False Dawn: Heimat Left Vulnerable

Kremlin propagandists have declared Bakhmut ‘liberated’ even though it has been reduced to rubble. Plumes of smoke rising across a homeland left undefended may yet turn their premature joy into mourning.

Source — EUvsDiSiNFO — May 25, 2023 —

As the Russian illegal invasion of Ukraine persists, Russian disinformation outlets have been manipulatively lauding the ‘liberationof Bakhmut, despite its resemblance to a post-apocalyptic film set. Their jubilation based on selective use of information from the field may be short-lived, given Ukrainian forces continue to operate nearby.

False dawn: Heimat left vulnerable — EUvsDiSiNFO

In the meantime, Russia’s decision to throw resources into the Bakhmut meat grinder might just come back to haunt them. Belgorod’s smoke columns could be the harbinger of a rude awakening that’s been so far avoided by both the Russian citizenry and the Kremlin.

Together with earlier drone explosions in Moscow, it delivers a message that due to military adventurism abroad the homeland is vulnerable, which is hard to explain away with propaganda. Though, of course, the Kremlin has done exactly that by trying to pin the blame on drones on Ukraine and the US.

Propagandists’ heads in (radioactive) clouds

While we are waiting for the Kremlin to face the music, its propagandists continue to dance to the old tunes. They are attempting to frame Western military support as something dangerous, even to the people living in the depths of Europe.

For this fearmongering purpose, their latest fabrication is to suggest to global audiences that a radioactive cloud was formed from an allegedly destroyed stockpile of munitions containing depleted Uranium. This claim was thoroughly debunked by French factcheckers at TF1. One of the most prominent sources for this lie was a former spook chief turned politician, Nikolai Patrushev, who earlier shared conspiracy theories about the so-called ‘golden billion.

Grapes that the G7 offered are sour for Russia

This disinformation narrative of fear-mongering and reinforcing the ‘siege mentality’ actively cultivated in Russia by pro-Kremlin information manipulators was amplified by nuclear sabre-rattling and unfounded allegations that the West is preparing to arm Ukraine with tactical nuclear weapons to exterminate Russians.

The disinformation narrative of all Russians now allegedly being targets of Western ‘Russophobic’ aggression has been picking up steam since Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly in February and reinforced again by his lacklustre and disinformation-laden address on 9 May. Against this backdrop, it is not a particular surprise that Russophobia has been listed in more than 900 cases in our disinformation database.


In other disinformation news this week:

  • G7 is a tool of hybrid war against Russia. It appears that Russia is still holding a grudge that it was banished from the then G8 back in 2014 as a consequence of its illegal annexation of Crimea. The pro-Russian disinformation mills attempt to take the role of a classic spoiler by utilising toxic narratives, such as the US supposedly colonising Europe, aimed at dividing the G7 nations. Nevertheless, their efforts are in vain: the latest communique reiterates the unity among the leading industrialised democracies in their continued support to Ukraine as long as it takes.
  • Zelenskyy might end up in Guantanamo after US policy changes. We must admit that if there would a prize for the most outlandish pieces of disinformation, the disinformers at Belarusian Sputnik would be strong contenders. It appears from their hallucinations, in which the Russians are gaining ground and the Western allies are abandoning Ukraine, that it must have been the wrong kind of mushrooms they have picked and pickled for later use.
  • British missiles are used to attack civilian targets in Donbas. Another example of trying to frame Western military support as something that it is not. Here the Russian propagandists are attempting to depict Ukrainian uses of Western military support as immoral and against the rules of war. By alleging that weapons systems have been used against civilians instead of military targets, they try to erode the wide support in Western countries for supplying advanced Western weapons systems to Ukraine. Furthermore, they are also trying to divert audiences’ attention from well-documented brutal use of force by the Russians.

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