The Americans were leaving [Afghanistan], suffering casualties and shooting indiscriminately, even killing children. At the Kabul airport, they suddenly began firing at the crowd and then struck from the air without discerning who is who. So, what? And who is counting? The lives of Muslims do not matter.
The West – the US and its satellite, the EU - uses a fifth column and a sixth column inside Russia to destabilise Russia and attack its sovereignty. The 5th column is made up of protest movements and the liberal press in Russia. The 6th column is made up of Russia’s liberal pro-Western elite that enjoys a dominant position in Russia's economy, educational system, foreign policy, and culture. The 5th column and the 6th column both have the same supervisors, sources of support, and systems of communication. The sixth column secretly sympathises with protest movements but is outwardly loyal to Putin. Russian actors that support and develop a culture of liberalism are usually involved in providing classified information to the West and in organising direct actions of sabotage and destabilisation in Russia.
This article repeats a narrative, increasingly spread by pro-Kremlin outlets, claiming that the West is waging a hybrid war against Russia. This narrative fits into the broader disinformation themes about the West’s allegedly belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia, about its alleged plans to destabilise and encircle Russia, and about Western support for “colour revolutions”.
The article’s message is also consistent with the recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Western intelligence services have recruited Russian opposition politicians and independent journalists to conduct espionage, sabotage and destabilisation operations against the Russian state. It adds a new twist to this narrative by alleging that many highly influential top-level Russian officials have also been recruited as Western intelligence assets and are also carrying out such operations. There is no factual evidence to support the article’s claims.
Kremlin disinformation often targets political opponents and other critics claiming that they are Western intelligence assets. This narrative dates back to Soviet times and has been refurbished by the Kremlin, especially after 2012, when a law that branded foreign-funded NGOs as “foreign agents” was passed by the Russian Parliament. Critics argued that the term “foreign agent” implied spying for a foreign government and was aimed at harming the image of members of the opposition and human rights and environmental groups working in Russia.
Recently political opposition figure Alexey Navalny has been repeatedly accused by pro-Kremlin media of being a CIA or an MI6 agent.
The idea that Western intelligence services control not only the Russian political opposition but also many powerful representatives of the Putin regime has been theorised by Aleksandr Dugin, who created the concept of the “sixth column”. This concept is used in the article and refers to top-level Russian officials who allegedly pretend to be Putin loyalists but are agents of Western intelligence and are carriers of “liberal globalist ideology“. The allegedly “liberal” figures in the Russian government are labelled “the sixth column” by this theory. For Dugin, the sixth column, unlike the overt opposition figures of the fifth column, is firmly entrenched within the corridors of power. The fifth column narrative is the basis for the repressive laws introduced in 2021 against the Russian independent media. Since April, officials have designated seven newsrooms and 20 individual journalists as “foreign agents,” and banned one outlet as “undesirable.” The federal censor has blocked a handful of news websites, forcing several publications to close down permanently. Between June and September this year, at least 14 non-governmental organisations with foreign registration have been placed on the list of ‘undesirable organisations’ by the Russian Ministry of Justice.
Read similar cases claiming that the West is waging a hybrid war against Russia using NGO’s and activists, that Navalny works with the CIA and receives instructions from this Agency, and that Navalny is a member of a Western-backed fifth column acting inside Russia.