Satan’s Little Helpers
This holiday season, Kremlin propagandists see Satan everywhere they look, except within their own ranks and in the actions of their armed forces.
This week we have witnessed continued pro-Kremlin disinformation targeting the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine), confusion among Kremlin propagandists regarding Polish intentions in Ukraine, and their keen interest in the devil’s whereabouts.
EUMAM Ukraine in the Kremlin’s crosshairs
Similarly to our earlier reporting, pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets and their amplifiers continued to target EUMAM Ukraine and HRVP Josep Borrell’s visit to its training site in Poland.
Kremlin disinformation outlets portrayed EUMAM Ukraine’s launch as threatening, escalatory, and confrontational toward Russia. Some disinformation outlets used EUMAM Ukraine to accuse the EU of needlessly militarising itself and fuelling the conflict. Naturally, following Russian propagandists’ warped logic, these actions are linked to alleged designs to destroy Russia.
Another disinformation angle about EUMAM insinuated that the mission creates high costs for EU taxpayers. Such narratives attempt to paint a picture that EU ‘elites’ do not care about ordinary Europeans and put Ukraine’s interests above and beyond those of the EU.
Confusion over Poland’s grand plans
We have reported many times that consistency is not a strong suit of Kremlin disinformationists.
This time, they seem confused about Poland’s alleged grand plans. Sometimes Poles are planning to take over Western Ukraine, as often claimed by Kremlin propaganda. Other times their special operations forces are fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in Ukraine under NATO command (see also here).
Regardless of the details of each particular lie, the bottom line is that the Russian disinformation machine attempts to push narratives driving a wedge between Ukraine and its supporters. It also tries to convince audiences at home that instead of fighting solely Ukraine, Russia is actually at war with the Western world, and NATO in particular.
The Lord of Darkness walks tall among men, again
Kremlin propagandists and Kremlin boyars alike continue to be fascinated by the Old Nick. Not to be outdone by their previous flirting with allegations of a demonic sort, they now claim that the morning star’s hairy hooves trot among the Ukrainian leadership and Orthodox Church of Ukraine. They also allege that Ukraine has somehow suddenly turned pagan or even anti-Christian in its westbound leaning.
Kremlin propagandists’ summoning of Lucifer and affiliating him with the Kremlin’s portrayed enemies serves two purposes. It attempts to elevate the Kremlin and its supporters as defenders of ‘traditional values’, a well-known disinformation trope. At the same time, it dehumanises Ukrainians and justifies the war crimes committed against them.
Paradoxically enough, Kremlin disinformation machinery suggests that destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure ‘might contribute to saving Ukrainian society [apparently from a pagan sectarian cult], because without access to the Internet and TV, people’s brains might eventually turn on.’
One cannot help but wonder if these propagandists would agree that the same line of thinking would also save the soul of Russian society.
Also beeping on our Disinformation Radar:
- Any Ukraine war crimes tribunal would be illegitimate. As HRVP Borrell has recently remarked, evidence continues to pile up of war crimes committed by Russian armed forces and their mercenary bandits. But the Kremlin disinformation machine continues to deny any Russian responsibility and resorts to cheap whataboutisms.
- The EU labelling Russia a sponsor of terrorism is a pretext to seize its assets. This piece of disinformation serves as a schoolbook example of diversion. Instead of addressing the real reasons behind the European Parliament resolution recognising Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, such as deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, this piece attempts to divert readers’ attention to unfounded claims and allegations.
- The American deep state is to blame for the crisis in Ukraine. No, delusional Russian imperial ambitions are to blame. This disinformation narrative offers a toxic cocktail of some all-time Kremlin propaganda favourites: the deflection of Russian responsibility over the war in Ukraine, secret elites ruling the world, and NATO enlargement threatening Russia.