“We’re all living in America”: this week’s Russian disinformation

 

Hybrid War

Disinformation often mirrors the news stream. Therefore, it might not be surprising this week’s disinformation heavily features events in the United States. Among the frequent targets: Joe Biden’s policy towards Russia, Covid-19, and alleged plans of the US establishment to abuse the pandemic and rig the US presidential elections.

Please, fasten your seatbelts.

One narrative claims Joe Biden, when inaugurated, will continue the demonization of Russia. He even swore to work actively against Russia. Moreover, the president-elect wants to create a sanitaire cordon around Russia, in cooperation with his new colleague and Moldova’s president-elect, Maia Sandu. These narratives fit claims of last weeks, casting accusations that Biden will use Poland for the destabilization of the post-Soviet countries, that the NATO Secretary-General encourages Joe Biden to clash with Russia and the US seeks to destabilize Russia and China and to provoke a Sino-Russian war. Different narratives, but one psychological idea: Russia as a victim of America’s aggression.

Another way of falsely connecting US elections and Russia is to compare Trump’s supporters, allegedly humiliated and denigrated, with Russian minorities in the post-Soviet countries! But why not, if this is consistent with the pro-Kremlin narrative about rigged US electionsWest-driven color revolutionsRussophobia, and elite-subordinated US mainstream media?

In an even more spectacular vein, according to pro-Kremlin disinformation, the US is on the verge of dictatorship. We are served several ‘convincing’ examples right away:

the US military ran a parallel campaign to bring about a change of power; social media companies are controlled by the US government or by the US “deep state.” which uses these social media to organize color revolutions and protests around the world, including in the US.

Other cases combine efforts to delegitimize the 2020 US elections with the narrative on Covid-19 as a false pandemic, used by elites to pursue secret goals. For example, if the Democrats succeed in stealing the US presidential elections, they will use Covid-19 to establish a totalitarian dictatorship. Similar is a claim that the Democrats used Covid-19 to manipulate the voting process.

In the poem The Dream (1962), written by Sergei Mikhalkov (author of the text to the National Hymn of the USSR and Russia), a small boy dreams he suddenly appeared on a ship bound for the United States. Finally, he wakes up, literally saved by the bell, he sighs with relief: “It’s good that in reality, I don’t live in America!” Aren’t these new narratives a continuation of the good old Soviet tradition of anti-Americanism?

Miscellaneous repetition

This week brought back some well-known disinformation narratives.

Again, we saw disinformation on MH17. We saw a narrative claiming that MI6 prepared the crash. Also, the Buk missile that shot down MH17 was Ukrainian and shot from Ukraine controlled territory. Both are part of recurring disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia’s responsibility. The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014.

Also repetitive, we read how Navalny could have been poisoned in Germany. This claim is not backed by any evidence, whilst in reality, the fact of his poisoning has been independently corroborated by labs in France and Sweden and the OPCW.

In a more creative fashion, however, a new narrative connects Columbia University and Navalny’s movement, with a program of color revolutions in Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Who is behind this program? Surprise, surprise: the US intelligence services.

In the end, everything is connected: we are all living in America. And America is not so wunderbar (i.e. wonderful, the phrase refers to Rammstein’s German-language song America that has its chorus in “Denglish”: “We’re all living in Amerika, Amerika ist wunderbar,” – Ed.).

 


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