Kremlin propaganda is ravaging the naïve Old Europe

23.03.2021 Off By Editor
Kremlin propaganda is ravaging the naïve Old Europe

It often seems that Russia continues being “at war” with the rest of the world, trying to establish its truth everywhere it goes. “Armed with information”, Russia actively engages in geopolitical discussions, during which the Kremlin’s agents of influence and useful idiots spare no efforts to prove the Kremlin’s made-up “truth”. Propaganda has become its main weapon, with narratives being exploited to manipulate the media environment.

The Kremlin isn’t even bothered by the fact that its narratives are often false or outright ridiculous and contradict each other. The Kremlin does this because there will always be blind followers – like the opponents of 5G or those believing in lizard people – who will believe anything their leader says.

Unfortunately, many people have bought into the wondrous lies spread by the Kremlin’s propaganda mouthpieces – after all, there was a reason why members of the party Latvian Russian Union stirred when their TVs were turned off. Imagine Putin now giving completely useless speeches, since no one in Latvia can hear him anymore.

Years of impunity have led to a situation where even during the meetings of the General Assembly and Security Council of the UN the floor is given to well-known fairytale generators and shameless liars. Even high-ranking diplomats and institutions can’t be trusted anymore, as the words coming out of their mouths are one-for-one Putin’s narratives.

 

This was particularly evident after 2014 when Russia, foaming at the mouth, yelled that its army is not in Ukraine and that everything that’s happening there is completely legal. Fortunately, European Council President Charles Michel – unlike Putin’s French friend Macron – didn’t buy into the wails of the eternally offended Russia and promised Kyiv the EU’s support, adding that Russia is involved in the Donbass conflict and that, since the Kremlin isn’t eager to make peace, sanctions against Russia will continue. During a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Michel stressed that Russia is a part of the conflict, not its mediator. Instead of “a part”, I would say the beginning and the end of it.

 

The European Union is aware of the hardships of the Ukrainian people, that’s why it supports Ukraine’s decisions about combating Russian propaganda, which include banning Russian TV channels and imposing sanctions against individuals. Jean-Pierre Froehly, Special Envoy for Ukraine at the German Foreign Office, confirmed that this doesn’t concern pro-Russian information, but instead lies, propaganda and violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Therefore, banning Russian television channels in the EU and other countries is a welcome move.

 

It’s not only the Ukrainians and the Georgians that have to deal with Russian propaganda, but other European nations as well. On 1 March, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell gave a speech at a meeting of the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation, where he expressed that “foreign meddling poses a real threat to the EU”. According to Borrell, it’s “a new hybrid threat that threatens global security” which requires “decisive actions and close cooperation between different institutions, as well as state and private establishments”.

 

I will add that previously Borrell was the one who believed the most in restoring dialogue with Russia. He even personally went on an official visit to Moscow from 4 to 6 February, despite criticism from European politicians who urged him to cancel the visit due to the events involving Aleksey Navalny. Borrell reached out his hand to Moscow, but it defiantly pushed it away. The EU’s lead diplomat was then forced to admit that Moscow is not in the mood for a dialogue with the Union.

 

As noted by Borrell in his report, Russia’s campaigns regarding Covid-19 are especially dangerous as they threaten millions of lives around the world. He particularly stressed the campaign aimed at discrediting Western vaccines and their producers and popularizing Russia’s own vaccine to gain geopolitical leverage. Borrell believes “disinformation has become an industrial-scale issue”.

 

And, instead of the Kremlin vaccinating and caring for its own people, Moscow continues advertising its vaccine on the international market, despite it still not being approved by the European Medicines Agency. Meanwhile, Russia – where Sputnik-V was registered already in August 2020 – is in the last position among superpowers regarding the number of vaccinated people. According to different sources, some 2.2% of Russians have received the vaccine against Covid-19. Head of the Russian Federal Medical-Biological Agency Veronika Skvortsova confirmed this and said that in order for the situation in Russia to improve and to avoid a possible third wave a quarter of Russians must be vaccinated in the next two months.

It also seems that the Kremlin, in its attempts to conceal the real situation in the country, has itself become lost in numbers – bizarrely, as the number of people infected with Covid-19 decreases, the number of deaths remains the same, i.e. 400-600 people per day. This is the same number that was reported when Russia had more than 20,000 daily cases, which is twice as much as reported currently. This indicates not only the Kremlin’s indifference towards its people, but also the deliberate misleading of the international community with the aim of popularizing the Russian vaccine and making as much money from it as possible.

 

Baiba Zile,
independent Latvian journalist