dedo Vasiľ (ded_vasilij) wrote,
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Let the Westerners blame the West - Disinformation Digest


  • Terror in Brussels: Blame the victim

  • Analysis: Let the Westerners blame the West

  • Response: Mogherini most trending in Russia

  • Analysis: "Russophobia" and the "anti-Russian vector"

  • Friday Fun: Occultist Scots backed by NATO brainwash Russian children

Terror in Brussels: Blame the victim


While people from around the globe expressed condolences and sympathies following the series of terror attacks that hit Brussels on 22 March, some Russian leaders seized the opportunity to repeat propaganda messages.
The narrative according to which NATO has a Cold War mentality was echoed by several prominent members of the Russian State Duma in the wake of the events in Brussels. For example, Alexei Pushkov, the Chair of the Duma’s foreign policy committee accused NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of fighting an "imaginary Russian threat" while "under his nose in Brussels people are blown up" (see Mr. Pushkov's tweet below). Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin made a similar claim: "Instead of taking resolute measures in the fight against terrorism, the politicians and countries of the EU and NATO are announcing various types of sanctions which violate the fundamental rights of millions of citizens".
The spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, recycled another common Kremlin narrative, suggesting that the West supports terrorism: "You cannot divide terrorists into 'good' and 'bad', you cannot support them in one region and think that this terrible disease of the modern world will not come to the other side of the planet". Likewise, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov blamed the US for the growth of terrorism: "Those who unleashed state terrorism on the whole planet, first of all the Americans, are the main culprit." In his response to the bombings, Mr. Zyuganov also incorporated the highly popular Kremlin narrative about the EU as a puppet of the United States, asserting that "the Europeans are paying a bloody tribute […] for being forced to submit to 'Uncle Sam'".


The most upsetting message came from veteran parliamentarian and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who in his reaction anticipated that terrorists attacks will now spread all over Europe which, according to Mr. Zhirinovsky, would be "beneficial" for Russia: "Let them perish and die," Zhirinovsky suggested in a talk show on national TV.


Let the Westerners blame the West


Sputnik’s English language version has so far published more that 200 stories around the topic of the Brussels terrorist attacks. In most of the material, it applies a technique that has become a Sputnik classic, namely to quote a Western source for a confirmation of Kremlin’s foreign policy narratives. Sputnik explains the reasons for the Brussels bombings, for example using this quote from an opinion piece printed by the Italian paper Il Giornale, presenting it in the article's headlines as something "the Italian newspaper Il Giornale said": "The problem of terrorism in Europe comes from the unwillingness of EU leaders to realize that aggressive Western policies in the Arab World have created a monster [...] This is Europe's suicide. Immediate political changes are needed."
In another story, Sputnik uses quotes from Belgian journalist Karel Vereycken to reach conclusions expressed in the headline "Worse than Useless: NATO unable to protect Europe form Daesh".
Finally, in another article, Sputnik leaves no doubt who can provide the protection it claims Europe needs. With references to an opinion piece in Wall Street Journal, Sputnik triumphantly declares that Russia’s war in Syria "took only six months to show that even a military operation of a small scope can change the balance of power in a separate region."

Response: Mogherini most trending in Russia


When High Representative Federica Mogherini's statement on the second anniversary of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea was published in Russian on the EEAS Russian language website by the East Stratcom Task Force, it became the most trending topic of that day in Russian online media, according to Russia's leading news aggregator, News.yandex.ru. As the screenshot above shows, the Russian version of Mogherini's statement on behalf of the 28 EU Member States was the most trending text on 18 March and was quoted with links to the Russian version by a series of Russia's leading media, among them Vesti, Lenta, Gazeta, Vedomosti, Kommersant and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
It is difficult not to interpret this interest as a result of the contrast between the strong language in the EU statement and the narrative that has been dominant in Kremlin-loyal media, namely that the Western countries have in fact already recognized Crimea's annexation.

"Russophobia" and the "anti-Russian vector"


The coverage of Western media about Russia is the topic of a recent study, published by one of the Russian government’s most loyal think tanks, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, whose experts often find their claims quoted in our Disinformation Review. The study ranks Western countries, Western media and even individual Western journalists in accordance with their “Russophobia” and measures trends in Western media outlets, calling it an “anti-Russian vector.”
Although the study at a first glance works with traditional academic methods, it discloses a clear bias when it makes active use of such a key term in pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns as the word “Russophobia” - the myth that those who criticize the Russian government's policies and actions do so not because of their political views, but because of a fundamental scepticism towards everything Russian.
The study has been subject to criticism among bloggers and in Russian social media. One of the critics is popular blogger Alexey Kovalev who in a Facebook post ridicules the study for assuming that there are officials in the governments of the Western countries whose job it is to control and hand down orders about how Russia should be covered in those countries' media.
The report comes in the same week when Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, saidthat Russia is systematically targeted by “the Anglo-Saxons” in an “information war”.

Occultist wizards backed by NATO brainwash Russian children


Getting authorized messages across to the Russian population is taken very seriously in the Kremlin, and it starts already in the pre-school age. Two years ago, when Russia's occupation of Crimea began, a furry little character from the popular show "Good night, little ones" expressed his desire to join the army and protect Russian borders.
Following this trend, Russian kids will soon see a completely new animated feature where the biggest danger to them are wizards from the Scottish highlands, backed by NATO. "Kids Against Sorcerers is a war between a kind of patriotic junior KGB and a gang of Harry Potters who have turned evil. And the KGB kids win," The Heralddescribes.
The show is still in production and is backed by the Russian government and the Orthodox Church. In a trailer video, a priest praises the storyline and presents it as based on a "return to moral standards."
Tags: disinformation review, eu
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