Russian disinformation is as cynical and as simple as Peskov’s mustache. Unfortunately, this is frequently the reason it is so effective.
Russian propaganda has deserved to be called nothing but lies since the country’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine. For decades, the Kremlin leadership and the entire Russian society have been infiltrated by this lie. Throughout its history, Russia has excelled at one thing: lying.
With Putin’s election, this Russian mentality became even more active. He was able to rise to power and maintain it through deception. In 1999, the former Chekist lied once more when he justified the invasion of Chechnya with alleged Chechen-arranged explosions in Russian high-rise buildings. But, because there are no former Chekists, he deliberately misled the world by failing to acknowledge the death of the Kursk submarine crew. In 2008, the Kremlin invaded Georgia after lying as well. She later did the same thing in regards to Syria. The chemical attack in Saltsbury compelled Putin to return to his favorite business, lying.
Putin’s lies reached a new level with the aggression against Ukraine, particularly after February 24 of this year. It is possible to highlight its ten main strategies, some of which were used prior to Russia’s full-fledged aggression against Ukraine. They reached a noticeable scale exactly six months ago and are still actively used today.
- The goals of war are constantly changing. It began with the incomprehensible “denazification” and “demilitarization,” then assistance to the so-called “DPR” and “LPR,” and finally another type of delusion. Until the average Russian information consumer is completely perplexed. Russia is uninterested in justifying its aggressive actions to the rest of the world. Its goal is to confuse and deceive an already duped domestic audience.
- Rearrange the relationships between cause and effect. They claimed that it was not Russia that attacked Ukraine, but that the “collective West” and Ukraine’s “biolaboratories” compelled Russia to act first. The treacherous West, not Russia, is to blame for Africa’s food crisis. This strategy is also linked to the well-known method in which Russia turns the victim into an aggressor and the aggressor into a victim.
- Manipulation of words Russia is especially skilled at juggling terms. The goal of this strategy is to confuse and silence inconvenient facts in order to prevent Russians from harboring negative feelings toward the Kremlin. What is the value of the well-known “claps” and “acts of goodwill”? Or the fact that Ukraine has been “liberated” from the “Kyiv authorities,” rather than occupied. By the way, Kremlin lies almost never use the term “Ukraine,” but rather “Kyiv regime,” “Kyiv,” and so on. With this, she appears to be deliberately emphasizing the fact that the Kremlin will not consider Ukraine’s subjectivity as a sovereign state. The term “special military operation,” as Russian authorities refer to the war against Ukraine, is a good example of manipulation of words.
- Suppression. If the facts point directly to Russia’s guilt, it will simply remain silent, having picked up its tail. This occurred during the Mariupol theater bombing. The same thing happened during the Olenivka terrorist attack.
- Not everything is so obvious. After the world learned of the terrible crimes committed by their second army of the third world in Buch, Irpen, the Russians attempted to cast doubt on the obvious. And, in general, this is all “provocation.” One of the fundamental strategies of Russian lies is to make people doubt facts, reality, and truth.
- He’s a moron. But when there is nothing to deny about Russia, the tried-and-true strategy of accusing opponents… of “Russophobia” comes into play. The aggressor is like a hurt child who portrays himself as a victim.
- Diplomacy is a filled link in the chain of Russian lies. Although the term “Russian diplomacy” sounds like an oxymoron, Lavrov’s army of white walkers plays a special role in spreading refined lies and bilious hatred towards Ukrainians after February 24. Russian ambassadors do not hesitate to make openly fascist appeals to Ukrainians and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
- Mirroring. When Russia struggles to invent new lies, it reflects what it is accused of. For example, it is all the Armed Forces attacking the Zaporizhzhia NPP, not noble Russia protecting another state’s nuclear power plant. The infamous Amnesty International report, which was designed to accuse Ukraine of war crimes and elevate it to the level of Russia itself, is consistent with this strategy.
- Hanging labels. Putin’s lies constantly refer to the Ukrainian military as “nationalists” and “fascists,” and he repeats these terms nonstop. The Independence Day attack on the railway station killed at least 25 people, including children. Russian lies, on the other hand, portrayed this heinous terrorist attack as the annihilation of “200 Ukrainian nationalists.”
- Remove the roots. Above all, Russian lies attempt to undermine our national identity, culture, and language. That is what distinguishes us as Ukrainians and compels us to resist the dark onslaught. Because of this, they are destroying our universities, schools, museums, theaters, and churches. Russian signs have taken the place of Ukrainian signs. Because they understand that without roots, the nation will perish, and without the nation, the state will die. Ukraine, despite everything, will not vanish. Instead, the evil sub-empire will fade away, eventually drowning in its own lies.
Maksym Kiyak, expert of the National Interest Advocacy Network “ANTS”