Friedman, “We Have Never Been Here Before” New York Times, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/opinion/putin-russia-ukraine.html [accessed 16.11.2022]


Footnotes

[1]Kyle Chayka, “Watching the World’s “First TikTok War”” New Yorker, 2022,  https://www.newyorker.com/culture/infinite-scroll/watching-the-worlds-first-tiktok-war [accessed 15.11.2022]

[2]Thomas L. Friedman, “We Have Never Been Here Before” New York Times, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/opinion/putin-russia-ukraine.html [accessed 16.11.2022]

[3]Dan Ciuriak, “Social Media Warfare Is Being Invented in Ukraine” Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2022, https://www.cigionline.org/articles/social-media-warfare-is-being-invented-in-ukraine/ [accessed 10.11.2022]

[4]Johannes Buchheim and Abirihe Gilad “War in Ukraine, Fake News, and the Digital Epistemic Divide”, Verfassungsblog, 2022, https://verfassungsblog.de/the-war-in-ukraine-fake-news-and-the-digital-epistemic-divide/ [accessed 10.11.2022]

[5] Alexander J. Kent and Peter Vujakovic, “Maps and identity”, in Alexander J. Kent and Peter Vujakovic (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Mapping and Cartography, New York, NY: Routledge, 2018, 413-426, here 415.

[6] For example, the maps of Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom (https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ), interactive maps of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine of the Institute of Study of War (https://www.understandingwar.org/interactive-map-russias-invasion-ukraine), and the maps of the war in Ukraine from DeepStateMAP (https://deepstatemap.live/#6/49.438/32.053) have been published/updated daily and recirculated by Ukrainian and international media.

[7] Chodosh, Lash, Levitt, Serkez, and Wezerek, “How to Think About Ukraine, in Maps and Charts”.

[8] This statement can be illustrated by the military map of the Russian invasion by the Ministry of Defence of the UK which is often used by Ukrainian social media information channels: https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1525767592316747776

[9] Jeremy W. Crampton, “Maps as social constructions: power, communication and isualization”, Progress in Human Geography, 25(2), 2001, 235–252, here 240.

[10]Ministry of Defenсe of Ukraine, https://twitter.com/defenceu/status/1547324237895110657 [accessed 24.12.2022]

[11] Ibid.

[12] More examples can be found here:

Наталя Пупкова, “Территориальный пазл Для Украины он сложился благодаря «оккупантам» – российским царям и большевикам”, Крымская правда, 2014,  https://c-pravda.ru/news/2014-07-10/territorialnyjj-pazl [accessed 23.03.2023]

Юрий Баранчик, “Украина: быть или не быть?”, Regnum, 2017 https://regnum.ru/news/polit/2224728.html [accessed 23.03.2023]

Александр Горохов, “А не «декоммунизировать» ли нам территорию Украины?”, Новоросс, 2019, https://www.novoross.info/politiks/55184-a-ne-dekommunizirovat-li-nam-territoriyu-ukrainy-mnenie.html [accessed 23.03.2023]

Кирилл Сомов, “Украина на треть состоит из российских “подарков””, Federalcity.ru, 2021, https://federalcity.ru/10283-ukraina-na-tret-sostoit-iz-rossijskih-podarkov-jekspert.html [accessed 23.03.2023]

Sevastopol.su, “В ГД предложили вернуть России пол-Украины после слов об “оккупации””, 2018, https://sevastopol.su/news/v-gd-predlozhili-vernut-rossii-pol-ukrainy-posle-slov-ob-okkupacii [accessed 23.03.2023]

Мария Лисицына, “Россия 24 показала карту с «территориями-подарками Украине”, RBC, 2022,   https://www.rbc.ru/politics/23/02/2022/6216280c9a794717da17a93d [accessed 23.03.2023]

Александр Самсонов “Похоронить антирусский проект «Украина»”, Военное обозрение, 2022, https://topwar.ru/192827-pohoronit-antirusskij-proekt-ukraina.html [accessed 23.03.2023]

Елена Былкина, “ВГТРК показал карту Украины с территориями, подаренными царями и генсеками”, Правда, 2022, https://www.pravda.ru/news/society/1685414-ukraina/ [accessed 23.03.2023]

Дарья Дмитрова, “Телеканал «Россия 24» составил карту подаренных Украине территорий”, Газета.ру,  2022 https://www.gazeta.ru/social/news/2022/02/23/17334445.shtml?updated [accessed 23.03.2023]

