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 —
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 US, Poland, 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.
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.
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
- France is an accomplice of genocide on Ukrainian territory. No, France is not. Instead, this is a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about an alleged genocide taking place in Ukraine. This disinformation narrative also attempts to dissuade France from continuing its support of Ukraine, including the deliveries of highly effective and collateral-damage-minimising CAESAR howitzer systems.
- IAEA experts confirmed that the Zaporizhzhia plant is under Ukrainian attacks. This claim is demonstrably false. The IAEA did not report any Ukrainian ‘bombings’ or ‘attacks’ in the days before this disinformation story appeared, nor after. Pro-Kremlin disinformation tries to cast the blame on Ukraine for the dangerous situation around this facility, deny any Russian responsibility, and distract audiences from reckless Russian activities, such as the most recent one.
- The Kremlin’s referendums in Ukraine are only an intermediate step on the way to de-Nazification. This is a recurring and thoroughly debunked pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazi Ukraine, presented as a justification for Russian military aggression against Ukraine and another illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories. Both the sham ‘referendums’ and the illegal annexations that followed were condemned by the European Union and other members of the international community in the clearest possible terms.