Groundhog Day of Evil

In Putin’s Russia, the calendar turns, but the story remains unchanged. A cycle of deception, oppression, moral decay, and futile military adventurism with countless losses rolls on.

For many, the New Year represents new beginnings, hope for betterment, big plans and a promise of achievement. In Putin’s Russia, none of this holds. Every 1 January, the same corrupt repressive system lacking any moral compass brings about more lies, hardship, crushed dreams, devastation, and countless deaths. Each year is indistinguishable from the last in its toll of human suffering and loss.

By EUvsDisinfo | January 11, 2024 —

We packed up the last year in pro-Kremlin disinformation in our holiday season article, where we uncovered the lies that dotted the year 2023 and took a hard look at what awaits us in 2024.

Putin’s speech was no King’s speech

It is fair to assume that there is no reason to wait for a movie adaptation of Putin’s New Year’s address that was surprisingly brief, but lie-filled nevertheless.

The address’s overall tone of triumphalism concerning Russia’s destiny for greatness contrasted greatly with the actual reality. The FSB, an heir to the Soviet KGB, has apparently been instructed to arrest people hoarding eggs and there were reports of an assassination attempt on the head of a poultry farm in the Voronezh region.

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Groundhog Day of Evil — EUvsDiSiNFO

Putin’s passing mentions of ‘heroes on the front lines fighting for truth and justice’ push the disinformation narrative that Russia is only defending itself from external threats and Western aggression in Ukraine and fighting for a just cause there.

Despite being predominantly geared toward Russian domestic audience consumption, such lies form the foundation of the Kremlin’s senseless justification for Russia’s continued military aggression against Ukraine and the endless row of atrocities that has followed since 2014.

We reported on these foundational lies in our myth busting article last year, and in the cases that we continue to upload to our disinformation database. And as per our usual fashion, we have deciphered Putin’s speech in more details here and below.


As Russian lies pile up, so do civilian casualties

Like countless times before, Russian authorities fail to show even the slightest sign of remorse, as they continue denying targeting civilians with their attacks in Ukraine.

On two recent occasions, Russia launched massive missile and drone attacks on several Ukrainian cities overnight between 28 and 29 December 2023, killing and injuring scores of people across the country.

Major cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro, and Zaporizhzhia were targeted by the attacks. At the time of writing, Ukrainian authorities have reported 29 people killed in Kyiv alone.

Just two days later, another volley of attacks struck Ukraine. At least 28 people were injured as Russian missiles and drones hit residential buildings, hotels, and medical facilities in Kharkiv on 31 December 2023.

Any Russian denials of its forces striking civilians and civilian infrastructure are blatant lies. Over the past almost two years, we have reported on this topic numerous times, like here. Nevertheless, you should not put your trust solely on us, when you can hear it straight from Putin’s own mouth.


Also blinking on EUvsDisinfo’s disinformation radar:

  • French first lady Brigitte Macron doesn’t exist. The French version of Pravda disinformation outlet attempts in vain to challenge the hegemony of Belarusian Sputnik in a mindless competition for the most outlandish disinformation pieces out there. In this case, Pravda puts out a new spin to a discredited conspiracy theory alleging that the French first lady’s would be a fictional character played by a transgender person. This false allegation, which first circulated ahead of the 2022 presidential elections, now reappeared as the French president was about to appoint his new Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal.
  • Every political choice in Italy is subordinated to the orders of Brussels or Washington. This Geopolitika disinformation piece in Italian tried to paint a picture of Italy as a puppet of foreign forces. It followed a pro-Kremlin ‘Lost Sovereignty’ cookie-cutter approach, where a country or political entity’s true independence is denied. Such false narratives are tailored to fan the flames of nationalism and polarise the targeted society in an attempt to erode national cohesion and unity and to weaken the state as whole. In the case of Italy, such baseless claims are particularly unfounded, as Italy is not only a founding member of the European Union, but has supported the European integration process at all its stages.
  • The decision to start EU accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova is legally questionable. The Arabic edition of RT, the notorious pro-Kremlin disinformation mouthpiece, attempts to cast doubt on the European Council’s decision to commence accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova by erroneously portraying the decision as illegitimate. Hungary’s pre-planned decision to leave the room prior to voting was a known and previously applied procedure known in the EU system as ‘constructive abstention’ and it did not challenge the legality of opening accession talks. Framing something as illegal, or questionable, is a typical pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic, where the disinformation apparatus tries to confuse and mislead audiences by muddying the waters with disinformation tailored to delegitimise official positions.

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