[13] For example, such publications and comments can be found in the pro-Kremlim VK groups Chto tam u khohlov (https://vk.com/chto_tam_u) or Zapadenez news (https://vk.com/zapadeneznews). Also, a series of publications “Ukraine does not exists” are available in VKontakte on https://vk.com/sovinformburo. Moreover, the image “Gifts for Ukraine form Russian Tsars” has more then 4 million likes on the patriotic platform Prezidentpress.ru   https://prezidentpress.ru/news/2816-ukraina-podarki-russkih-carey.html which indicted wide spread of this visual. Individual users also may post similar maps on their personal pages: https://vk.com/wall249749579_8993  

[14] For the first time the slogan was introduced in 2015 and was used by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in numerous information campaigns. For more details see here https://oda.zht.gov.ua/news/v-ukrayini-startuvala-komunikatsijna-k/ and https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/27402854.html   

[15] The Moscow Times, “Crimean Map Scandals: Choice Between Offending Russia or Ukraine”, 2016,  https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2016/07/29/map-scandals-topography-after-annexations-a54796 [accessed 14.11.2022]

[16] Rebeca Pop, “Similar Stories, Different Maps – A Visual Narrative of the War in Ukraine”, Everviz, 2022, https://www.everviz.com/blog/similar-stories-different-maps-a-visual-narrative-of-the-war-in-ukraine/ [accessed 23.11.2022]

[17] “Ти як ? Тримаюсь!” Кухонна шафа, яка вціоліла після знищення будинку у Бродянці, стала символом витримки України. 2022. Kyiv Media https://kyiv.media/news/ty-yak-trymayus-kuhonna-shafa-yaka-vczilila-pislya-znyshhennya-budynku-u-borodyanczi-stala-symvolom-vytrymky-ukrayiny

[18] pobedobesie a pejorative term used to describe the Victory Cult in the Russian Federation.

[19] For instance, the maps promise to continue the special military operation and “Go till La Manche” or “Go till Berlin” if necessary. Олеся Біда «Прийшли звільняти від нациків». Що на російському телебаченні говорять про війну з Україною  11 Березня 2022   https://hromadske.ua/posts/sbu-pokazala-sho-znajshla-pid-chas-obshukiv-u-mitropolita-pavla


Alina Mozolevska is a professor in the Faculty of Philology at Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University (Mykolaiv, Ukraine). In 2015, she received a PhD in Linguistics with a major in romance languages from Taras Shevchenko National University (Kyiv, Ukraine). Her research interests include media studies, discourse analysis, and border studies, and she has published on borders and identity in literary and political discourses. Her most recent article, “Construction of Borders and Walls in Contemporary Ukrainian Literature (Analysis of Oleksandr Irvanets’ and Taras Antypovych Novels)”, was published in 2021 in Altre Modernita. Alina Mozolevska was a visiting professor at the UniGR-Center for Border Studies at Saarland University (Germany). Located in Saarbrucken, Germany, she is a 2022/2023 non-resident Prisma Ukraïna Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien.


Other recent articles in the TRAFO series War, Migration and Memory:

Mykola Homanyuk and Janush Panchenko, From a Pilfered Nail to a Stolen Tank: The Role of a Media Event in the Consolidation of the Ukrainian Political Nation, 4 April, 2023

Olha Haidamachuk, The ‘Emergency Grab Bag’ of Memory, or the Tonalities of News Headlines About the War in Ukraine – Part One, 21 March 2023

Taisiia Ratushna, What the Telegram Channels of Ukrainian Migrants in Germany ‘Talk’ and ‘Keep Silent’ About, 09 March 2023


Citation

Alina Mozolevska, The Power of Maps and Geographic Imagery in Digital Communication: Narrating Russia’s War in Ukraine, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 04.05.2023, https://trafo.hypotheses.org/46925



Diesen Blogbeitrag zitieren
Forum Transregionale Studien (2023, 4. Mai). The Power of Maps and Geographic Imagery in Digital Communication: Narrating Russia’s War in Ukraine. TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research. Abgerufen am 18. Mai 2024, von https://doi.org/10.58079/ut6u

Forum Transregionale Studien

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. It provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. More...

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3 Antworten

  1. 15. Juni 2023

    […] The Power of Maps and Geographic Imagery in Digital Communication: Narrating Russia’s War in Ukrai…, par Alina Mozolevska, sur le Carnet TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research ; […]

  2. 25. Juni 2023

    […] Mozolevska, The Power of Maps and Geographic Imagery in Digital Communication: Narrating Russia’s War in Ukrai…, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 04 May, […]

  3. 13. Juli 2023

    […] Mozolevska, The Power of Maps and Geographic Imagery in Digital Communication: Narrating Russia’s War in Ukrai…, 4 May […]

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