This week, the pro-Kremlin media focused primarily on attacking NATO, the West and Ukraine. As usual, Russia was portrayed as entirely innocent.
To make sense of the 60 cases of disinformation we gathered this week, we divided the most common and recurring narratives into broader categories. The overarching thrust of the Kremlin’s messaging is how the rotting West is an enemy led by a small clique of evildoers, like George Soros. By using different instruments like NATO, the West is meddling all over the world and threatens Russia politically, culturally, and militarily.
The Enemy is the West (12 cases)
The West is aiming to destroy Russia and drain its resources. At the same time, the US and Poland sow discord between Belarus and Russia.
In addition to Eastern Europe, the U.S. is also active in Hong Kong, where it uses colour revolution technologies to destabilize China. Those measures remain the main instrument of Western interference in the affairs of sovereign states.
Obviously, pro-Kremlin disinformation needs a quick recap of facts. The foreign policies of the US and the EU do not revolve solely around Russia, nor are they aimed at its destruction.
As for the protests in Hong Kong, they started organically over a controversial extradition law. Nevertheless, the pro-Kremlin media has been eager to claim that protests all over the world are Western-funded “colour revolutions”.
The West is in Moral and Physical Decay (7 cases)
George Soros is encouraging mass illegal immigration, promoting gender theory and supporting unruly minorities. As the Western feminised semi-men are unable to protect their women from immigrants, the influx of migrants has already sparked rebellions.
Things will only get worse as the already deindustrializing and de-intellectualizing Baltic States can only be saved from extinction with the help of people born in the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Equatorial Guinea. And as Sweden clearly demonstrates, migration will lead to crime-infested “no-go” zones, where police and businesses are too afraid to venture.
With 92 disinformation cases in the database connected to George Soros, the pro-Kremlin media really puts him on par with supervillains from the adventures of Batman, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond.
The disinformation narrative about supposedly deindustrializing and de-intellectualizing Baltic States manages to discredit climate change, the Baltic states and their policy, and Greta Thunberg all in one go.
NATO is Preparing for a War with Russia (5 cases)
NATO is an instrument of US foreign policy that is preparing for a war with Russia by sending troops to Europe.
NATO does not ask for permission from its member states, it just deploys missile defence systems where it wants. If, for example, Latvia was truly independent, it would have not encouraged foreign military bases on its soil. But Latvia has no say in NATO and is now paying an occupation fee for NATO’s presence.
A quick fact-check by the pro-Kremlin media would reveal that the Alliance does not seek confrontation with Russia and that all decisions in NATO are made by consensus. The latter means that each member of the Alliance has an equal say, and all member states are involved in decision-making processes.
Ukraine is Bad (10 cases)
Similarly to the story about the Lugar lab in Georgia, Ukrainian virology laboratories are supposedly testing chemical weapons on their own compatriots, so it’s fair to say that nobody cares about Ukrainians ‘existence.
This makes sense as Neo-Nazis have an outsized influence in Ukrainian politics. This is proven by the fact that they are trying to use decommunisation to cover up unrestricted Russophobia and that Kyiv does not want rebel held territories back because the voters in Donbas would throw the Nazis from power.
As usual, the truth is far more boring: virology laboratories in Ukraine are actually preventing diseases. As for no one caring about Ukrainians, it’s actually a quote by a political commentator of a pro-Kremlin media outlet that was wrongfully attributed to George Soros. And accusations of Nazism are recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives despite far right groups absence from Ukrainian parliament.
Russia is Innocent (11 cases)
Russia is not attacking Ukraine and Crimea belonged to Russia until the 1980s. It returned to Russia in 2014 after a popular referendum and all this shows that Russia is an arbitrator just like France and Germany.
The response from the U.S.? Even more anti-aircraft missiles, exercises and military bases in NATO countries with access to the Black Sea. But that’s not all – as the U.S. was the first to start creating weapons that are in violation of the INF Treaty, Russia will work on medium-range missiles too.
Most of those disinformation narratives have been in use since 2014 and claim that the West has abandoned Ukraine and that Russia is not involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. As the NATO countries are sovereign states, they are free to make decisions based on their threat assessment. And the narrative about the INF Treaty? Well, it’s just another example in our 6691 strong cases database of pro-Kremlin media sacrificing facts in the name of a catchy story.
(c) EU vs Disinfo
“Russia is not attacking Ukraine and Crimea belonged to Russia until the 1980s. It returned to Russia in 2014 after a popular referendum and all this shows that Russia is an arbitrator just like France and Germany.”
Russian methodology. Russia create problem, plead innocence, Russia then offer to solve problem, usually by blaming the innocent victim.
The political system that President Vladimir Putin has built robs the Russian people of the ability to think, analyze, ask questions, formulate positions or remember the past. It offers no stimulus for that: Putin’s Russia has no need of people who think for themselves. It has reduced competition to a minimum in all areas, including the political field. And it is not always the smartest that succeed in this system.
Putin’s Russia has not brought a revival of spiritual values, as state-controlled TV tries to convince us. It has caused Russia’s moral decay. And as long as Russians approach every problem through the filter of whether it will affect them personally, this country can move in only one direction – backward.
Not sure there is too much difference between Putin’s system and the Soviet system. Both promised a lot, but failed to deliver anything except misery.
The biggest difference between the Soviet system and Putin’s Russia is that Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its neighbors and the world— not out of strength but out of weakness. I believe that this makes him much more dangerous.
Nice post SA, and a good example with the article.
The Collectivism (Kolektiv) ideology has been a staple in Moskovy for decades. This sickness shuns anything that would create individuals. This gives the mafia and oligarchs opportunities to steal anything that might be considered beyond the kolektiv. If someone invents a better mouse trap, the beneficiary is the kolektiv, not the individual because if the credit went to the individual it would not be patriotic.