No Way Back

Putin’s illegal annexations announcement speech took us on a mind-bending ride into an alternative reality and his followers off the cliff with him. This week one of the central elements in the pro-Kremlin disinformation ecosystem has been the coverage of Putin’s off-the-cliff speech on 30 September. In that speech, he announced the illegal annexation of the temporarily occupied territories in Ukraine and sought to rally Russians against the West, defying the rules-based order underpinning Western democracies.

Source — EUvsDiSiNFO — October 6, 2022 —

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We at EUvsDisinfo prepared the illustration below to help our readers to decipher parts of Putin’s detached-from-reality rant and its Kremlin newspeak.

Confuse, Distract, and Deflect

As expected, pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets and their amplifiers have heavily focused on the Nord Stream gas pipelines sabotage issue. They have continued to sow doubt and float various conspiracy theories, most of which heavily imply that the USPoland, or the wider West are to blame for various reasons.

The overall Russian disinformation approach on Nord Stream sabotage has begun to suspiciously resemble that of the tragic downing of MH17. At that time, Russian disinformers quickly saturated the information space with a large number of disinformation and conspiracy narratives seeking to cause confusion, distract audiences, and deflect blame. Read more about the similarities from our recent analysis, and check also our full account on MH17 disinformation here.

Pro-Kremlin propagandists were not alone in polluting the information space; they received some support from China siding with the Russian version of events, while insinuating US involvement.

Dangerous Siren Songs for ‘Peace’

Through the illegal annexations, the Kremlin attempts to convince the world of a role reversal, where its disinformation portrays Ukrainian forces as the invading force instead of being the liberators, to whip up patriotism among the Russian people and justify the ongoing ‘partial’ mobilisation.

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No Way Back — (EUvsDiSiNFO)

The Kremlin is also trying to achieve a similar effect by spreading lies that Russian forces are fighting against the collective might of NATO, not just Ukraine.

Furthermore, in Kremlin logic, irresponsible nuclear hot talk (see also here) aims at deterring Ukrainians from getting what is rightfully theirs and to deter the West from supporting Ukrainian self-defence efforts.

Lastly, these conniving manipulations and thinly veiled threats attempt to set up a trap, where peace on the Kremlin’s terms may start to sound tempting to less attentive observers.

Especially if one ignores that Russia, the aggressor in this war, is attempting to set the terms while trying to hold on to territories it has occupied illegally, and if one looks past the countless atrocities that Russian forces have committed in the temporarily occupied areas, like in Izium and beyond.

In the Other Disinformation News