US and European media are reporting that as the Ukraine conflict heats up, Russia has increased its disinformation campaigns, spreading falsehoods and lies about Ukraine and NATO. According to a report by the New York Times, social media posts are accusing Ukraine of plotting genocide against ethnic Russians.
January 25, 2022 WASHINGTON — As the United States issued warnings last month about the Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders and President Biden threatened President Vladimir V. Putin with sanctions if he launched an invasion, researchers noticed an uptick in social media posts accusing Ukraine of plotting a genocide against ethnic Russians. In one example, an arm of the Moscow-controlled broadcaster RT circulated a clip of Mr. Putin saying that events in eastern Ukraine “resemble genocide.” News Front, which the State Department has called a disinformation outlet with ties to Russian security services, followed with an article on Dec. 13 that said the United States did not consider the massacres to be a genocide. In the months since the Russian troop buildup began, Moscow and its online army of allies have pushed out old arguments about western Ukrainians being aligned with Nazism, falsely accused the United States of using proxy forces to plot a chemical attack and claimed that Russia’s planned military operations were intended to protect ethnic Russians or pre-empt action by NATO, according to researchers.
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According to a Politico Europe report, Russian media is claiming that NATO is preparing to attack Russia, and Ukrainian special forces are planning “false flag” operations:
January 27, 2022 Ukrainian special forces planning so-called “false flag” operations. The United States considering chemical weapons attacks in the Eastern European country. NATO preparing to attack Russia during the upcoming Winter Olympics. The Kremlin is ratcheting up its disinformation game with claims like these amid rising geopolitical tensions between Moscow and Western capitals, according to a review of state-backed media content over the last 10 days by POLITICO. The campaign — spread via Moscow-backed outlets like RT, domestic state-owned broadcasters and fake social media accounts in multiple Western languages — coincides with a large-scale military buildup along the Ukrainian border and increased Western military aide to support Kyiv. Moscow’s goal, according to three Western national security officials and five external disinformation researchers, is to use wedge issues to foster division among Western countries over their support for Ukraine; counter NATO’s claims against Moscow; and create plausible deniability over potential atrocities including the possible use of chemical weapons.
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Last week, we reported on similar Russian propaganda campaigns pushing twisted historical facts and the lie that Ukrainians and Russians are “one people.”