RussiaFebruary 17 2023, 8:00 am

Firstpost Analyzes Russia’s “Desatanization” of Ukraine

Indi­an news por­tal First­post has pub­lished an analy­sis of Rus­si­a’s attempt to rebrand its inva­sion of Ukraine as an effort to “de-Satanize” Ukraine. The fol­low­ing is a sum­ma­ry of the First­post report:

Feb­ru­ary 7, 2023 Russ­ian offi­cials have changed their lan­guage since the inva­sion of Ukraine start­ed almost a year ago, refer­ring to the con­flict as a “sacred con­flict” and an effort to “com­plete­ly de-Satanize” Ukraine. Since late Octo­ber or ear­ly Novem­ber 2022, Russ­ian offi­cials have been attempt­ing to reframe the inva­sion of Ukraine as a holy war against Satanism. Dur­ing a his­toric speech com­mem­o­rat­ing the for­mal annex­a­tion of four Ukrain­ian regions, Putin set the tone by label­ing his oppo­nents “Satan­ic.” The Russ­ian gov­ern­ment has been pro­mot­ing its beliefs in Ukraine while advanc­ing the idea that the West is “Satan­ic.” It is becom­ing “more and more urgent to car­ry out the de-Sataniza­tion of Ukraine,” accord­ing to Alek­sey Pavlov, a Russ­ian assis­tant sec­re­tary on the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Dmit­ry Medvedev stat­ed that the inva­sion of Ukraine was intend­ed to “stop the supreme ruler of Hell, what­ev­er name he uses: Satan, Lucifer, or Iblis” in a speech hon­or­ing Rus­si­a’s Nation­al Uni­ty Day. This view­point has also received sup­port from Patri­arch Kir­ill of the Russ­ian Ortho­dox Church, who asserts that par­tic­i­pa­tion in the “spe­cial mil­i­tary oper­a­tion” atones for all sins.It is unclear why Rus­sia chose this line of rea­son­ing, but one report claims that the move away from Satanism was made to encour­age reli­gious extrem­ists with­in the Russ­ian mil­i­tary and to win over for­eign audi­ences, par­tic­u­lar­ly those who dis­trust the US gov­ern­ment. In both the Unit­ed States and Europe, the far-right Ital­ian pop­u­la­tion has tak­en an inter­est in the fight against Satanism. The war is still going on, but it’s unclear how effec­tive this rhetoric will be in the long run.

Read the full report here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has been report­ing on Russ­ian claims of Satanism in Ukraine, includ­ing a report from Jan­u­ary that a “Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­dist” had giv­en a talk to Russ­ian troops in which he told them Rus­sia is fight­ing “Satanism” in Ukraine in the form of homosexuality.

Also in Jan­u­ary, the GIOR report­ed that Russ­ian claims of “Satanism” in Ukraine are like­ly believed by Putin and oth­er Russ­ian leaders.



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