World War III: Putin's hybrid war against Western democracies using the Russian secret services, propaganda journalism and corruption of foreign elites.
Russian sociologist Igor Eidman has posted the second in a promised series of articles exposing the falsehoods contained in Kremlin propaganda. In the first, he discussed the contradictory messages Moscow sends to marginal groups in the West to win them over.
In the second, posted online today, he examines the myths the Kremlin uses to try to win over the majorities in Western countries by suggesting that Putin and Russia are the victims of Western aggression, that the Kremlin and the Russian people are totally united, and that resistance to them is both futile and wrong.
Eidman examines five key myths the Kremlin propaganda promotes among the core majorities of Western countries:
According to the first myth, the sociologist says, “President Putin (and his regime) are legitimate and supported by the people of Russia. One must reach agreements with him as with any other leader of a civilized state.”
But all elements of that assertion are false, Eidman says.
“Putin is not a legitimate president but a dictator who usurped power.” His elections, like all others in Russia, have been falsified. The top leadership of the country “consists of corrupt secret policemen, sell out bureaucrats and Mafiosi oligarchs.”
Moreover, he continues, “this is a band of criminals which constantly violates both the domestic laws of the country and international agreements. They look on foreign partners as suckers who must be deceived” and any agreement with them as something that can be dispensed with whenever it suits Moscow’s purposes.
According to the second Kremlin myth, “the Putin regime is Russia. It is impossible to ignore the interests of such a big country and that means it is necessary to cooperate with Putin.” That too is false because “the interests of the Kremlin and the interests of Russia are antithetical.”
“The present-day regime is leading [Russia] toward a catastrophe. The sooner it falls, the better it will be for the country.”
“To reach agreement with it means to help it survive and thus not only to ignore the interests of the residents of Russia but openly harm them. If Western countries want to help [Russia], they must harshly isolate the criminal group in power.”
According to the third myth, Eidman continues, Russia is treated badly, even offensively by the West. It isn’t shown the honor it deserves or shown the deference due a great power. (This myth, the sociologist says, is designed to make Westerners feel guilty before the Putin regime. Not surprisingly, it is especially popular in Germany.)
Again, the reality is exactly the reverse of what the Kremlin claims.
It is Moscow that offends others by ignoring the international rules of the game and seeking too rebuilt an empire without freedom for its own people.
It is wrong to talk about phobias and complexes when one is really talking about a naked power grab by a criminal group masquerading as a state.
According to the fourth myth, “economic cooperation with Russia is very important for the economies of Western country. One must reach agreement with Putin in order not to lose suitable partner” for trade and economic development. The reality gives the lie to such outrageous claims.
“Russia is not in even the first ten foreign trade partners of the leading Western countries. The chief direction of Russian business activity in the West is not trade and legal cooperation but the export of many billions of dollars of shadow capital which are used among other things to buy off local elites, the media, and the expert community.”
“This money,” Eidman says, “is a delayed action bomb under Western democracy.”
And according to the fifth myth, one that the sociologist says has become especially widely promoted in recent months, “Russia has powerful advanced arms and a military. Peace must be made with it or things will become much worse.” Again, the reality is just the opposite of the claim.
“Behind the animated cartoons showing rockets intended to frighten Western politicians is concealed the impoverished situation of the Russian military-industrial complex, science and technology. All military ‘know how’ which the Kremlin possesses was created already in Soviet times.”
Few other countries want to purchase its arms – unless they have no choice – and Russian rockets have been failing for much of the last decade.
The new arms race that the Kremlin has unleashed, Eidman says, “is dangerous above all for itself. Russia has no economic, financial or scientific and technical resources to compete on an equal basis with NATO.” If it pursues this course for very long, it may end as the Soviet Union did when it tried and failed to keep up with the West.
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Tags: anti-US propaganda, disinformation, fake news, far left, far right, hybrid warfare, Kremlin myths, myths about Russia, Russia's confrontation with the West, Russia's hybrid war, Russian corruption, Russian disinformation, Russian media, Russian military strategy, Russian propaganda